Over the weekend, I’ve managed to watch the last four Harry Potter movies and all three extended editions of The Lord of the Rings. Part of this was during my 48 hours of modified bed rest following the transfer. It’s strange. Normally, I’d be reading, but somehow, this time, I just couldn’t. I was a bit too keyed up to focus on words on a page. Movies with wizard duels, epic battles, and quests were more attention-grabbing.
As usual, I cried at the very end of The Return of the King. Arthur dutifully handed me a tissue, which he had made sure he had handy. This time, however, while I started crying at the regular place in the movie, I kept crying. “What’s wrong?” he inquired.
“Sam has babies to go home to,” I wailed. “And I just want this to work so badly!”
Arthur sat for a moment, trying to figure out how to respond to that one. Finally, he settled for giving me a hug. There really isn’t much to say once you reach this point of infertility lunacy.
The other thing about having a lot of time on my hands was that I discovered the dark side of the internet. Because of how I was resting, I couldn’t really sit up to type much, but I could click and type a little. This was not a good thing. I got sucked into the Google monster.
It all started with a little search for “image of high grade day 3 embryo”. I happily picked up my picture from Thursday and gazed at it. Wait a minute. Were those…fragments? Before I knew it, I was comparing blastomeres, cell divisions, and googling frantically. What if they weren’t enough to become blastocysts and implant?
Having now opened the Pandora’s box, the paranoia started pouring out. What if I should have insisted on a day 5 transfer? What were the statistics for success? What if the embryos had stopped dividing? What were my chances for success? What if I had somehow screwed up the WHOLE THING?!
And at some point, that’s when I realized something. It’s unfair and absolutely wrong not to be scrupulously honest about treatment potential, as this piece points out. There is most definitely a place for statistical analysis, and being very, very clear about the odds. It’s when you’re figuring out a treatment plan. It’s when you’re choosing a clinic. It’s when you’re choosing a doctor. It’s when you’re sorting through your choices of which treatment, or whether you want to pursue treatment at all. It’s when a different course of action might be beneficial. At these times and plenty of others, verifiable, honest statistics concerning treatments are absolutely vital. Those statistics should be made available freely and explained carefully and fully by physicians to those considering their options.
As of today, though, I’ve made my choices, whether wisely or unwisely. The die is cast for this cycle.
For me, as far as statistics go: I had somewhere between an 85-90% chance of being able to get pregnant with no problems at my age, depending on the source you choose. In other words, the stats were on my side. Dr. B, when she diagnosed me with PCOS, told me I was one of a minority of PCOS people who didn’t have the outward signs such as obesity or hirsutism. Again, it wasn’t likely, based on the stats, that I’d get diagnosed with PCOS given my lack of signs. It just goes on from there. The stats said I should have responded to Clomid, to Femara better than I did. The stats said that we should have had at least 6-8 eggs fertilize on my IVF cycle. And really, what does a success rate of 99% mean to the one unlucky one?
So: screw it all. I’m done for right now with statistics.
It would be one thing to continue Google-terrorizing myself if there were still any choices left to make. Then there might at least be some benefit to reviewing the numbers one more time. Now? Not a one. What is the benefit to googling perfect embryos? The embryos we have are the embryos we have. It wasn’t like there was a whole lot of choice there.
At this point, I’m trying to stay busy. Find some new books. Hang out with Arthur. Make plans. Go to work. Really, what else is there at this time? I keep trying to think thoughts about the embryos turning into blastocysts and implanting. I keep hoping. Because really, the only thing left for us today is to hope and pray that it will turn into a viable pregnancy.