It is going to take a miracle for me to get pregnant and carry a healthy baby to term.
I must start out with a disclaimer. I am going to discuss the information I found out, giving enough information for everyone to understand what we are up against, but not giving any specifics that would reveal our diagnosis. If I had kept this blog anonymous from the beginning and not given it out to anyone I know in real life, I would get into the specifics. However, John and I made a decision to be open about our struggle with IF, but decided we didn't think everyone needed to know whether it was one, and if so which one of us, or both of us. I know not everyone would agree with this decision, but it is what's best for us.
Okay, so I got some information this past Thursday from the embryologist that works with my RE. It is not good news at all. Last cycle the 3 embryos that weren't transferred did not survive until day 5. Day 5 is when my doctor freezes. I had been feeling like I should talk to them about what happened to see if they learned anything that might help us this time around. She looked back over my records and said she was surprised we didn't get a pregnancy based on our embryo quality (I guess she doesn't get any of the information after she does her part of the process). I told her we did get a pregnancy, but at 10 weeks we found out there was no heartbeat and then I miscarried. So she says to me, "I really don't want to scare you, but....." It is never good when someone starts off a sentence that way. She then proceeded to tell me that they saw _______ (name of abnormality) and that there were none without this abnormality. She said that my miscarriage was probably a result of these abnormalities. Well, I guess I would have been scared if I knew what they were and what effect they had on pregnancy outcomes. I didn't even know enough to know what to ask her. So of course I googled them when I got home. All I could find were journal articles which tells me they don't know a lot about them yet. In one of the articles, I came across an alarming study comparing pregnancy rates and miscarriage rates for a group with these abnormalities with a group without these abnormalities. The results were terrible. For those with these abnormalities only 5 of the 28 study participants (18%) got pregnant and 4 of those (80%) miscarried. That leaves just ONE pregnancy which was ongoing at the time of the study and NO deliveries. In the group without the abnormalities, 14 of the 28 participants got pregnant (50%) and only 1 miscarried (7%). In this group there were 10 deliveries and 3 ongoing pregnancies. The 4 miscarriages in the group with the abnormality were all what are called missed abortions. This is basically when the heartbeat stops and/or the baby stops growing, but your body does not miscarry the baby. Sound familiar? Another one of the interesting results from this study was that there were no differences in fertilization rate, percentage of good embryos, or implantation rate between the two groups. So basically this means the embryo develops normally in the beginning, but this abnormality affects embryo survival in the later stages resulting in lower pregnancy rates and much higher miscarriage rates. I found another study which looked at blastocyst formation (this is the stage the embryo reaches at day5) in groups with different degrees of this abnormality. The two groups with a high degree of the abnormality had little to no blastocyst formation, which may explain why none of our other 3 made it to day 5. I hope this isn't too technical, but I wanted to give every one a picture of what we are up against.
It might sound strange, but when I read these numbers peace came over me (admittedly there has been crying since). I realized that we are facing a situation that only God can overcome. We need Him to intervene. I have always believed that it was God who was in control and not my doctor. However, I believe God gives doctors the knowledge and skills they possess, and therefore I believe we should go to them when we have a medical issue (which infertility is). But there is nothing the doctors can do in this situation. There is nothing they can do to fix it. We can only go to the One who is not bound by diagnoses, circumstances, or statistics, the One for whom nothing is impossible. It is definitely going to take a miracle for me to get pregnant and carry a healthy baby to term. But I know that if the Lord wills it, He can bring it to pass.
If He does bring it to pass, it will be known that is was God who has done this great thing. Recently, I had been wondering about whether others would know it was God if I got pregnant through IVF. Would people give God all the praise and glory or would my doctor get the credit? This had really been bothering me. I believe our lives are meant to glorify God and I want Him to get all the glory. I want to be able to say as my friend Elaine did here, "To God be the glory, great things HE has done!" This was confirmed for me in an email sent to me by one of my closest friends. She said,
"God enjoys getting all and every credit and glory for His doings... which is as it should be.
And when and if this pregnancy happens, it's for sure now that it won't be a result of any medical technology or doctor skills... but only by God's grace and sovereignty. What a testament that would be!"
Jesus said with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). And so I am going to be asking God for a miracle. And if He wills it, all the glory will be His. If He does not will it, I will trust in the "something more" God has planned (see Elaine's post above). Either way I want God to receive all glory, honor, and praise.