Bungee jumping into a numberless cycle?

I think I might have mentioned this before, but I am considering making this a numberless cycle. In other words, all I want to know, in terms of numbers, is how many embryos are going in my uterus. Did they both survive the thaw? Are they both taking up residence?

And that’s it.

After that, just let me know that they are still alive, and we’re all good.

I have no idea if I will actually have the strength to do this. But I’m very close to making the decision now, while my anxiety is relatively low. Close to writing to my nurse at RBA and calling my local clinic, letting them both know what the deal is: No after-thaw fragmentation numbers; no beta numbers (that’s right, no betas); no fetal heart rate numbers; no embryo crown-to-rump measurements. If the babies are in there and alive, that’s all I need to know. The doctors can measure and document and discuss numbers all they want, but I think I will be happy to quietly step out of that conversation, and just follow whatever instructions or appointment requirements they give me, end of story.

Because, as my OB Dr. McKenna puts it: Pregnancy is a bungee jump. “You can control a lot of things that happen before pregnancy,” he said, “but once you’ve got a baby growing inside you, there really isn’t much you can do one way or another to affect the outcome.” (Ruling out the obvious things like alcohol, drugs, etc.). “It’s a bungee jump. You more or less jump off the cliff and we all just wait and watch and see what happens from there.”

His words had a big impact on me. What if I really did allow myself to bungee jump? To completely let go? To just do whatever I can (healthy diet, supplements, sleep, medications, and so on) and let the rest go? I mean, I’d have to jump back into the numbers, eventually, some week down the line. But during the tissue-paper-thin first weeks of the first trimester, when my anxiety is going to be amped up anyway, what good will it do me to know my first and second beta numbers? What will I do with that information other than obsessively look up the number, compare to others’ doubling rates, compare to past doubling rates, wonder what it means, decide the number is good, then bad, good, then bad? What good will it do me, what good will it do the babies, if I find out one or both of their heart rates are less than optimal? I would have no control over whether that heart rate would increase as it should by the next week or stop altogether—no matter how many damn times I plugged the number into google, my anxious and teary researching would have precisely zero effect on the outcome. The only effect of that obsessive anxiety that I can imagine, in fact, is negative.

What I do believe I can do during that intensified time is walk in positivity, love, and nurturance. What I can do is welcome the new lives into me, and into this world, with my thoughts and actions. What I can do is be a smart mama and try to avoid what will make me anxious, sad, and afraid. In other words: I know enough by now to be quite familiar with my triggers. I feel compelled to, responsible to, avoid them.

I could say, re: Beta 1: “Just let me know if I’m pregnant or not.”

I could say, re: Beta 2: “Just let me know if the number is increasing as it should.”

I could say, re: ultrasound 1, and 2, and maybe 3: “Just let me know that they are alive and growing and that their hearts are beating, nothing more. And if there is some problem, just tell me when I need to come in again, nothing more.”

Hmm. Can I do this.

We shall see…

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21 Comments

  1. Danielle

     /  February 24, 2014

    I think that is a brilliant idea!!! Upon my return from RBA, I was initially obsessing with betas, symptoms, lack of symptoms and comparing this pregnancy to past losses. For my second beta, I started crying immediately when Jennifer my nurse called bc I was convinced it was a chemical. The bungee jump analogy is so fitting. I have been meditating quite a bit in order to get myself to a calmer place, but I think going numberless is the way to go.

    Reply
  2. If you can do this, you will be my hero! I think it is a great idea

    Reply
  3. Great idea! I’ve started to take the approach less is more … The less information I have, the better :)

    Reply
  4. You will also be my hero! I think it’s a wonderful idea, and if you have the self-restraint, DO IT! I worried SO much throughout my pregnancy and it was not helpful at all. I would probably worry either way, but I could have saved countless hours of looking things up on Google :)
    Good luck!!

    Reply
  5. Lol, I know there is no way I could do this!! More power to you:-).

    I don’t intend to POAS until beta day so that I don’t torture myself with whether the line is darkening like the last two times. That was unnecessary stress. What will be will be in the end anyway.

