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What the Numbers Won’t Tell You

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, November 07, 2009 | 0 comments

What the Numbers Wont Tell YouAny woman who is struggling with fertility is likely to have dozens of numbers on her mind: bbt temps, sperm counts, follicle counts, uterine lining, estrogen, FSH, HCG, dosages of medications, age, numbers of cells, percents of morphology, success rates for clinics, success rates for procedures, days till ovulation, days till the next test... the list could go on and on.

Unfortunately, all too often these numbers become an identity for what a woman believes is her future. I cannot say how often I’ve heard a woman summarize her situation by saying something like:

“Well, my FSH is 30.”
“But my luteal phase is only 8 days long.”
“The numbers aren’t doubling.”
“I’ve got a 10% chance with my own eggs.”

These statements seem like simple facts, but they often signify so much more: I’m afraid, I’m too old, I’ve waited too long, There’s something wrong with me, There’s nothing I can do, I’m waiting to have a miscarriage, My heart is breaking, I don’t think I’ll ever be a mother. Somehow, in some clinical way, the numbers make it easier to say.


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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