"You're the perfect example of how a full-term pregnancy can restore your hormone balance," Dr. Top said last week. "I've seen it over and over. Years of infertility--unexplained, poor responders, what have you--then an IVF pregnancy, a baby, then...fertility."
I gave a surprised smile, feeling puzzled and curious and inarticulate, and that was the end of the subject. I didn't even think to ask, "How?"
I know that something was, well, different, hormone-wise. Back before I knew just how difficult it would be to get pregnant, I spent two years charting my wonky cycles, including all of the usual indelicate jabbing and swabbing, and never once had any eggwhite cervical mucous (EWCM--remember that acronym, people? Brings you back, doesn't it?). I would often get LH surges that lasted four or five days instead of the usual one or two. The month of the inconceivable conception, though my cycle was definitely irregular, with ovulation around day 23 or 24, I had EWCM that would have made Toni Weschler's illustrations weep with envy. And there was a textbook one-day LH surge, which corresponded perfectly. Just like I always hoped for, back in the Creataceous period.
But that's it. That's all that was different. Could these small things honestly be signs that my body was somehow fixed? If so, how? It just doesn't seem possible. The cycle that gave me Olivia required the maximum stim dose, no suppression, ICSI and assisted hatching. I had less than 40% fertilization and none of the embryos were close to a Grade 1. Clearly, my eggs were not just on the decline, but speeding rapidly down that far slope.
A part of me is inclined to believe that this pregnancy was a matter of extraordinary luck, not the natural outcome of a prior success. But then I think back to all of those endless months of trying and failing and trying and failing and wonder if there's something to Dr. Top's version of "how" after all. In the end, I guess it doesn't make much difference for me right here and right now--against all of my expectations, I am pregnant--but I can't stop wondering.