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05/09/2003

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

It hit me hard this week: I'm back at square one, no closer to having kids than I was before.

Even a garden-variety miscarriage might have brought some weird solace; for a few days I was able to console myself by chanting, "At least you know you can get pregnant. At least you know you can get pregnant."

Well, I don't really know that, do I?

(At the moment I refuse to seethe about the righteous indignation some infertile women can summon. "I've never even had a positive! At least you know you can get pregnant!" "Yes, and I also know how devastating it is to lose it — I hope you never learn." Wait. I guess I don't refuse after all.)

From our first cycle, I know I can make eggs, though not as many as those loathesome perfect cyclers who bubble up dozens without turning a hair. I know we made a pretty embryo.

But I also know that we only made the one, possibly due to a male factor that our several semen analyses didn't detect. And I know that the single pretty embryo we did make lodged itself firmly in my Fallopian tube, revealing the greater possibility of another ectopic in the future and the possibility of tubal damage. And as a special bonus, I learned that there's an implacable endometrioma perched on my ovary, taking up space and suppressing egg production, possibly requiring a laparoscopy before our next cycle.

I knew if our first cycle was unsuccessful, at least we'd learn from it. I didn't expect to be so goddamned discouraged by that knowledge. What we learned is that there are numerous plausible reasons for our infertility, instead of the single simple explanation I'd hoped to discover — in short, we're more mysteriously fucked than we thought.

I don't want to dwell on last cycle — if I must, I'd rather be reflecting on our new knowledge as a tool to improve our future chances. I intend to have achieved this remarkable feat by the time I have my next consultation, when we'll plan our next onslaught.

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