I sat in a chair at a table in the fertility clinic exam room thinking about how this would be a defining moment in my life. The resident doctor entered the room and began going over my test results. She very quickly told me my chances of conceiving naturally were very low and she suggested we go straight to IVF for treatment. All week leading up to the appointment I told myself I’d stay strong, that I wasn’t going to cry: That all went out the window as the tears welling up in my eyes were far too much to hold back.
The resident continued to explain. My AMH was only .58 and my FSH was 16 and that was concerning. It meant I had diminished egg reserve and it was important to move quickly if I wanted to get pregnant. I asked about Clomid and she said it wouldn’t be worth my time. She stepped out to review her conclusions with my doctor. My doctor returned this time and said we could try IUI first since I was young—only 28 years old—but for no more than three cycles. It was a relief to ease into fertility treatments instead of going big right off the bat, but there was still the unsettling feeling of “officially” being deemed infertile.
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I’d known this scenario might be a possibility since I was 16. The reason for my low AMH is because I’ve had four surgeries on my ovaries to remove ovarian cysts all before I was 21. With each surgery, my fear of infertility grew. As I got older anxiety only exacerbated that fear. I would beg my husband to start trying for a baby because the anticipation of knowing if it would work or not was killing me.Even with the anticipation that fertility may be an issue for me, there still is nothing that can truly prepare you for the moment you are told you can’t conceive on your own.Click To Tweet
You feel like a failure. You see all of your hopes and dreams of raising a family crumble before you: Every pregnancy announcement, bump photo and baby photo suddenly sends you through a loop of feelings ranging anywhere from jealousy to shame to just plain rage.
Trying to start a family is supposed to be fun and exciting. For women struggling with infertility, it is just that: a struggle—a long constant struggle on an unknown path. All I have to cling to is my hope that it will all work out and one day I’ll be a mother.
Right now I’m waiting to do my third IUI, my last treatment before moving on to IVF. Since my diagnosis, some days are beautiful and I feel like I can handle it all and stay positive; I feel like I can take on anything that comes my way. I am always grateful for my wonderful husband, my friends, and my family. I owe these good days to them.
Some days aren’t so easy. Some days I fight a lump in my throat and tears all day long. Some days I could see newborn twins in Target and have to run out of the store before I start crying in public. It is an unpredictable ride full of so many highs and lows.
I’ve realized that I’ll never be the same again. Infertility rocks you to your core and once you feel it, even if it is just a short while, you are forever changed. I know I’ll come out the other side of this journey stronger, it is just so hard to remember that while deep in the trenches. All I know is that I have to keep going and keep trying. I have to stay hopeful.
Eventually, I’ll be on the other side and will accept that all of this pain was worth it because it means getting the greatest gift I think you can experience in life – a child. Whether that will be a biological child, a child conceived via donor egg, or a child via adoption… we’ll just have to wait and see.