Two Good Eggs

Two cracked eggs find the sunnyside (and funny side) of trying to conceive

Define normal.

on October 1, 2012

Remember when hearing the word normal was a relief?

Ma’am, your pap smear came back normal.  Phew!

Your blood pressure is normal.  Yay!

Your cholesterol is normal.  Awesome!

Your ultrasound looks normal.  Thank goodness!

Over the past 12 months, I’ve come to loathe the word “normal”.  Now, normal just means no one can figure out why I can’t get pregnant.  I’m defying logic.

After having a healthy and trouble-free pregnancy with my son four years ago, I thought Baby 2 would be a snap.  That has not been the case.  We’ve been trying to conceive Baby 2 for a year.  We’ve charted.  We’ve peed in cups.  We’ve checked fluids. We’ve raised hips and lubricated and prayed. And,  we’ve had two chemical pregnancies and an ectopic pregnancy in six months.  I’m ovulating.  His sperm is strong enough to fertilize.  We just can’t get a viable, sticky pregnancy.

My OB checked me out six months ago and said, “Everything looks normal.  I don’t know what else to tell you, so I’m referring you to a specialist.”  The specialist heard our story, and began the sequence of testing to try to pinpoint the problem.

Step 1:  We scheduled an HSG dye test to make sure there wasn’t a reason for the ectopic (like a blocked tube, or issue with my uterus).

When he called and said the test results were normal, I was instantly disappointed. I actually wanted something to be wrong.  I wanted him to find something in there so we could have a plan of action.  Oh, THAT is the problem?  Well, let’s remove it/fix it/medicate it.  Get this show on the road!

Step 2:  Let’s test egg count and quality.  Because I am at an advanced maternal age of 37, there’s a chance my good eggs have flown the coop.  So, let’s check into that, and if there’s a problem, maybe medication can help siphon out the good ones and leave the bad ones out.

Test results:  Egg count and quality are normal.   Sigh.  So that’s not the problem, either.

Step 3:  The doctor ordered blood work on my husband and myself to make sure there wasn’t something genetic going on that was causing the unsticky beans.  Something that would be easily treatable and avoided by medication, or worst case, IVF.  We both gave blood and waited two weeks for the results.

Our bloodwork came back normal.

He actually said, “I can’t find anything wrong.  You’re ovulating, so you don’t need clomid or femara.  You don’t need IUI, because you’re ovulating.  You don’t need sperm analysis, because you’re fertilizing.  Your bloodwork is clear, so there’s no genetic reason these pregnancies are aborting themselves.  I have no reason to believe you can’t have another successful pregnancy.  You just need to keep trying, or just go to IVF, if you are tired of trying (given your advanced maternal age).”

Just keep trying.  We’ve been trying religiously for a year, with not just the disappointment of a negative test, but the disappointment of thinking three times we’re going to have a baby, only to have our dreams and hearts crushed.

I don’t mean to imply that those who get abnormal test results are lucky.  I realize there’s a whole different level of heartache, anxiety and disappointment that must accompany that.  And, I realize that many of those abnormal tests result in not being able to have children at all.  That breaks my heart for them, too.

For our situation, it just makes me crazy not having a PLAN.  If we knew what was abnormal, we could address it.  But as it stands, we just keep doing what we’re doing, and eventually it’ll click?

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If that’s the case, then we’re about to become bat shit crazy.

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6 responses to “Define normal.

  1. sara says:

    What a frustrating year for you. And I can’t even imagine the last six months. I’m sorry it’s been so rough.

    Someday, though, when you’re holding that sweet, sweet baby #2 in your arms, it will all have been worth going through. *Fingers crossed that it happens SOON*

    • Scrambled says:

      Thanks, Sara. It’s definitely been full of trials, that’s for sure. That whole “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” mantra? Yeah, it’s a crock. 😉 I appreciate your sweet words and support. Hugs! And fingers crossed for you, too!! Keep us posted. 🙂

  2. Georgette says:

    I’m sorry. This isn’t unexplained. This is classic immunological infertility (was your first a son? that makes a difference.) Don’t just “keep trying.” Those chemicals are signs that you can make good embryos but your body is fighting off the implantation. 99% of REs know NOTHING about immunological infertility. There are tests that can be done (your RE won’t know what they are) and there are about 3 reproductive immunologists in the US (the Alan E Beer Center in California, Kwak-Kim in Chicago, and Braverman in NY) who can put you on the right treatments to make your next baby stick. Come read the FAQ on my blog which I copied/pasted from the FertilityFriend immune forum. Don’t waste precious time “keeping trying”– just feel pity that your RE is ignorant.

  3. Scrambled says:

    Thanks, Georgette. I appreciate your input. I will say that my dr is one of the best in the state and I do trust him quite a bit. He did some extensive testing on us, which included genetic, chromosomal, disease, etc., so he may have included immunological testing in those “normal” results. I will ask for clarification when we meet and inquire about including that if he hasn’t. Thanks for reading.

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