Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm a professional worrier.

What a weird place 4 weeks is after a successful IVF. There are people who were "in the loop" and knew what we were going though who check in occasionally- we've shared with many of them our positive test results, along with our continuing wariness. There are plenty of people we're not planning to tell for at least another eight weeks... such a strange secret to be carrying around... can't they tell just by looking at my face?

Friends, even those who have had experience with (their own or family members') IVF cycles, are very optimistic. KB got us our first baby gift. (Tempting fate? I don't necessarily believe in that, but it's hard not to think of it... of course, it turns out she's had the gift for over eight months! She might be more excited than I am!)

My u/s is scheduled for September 4. I will be 6w1d. I realize this might be a little too early to see a h/b, but because of the holiday weekend, the next time I could go in was the 9th and with my school schedule starting the 8th it just wasn't really possible.

I'm a big time worrier. It's like, somehow I feel like if I worry about the worst case scenario, I'll somehow be better prepared.

Not long ago, I left Kirke (a fellow worrier) the following comment about worry.
A friend recommended a book to me a few years ago called "The Worry Cure." It was very interesting to read about the types of worry and the habits of worriers, because they fit me so well. For example, I tend to seek reassurance from people- DH, drs, friends- about the thins that worry me. The book explains exactly what happens to me: "Seeking reassurance does not work because you can always doubt the reassurance later." Yep. That's me.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to the part in the book that told me what to do about it. LOL

One piece of info that did help me with my worries, though, was that most worriers worry inaccurately. It told me "We are more likely to overestimate risk if we can easily recall examples of negative outcomes... when we search for imformation we are seldome objective...we almost never look for the most important information- how often does the predicted outcome not occur?...'Does this information reflect what is generally true, or does it accurately reflect your circumstances?'"

This doesn't STOP my worrying, but sometimes by reminding myself of it I can curb my worrying from getting out of hand.

As I said last week, I just feel like we know too much about this whole process now. Not only that, but I seem to know a lot of people (even outside of blogland) who have had a lot of issues with pregnancy. I have two friends who experienced pre.eclampsia (one lost the baby, the other has a preemie), a friend who has had repeated miscarriages, another who had a stillborn baby full term, a coworker who lost two babies from a triplet pregnancy... this weekend, III's partner's wife experienced a 6 week m/c.

While I know cramps are normal, I can't help questioning mine. How strong is "strong" cramping? If this morning I'm feeling it more on the right, could it be ectopic? I'm not having bleeding, but what if the fetus isn't growing properly? Worry, worry, worry, worry.

From the beginning of this process, I have worried about "chemical pregnancy" and miscarriage... I did some googling and found this chart.

Week of Gestation

Percentage Likelihood
of Miscarriage


10% (after home urine test is positive at 14 days post ovulation when hCG levels reach 50-80)2


5% (or less if heartbeat heard)

2nd trimester

3% (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)

3rd trimester

No longer considered miscarriage once fetus is beyond one pound (500 grams) around 24 weeks gestation. Stillbirth rate is 1%.

So I'm going to rewrite the chart to highlight for myself, based on the Worry Cure's theory, how often miscarriage doesn't occur.

Week of Gestation

Percentage Likelihood
of NOT Miscarrying





2nd trimester


3rd trimester

Livebirth rate is 99%.

Pretty good odds, huh? :)

Ten days to ultrasound...


c by the sea said...

it's probably crazy, but i always figure if i worry about the worst case scenario and what i would do/feel in that situation, then it won't happen, because i was too prepared or something. i don't know, i tend to worry a lot too. i will stay positive for you while you worry and maybe you can do the same for me.

when i first glanced at your post title, in my head i said "wArrior". you'll get through this....

kirke said...

I really love your positive spin of the table :) Seeing the numbers laid out like that, makes me wonder why I spend so much time worrying.

I loved this comment when you posted it, because it just made so much sense. I bought a book last year called "Women Who Thi.nk Too Muc.h." hoping that it would help me with my worrying. My attention span didn't let me get very far through the book :) Why read, when I can worry?

I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!

Jess said...

Those are great odds! What a great way to look at those percentages! I have never thought of doing that (I'm your typical "the glass is half empty" girl, lol)! Please try not to worry so much and enjoy every minute of this! I'm praying like a mad woman...I have a feeling your going to be a very happy woman in 10 days and in 9 months!


Jess said...

I wish more were like you...you are so tolerant and accepting! I appreciate your input and words of wisdom so much! :)


Anonymous said...

I am a worrier too - I just try to do what will keep me sane - sometimes those things do not seem sane but hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

Cramping is very normal - I had a friend who had AF cramps until 11 weeks. I have had some cramping on and off - and early on, it was stronger on the right. I was terrified of an ectopic - but it was my right ovary - very enlarged. You had a retrieval not too long ago - your ovaries are probably still trying to recover.

I cannot wait for you u/s!

michelle said...

Holy wow! I think I missed your earlier post! Congratultions! This is such amazing news and I LOVE the way you took the chart and flipped it. I will keep my fingers crossed (and my toes too!) that everything continues to go well.

Frenchie said...

OMG this is so awesome. You and I are one in the same in the worry department. Especially with a previous loss--I can find so many things to worry about! I'm the same way with the cramping (is this normal, or am I about to miscarry?) The chart is awesome. Thank you so much for that--it is exactly what I needed to see right now. BTW my next ultrasound is the day before yours--hoping for good news for both of us :)