Monday, 16 July 2007

Statistics and Fear

When you hear someone tell you "You have a 1 in 1000 chance." You think to yourself - "One in a thousand, that means I only need to have a little worry about that". But what it really means, is that 999 people don't have to worry at all, and one person not only has to worry about it, they have to deal with it. Fully. And on their own.

So here are the statistics that i live by.

3 in 1000 live births end in neonatal death. (That was our daughter).

1 in 500 people (estimated) have balanced translocation. (That's me)

If I fall pregnant naturally I have a 3/4 chance of falling pregnant with a baby that will die (during the pregnancy or birth) but only a 1 / 100 chance of having a baby that has unbalanced translocation (ubt) make it to a live birth (well.... it has been 1/1 for me).

I can do IVF and do preimplantation genetic diagnosis to see if an embryo carries the UBT. I have a 1/4 chance of falling pregnant with a baby that can live on a fresh IVF cycle, and a 7/10 chance if I get a few healthy embryos so they can freeze some.

The healthy embryos have a 9/10 chance of surviving the thaw and if they do survive i then have a 4/10 chance of becoming pregnant per embryo.


Me too.

My problem is, I can't just ignore this kind of information like I used to. I used to be able to reign in those terrifying thoughts of "what if" with the logical response of "there is only the tiniest chance". Not any more. I seem to be hitting the jackpot each time. I AM THE ONE. The one that lives out those nightmares that everyone else tucks away "It won't happen to me" "God will protect me". So I live now with fear. Fear of all the statistics that have been given to me..... and it is not an unknown fear. I know precisely the pain of holding a little girl, my daughter, and watch the breath of life leave her. So I fear having it happen again. I fear having another child in case it happens again. I fear that I will not be able to have a living child. I fear all the statistics I don't know anything about. What are the chances of my husband dying too? of getting a terminal illness? carcrash? Don't tell me it can't happen.

How do I live fully when I am so swamped by these fears? I struggle taking my husband to the airport for a work trip. (I fearsaying goodbye) I find the risk of trying to have a baby through IVF almost unbareable. I get diahhorhea, and heart palpitations. I can't remember anything. I struggle to be with people. Sometimes I struggle to eat or sleep.

My question is, how can I be free? How do I live with this?

1 comment:

Kami said...

I'm sorry you are traveling this path. I don't know if it will give you hope at this point or not, but it does get easier. I think we learn to survive and start to understand that we have survived so much that we know we can survive whatever life brings us. And with that realization is less fear. At least that is part of the path I took and see in other people who have gone through a similar experiences.

Hang in there.