A phenomenon that gives credence to the "just relax" people -- "See--they'd totally given up, and THAT'S when it happened!" A phenomenon that backs up the asinine "adoption-as-fertility-treatment" theory--that once you put your stress over getting pregnant to bed and start the adoption process, BAM! Pregnant. Because you weren't thinking thing about it. Even though I actually know people who experienced this mythical miracle, I know a hell of lot more people who did NOT get pregnant on ther own. Or after adopting. Because that is NOT the norm.
It's difficult to respond to incredibly well-meaning people who assure me that now, in the break time, I could get pregnant. "You never know! Stranger things have happened!" Sometimes all I can do is just smile and weakly nod and say, "Yup, it's not impossible..." instead of explaining how UNBELIEVABLY IMPROBABLE that is. From multiple standpoints. I guess part of me doesn't want to burst that bubble of magical thinking. They have more hope than I do on this front.
Here are the factual reasons why it's highly, HIGHLY unlikely that I will find myself magically knocked up:
- I have PCOS with ovulatory dysfunction. I rarely ovulate without drugs. No eggs, no baby.
- Even if I did ovulate, the ectopic pregnancy left me with only one tube--so 50% of the time that egg that would go nowhere fertilizable.
- We have significant male factor--those swimmers are scant in numbers and floundering in inflatable swim aids. THe chances of a rogue sperm making it to an actual traveling egg are miniscule.
- In all our attempts, our fertilization rate WHEN THEY INJECT A SPERM DIRECTLY INTO MY EGGS is anywhere from 50-70%. Not looking good for that poor swimmer and floating mystery egg on their own.
- I typically use assisted hatching with IVF, which means my poor, sad, defective little eggs have a crusty shell and can't hatch and attach without help. Even with this modification, my embryos haven't done well implanting.
- In 7 IUIs, 4 fresh IVFs and 2 frozen transfers, we have had 16 confirmed embryos and 2 implantations. One in my tube (less than 1% chance of that with IVF! Go team on hitting THAT improbability!) and one in my uterus that crapped out shy of 6 weeks. Not great odds.
- My miscarriage and poor implantation rate suggest a high probability of chromosomal abnormality. Which means if I did get pregnant on my own, it wouldn't likely last long.
Which is why, as unbelievable as it is for some to understand, the biggest reason why I won't get pregnant on my own is because I choose to be on the Pill during my break. WHY deny yourself even a chance to have a miracle during your off time? is a cry I've received more than once. It seems counterintuitive, but here's why.
I am an incurable optimist when it comes to my dsyfunctional body. Because I don't ovulate, it takes me forever (if ever) to get a period. In the meantime, if I feel remotely tired, nauseous, sensitive to passing cigarette smoke, sore-boobed, etc. -- I WILL THINK IT'S POSSIBLE I'M PREGNANT. I will mull over it for a day or two, I will worry that I had margaritas or too much wine, and imagine my poor Fetal Alcohol Syndrom baby miracle who will hate me forever for being so irresponsible. Then I will turn and imagine how I will joyfully tell people that YES, I AM A MIRACLE. I will be tempted to pee on a stick and agonize over whether it's worth the money to buy a test (it's not). I will then call the clinic and request Provera to bring on a period, since at this point I have to call and say I haven't gotten it by day 35 or 40 or something equally ridiculous, and they will send me for a pregnancy blood test. And I will be actually upset when it is inevitably negative. It is ALWAYS negative. I have literally cried over a possible pregnancy that WAS NOT POSSIBLE. It's torture. The last time I put myself through this was particularly nasty, because I stayed off the Pill for weeks and weeks after my miscarriage and had spotting, then nothing. IT'S IMPLANTATION SPOTTING!!! I thought, with more hope than was healthy. Who knows, maybe my body became normal after a short-lived uterine pregnancy and it was actually a dress rehearsal for my REAL pregnancy! Um, no, crazypants. My system just sucks. And raging PMS is pretty damn close to early pregnancy symptoms, I just forget what PMS feels like because...my system sucks. And so, my silver lining outlook is ultimately cruel to me. Although I did actually get my period, on my own, two weeks later, no Provera necessary--which is actually an ironic miracle all its own.
Therefore, I go on the Pill. In part so I get a regular period I can plan on like a normal person, but also so I can keep the miracle pregnancy fantasy tamped down. I need my break to be a real break, where I drink coffee and wine and tequila and eat processed Halloween candy and don't worry that I'm damaging my fragile fetal (nonexistent) miracle baby. Where I can get my body into decent shape with exercise that makes me sweat and raises my pulse and my core body temperature...again, without worrying that I'm damaging a fantasy fetus.
It keeps me sane, not "trying on my own." It gives me a rest from all this brou-ha-ha. Which in turn, I hope, gives me a better shot at actually getting pregnant under the expert direction of our fertility team, when it's time to go back into battle again.