Most of you have read the statistics: as many as one in five known pregnancies will end in a miscarriage and usually within the first trimester. With that said, the likelihood of a woman who has had one unexplained miscarriage going on to a subsequent healthy and term pregnancy is 60 – 70%, if not better.
After we lost Vivienne in 2004, that information was my silver lining in my dark cloud for over a year even with the troubles we were having getting pregnant. Eventually that silver lining received a spit-shine when we saw the RE for the first time and the genetic testing on both my husband and I confirmed that Vivienne’s trisomy was a fluke – not a gene passed on from either of us.
The embarrassing enthusiasm I wrote with when our beta numbers came in after the first IVF is painful even now, 18 months later, to think about. But that enthusiasm was fueled with the naiveté that comes with believing that statistically that particular IVF should have been my swan song.
When the beta didn’t double within 48 hours, that silver lining lost its sheen, scratched by disillusion and tarnished by bitter tears (if I was to wax poetic).
The bad news to which there is no good is that since my subsequent pregnancy to my first miscarriage ended in yet another miscarriage, statistics start tilting against me. Less than 5% of women have more than two miscarriages, and once a woman has two, her chances of having that healthy pregnancy start falling from that nice cushy 60 – 70% range.
Who could blame me then when I struggled to find some bit of happiness with my brief and odds-defying pregnancy with Wolf? When we found out that even that one was doomed, I blamed myself more than usual for not having optimism or faith and instead a premonition of what turned out to be the worst possible outcome: miscarriage number three.
Wolf threw me into the less than 1% of women who are jumbled into the three-or-more-concurrent-miscarriages basket. They (Researchers) don’t have information that outline specifically odds on the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, or eleventh iscarriage. Three becomes the “magic” number. After that, it doesn’t really matter to ASRM if I’ve had three or thirteen.
The fear of getting pregnant again has finally outweighed the fear of not getting pregnant again. I’m trying hard to remember that using donor gamete/egg gets me a statistical reprieve because the number one cause of Early Pregnancy Loss (poor egg quality due to age and chromosomal defects) has been eliminated. Unfortunately, the little testing we’ve had (genetic analysis and clotting disorders) have not indicated what our…excuse me…what my problem is. The tests have only ruled out what it is not.
So here I sit with a rather misshapen cloud, rimmed with tarnished and dented silver, and imagining it in its former glory. I try not to get too close for fear of seeing myself reflected back in the few remaining spots not marred by anger, depression and reality.
Since we don’t have any known medical reason for my miscarriages, I cannot safely bring myself to hope again that donor egg will be the answer to our presently unanswered prayers. I will try to polish up that silver lining again but it won’t be with the enthusiasm I had before. This seems like a good place to end with a riddle: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” What happens when I let a pregnancy fool me for the fifth time?