I don’t know if most women feel this way, but when I reached “that age” and my friends were starting to have children and I began hearing about people having trouble getting pregnant, I began to worry just a little if that could be me. But then I looked at my family history, which has two sets of natural twins, and my mom, who had me and my brother in her late 30s and early 40s without fertility treatments. So I wasn’t really worried about it. Then when I began working at PREG I actually became less worried about it, because I saw how many success stories come in and out of our doors every day. I knew if I ever did have problems, I would be in the best hands.
As a single girl in my late 20s, I began thinking that once I hit 30 I should maybe have some of the preliminary testing done, just to make sure my hormone levels were okay. For some reason, shortly after my 28th birthday, I sat myself down in the lab chair and asked for an AMH to be drawn. My mother laughed when I told her, saying, “You’re fine. Why did you do that?” I told her I just thought it would be interesting to know. Well one Friday morning as I finished up an egg retrieval, one of my coworkers asked me if I’d seen my results. I actually got excited, assuming my results were absurdly good and that we could all have a laugh about the fact that I even had checked it. Well, I won’t share with you the four letter word that came out of my mouth when I saw the result, but all of my coworkers sure remember. My result indicated that I had diminished ovarian reserve, meaning I likely didn’t have many eggs left. I immediately went into Dr. Nichols’ office and said, “We’ve got a problem.”
Then I went into action mode. I knew I had just become an IVF patient and that it needed to be done as soon as possible. As I began to wind down from my emotions that weekend I realized I had some very important decisions to be making. I was not only making these decisions for myself, but also for my future husband, assuming he’s still lost and just hasn’t asked for directions yet. I spent some time talking things out with my family and my coworkers, who luckily are experts in the field, but also like family. Eventually I reached the decision that was best for me and decided to proceed with an egg retrieval.
I dealt with a lot of emotions during those months. I luckily wasn’t scared about the IVF process. I see our patients do it every day and knew it is doable. But what if it didn’t work for me? What if we retrieved eggs but they weren’t good? What if I was already facing the idea of using an egg donor or embryo adoption at the age of 28? And one of the hardest parts was facing all of this without the man that I should be making these decisions with. I developed a whole new respect for our single patients who go through this process. It is very hard to be faced with an infertility diagnosis, but to face it alone is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The one thing I had to remind myself during this time was, despite this new hurdle, I was blessed. In life we can choose to let the good or the bad determine how we handle things. As you face your own journey with infertility, remember your own blessings. Maybe it’s the wonderful, supportive husband you have. Maybe it’s your friends who have been through it before you and understand what you’re going through. For me it was that I work here and had that small inclination to sit down in the lab chair one day. For me it was the chance to be proactive and do something before it was too late. I am extremely blessed that so far my journey has been successful. Now I just need that special guy to finally stop and ask for directions.