Thursday, September 1, 2011
The $500 word
For the past few weeks I've felt like a high-school girl with an unrequited crush. I've been constantly checking my phone, wondering: has he called yet? Why hasn't he called yet? Will he EVER call?
The elusive "he" in this case is not, however, a cute boy in my algebra class, but the RPL specialist with whom I had scheduled a phone consult, my last best chance to figure out what caused the miscarriage and how to prevent another one: the esteemed Dr. K.
Yesterday afternoon my phone finally rang, the display showing a Memphis area code. Squee!!! For a minute there I really was a teenage girl getting a call from the most popular boy in school: my heart started pounding, my hands were shaking, and I had no idea what to say.
Luckily I had pages of notes to fall back on. It's a good thing I spent all that time obsessively googling and reading infertility blogs on the days I was too preoccupied with the aching void in my womb to focus on my real job. If only I had been so well-prepared for those awkward adolescent phone calls back in the day.
As it turned out, Dr. K was significantly easier to talk to than a teenage boy, which was good because there's a whole lot more at stake here than a date to the prom.
At the end of our intricately detailed discussion recounting my repeated reproductive failures, there's good news and bad. The bad news, which I had anticipated, is that he can't tell me why my baby died. All the tests so far, including a thorough RPL panel, came up -in his words- "stone cold normal." The good news is that, based on how the pregnancy progressed, (before things went horribly wrong) he thinks my chances of having a healthy baby with my next IVF cycle are "encouraging."
He wants to run a few more tests, and do a mock cycle to see if tweaking my meds will result in bountiful hormones and a more fertile ground in which to plant a baby bean. In summary: no guarantees, no easy answers, and still no clear sense of when the next real IVF cycle will begin, so technically I'm still in limbo. Still Jenny In-Between.
But I'm holding on - really tightly - to that one word: encouraging. The phone consult cost $500 and to me it was worth every penny just to hear that reassuring word. It was a life-preserver thrown to a drowning woman. I've been struggling lately, exhausted from the effort of keeping my head above water while waves of hopelessness crash over me again and again, and now I have this one little raft of hope and I'm clinging to it for dear life.
Dr. S made me feel that because my pregnancy ended so abruptly and inexplicably, my chances for next time were dim. Dr. K made me feel that because it developed perfectly for as long as it did, my chances for next time are "encouraging." There's probably evidence to support both views, but I choose to believe the latter. I have to. I've been discouraged long enough.