It was a beautiful spring day today. The sun shone brightly, the trees showed off their new green bling, the geraniums were in full bloom. I started off the day on a professional high after having given a kick-ass presentation yesterday out of town.
By 12:30, I felt the defeat that only infertility can sock you with.
At 11:30, I had my IVF post-mortem with Dr. Salsa. I had no problem with the clinical details – my E2 levels, number of follicles on any given visit, lining check – all of which were projected onto the wall in a weird sort of Excel spreadsheet. I could handle the discussion of a new protocol. I could even handle the discussion of what could have possibly gone wrong such that my two beautiful embryos decided not to hang around.
What I couldn’t handle was when Dr. Salsa decided to share with me just how unbelievable it was to him that this cycle didn’t work by sharing stats from the clinic:
Of the 13 women, including myself, who cycled in that particular period, 11 – yes, 11 – got pregnant. I was one of 2 who didn’t. And, just to drive home his point, he said, “I would have put money that you would not have been one of the two.”
Um, NOT HELPING.
So, let’s recap. Even though I had a pretty perfect cycle with an embyro that made it to the freezer and no apparent risk factors, I managed to be one of 2 out of 13 women who still couldn’t get pregnant. I already felt awful about the negative. I already felt – rightly or not, that is not the question – like a giant failure with a capital F. I already felt like shit just being there, seeing the financial coordinator who did get knocked up with Dr. Salsa’s brand of IVF. THIS WAS NOT INFORMATION THAT I NEEDED TO KNOW, AND CERTAINLY NOT NOW.
Later, when I was home and had spent some time decompressing with the dog, I sent Dr. Salsa an email. I explained that I did not want to know about how everyone else did. I explained that I am an inherently competitive person and in this particular arena, hearing about others did in the exact same IVF cycle when mine did not work was just not helpful. I asked him not to share that kind of information with me again because it just sends me into competition mode, and usually, I end up with the short end of a very long stick, which just makes me feel worse. Sending the email helped and his response was very nice. He apparently knew by my expression the minute he finished the sentence that this was not information that was helpful to me. It doesn’t un-ring the bell, though. It doesn’t make me forget that I was in the 15% who didn’t make it this time.
And, so what if I was able to have a lovely glass of w(h)ine with dinner? I’m still no closert to being in that magic 11. I can feel the bitterness choking me.