Thursday, January 26, 2012


Last night few nights, I've been having nightmares. My personal favorite was one from a couple of night ago: I was working with a group, trying to protect our home. We were overwhelmed, surrounded by a force that would take away our home. We were desperate, so I began searching for answers. On one end was the uncertain solution of fighting. But there was a myth of summoning a mystical guardian who would wipe out our enemy and protect us. There was a price for pursing this route: I had to pick-up, pet and then move to another chamber a spider.  A big hairy spider. Somehow, beside every warning going off in my body, I did this. Because I needed to protect our home, our family. The reward was that the guardian did appear. To our horror, though, it was not what it seemed, And I was left with a spider that was threatening to harm me. What I had subjected myself in hopes of protecting my family was ultimately our undoing.

I'm not big on dreams having exact meanings, but I do believe that our dreams reflect what our subconscious is processing. So, after calming myself down due to encounters with phantom spiders, I began to reflect and came to a conclusion for what is triggering this series of nightmares:  I'm scared of having another miscarriage. I'm scared that my body will kill another potential child. That all of this will be for nothing.

Logically, I know that the loss of this pregnancy in January was nothing I could have prevented. I did everything the doctors told me. Yet, I've struggled with the idea that all of this has been due to chance. That maybe there's something going on that we've missed.

The past couple of weeks, I've been searching for answers for my infertility. I've scoured through the PubMed hoping to find some reputable source on connections between unexplained infertility and immunology. Nothing (or at least nothing trustworthy). I've turned to Dr. Go.ogle in hopes of finding something that would help guide my search. More rubbish. All of this lead to a long fight with Grey, one of the rougher ones we've had since we've started treatment. His concerns was that I was allowing myself to believe the quackery; not assessing clearly the rubbish that litters the internet and preys on those who are desperate for answers. And, most importantly, that in an attempt for answers, I would inadvertently harm myself.

Last Saturday, we sat down and had it out. Grey pulled many articles from some of the top IVF centers around the US looking for answers and they all said the same thing: try again. Because right now, we don't fall into the RPL spectrum. There's no indication to even begin thinking about that route. In addition, there's data to suggest that IVF success rates are higher the second or third time around.

So, armed with all this information as well as the information I had been finding online, Grey and I met with Dr. Optimism on Monday. The appointment was pretty straight-forward: she checked to see how I was recovering, we went over the pathology report from the MVA (confirmed pregnancy tissue was found in my uterus), gave me an ETA for the cytogenetics and described what information we would likely be getting back/ what they would be looking for (balanced translocations are the main concern) gave me paperwork for a final beta (found out yesterday that HCG level = 6, so I'm officially no longer pregnant) and then talked about scheduling the FET. Finally, I brought what I had been finding about unexplained infertility and the suggested connection with immunological issues.

I love Dr. Optimism for many reasons: her ability to explain completed issues, her cheerful bed-side manner, her connection with each of her patients, etc. But one of the things I value the most is her ability to talk candidly about any issue, no matter how strange the topic. Basically her explanation came to this: through RPL, there is data for a connection between APL and clotting issues that is accepted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. But there is no data suggesting such a connection for unexplained infertility. We talked quickly about Factor V Leiden, my family's history with type I diabetes and my eczema and she did acknowledge that if this FET didn't work we would have the possibility of exploring these possibilities. But for now, there was no medical indication. Unfortunately, unexplained is still unexplained. But that doesn't mean that they won't provide the best care possible.

At the moment, I'm satisfied. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I do trust my doctors and because of what Grey and I have (and have not) been able to find. I realize that what I'm saying isn't going to be popular with everyone, but I also know that for me, until we have more data, we need to proceed with what we know.


  1. I think it is great that you researching and becoming more informed on these things. It sounds like you have a wonderful caring doctor. That is so important to be able to talk openingly with them and feel that they are very open to listening to our concerns.

  2. Hey girl - I've been thinking of you! I'm glad that you were able to meet with the doctor this week. Meeting with someone who can answer your questions, to some degree, and not be afraid to discuss any topic you feel you need to hash out. Sounds like you have a great RE.

    The possibility of history repeating itself may forever hang over us but I agree that we have to trust our doctors and proceed in the route that we believe is best. Even if there are people who don't agree, that decision is solely up to you and Grey and your doctors.

    I know for us, once we talked with the doctors and developed "our plan" going forward, we felt better.

    I'm really sorry you're having to make these types of decisions, it sucks. Know that we're hear for you to help you work through those decisions and emotions. xoxo

  3. Glad you are comfortable with your Dr to discuss everything you need to talk about. Sorry you and DH had such a huge fight. Hoping soon things work out for you!

    1. Thanks Amanda. We're actually doing okay after the discussion on Saturday. Monday was a breeze because we got everything out and we're both receptive to what my RE had to say.

  4. Unexplained infertility is an annoying diagnosis giving us nothing to research to ease our minds. The only thing that we can do is just listen to our specialists.

  5. I am constantly worried about our loss happening again. I keep diging to find more answers because I can't accept the possibility another preterm labor unless I do everything I can.
    I am still searching for hints that I have incompetent cervix issues because I just have a gut feeling. No one will agree with me straight out, but I have my reasons.

    I am glad you are advocating for yourself. The more knowledge we have the better prepared we can be and the less guilt we will have IF something does happen. We will have done all we could.

  6. We should collaborate on these pubmed searches! This is how I have spent the last few days as well, and came to pretty much the same conclusion. The scientist in me hates the lack of data that goes along with unexplained IF. My job is to fix things. I hate that I can't fix this. But I'm ever hopeful that despite the uncertainty, something will work!


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