Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rooting from afar

Journalist Amy Klein has bravely shared her  journey of loss and IVF heartbreak with thousands of readers in her New York Times Fertility Diary on their Motherlode Blog.  

I am not being flippant about the word brave. Every time she posts an update of her latest heartbreak (she has trudged through nine rounds of fertility treatments, including two IVFs with donor eggs, and through four miscarriages) she opens herself up to the scathing comments of bystanders. The gist of which are, "what did you expect, you're in your forties and too old to have a baby. Hang it up" 

Aside from a few clomid cycles with IUI, I have avoided the special heartaches reserved for people with failed assisted reproduction procedures.  But I know all too well the PTSD she writes about connected to the miscarriages, and you all know from my own writings what a number these losses do to your psyche.

So here's the thing:  Amy Klein (who is now 43 maybe?  44?)  - who had basically been told after a bunch of failed IVF cycles in Israel that she reached the end of the road -  is now pregnant.  She's well into her 2nd trimester.  It also sounds like she has a reproductive immunologist in her corner (likely Dr. Braverman). It's unclear whether this is a natural pregnancy, or the result of donor egg IVF.

It doesn't fucking matter.

For some of us, the drive to have a baby can be characterized as primal. I can't begin to explain how you pick yourself up after failure after failure, and yet, you do.  You grit your teeth and prepare a new vision of life for yourself, but you hold on to slivers of hope.  Amy is not filled with visions of rainbows, it's clear from her words.  She writes "Yes, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, even now. Sadly, that’s one of the things this fertility journey has taught me: to prepare for the worst. Along with years of my life, money, and relationships, I’ve been robbed of my optimism, my belief that everything always works out for the best. A lot can go wrong."

Don't I know it.  I lived that sickening moment when doctors have told you that you're in the clear, and you're having a healthy baby, and suddenly  - so suddenly, as violent as a gunshot - the rug is pulled out from under you and you're free-falling into hopelessness and grief.  

Amy, you don't know me from Adam.  But as I stare down the face of a "medical miscarriage" this weekend  - one that IF IT WORKS OUT WELL will include much pain and a fuck ton of blood - I am rooting for you. Thank you for sharing this latest development.  Thank you for your bravery.



  1. Small world! My cousin sent me this article via email and said "this sounds like what you've described to me that you've gone through." I said "Yes. All of it." It really does explain the unique form of PTSD that we acquire.

  2. This article rings true for me as well. Only someone who's been in these trenches truly understands.

    I'm thinking of you and hoping for a quick and painless experience with the miso this weekend. It's a date no one should have to keep.

    FWIW, the only D&C that gave me Asherman's was the one that gave me Asherman's in the first place. Once I've told docs about that history they have been happy to use u/s guidance and use a light hand. I've had minimal scarring after those, easy for Dr. A to remove by hysteroscopy. I even had one in office by my regular OB.

    But hopefully you will not even have to think about that!

    You so deserve a prize after this experience. Hope you've thought of a good one.

    1. You're right. I totally need a prize that's better than "a resolution" (says lady who is still unsure whether the drugs fully worked at this moment). I am going to focus on coming up with a good one!

  3. I have also been following Amy's journey. She did credit Braverman with her success for this pregnancy on twitter. My first 2 c 7 c's were u/s guided so I assumed that Dr Dickhead would use the same procedure. I was angry to find out he did not! My uterus was very low afterward the procudure and tilted off to the side and I mentioned it to my usual RE. He retorted" Well it wasn't hanging out of your vagina was it"! A**hole! I could have slapped him for saying that, How would he feel if his penis was left crooked or something from a procedure? From my last lost an u/s showed that my cervix was foreshortened and no longer centered (Ob had difficulty doing a papsmear). Luckily it has since moved back into place on it's own.
    I have been praying that you are able to have a natural m/c with minimal pain. Huge hugs xx

    1. Shouldn't there be some sort of psychological assessment as part of the medical boards? God that's an awful thing to say.

    2. yes that is why I can't wait to graduate to female OB. Hope you were able to decipher my typos above. d &c's not 2 c 7 c's