Reading everyone's stories lately has really forced me to reflect on where I am and how I got here.
I'm 35 years old, quickly coming up on 36. I started trying to conceive 2 days after my 34th birthday. July 10, 2011 was the first day of my period and we threw all forms of birth control right out of the window. We had only been married a month, but we had spent 10 amazing years together. So why wait. We had already waited. We had already traveled and lived our life "pre-children". We were ready. There was no point in waiting any longer. After getting pregnant on the Mirena IUD just a few months prior (ectopic) we thought, oh, this will be easy. I mean if we can beat those odds...
Unfortunately, my cycles were irregular. They were lasting close to 40+ days. I didn't wait long. By October I was in my regular gynecologist office asking for help. He recommended I use Femara with my next period. That period never came. I was pregnant. I was thrilled. Over the moon. Except something wasn't quite right. I didn't feel pregnant. Then the spotting started, but my betas were amazing, so I was told not to worry. Due to the earlier ectopic I was given early ultrasounds to confirm a uterine pregnancy. So at 5 weeks, there it was, perfect looking sac in my uterus. Come back in a little over a week so we can see more...maybe even a heart beat.
I continued to spot, I continued to feel, nothing. My next ultrasound was scheduled on the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death. I kept telling myself, that the universe was not that cruel, everything would be fine. The morning before the appointment, I finally got morning sickness. You have no idea how happy this made me. The next day, the same thing. Finally, this is okay. It's happening for us.
We went together for the ultrasound. It was a Friday afternoon. November 18, 2011. A day of sadness for me, but this time, my mother would be looking down on me, so I held on to that. Until the ultrasound tech as if she was telling me the weather, said it was a blighted ovum and left the room. The sac looked exactly the same as it had a week and a half prior. The rest is a blur. There was a consult room and a doctor (mine was on vacation) telling me I needed a D&C. They scheduled it for Monday, because after all, Thanksgiving was the next week. My world fell apart that day. I was shattered.
I could go on about the d&c (and then subsequent emergency d&c that was done 6 days later while visiting family for the holiday), but what else is there to say about that. At that point, you're just going through the movements...you're not really present.
In late January, 10 weeks later, we were finally able to start trying again. At this point, we've gotten pregnant twice in less than a year. I'm grieving, but I still have hope. We tried month after month. Every month I ovulated. Proof from the temping, the monitors, the OPK's, the progesterone levels, all proved it. Every month, nothing happened. I would count out my due date each new cycle. The next cycle, I'd start over. The hope remained. Even though every day, ever month, it got harder and harder. Friends that were trying were getting pregnant around me. Left and right. Then they were having their babies. I was still on the outside looking in.
My RE appointment finally came and went. We all know how that went for me. Dr. Asshat, as I like to call him. Refused cycle day 3 blood work for the first 4 months. After 2 failed IUI's, I demanded it.
And finally, there it was. Diminished ovarian reserve. And not just low AMH and high FSH. But REALLY low AMH <.16 which is undetectable. The FSH was similar, at 18.5 it was very high and increasing. I was dropped by my RE, with a snap of his fingers, well unless I wanted to use donor eggs right away.
Every RE in my city is basically the same. No one wants to bother with a woman with DOR. Their odds just aren't good enough. My only option was to travel. So off I went to Chicago, then the call with CCRM. My odds still, were so low. I was given between 10-20% odds of success with IVF. Even with some doctors telling me it was pointless, I went forward with my laporoscopy and hysteroscopy only to find out I had stage III endometriosis that my left ovary twisted and adhered to the side wall to the point it wasn't functioning.
That leaves me with where I am today. After a chemical pregnancy following my surgery and more waiting, and under suppressing on birth control I am still waiting just to move on to IVF.
My hope...has wavered. My belief is not as strong. I no longer see a child in my future with certainty. I don't feel as strong as I once was. I often wonder what I did to deserve this. If something from my past is coming back to say, "ain't karma a bitch?". I'd like to think not, but the loss of my fertility could be one hell of a blow.
Being infertility awareness week, I have recently wondered if I should take my struggles more public. To make people more aware, rather than to hide behind this disease. At the end of the day, I take so much pride in this world that I have to myself, outside of people judging me for the anger and sadness that comes with this journey, that I can't share this blog with just anyone. I feel supported here. I cannot lose that, at least not right now. One day, I hope that changes, and I can share my journey and my struggles with everyone so that their can be more understanding and so that women can be their own advocate when it comes to their reproductive system. I hope to get there...
I don't know what lies ahead. I don't know if I'll become a parent. I don't know if we'll do donor eggs or adoption or if we'll choose to live a child free life. That option breaks my heart, but what I've learned in this, is there are no guarantees in this life.