Tuesday, May 24, 2011

what the eff do you know?

i am so sick of hearing about doctors giving gloom and doom advice in an effort to avoid giving "false hope." it is seriously my hot button rage issue these days. i can't tell you the number of times one of my IF friends has wept about being told their chances of having a child were less than 5% only to conceive on their own or get a second opinion and find out that isn't true at all.

i keep thinking about how emotionally raw we were when we went back to the RE after our loss. here it was, less than two months after i was "10 weeks pregnant" and this guy sits us down and tells us it is very unlikely we will ever conceive and carry to term on our own. i think back on that meeting and i honestly can't remember a single thing he said after that. my head just disconnected from my body. i understand he didn't want to mislead us or give us false hope, but did he have to jump to the worst possible scenario so soon after our loss?

i have a friend on babycenter who had an AMH level of like .5 and her doctor gave her the scary news that she was going through premature ovarian failure, likely had no quality eggs, and had about a 3% chance of conceiving on her own. two months later she did.

i have a friend on Resolve who had an FSH level of over 40!! her doctor told her nothing would work, that she was entering menopause and there was nothing she could do to change that. it was donor eggs or nothing. she spent the next year considering that option, but also getting acupuncture and chinese medicine and undergoing dietary changes. she just got her FSH restested, it was 6.8. i still can't believe it.

i remember a conversation had several months ago with a few of my IF friends. we talked about how hope was the enemy. how we didn't want to get our hopes up anymore. how we just needed to focus on getting through this and doing whatever we needed to medically to get a baby. someone quoted the movie "Shawshank Redemption" and said, "hope's a dangerous thing, a man's got no use for it on the inside." and we all laughed. the funny thing is though, when i tried explaining this conversation to my husband, he just didn't get it. "you don't want to hope?" he kept asking incredulously.

one of the women on my birthboard posted a few weeks back that she was having a miscarriage. we all sympathized and wanted to know why she thought that. apparently her betas were coming back low. although they were rising appropriately, they remained "low" according to her doctor, which indicated a non-viable pregnancy. her first blood draw at 9dpo came back at 11, three days later it was 30, three days later it was 60-something. each time it was doubling, but for some reason her doctor had decided it was too low and would end. she went into her 6 week ultrasound expecting the worst. her beta was only coming back around 7000, still much too low according to her doctor. they saw a beautifully beating heart and a perfectly formed embryo. it's sad to think that if she hadn't gotten a beta so early she would probably not have stressed so much about losing the baby. but this is how the infertile medical world conditions us: don't get excited, don't get excited, there's a lot that can still go wrong, your beta/progesterone/uterine lining is not enough/too much. it's crazy. whats wrong with letting her enjoy her pregnancy while she has it even if it is doomed?

anyway, that's my rant for right now. i have a few friends in my thoughts and prayers this week. some of them are still pregnant (against all odds), some of them are losing their pregnancies or at "risk" of losing their pregnancies, and some are trying everything they can to conceive. i think of them often, i read their blogs and their updates and sometimes i tell my husband about them. i wanted to say to you guys, i know how dangerous it is to be hopeful. i know the rollercoaster just never ends. but try, every now and then, to ignore the fucktard doctors and specialists determined to look at the worst case scenario and let's just try to celebrate the busted up bodies we were given and be hopeful.


  1. Another beautifully written post. My DH is always way more optimistic than I am, and like yours, would never understand our feelings in regards to hope. I try my best to take it one day at a time and know that I'm doing everything I can...while waiting for a miracle. I hope things are going well for you! (((hugs)))

  2. i have a theory about this whole "doom and gloom" stance that so many doctors take. i think it's all for their own personal interest. if they say that the worst is going to happen and it does it makes them look like a genius. if they tell you it's going to be bad and it ends up being good, it looks like they performed a miracle. either way, they look good. i don't want to say that the stress caused by my doctors' negative predictions caused this miscarriage, but it sure didn't help.

  3. I actually have a beef with the opposite end of the spectrum - the fellow IFers' unrealistic optimism and blowing of sunshine up asses and encouragement to keep trying trying trying no matter what.

    I dunno. My doctor certainly isn't doom and gloom, but I'd categorize him as firmly scientific, cut and dry, with no sugar on top. I think that attitude can sometimes be (mistakenly) confused with pessimism and doom and gloom. Personally, I appreciate and respect it. (And no, I'm not saying that *you* are misinterpreting your doctor's attitude. I just feel like I see that a lot)

  4. C, I can relate to what you're saying. I don't like sunshine blown up my ass all that much by anyone and my doctor (previous to pregnancy, since he doesn't do OB anymore) was very honest. He told it like it is and (pardon the pun) didn't beat around the bush when it came to breaking news. I've been with him from finding out I had a tennis ball-sized fibroid at age 20, through surgery, and most recently, through the IF roller coaster. He may be a little odd, but I appreciated his non-sugar coated approach. Somehow, he just did it without sounding mean or horrible, but I can see where some would be perceived far worse if they lacked the skills to deliver news smoothly or were just "fucktards" (as Grace put it) who are out for their own personal pat on the back.

    As for me, I'm trying to enjoy my pregnancy and am just assuming everything's okay in between OB checks. It's all I can do to stay sane and not read shit on the internet about signs of miscarriage...can you believe my babycenter "this week in your pregnancy" email a couple weeks ago actually put something on there about how studies show that women who have some form of morning sickness are less likely to miscarry??! Why would they say that?! Now you've got all these people freaking out (myself included) about whether their symptoms are enough to warrant a successful pregnancy. Ridiculous! Anyway, after that, I decided to stay away from extraneous sources of information as much as possible.