My Husband and I are 100% perfectly healthy, we have been poked, prodded and tested. We’ve sought 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions. Each time, we are told we are perfectly healthy. Neither of us suffer from any form of medical ailment that could possibly be causing problems. This is clearly one of those very rare situations when being perfectly healthy is the worst news possible. But then again, I guess everything about this situation is very rare.
We are told there is no point on IUI, IVF, IVF with genetic testing, surrogacy or donor egg or sperm. There is no reason to potentially spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix us, because we aren’t broken.
Genetically we are fine.
My uterus is fine.
My egg production is fine.
My egg quality is fine.
His swimmers are fine.
He’s not stressed.
I’ve left my high stress job, and am no longer stressed.
Simply put, we are healthy. There are no answers. Which means there are no solutions.
We are told to keep trying. With a 50% success rate for each future pregnancy, they say eventually it will work. Whether it takes 5 tries or 12 tries or 22 tries, no-one knows. And, we definitely don’t know when we are going to burn out and stop trying, but I know it will eventually happen (assuming we don’t get a living child one of these times).
But, I think this might be one of the only times in life where being told you are healthy, is frustrating beyond believe. I catch myself thinking that if only they could say I have endometriosis or PCOS or he has slow swimmers, then at least we’d know what our problem is and we might be able to find some solutions or know that our statistical chances just aren’t great. Some days I would love nothing more than for the doctors to tell me we have a 5% chance of success, because then at least we’d be able to make a decision. Instead, we are told we have a 50% chance the next one will work – 50% that’s useless to help us make a decision. But, then I realize, how crazy these thoughts are, and thankfully we aren’t suffering from any of these horrible medical conditions. And because of that, maybe we will have a better chance of success one of these times. Maybe, just maybe.
Yet, I continually search for an answers (I love to search for answers and solutions). But, after months of research, I’m slowly understanding that there is no answer. So, now, I spend less and less time researching because I’m bored of reading the same article over and over again. And, it’s really not a healthy obsessions, so it’s time for me to let it go because I’m definitely not the one that is going to find the cure for RPL.
As we have been telling more and more people about our situation, my research time is quickly getting filled up by telling more and more people about our prognosis. And what we are finding is that everyone tries to provide solutions to fix it. My parents, our friends, our bosses – really, everyone, tries to provide solutions. Well maybe you guys just need to relax or maybe you need to go to India for IVF and use a surrogate there? Maybe they need to re-run the genetic testing and they will find the problem? Or maybe, use a surrogate? Maybe you should try a donor egg? Or donor sperm? Or….
So, now I get to continually explain that we are perfectly healthy. And, I seem to be defending the medical systems shortcomings when it comes to RPL – why would they spend research dollars on RPL, when they can statistically make a more positive difference for more people experiencing more typical infertility, or why would they spend research dollars on RPL when people are dying of cancer, or they cannot really preform a lifesaving surgery on an 10 week old baby in utero when they don’t even know the problem. Once explained this way, people do start to get the reasons for our non-existent answers. As frustrating as it is, it really does make sense that the medical system cannot focus on finding the solution to our situation.
So, once we are done explaining the medical system, we get to move onto explaining fertility treatments and why they won’t work for us. Yes, these fertility solutions work for many people, but they won’t for us. The conversation usually goes something like – at this point in time it makes no sense to spend all of our savings on highly invasive and painful IVF procedures when they will not improve our chances. Our success statistics will not increase through any of these treatments, but our bank account will definitely decrease. Oh, and on that India suggestion, I’m just not really sure I want to travel half-way around the world for the cheapest medical treatments with high risks – I kind of think when it comes to creating my baby, I want the best doctors the world can offer, and I’m pretty sure I’m seeing a few of the best right here in Canada.
Some days I’m getting really tired of explaining that we are perfectly healthy – someday I think the next person who offers there friendly solutions, might experience my angry she-devil side. But, most of the time I just focus on how lucky we are to have people in our lives who want to help and who want to see this work out for us.
I just realized I neglected to tell one part of my journey. I’ve been writing about what we have been through, and long term possibilities. But, at no time have I clearly discussed our very next steps. Throughout various posts, I’ve touched on it, but I’ve never explicitly discussed what are we going to do next. I’m not sure how I managed to neglect this tiny, yet entirely significant, little detail. But, I think it deserve some attention.
