Monday, March 11, 2013

Some Days are Better than Others

Today is a harder day than others. No particular reason. It just is. Some days it’s easy not to think about what’s going on or the process that’s looming over me or all the little factors that make up this process. Some days, it’s hard to think about anything else.  You know, it's just that some days are better than others.  I find the looking at infertility boards on pinterest helps.  It helps me not to feel so alone in this whole thing.  I know I have a very large circle of support - that's the luxury of working with fifteen of the best fertility nurse coordinators in the business - but sometimes, you just can't help but feel alone in this.  Today when I was on pinterest, I saw a pin that completely, one thousand percent, sums up everything that I am feeling today.
If you had told me when I first started at SGFC that I was going to have to go through treatment, I would have laughed at you. Why would that happen to me? I am healthy. Brandon is healthy. We're so young and neither one of us has had any crazy health issues.  Something like this was not going to happen to me. Yes, my mom had a very serious history of miscarriage – but my mother is a DES daughter. That shouldn't affect me, but it does, not fertility wise though.  It affects me mentally.

If you don't know, DES (Diethylstilbestrol) is a synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen that was given to women with breast cancer as it was thought to decrease the risk of miscarriage.  My maternal grandmother battled with breast cancer for over twenty years and during her battle with cancer she also gave birth to a beautiful little girl - my mother.  DES-exposed daughters have an increased risk of abnormalities of the reproductive tract and those anomalies contribute to an increased risk of infertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. According to the CDC, DES-exposed women have a 20% chance of miscarry in the first trimester (compared to the 8% chance in unexposed women) and the chance only increases in the second trimester. My mother can attest to that. The chance of preterm delivery is 36% in DES-daughters as compared to 15% in unexposed women. (FYI – I was a preterm baby.) Also noted on the CDC website, DES daughters were less likely than unexposed women to have more than one child. Considering my mother had five miscarriages, three children seems like a miracle.

The research done by the CDC says that there is a chance of increased infertility in the children of DES-exposed daughters.  Is that a contributing factor in my situation?  I don't know - but I don't think it can completely be ruled out.  It’s a lot to go through and it puts a lot on the table to think about... as if I don't already have nine million things running through my head. 

I am not depressed, not by any stretch of the imagination.  I just have bad days and today is one of those bad days with this whole process.  I think any woman who goes through this feels the same way and constantly questions and wonders why and how.  Brandon is very patient, but sometimes even he gets frustrated with this process.  My bad days become his bad days.  Regardless, he is so incredibly compassionate and he really helps me to get through the tougher days.  I am very lucky to have a support system as wonderful as mine that makes this process manageable. 

It’s funny how things work out – when I most needed my girlfriends, I got my wish.  Tonight I got an email from one of my best friends from high school who will be in town in a few weeks. She wants to get together with some of our other best friends. The timing could not have been more perfect. I will get to have dinner with three of my favorite people at the start of the, what I hope will be the last, two-week wait... Well maybe not the last, but the last before the first little Wilkinson comes along.