Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

It's a racket, I tell ya. A real racket.

Funny thing about numbers, especially ones with that little % after them. They're malleable and squishy and susceptible to many different interpretations. They can simultaneously stand for so much and for nothing at all.

We went to the fertility clinic for a post mortem (well, yes, literally). Dr. Glass Half Full was soooooo nice. She gave me a hug, and got a little teary, and told us we've got about a 15-20% chance of actually having a baby with my eggs. Conversely, phrased in glass-nearly-devoid-of-any-liquid language, that means that there's an 80-85% chance that my eggs will never, ever produce an actual human being.

Even Dr. GHF felt it necessary to point out that if I were taking on those odds in Vegas, I would officially be a Chump. She also recognized that when you're betting on your fertility, while the table minimums are high, so are the payouts.

So, yes, the odds pretty much suck, but it helped me to put them in perspective. According to Dr. Google, a normal 40-year-old has about a 25% chance of getting pregnant with her own eggs. I know people who are cheerfully and hopefully pursuing infertility treatment despite being told they had a 5% chance, or a 1% chance, or a 10% chance of success.

What then to make of the lovely 70% figure I mentioned last post? Well, I suppose that's an aggregate that includes lots of younger women with unscrambled eggs who happened to have a run of bad luck. And the 70% carry-to-term figure is for women to manage to get pregnant again. So, IF I manage to get pregnant again, what are my odds? No one can say for sure.

The really encouraging news is that if we eventually decide to use donor eggs, we'll have a 65-75% chance of having a baby. It won't be genetically related to me, but I think we can get past that if we have to.

Even better, the statistical likelihood (adjusted for inflation, of course) that Atomic and I will get through this latest loss with our sanity and our love for each other intact approaches 100%*.

P.S. As I wrote this, a huge rainbow appeared out my window. Maybe there's (statistically improbable) hope after all.

*This offer is void where prohibited. Some users experience dizziness, congestion, headache, and nosebleed. Closed course, professional driver. Do not attempt. If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and dial again. Your mileage may vary.


Jen said...

Oh Binky. That second-to-last paragraph put a lump in my throat. I saw that rainbow too this afternoon, and it was a beau.

french7 said...

That's right. I'm so glad you found each other.7suzi

Lassie said...

Hi Binky, Just wanted to pop in and say I've heard (and positively choked on) those same numbers. In the end, someone has to be on the winning side of the stats. It could be you, and I hope it is. Best, Lassie

Alexandria said...

As an adopted child, I can tell you that I love my mother no less for not having precisely her DNA - or my dear Dad (RIP), for that matter. As your friend, I can tell you categorically that you would not only get past the DNA thing, You would fold origami teddy bears out of it and show your child how much you loved them in the very act. Your child will be your child because you feed them, hold them, teach them how to speak and walk and dress themselves, put food on the table and tell them stories - even the story about how they were no accident, no walk in the park, but the end result of a furious desire for them, that they are truly your pride and joy.
However your child arrives, someday you will show them the rainbow, and that means more than all the DNA in the world. I hope for you every day, and have considered stealing small children who don't have such good parents and leaving them anonymously on your doorstep.
many hugs

Ann said...

Lots of hugs, Binky.

katy said...

I'm glad to see that 100%, Binky. Makes all the crappier odds smart a little less.

Alexandria, that was lovely. Thank you.