As I was only 14 or 15 when I first watched Pretty Woman, my fragile teenaged self esteem could totally relate to that line. Now more than twenty years later, I am an accomplished professional who generally holds a healthy degree of self confidence. Yet with regards to the prognosis for this pregnancy, I find myself falling into that trap: the bad stuff is easier to believe.
Perhaps some of it is bias from my own work experience. The bad stuff is easier to believe because I've seen so much of it. I've had hundreds of couples in my exam room, excited and hopeful about seeing their baby on ultrasound, only to have their dreams crushed after I discover a non-viable pregnancy. A little less frequent, I've received abnormal genetic results, and have prepared the expectant parents for some difficult decisions. Even more rare, an anatomy ultrasound reveals serious abnormalities to an unsuspecting couple who were hoping just to learn if they are having a boy or girl. Sometimes unthinkable tragedies occur without explanations. I know so many bad things are possible as I've witnessed them over the years. Why should I think that I'm immune to any of it?
Two days before my beta test, my aunt called to confirm what type of pie I would be
At the same time, what evidence did I have to suggest that this cycle wouldn't be successful? I am dubious about our embryo quality. My RE noted that he would have liked them to be of higher quality, but followed by describing that he has that wish for most patients in an, 'I'm never truly satisfied' way. Although I'm still paranoid about the possibility of twins, I'm not sure if either embryo can go the distance. Recently, when I expressed my concerns that IVF may not work to Myrtle, she mused "doesn't it always take a few rounds with IVF? I know people who went through it multiple times to get their two kids." This was after she asked me if there was an alternative treatment to IVF that I could employ. You see, Myrtle knows people who have gone through IVF...
The possibility of multiple treatment cycles is something you can only discuss with a fellow infertile. It was really intolerable to hear someone who conceived on her second attempt convey to me that it would take a lot longer and cost a lot more to become pregnant. Based on what? This arbitrary notion that it just takes multiple rounds of IVF to get a take home baby? That's just the way it is. It just takes multiple attempts. Based on Myrtle's vast and extensive experience with her infertile friends? It seemed just as injudicious as when Myrtle's friend forecasted that it would take six months for her to become pregnant. (That same friend also conceived during her first cycle off the pill).
As Husband has built his own support network and has shared our IVF journey with a few friends, I discovered that he has his own version of Myrtle. "No. Much worse," he describes. J is a fellow hockey umpire and he and Husband spend a lot of time together. When Husband first shared our fertility struggles, J humbly admitted that he couldn't relate as he recalls that at least two of his kids were conceived on the first or second time without condoms and he doesn't think they tried more than three months for their third. Fortunately, he never offered any foolish words of 'advice', but he couldn't grasp the concept when Husband informed him that we were barely pregnant. He would make himself available to cover for Husband in any of his games if I went into labour early. He volunteered his oldest daughter for baby sitting. He offered that he could have his mother make us some meals for when I'm postpartum and don't feel like cooking (which is different from now...how?). When Husband dropped him off at his house after they returned from a tournament in Santa Barbara, he sent a text: "thanks for driving, say good night to Jane and the little one for me." (Yes, me and my little faintly positive pee stick...) I'm going to go out on a limb and presume that J's wife went 3 for 3 with her pregnancies.
The bad stuff may be easier to believe, but it doesn't mean I'm obligated to believe it. Feeling optimistic or hopeful is hard, but it doesn't meant it's not worth trying. I may not be as confident about our outcome as J (who is probably already planning the baby's first birthday..) but I don't need to be so consumed with self doubt. I found something to be excited about: whatever happens around the end of July/early August next year, I am cashing in on that promise for J's mother's cooking. Authentic homemade curry... now that is seriously good stuff...