Monday, October 12, 2009

Better Than Normal

The thing is, when the nurse calls you with your second-trimester screening results, it's always good news. If the doctor calls you at home in the evening, you should just grab a few kleenexes before she even starts talking. But when the caller ID is from the office and not the OB's cell phone, and when it's the nurse's no-nonsense voice on the other end of the line instead of the doctor's sing-songy cadence, it's just a routine call to let you know that things are normal.

Normal!!! Although I have no idea what the odds are for any of the tests, because I suddenly realized that I don't care so I didn't bother to ask. Normal is good enough for me! I know there are no guarantees, but at this point a lack of panic is all I really need to be happy. I feel so full of fortune and gratitude. Normal may be just "normal" for most people, but for me it's a cause for celebration and thankfulness.

I am over 40, I have a blood clotting disorder and a tendency to make crappy eggs. Add into that mix the relatively low success rate for IVF in my age range, and the fact that I am having a so-far "normal" pregnancy seems miraculous. I am just so, so grateful that I even have this chance. And I think I wouldn't even have gotten to this point if it hadn't been for the blogs I read which showed me how to be an IVF contestant.

It was from reading blogs that I realized that my first RE, kind-hearted and well-meaning though she was, was probably fine for someone with blocked tubes, but I needed a specialist with more tricks up their sleeves. I learned that if egg quality is an issue, go directly to a big-gun clinic with lots of experience in coaxing decent embryos out of balky ovaries. When I look back at my dainty little protocols from the first few times I tried injectables, I have to laugh. If I hadn't read about other women with secondary infertility, and what the various issues and possible problems could be, I would never have thought of myself as a candidate for a heavy-duty protocol with ICSI and assisted hatching. I thought that having had one child meant it should be fairly easy to have another one - that surely if I was willing to fork over the big bucks for IVF my biggest problem would be worrying about how to raise twins.

I found a research-oriented clinic that had special protocols for egg-quality issues. I found an acupuncturist who was a nurse practitioner for years, who knew how to integrate her practice with my new protocol. And I discovered supportive, encouraging friends when I started writing my own blog, women who helped me through it all and understood everything, even though we had never actually met. And I did all of this from my keyboard.

Maybe I won't get a take-home baby out of all this - I'm not even halfway through this pregnancy, and anything can happen. But for now I am pregnant, for now things are normal, and for now I am just so grateful for everyone who ever wrote the story of their struggle with infertility and sent it out onto the internet, for anyone who really needed it. Once, that was me, and I know I wouldn't be here now without those stories.

16 comments:

just me, dawn said...

normal is sometimes the most beautiful word in the dictionary....congrats on the results!!

PJ said...

That's SO FANTASTIC! I am so happy for you!

I would be ecstatic of I were that far along. I just cannot even fathem...

Your blog is definitely one of my favorites blogs to read and I completely appreciate you. I was perusing my blog yesterday, looking at my IVF from LAST October, and there you were, cheering me on!

Normal. Love it!!!

Sky said...

Lorraine, "normal" is truly as good as it gets. Bask in it, you so deserve it!

Gwynn said...

Normal is truly the longed for answer to every wish and prayer. It's wonderful to see you reveling in it!

Lara (NoodleGirl) said...

Woot woot! Yay normal!

Your remark about dainty protocols to start made me chuckle. When I think back to my start with ART in Winter '08, I can't believe how slow we took it. My first RE had no idea how to deal with me, clearly!

DAVs said...

That is really, truly wonderful news! And your words about others' stories being 'out there on the internet' I wholeheartedly second that...it's made this whole blasted journey so much more bearable.

CONGRATS to you for normal results!!!

Evergreen said...

Yay for normal! What a relief to have 1 less thing to worry about. It's nice to read your words of how others' blogs have helped.

Mad Hatter said...

What a heart-warming post! Congratulations on your fabulous normalcy! So thrilled for you!
Love,
Maddy

Lost in Space said...

I don't know how women survived IF before blogs...

Yeah for "normal". It doesn't get any better than that.

Kami said...

Oh, what great news! I hope it all continues to be nothing but 'normal'!

stillhopeful said...

That is great news! This is certainly one area in life where it's outstanding to be "just normal". I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that it stays this way!!

Best When Used By said...

What a sweet and beautiful post. We all definitely learn and grow as a result of each other's blogs. And if the result is a normal baby...it's the best result one can hope for. Congratulations on your results.

chicklet said...

Your normal is like my boring pregnancy - meaning, perfect. Normal and boring are just what you/we want out of this. Drama is not invited.

Celia said...

Yay normal! It's my very favorite word. As crazy as it has made me to have less monitoring now, more monitoring would mean something was wrong. I think if I ever won the lottery I would say no to a maid and yes to my very own ultrasound tech!

Lisa DG said...

This is great news. Normal. Normal is fabulous.
I always say, we're learning what the new normal is for all of us. It might not be what the normal people experience, but it's good enough for us.

Thinking good thoughts for you and saying prayers...

Midlife Mommy said...

So glad that things are going well for you and your little man!!