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.


  1. So glad you got your phone consult! And so glad that you feel encouraged!!!

  2. I am so glad that you got encouraging news. Let's hope that that he has the right tricks up his sleeve. Sorry, I haven't been on-line much. I've been having a miserable time with allergy season.

  3. Thanks, y'all! I'm happy that the consult left me with a little bit of hope. I would have a hard time moving forward on another attempt without it.

  4. I know this is one of your older posts but I am going to be doing a consult with Dr. K as well - do you know if he tests for NK cells? After a 3rd m/c and a RE that told me to get a surrogate, I'm ready to look at anything. Congrats to you on moving forward with your next cycle. I really enjoy your blog, you have a great writing style!

  5. Hi daydreams,

    Dr K doesn't test for NK cells. As you may know, it's a controversial area of IF treatment, and Dr K just doesn't believe there's proof that they affect fertility. He gave me a very detailed explanation of why. He also has a degree in immunology so I trust he knows his stuff, and his explanation made sense to me at the time. You should ask him about it, he's very easy to talk to and will answer any questions you have.

    Thanks for reading and liking my blog. You have my deepest sympathy for your losses. I hope Dr K can give you some answers. Good luck!

  6. I know it is but they could tell me I need to walk on my hands all day at this point and I would try it!

  7. oh, I know exactly what you mean! It's so hard, you want to try everything that MIGHT possibly help, but you don't want to waste money and energy on things that won't and it's hard to know exactly which is which.