Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Probabilities and percentages

20%. A good estimate of the chance that I am actually pregnant after today's negative test. (A big fat digital NOT PREGNANT. How I wish I'd never bought those In Yo' FACE Barren Biyaaatch™ brand digital tests.) My policy is to test on days 26-28 of my (28 day) cycle, because I prefer the gradual letdown to the agony of anticipation. So of course on the first day of testing my mind immediately begins spinning the result... ifconceptionhappenedlateonthe5thitwouldstillbefourdaysbeforemyperiodandthat'sonly50%accuracyandmaybeI'moneofthosepeoplewithlowhCGlevelsatfirstandtheaverageforimplantationisday9andthenit'sonlybeenthreedaysand... SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! My inability to accept reality makes me so angry. But the whole point of the test-early-and-often strategy is to gradually suffocate the hoping part of my brain (there's no hoping part of the brain, by the way), and that means accepting that it's going to put up a good fight for another day or two. It can't help it.

15%. The commonly cited success rate for IUI. At the moment, I'm in a hilarious state where the estimated chance that I'm pregnant despite the negative test is higher than the success rate for the procedure intended to knock me up. HA HA HA. It is so funeeeeeeee. It is not funny. It is fucking depressing.

500,000,000,000%. The percentage of my heart that was broken when I told my husband about the negative test and (after giving me a hug and being sweet) 30 seconds later I heard him whistling a jaunty tune. Me = loneliest and most abandoned creature on earth.

26%. The proportion of blogs I read where the writer has become pregnant since I started writing. Let me emphasize that I wish it were 100%. As we all know, the next best thing to getting pregnant oneself it to have it happen for someone who you know has been hurting like you've been hurting. But as we also all know, even those of us who are new to the game, it makes us feel left behind. It makes us feel like our turn will never come. It makes us feel the icy hand of childlessness resting heavily on our shoulders. I cite this number not for the wonderful women who are cherishing the hope of an end to their suffering, who know how lucky they are, who deserve every bit of joy they can manage to feel amid the doubt, but for the women who, like me, are still facing the terror of no end, not ever ever EVER. And especially for those who have been through more than I have, and whose ultimate prospects might seem less sunny. Just an acknowledgment that no one deserves this pain.

2%. The part of me that was amused when my brain generated a positive test dream last night. Fuck you brain. I mean, I get where you're coming from. But let's not do that again, 'k? 'K.


  1. Bunny. I don't think I've ever seen it expressed so perfectly and beautifully...that feeling we get when one of us moves on to the other side. Of course we feel so much JOY for them. But it always, always, ALWAYS makes me feel like I will never know that happiness, that I'm destined to be barren. It's a horrible, scary feeling of's always irked me considerably that I manage to feel that way at moments where I would think I'd feel the MOST hope and inspiration ("it worked for her, why not me?"). I feel an odd sense of relief to read your words...that I am not the only one who goes to that dark, lonely place. (Yuck.)

    All of that said, I have hope for you this cycle and I do wish with all of my heart that you would move forward to the other side and leave the rest of to shrug off the "icy hand of childlessness" in our own time. You tested early. There is time. Hang in there! I'm serious, it's NOT over til it's over.

  2. Instead of NOT PREGNANT, I think there should be a digital image of a middle finger and there should be that sad wop-wop sound effect that you hear when someone loses on a game show. It would feel more honest that way.

    Last night was a particularly dreary night for me (more on that later, I know you're on the edge of your seat) and I was doing my damnedest at keeping it cool, muscling through it, talking calmly about my fears--trying to be a "big girl", you know. And then my husband offhandedly asked me a totally off-topic, insignificant question about cat food, and I just lost it. Caring about cat food at a time like that? EEEEVIL. I DON'T CARE IF THE CATS STARVE AND ARE FORCED TO EAT EACH OTHER! DON'T FUCKING TALK TO ME ABOUT CAT FOOD! Hiss! Snarl!And then I devoured my husband in one giant chomp. These dudes and their imperviousness. Lordy.