So, before dive into the near future plans, I’ll give a quick recap of our past and our long term thoughts (for more detail you are welcome to dig around my various posts).
- Our past – 4 lost babies to recurrent pregnancy loss / miscarriage in the last 21 months. It’s been tough to say the least. Each miscarriage has been distinctly unique and all of them have occurred at different stages within the first trimester. After miscarriage 3 we got into the local fertility clinic. All testing has indicated that we are perfectly healthy and therefore fall into the category of unexplained.
- Our Long term future – We have made no concrete decision on adoption, but we are very scared of all the potential risks. Almost no chance we will foster, just not interested.
So, what does that mean the next year is going to look like? The answer was simple, when we asked ourselves one question – will we have any regrets in 10 years if we don’t try again? We both knew instantly that the answer was yes. Yes, we will have regrets. Neither of us feel like we’ve given this our-everything just yet. We need to try one more time for a healthy baby, but we need to make a significant lifestyle change to give it a fair chance even though we’ve been told by the Reproductive Endocrinologists that there is nothing we can do to change the outcome of our next pregnancy. We are healthy, it will either work or it won’t. Assuming we continue to live our healthy lifestyle, nothing we do will change that outcome.
So, what’s the change significant lifestyle change? After nearly a year of working with an amazing psychologist and multiple years with an absolutely awesome family doctor, we’ve decided that my stress level due to work may be negatively impacting our pregnancies. Stress effects all elements of human health, and we cannot ignore that. So, I’ve left work – this has been a huge change for me! Since pre-kindergarten, I have never taken a break from work asides from vacations and scheduled days off. But, here we are now. I told my bosses that our long term family matters more right now then my career. I explained the importance of this decision for our lives. They seemed to get it and asked me to go on to short term disability rather than just quit and then to take a leave of absence when that runs out so that I can still come back to the company (they were pretty awesome about it actually). So, right now I am working on the emotional recovery from our 4 lost babies and we are going to give it one more try.
We found out somewhat unexpectedly last week that our fertility clinic wants to run some more tests on me next week. So, another attempt at healthy baby making is on hold right now. The tests are not usually done for RPL patients, but we’ve pushed to look for answers and they agreed to do more testing. I should have had the test months ago before our 4th pregnancy, but late is better than never. It has been made very clear to us that the tests will almost certainly show me as perfectly healthy. So, assuming nothing shows up, we will start trying again during my next cycle.
We know we will get pregnant pretty quick once we start trying – but that’s why we are weird compared to most people suffering with an infertility diagnosis. We do no temping, no ovulation sticks, nothing other than frequent sex. Even if it takes a few months, I have no doubt that we will get pregnant again. Really, creating the child is the part we are good at which is great because we both enjoy that step (okay, I might now be bordering on too much information).
Anyways, I have absolutely no intentions of changing my blog into our trying to conceive adventures – we are pretty boring when it comes down to it (not to say the sex is boring, but rather there is no science to it – no medications, no trigger shots, etc.). And, I also do not plan to blog about the next pregnancy very much. I’m not even sure I’ll announce it on here right away. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stick to that promise, maybe I’ll change my mind when we are pregnant next time, but right now, I really don’t think I will spend too much time focusing on it. Because focusing on it while I write, means I’ll be focusing on it all the time rather than trying to think about something else. Since I don’t put any weight into analyzing symptoms or lack of symptoms (having been pregnant 4 times with different symptoms each time to varying degrees, I’m convinced the symptoms mean nothing) there is no point blogging about that. So, until we either have a healthy baby or we lose the baby, there won’t be too much to write about. (Feel free to remind me about this post, if I become an annoying pregnant lady in the future).
Oh, and I almost forgot about the other immediate thing we are doing. Very coincidentally the day after I posted A Little Bit More on our Adoption Indecision, one of my husband’s friends mentioned that his sister has adopted her kids and gave us her contact information. He also texted my husband the next day and said she’s happy to speak with us – I’m pretty excited about this. Apparently all their kids are adopted through open adoption arrangements, they live in our city, and she is very involved with the adoption agency now as a volunteer. So, we are planning on meeting with her and her husband. This will be great because we can ask a tonne of question and learn about the agency they used which might help us in picking an adoption agency if we go that route. I’m rather excited about this because we don’t know anyone personally who has done an open adopted in our province and therefore under our legislation and using agencies that we can use. And its real information, not just online searches. If nothing else, real information will be awesome. I’m super excited and it should be great!