After an extensive exam — blood work, sonograms, from routine to the very targeted — Dr. Braverman called us back to his office to review the results. On a giant overhead screen, he took us page by page through our results (mine and
my husband’s—because ladies, men are equally responsible for fertility success; according to the National Institutes of Health
, about one third of cases are attributed to men, one third to women, and the rest are a combination of factors, including the unexplained). Slide by slide, I had a new understanding and a sort of compassion for my body and how it worked. That I had a gene mutation called MTHFR, which means my body can’t easily process folic acid (essential for baby-making and other functions and easily remedied with a prescription supplement); that I needed a blood thinner called Lovenox to counter another condition of blood thickness and its ability to reach and nourish the placenta; that I seemed to have an acutely responsive immune system, and perhaps my body was misidentifying a healthy embryo as an intruder (also remedied by a short stint with the steroid Prednisone). That I might have a pretty common case of misdiagnosed Endometriosis, a condition that was ruled out after a recommended laparoscopic surgery — a procedure that did determine I had a sister condition called Endometritis, which is basically an angry, inflamed uterine lining, which I treated in the weeks following with antibiotics.