Monday, February 7, 2011

The Third Miscarriage: Dignity is Overrated

True to form, JK and I conceived on the second try (do you sense a pattern?) but this pregnancy never seemed promising.  Even I, the "optimistic" one, had to wonder why the double lines came in so faintly on the pee stick.

It didn't take very long for the bad news to become evident.  On the first ultrasound visit, we saw a sac, but nothing else.  No egg.  No heartbeat.  Conclusion: blighted ovum.  Our third miscarriage.

Dr. B was loath to perform another D&C, the third in a year, and so she suggested a medical avenue for ending the pregnancy.

Please forgive a digression.  I swear that it leads back to the topic at hand.

JK and I live in Chicago, and she works downtown.  A couple of years back, I picked her up for lunch and we walked over to Perry's Delicatessen, which has the biggest yummiest deli sandwiches in Chicago.  The sandwiches are so huge, they happily wrap a half for their female customers.  However, men are expected to, well... be more manly.  Perry's does not wrap a half, but will give a bag and some plastic to the guys that ask.

JK asked for her half to be wrapped and then I did the same... oops.

I knew I'd just blown it and I was about to be humiliated.  Sheepishly, I said, "Oh yeah, I heard you were going to bust my balls over that."

He laughed.  He wrapped the sandwich.

JK asked me, "How is it that you are the only guy who has ever had his sandwich wrapped at Perry's?"

I responded, "Dignity is overrated."

Dignity is overrated.  A motto for infertile couples as well.  Because this is one undignified road Wannabe Dads.  If you wish to survive it, I might suggest putting your dignity on the shelf.

For the Wannabe Dads, there's plenty of undignified stuff that I will delve into as this story unfolds.  Get a grip Wannabe Dads!  Whatever indignity you are subjected to, it pales in comparison to the indignities an infertile woman must bear.  Here's a few:

1) Having a kajillion people rummaging around in her privates.

2) Enduring endless questions about when she is going to have kids, and doesn't she like children?

3) Shots in the bum.

4) Stirrups and dildo cams (slang for the wand-like probe used in transvaginal ultrasounds).

5) The waiting room at the OB GYN with all of the viable pregnancies.

Did I mention a medical avenue for ending the third pregnancy?  We were given a prescription for Cytotec.  So JK just takes a pill and that's it, right?

Wrong.  So wrong.

Our instructions: place four pills far inside the vagina, trying to get close to the cervix.  Because of the difficulty placing the pills, it should be done by... guess who?  I could have run away screaming from this task Wannabe Dads, but I remembered that dignity is overrated.  More, I remembered that my wife needed me.  This would suck much more for JK than it would for me.

Eventually, the sac expelled along with the usual other stuff.  JK had an uncomfortable day, but happily no other ill effects (for now).  Soon, it would be time to look forward.  We were in the high-risk category now.  Dr. B suggested something that we already knew.  It would be time to get help.  Next stop: The Fertility Centers of Illinois, better known as FCI.

Next time: Choosing a Fertility Doctor (and other stuff!)


  1. Alec - wow. I don't even know where to start other than to say that I'm so glad that I found your blog. I will definitely forward it to my husband because he's been asking if there are any "dude infertility" blogs out there to read.
    I'm so sorry for all that you and your wife have been through (that I've read so far) and I can't wait to read more.

  2. just found your blog.... so excited to hear more of your story!