Friday, September 3, 2010

Do the Math!

I’ve always liked the phrase “Do the Math!” It’s a phrase that suggests higher intelligence and knowledge. It suggests that the person saying it knows something that you don’t and if you could only Do the Math you would see it for yourself.

I was watching Criminal Minds (I am addicted to this show) the other night and the FBI agent is interrogating a suspect and leans in and says “I have 5 dead bodies and I am only looking at you. Do the Math!!!” It’s has authority. It’s definitive. Math doesn’t lie.

There is also that famous scene in When Harry Met Sally when they are discussing women faking organisms and Sally says: “Its just that all men are sure it never happened to them and all women at one time or another have done it so you Do the Math.” It’s a little condescending with a “smarty pants” edge.

But it also implies that answers can be obtained through calculating numbers. And that is why Doing the Math is something I can’t help but do! I've always been very good at Math. Math was something I easily understood. I actually couldn’t understand why other people couldn’t get it. It was simple to me: plug in the numbers and you have your answer. Boom just like that. It’s not subjective and as I said, Math doesn’t lie. There are no alternative answers or view points when it comes to Math. And I can’t help but to Do the Math. I think in numbers and percentages. When I am cycling, I Google stats so I can see where I stand. I Google stats so I can see where other ladies who are cycling stand.

One of the gals on the Fertility Board once posted that 33% of IUIs are successful. Of course that number stuck in my head and back in January 5 gals on the board went in for an IUI, 3 on the same day…so that stands to reason that 2 girls would get pregnant if 33% are successful (it’s 1.65 but if you round up then it’s 2). When the BFNs started rolling in I started thinking to myself hmmm could I be the 1 out of 2 and then 2 gals got their BFP and I knew that Leroy was on his way and he was.

Is this reasonable thinking? Mathematically it works but why would having 2 girls get their BFP have any effect on my BFP. I doesn’t but I can’t help but to Do the Math.

About 50% of all women will get a BFP on an IVF cycle. So when 5 girls on the boards were doing IVF basically at the same time I figure 2.5 (yes, that is correct 2.5) would get pregnant. And the fact that it is 2.5 makes you wonder do you round up or down. How do you get a .5 pregnancy…and this is where Math sucks…2 women got pregnant and 1 had a chemical pregnancy. That equals 2.5. I don’t necessarily like numbers or the Math but I still ended up doing the Math and once again the Math didn’t lie.

I think in actuality I hate the numbers. I don’t like thinking about them. I don’t like using them to figure out who will get their BFP and who won’t and mostly I don’t like the numbers because my numbers are so bad. I’m afraid of cycling with certain gals because their numbers are so much better than mine.

The other day was my 42nd birthday. I am now 42. I have now hit the age where success rates are much lower. Where my numbers suck and for once I wish Math would lie.

But here’s the thing: there is also the other side to the stats and the percentages. 30% of women over 40 WILL get pregnant with IVF. I could be one of the 30%. Dr. Doom gave me a practically 0% chance of conceiving with an IUI and I did! Ahhhhh I beat the numbers that are working so hard against me. Could I beat them again?

Over my birthday weekend I went down the shore with one of my BFFs. I stayed with V and her husband at their beach house. Their beach house is located on a little island just outside of Atlantic City. So one night we were sitting on her porch playing poker (of course this wasn’t in the casino, no of course not, but that is bunch of other numbers I won’t go into) and we were playing 7 card draw blind! So basically you can’t see your hand until you flip your cards over. I had flipped 3 cards face up resulting in a pair of Kings for my hand with 4 cards remaining face down. V had to flip her cards until she beat me or folded. She flipped her cards one at a time and got a Straight! She pushed a huge stack of her chips forward to place her bet. The others folded. It was now up to me. I pushed a huge stack of chips forward to call her. I still had 4 cards face down to complete my hand. Her husband said: “You’re going to call her, do you know how hard it is to beat a Straight. The chances are next to zero” Hmmm where have I heard that before! I said “Yup, I’ve got to see the rest of my hand. “ I flip my next card it’s a King! And I declared “I have 3 Kings” and V’s husband said “That still doesn’t beat a Straight” so, I continue to flip my cards, next card, nothing and then the next card…drum roll please….it’s a King and I say “But 4 Kings beat a Straight!!!!!” And yes by God it most certainly does! I beat the odds, I beat the numbers, I fell on the side of Math we all hope to fall on and no I was NOT in the casino where I would have won a ton of money. I was on the porch where I won a bunch of chips that ended up going back into a case at the end of the game BUT I did go for it! I went for it blind, against the odds. I had to see. I couldn’t just fold without seeing.

I know in my heart that I am going to get pregnant, with my own eggs and have a beautiful, healthy baby but I can’t help but to Do the Math!

Today is my first shot of Lupron to mark the start of my 2nd IVF cycle. I am now 42. If you Do the Math, the odds are against me, the numbers aren’t good but sometimes you just have to go for! Sometimes instead of Doing the Math you have to say Screw the Math!!

"It's impossible." said pride. "It's risky." said experience. "It's pointless." said reason. "Give it a try." whispered the heart.



  1. YES! Screw the math!!
    Keep believing in your heart, just like you're doing, that you will have a baby. Because there are women who get pregnant at 42 all the time. I have every reason to believe it will be YOU :)

    Love the last line of this post too...

  2. Yeah!! Screw the Math! That last line was posted on Facebook and I really felt it applied to us TTC gals!!

  3. Don't worry about the math.. You deserve only the best.

  4. If you do the math, our group on the discussion board is really due for more BFPs that stick. Seriously, the number of us who have had m/c is unbelievable. And only 2 pregnant women in the second trimester after all this time? The odds really are in our favor now!

  5. Shannon - I like the way you do Math!! :)

  6. Math is often beaten up and walks away whimpering during this process :) Nobody knows what to expect, and we are constantly surprised.

    But one thing that has been proven true time and time again: women who persevere are about 99% likely to get that child they want- one way or the other! Best of luck for this cycle!

  7. Holy crap do I relate to this one... When I did my IVF, there were 2 other girls going in at the same time; so 3 of us total. I knew that at best, 2 would get pregnant and 1 would not.

    I just didn't know that I would be the 1 who didn't.

    Doing the math sucks.

  8. Small sample size screws the math up every time.

    I say go with the heart.



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