Sunday was my 35th birthday. I remember when I decided I wanted children at 29, I thought, “But I need to have them by 35 because the risk of chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome increase after 35.” I remember finally meeting my soulmate and getting married at 32 and deciding I’d have my first at 33 (as though I could choose when) and my second at 35, and thinking those were perfect ages to have children. A woman’s fertility drastically decreases after the age of 35, doesn’t it? We hear this constantly. My fertility probably drastically decreased years ago, so no worries, that drop in egg reserve already came and went.
My husband threw me a birthday dinner that would have been perfect if my overbearing, critical, angry father hadn’t been there to pick on me. Sometimes I think, wouldn’t be so tragic to not pass on these genes.
On Friday before my birthday, we went to my follow up appointment after my cancelled IVF cycle. Dr. M brought in her medical fellow to the appointment, who sat there biting her nails awkwardly in the corner. She looked bored with my cancelled cycles.
I asked Dr. M if they use growth hormone (no) and if I need donor eggs yet (no) and if I kept stimming even though my follicles aren’t growing, would she eventually be able to retrieve more than one egg for ICSI (no).
At one point I burst into tears and I felt humiliated. The fellow ran to get me tissues. I asked Dr. M through my tears, “Will you tell me when it’s time to move on to donor eggs?” (Yes).
I asked her what she thinks my chances of success are with my own eggs. Before my first cancelled IUI, she said 40% chance of success with IVF using my own eggs. This time, she responded, “Well you’re still young, so the quality should be good, it’s just a matter of getting the follicles to grow. If you were older, I’d recommend trying donor eggs sooner.”
When I first met her, she said she didn’t think my quality is good. I think this answer is kind of her way of saying, “Chances are slim but we’re not giving up.”
Then my darling husband asked if this is caused by my fibroids (no), and if he can schedule a physical with my fertility clinic (no.)
I am super not pregnant this cycle, by the way. My period is due tomorrow and my tests are still stark white negative.
Our next cycle is in October and it will be a minimal stim cycle with Femara and Menopur. Fine. Dr. M says that if we are not successful in even getting follicles to grow this cycle, she may recommend donor eggs. Also fine. Husband and I are finally on the same page about donor eggs. We just want a baby. I think that if we keep trying just timed intercourse, we might be able to have a baby with my eggs, but that might take another 1, 2, 3+ years we don’t want to wait. Also, it might take more miscarriages with my eggs, and I want my fifth pregnancy to be a successful one. I just need a win right now.
My follicles not even growing during stim cycles is what is making this decision easier to make this early on in my infertility struggle. I think that if we could even get two follicles and one embryo to transfer, that would give me enough hope to keep pushing on for more cycles and more years. At least then I’d be saying, well what about this protocol to get more eggs, what about this clinic to get a successful transfer. Instead I am hitting a brick wall. I do not think another doctor or medicine would change what my ovaries are doing.
Donor eggs open another can of worms that I am kind of sorting through. Fresh or frozen? Agency donor, clinic donor, or egg bank? What is a breakdown of the costs of all options?
And then, suddenly after we’ve decided that maybe we need donor eggs, I find myself panicking and thinking we should just try naturally with my own eggs for a year, or go to a new clinic.
But of course, I am on cycle day 36 in a cycle where I ovulated on cycle day 24. I don’t have normal cycles anymore and this might be indicating a problem getting pregnant on my own anymore, but no one seems to know.
This brings me to the constant struggle lately that is my online support groups. They are all causing me grief and I need to leave some of them. There’s been so much drama and I feel too sensitive lately to be not bothered by it, not that I ever participate!!
I feel like women who have been successful with low AMH think that all women can be successful with low AMH. An AMH of .5 is a far cry from an AMH of .05, though.
Oh, you were successful because of acupuncture, a special diet, supplements, or a protocol? That doesn’t mean anything for me. We are all different. But I know I’m also in the minority.
I had one woman get snappy with me this weekend insisting she “can use [her] own eggs” with an AMH as low as mine, but hadn’t done any medicated cycles yet to see if that were true. But she said that if she can, we all can. Huh?
Anyway, I don’t even want to talk about this stuff anymore. I’m just done. The cute pregnancy announcements are hurtful if they catch me on the wrong day. The women who have great AMH apparently and end up with 9 PGS normal embryos make me feel awful on any day. It’s exhausting. Where’s the group for women who can’t grow a follicle?
This is self-care, to protect myself from that which is causing me anxiety.
Here is an update on my baby blanket for my one-day baby. Three quarters done.