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  6. I love that bungee jumping analogy. So much of this is out of your control, and you’ve been through the anxiety wringer. I don’t blame you for wanting only the basest information. I think you should do it! Plus, if you decide to go down that path you can always ask for more info if you think you need it. But once the info is out there it’s hard to forget it and not worry about it…

    Reply
  7. That’s a good analogy and so true. I’ve tried to take that approach with IVF as well… there will be some follicles and some won’t be mature or won’t fertilize…there will be some embryos and some will stop growing. Is there enough to transfer? Are there any leftover to freeze? Those are the only questions I am focusing on, which are much more dichotomous yes/no than numerical. And in the end, isn’t a yes or no question all that really matters – will I have a healthy baby?

    Reply
  8. That is an AMAZING idea! Love it! You are a genius :) XOXO

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  9. I. love. this. post. No, seriously! I think just getting rid of that added stress will be so good for you. Great idea.

    Reply
  10. Wonderful idea, really, because every cycle, couple, pregnancy, body, and everything is different. I see it every day in the clinic. Some respond to treatments, some do not, and life keeps happening. Honestly just not having those stressors would be an incredible method to perhaps aid in the health of you and babies. Good luck, lady!

    Reply
  11. Great idea. I wouldn’t have the discipline to execute on it, but if you decide it’s right for you, I wish you all the luck in following through and having nothing but positive news. You so deserve to have goodness come for you now.

    Reply
  12. I think I would worry just as much that way, if not more. In the a sense of anything positive, I would assume the worst. But if it works for you that’s great!

    Reply
  13. I kind of love the idea of a numberless cycle. It takes away so many of the triggers, the unnecessary stressors. I didn’t even know that was an option but of course it is! It might be just what you need to keep this blissful mindset you’ve had lately. You know your bod is cooperating, you know your head is in the game, so you can be sure you’re doing everything you can. The rest you can leave up to the universe. It’s a brilliant idea. Of course if you decide knowing everything is what you want to do I fully support you on that as well hun. I’m just so damn excited for you. Game on!!! xxx

    Reply
  14. Sounds like a neat experiment. Sounds like how I (unknowingly) went through my first few cycles. Keep us posted.

    Reply
  15. Excellent advice. I just got a BFP after 2 miscarriages in 8 months and I am filled with anxiety. Today is my first beta and I’m going to talk to my nurse about this today. I think this will help. I know too much to hear numbers. It will drive me crazy. Wishing you the best luck on your next cycle. Praying for a healthy pregnancy. Sticky dust.

    Reply
  16. Clare

     /  February 25, 2014

    This is really wise. Love it.
    I spent the first few weeks of my pregnancy googling like a madwoman because the heartrate was borderline low and the docs all said miscarriage. It got me absolutely nowhere, and it just left me feeling envious of non-fertility treatment women who don’t have scans till much later. I see it so often where there are vague results early on and it’s just so much worry for nothing. Too much information!
    Plus even if you get reassurance from the numbers, it’s so fleeting. I find I get a piece of good news and I feel pretty happy for the moment but by the next day I’m back to worrying.

    Reply
    • Wow! All of your comments are replete with wisdom and just the sort of encouragement I need to do this. I’m pretty sure I’m going to go through with it. And as some of you mention, I can always change my mind in the moment. Thanks y’all. xo

      Reply
  17. I love this idea. I’d never survive it, but man, I’ll literally bow down to you if you succeed. :)

    Of course, you impress me with your strength regardless. So absolutely feel free to change your mind at any time. xo

    Reply
  18. Megan T

     /  February 26, 2014

    I did this with my last two betas! (I had 5 total with my clinic). Seriously a life-saver. I highly recommend doing it. I drove myself crazy comparing doubling times with the first three betas. Next time I doing a FET, I will definitely tell the clinic that I do not want to know my beta numbers. And I am sure my clinic would have been fine just telling me if there was appropriate growth/fetal tones ect. I say go for it!

    Reply
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