Numbers & Pressure

I’m in a really dark place right now. I can’t really write about it now. Maybe later. Maybe not at all. Needless to say I’ve spend much of the past two days crying. I break down all the time. For no reason at all really. I still can’t believe it happened, to be honest.

I was so sure I was pregnant. So absolutely, 100% positive. I mean, i had a test to confirm my beliefs. But I wasn’t. It was all just the most ridiculous mistake. I have no faith in myself anymore. I can’t trust myself at all. And I absolutely can’t trust Hope. She is a horrible c*** and I loath her with all my being. I will never surrender to her again. Never.

I have spent this weekend despairing, to be sure. But there have been moments of incredible gratitude for what I have. I don’t take for granted the bounty in my life. The lights of my daughter, my partner, our house, our health, they are the only things making the darkness of work and TTC navigate-able. Barely.

Monday I should get my period and then we start on our tenth month of trying (this counts the month we royally fucked up and the one we pretty much fucked up, which probably I shouldn’t count, and haven’t counted in the past, but since we tried to try those months but were thwarted by my funky ovulation, in my heart, I need to count them). I remember reading a set of statistics when I was first trying to get pregnant. I don’t remember the numbers exactly but I believe it went something like this: Every month of trying, 15% of couples will get pregnant. So if you start with 100 couples, that means in the first month 15 will get pregnant, in the second month only 12 (because now there are only 85 left to get pregnant), in the third month 11, and so on. After the twelfth month, 15 will remain. They are the 1 in 7 of couples that will be deemed infertile.

The book where I read this (I can’t for the life of me remember which it was, and I have looked through many) had a chart showing how many couples would get pregnant every mont and how many would remain. I attempted to recreate it.

Month — couples that achieve pregnancy — couples left

1 –15 — 85

2 — 12 — 73

3 — 11 –62

4 — 9 –53

5 — 8 –45

5 –6 –39

6 — 6 –39

7 — 6 –33

8 — 5 — 28

9 — 4 — 24

10 — 3 — 21

11 — 3 –18

12 — 3 — 15

I might have made some small mistakes but I think I have the basic gist of it down.

So here we are, starting on our 10th cycle. Of the hypothetical 100 couples that started trying when I did, 76 of them are already pregnant. Only 24 of them are not. Of those 24, only three will get pregnant during the 10th month trying. Of those 24, only 9 will actually get pregnant before the year is up. Statistically speaking, having made it this far without getting pregnant, I have almost twice as much chance as being in the 1 in 7 as I do of achieving pregnancy.

The numbers don’t look good.

I don’t know why I keep going back to those numbers, but I do. I have every month. I fixate on them. I try to find some meaning in their statistical promise. But I can’t. Mostly I just find fear. Or maybe it’s validation for my fear that I find.

These last two days have been hard. Brutal. I keep seeing this scene in my head, from the movie Igby Goes Down (which I haven’t seen, or thought of even, in years) where an increasingly unstable Bill Pullman (playing Kieran Culkin’s father) huddles in the shower, fully clothed and bloody from smashing the glass door, and tries to explain to his son: I feel this great, great pressure, coming down on me. It’s just constantly coming down on me. Crushing me.

I just keep seeing that scene, and hearing those words.

I feel this great, great pressure, coming down on me.

8 responses

  1. I think the statistics are some of the scariest things to face while TTC. Every month gone by feels like one step closer to a jail sentence. You think, “that persons luck has nothing to do with mine,” but with each pregnancy announcement, you feel like that person just stole your odds. I felt this just last month as gals doing FETs started getting their BFPs. I literally thought for a moment with one of those announcements, “she stole my BFP.” It was a fleeting thought, but it did occur.

    I did shift my mindset in that first 12 months TTC that I was a month closer to help each time we weren’t successful. That helped me a great deal.

    Good luck this next cycle.

  2. I’m sorry, K. I’m just so sorry. We failed this month too and I was so hoping that I would come to your blog and see that you were successful this month and spared from this hell. But I am so sorry you’re not.

    I hope it helps some that I am here in this group with you. I’m sorry that we’re both here. I hope that you get good news this next month. When is your appointment with the doctor? Sending you lots of hugs. And a whole hell of a lot of commiseration. xoxoxo

  3. So sad to see you this way, in such a dark place. I worry about you feeling so awful and I hope you can get some help for the depression in addition to the fertility issues. Yes, the odds are not on your side at this point. However, the odds ARE still on your side that you will get pregnant eventually. I do like Courtney’s idea of thinking of where you are as one month closer to getting help. I hope it provides some relief to at least start getting tests and maybe some answers. In the meantime, please, focus on taking care of yourself, whether that’s through therapy/meds or time for yourself or with friends or whatever.
    Hugs!

  4. Oh, what an awful scene and moment to feel. Sucks to have those dark feelings.

    Remember though, you have had a child, which means you’re much more likely to be in that 85 than in the 15. I read another statistic that if you take those same 100 couples, after 2 years only 5 will still not have a baby. And, you’re way, way more likely to be in that 95.

  5. I’m so sorry you’re feeling so terrible. This week, when you feel up to it, try to sit still for a few minutes…close your eyes…and take a few deep breaths…ask yourself – without judgement or self-flagellation – what you think the problem is – what does your gut tell you is going on with your body and/or your husband’s body? The answer your intuition give you to that question, in my opinion, is much more meaningful than any statistics. Someone asked me the same question and it has led me to the right path to finding help for my particular issue. In your case, it may be that you feel everything is biologically fine, but you need to sleep/relax/have fun/eat veggies more or something else….maybe you guys need to take a beach holiday the next time you’re ovulating….Or maybe your intuition will tell you that you need to go get a work-up with a reproductive endocrinologist….Whatever it tells you, listen to it. And remember – you are 30, you are getting periods, you have proven fertility, and YOU HAVE TIME. You do. It may not feel it, but all of these things are on your side.
    Love,
    Maddy

  6. When I was forced to take a class on statistics, I swore up and down they were the bane of my existence…oh little did I know back when I was what I thought a normal fertile healthy 19 year old girl. I am the 1 in 7, I am the 1 in 4…and now well, now I’m just plain broken.

    I’m so sorry you are in a dark place. I wish there was something I could do or say to help you, but as I have been there, I know it’s something we just have to work through.

    I’m thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

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