I’m supposed to write today about why it’s so difficult for people to talk about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility, but since I’ve already talked about that a little bit here, and since we just had a six-week follow-up appointment with the doctor today, I’ve got other things on my mind I’d rather talk about.
I wish I did not know what PPROM is. A month ago, I did not, but in the absence of answers from the doctors at the hospital, I’ve done a lot of internet research, and PPROM sounded the most like what happened to me. The doctor today confirmed it, so now it looks like I have a lot more targeted research to do. What I know so far is that it is Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes, i.e. water breaking way, way, way too early. It happens in about 3% of all pregnancies. And there are a few different things that can cause it, none of which have been found in me so far.
They’re going to do some more tests and exploring of possibilities, but right now, we don’t have any reason to believe or suspect that there’s anything physically wrong with me that would have caused my water to break at 16 weeks. The doctor said it was just a fluke.
I don’t know how I feel about that just yet. On the one hand, if there was no good reason for it to happen, then there’s no good reason for it to happen again. The doctor said it was highly unlikely that it would happen again. On the other hand, it was highly unlikely the first time, and I beat the odds on that one, so who’s to say I won’t beat them again?
If we had a cause, then we would have a plan for future prevention. What do you do with a fluke?
Part of me wants to be really frustrated about the whole thing. I mean, maybe Dr. Spacemen was right.
But I was talking to my mom on the way home from the appointment, and she pointed out that 30 years ago, women in my situation would not have been able to rule out the things we’ve already ruled out, and they wouldn’t have been able to have the tests done that we have scheduled. Fifty years ago, procedures that are commonly used today to prevent PPROM during pregnancy would have been rare if available at all. We really have come a long way.
I wonder sometimes if all that science is the best thing for us, though. We read statistics about things and think they apply directly to us. If 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, that means I personally have an 80% chance of having a surviving, full-term baby, right? Well… If I flip a coin 100 times, and I get tails 20% of the time, does that mean on my next flip I have an 80% chance of getting heads?
I know it’s not quite that simple, but I wonder if all the knowledge medical science has given us isn’t also causing us to have unrealistic expectations. Is that pessimistic of me to say?