It’s fair to say that in the last two years, I’ve become an unofficial expert on babymaking. That’s not a line I plan on using at dinner parties or anything, but it is the truth. Our miscarriages and infertility have led to months and months of me googling, reading, researching, asking, blogging and participating in discussions about conception.
And what blows my mind about conception is the series of intricate events that need to take place in order for it to actually happen.
The body has to produce hormones at precisely correct levels to signal other hormones that in turn must be at correct levels. The blood flow to the ovaries and uterus has to be just so. The egg has to be free of harmful free-radicals and toxins from that taco bell burrito one may or may not have eaten in a moment of desperation two months prior. The uterine lining has to do its thing while the corpus luteum does its thing, both telling each other exactly what that thing is. Not to mention the fact that intercourse has to happen at just the right time. And then the sperm have to swim well, but not too well, or they’ll overshoot the target.
If you’re me, on top of all those events, a whole slew of other events have to happen just right.
Exactly the right level of synthroid must successfully correct my ever-so-slightly underactive thyroid to produce the right level of hormones. My blood thinning shots have to happen every day, starting on exactly the 6th day of my cycle so that my blood can get to my ovaries at just the right time. My IVIG infusions must be spaced no more than 2 weeks apart with precisely the right dosage to calm my immune system to exactly the right levels. The right dose of prednisone must be started exactly 2 days after ovulation to decrease my body’s inflammatory response. My diet has to be just so and metformin must be taken so that my blood sugar level remains constant. Progesterone, estrogen and about 12 other supplements must be taken in the right dosage on the right day, spaced exactly 12 hours apart.
And after all that, if, and only if, my blood tests and ultrasounds come back in normal range, we can proceed with the babymaking part. Hoping, of course, that that first set of intricate events all happens as it should.
A freaking lunar landing sounds easier and less complicated.
Which is why I am just speechless about the fact that my brother called me last night to tell me that even though he and my sister-in-law were doing everything they could to NOT have any more children, they are now 13 weeks pregnant with their third child.
How does that happen? How do you successfully and flawlessly land a spaceship on the moon when you never even attempted liftoff? How?
And what am I supposed to say? To this beaming, happy person who has just reminded me how messed up my body must be to not be pregnant despite extreme scientific measures? What do I tell him?
A line I know so well by now: Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! This is wonderful news!