    And you forgot a statistic: 100% = how much we've got your back no matter what.

  3. Oh, darling. It's so hard. I hope you're a statistical outlier. It would be so great to skip the surgery and IVF stuff and go straight to pregnantville.

  4. And now we fully understand the mating habits of the praying mantis.

    When I started blogging, I shit you not, about 75% of the bloggers I followed got pregnant within a month or two, and most of then with twins. Twins! Double devastation. I just mean to say that I am sorry you are on the side you're on at this moment, and I hope you get to cross the IF road, so to speak, really soon. Like maybe in the next 72 hours. FYI, I took a digital hpt a few days before the "missed period" was due and it was negative, and then by ~day 28 (or the IVF equivalent thereof) it flipped positive within 10 seconds of golden showering it. Beta-hcg has to reach some magic threshold before the digital thingies can detect it. And trust me, I tore the first one apart to look for the faint blue second line with my own eyes. That's why I was a crazy person and tested using both digital and regular pee sticks, cause it's boatloads of fun to hold the regular (or dismantled digital) stick up to the light with squinty eyes and telekinetically *will* a second line to appear.

    (Trinity -- oh mah gawd, I peed my pants a little when I read your cat food rant. Jaysus.)

  5. I hate the slap in the face of the NOT PREGNANT readout. But I think prefer it to me staring at the one with lines and willing there a second line to be there so much so that my head makes one up. When, of course, there is no second line.

    I don't know if I fall on the pregnant or not pregnant side of your 26%. Like Egg, I think you expressed very well how each of us feel when another IFer gets their BFP. I was like you and now I feel like my reaction to BFPs is even more complex - I'm so happy for them, I'm scared shitless that their + will end as badly as mine did. I hope it gets easier with time b/c right now I often don't have the words to congratulate fellow IFers properly.

    Hang in there til beta day...the wait is freaking awful.

  6. I'm exactly the same: I need the slow, unfolding realization. As each day goes by, I squash hope a little bit more. Still, it IS early, and according to Fertility Friend (who is no friend at all) the average day post ovulation that women using their obsess-o-charts test positive is 13.6. So, what is that? Like 5:20 pm? In a few days? My fingers are crossed that you have slower-to-start HCG (it DOES happen).

    And, yes, it's so damned hard to be left behind. In real life, in blogland, everywhere. But I'm also hoping that this month we get to see your canoe departing our little island. Because after my first reaction of "WAAAAAAHHHHHH! Why not me?" I do tend to think, "Well, maybe that luck stick will now swing in this direction:)"

  7. The image of a sad, abandoned little bunny just breaks my heart. While we all love our husbands dearly, they can be insensitive asses when it comes to infertility. That's why some smart person invented blogs. Go back and read Trinity's stat above. If that doesn't help, maybe you can test out her rant?

  8. Hang in there bunny! When is your beta?

    I know what you mean about how you feel when another IFfer gets pregnant. I am SO happy for them, but there is part of me that's like "yea but that will never happen to me". Blah. I just wish we ALL could get pregnant this very month and that would fix everything. OK God, did you hear that? Lol, if it were only that easy.

  9. Gah, the numbers game! Such a slippery slope! I only took the in-your-face pregnancy test and wanted to chuck it across the room (actually...I did...) when it so rudely told me I was a failure.
    Also, you are totally not alone about feeling left behind when others get pregnant. I am so happy for my IF sisters who get pregnant, but it scares me that I will be the percentage that never gets pregnant.
    However, I am very hopeful for you and hope you get a lovely + in a day or so. Hang in there.

  10. You definitely have the ability to put an amusing and humorous spin on the suckiest things, but I gotta tell you that parts of this post brought tears to my eyes. Especially the part about feeling lonely and abandoned after your husband starts whistling like he doesn't have a care in the world. My heart broke a little bit for you right there. He DOES care, I'm sure, but sometimes these things take a little longer to sink in for guys. Wish I could have given you a big hug right then...
    I can so identify with being terrified of being the only one left out of all the IF bloggers to NOT be pregnant. Sigh.

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