Monday, April 14, 2014

By Way of Introduction


33 was not a good age for me, after all it was the age my father was when my uncle put a bullet in his left ventricle.  I wasn’t expecting much from 33 other than the anxiety of knowing you’d outlived a parent, but since I had been trying to have a baby for three years I did rather expect to already have had children. I actually turned 33 in 2012, if I had died the same exact age, to the day, as my father I should’ve died on December 21, 2012.  This struck me as ironic, since it was the Mayan doomsday and, clearly, since the world doesn’t actually revolve around me I knew it wasn’t going to end.

In March I attempted my first IVF, not because I was told it was my best option, I was actually told to do an injectable IUI cycle.  However, the cost of drugs being what it is my husband and I skipped to IVF.  I was surprised when my body only produced 3-4 follies, having expected at least 10.  We changed the cycle to an IUI, but it failed and I went in to review with my doctor.  He said I had diminished ovarian reserve and it was “like trying to get a 44 year old pregnant”.  Doom leered in my face, the specter of not having children raised its head more clearly than ever before.  Why did I have to be here at 33?

In a second IVF attempt later that year I managed to produce 10 follies which ended in 7 mature eggs.  I was so excited on retrieval day; I had never expected it to be so good.  I would have been happy with the 4 from the first attempt.  My excitement was dashed when my doctor was only able to retrieve one side (I know, he clearly wasn’t a good doctor), 3 eggs were all fertilized, two developed, they did assisted hatching (further research may tell you it’s not a great idea) and transferred them back into me.  Certainly these would work!  It didn’t.

In a third IVF attempt they pumped me full of the maximum drugs; my body had 4 follies which devolved quickly into 1.  Oof, again we switched to IUI, but mostly to feel the money spent on the obscene amount of drugs wasn’t wasted than to attempt an actual pregnancy.  My doctor patted my leg and said we couldn’t really expect much with my poor ovarian reserve.  I was now 34 and crushed.  I went to my acupuncturist who had patiently and quietly allowed me to choose my own path, who strongly and firmly told me to get a second opinion. 

Which brings me to today: today I started birth control for one more attempt at my own IVF (as opposed to a donated egg IVF, which is plan B).  I have a new doctor, of which my acupuncturist (the only medical professional I now trust) has a firm faith, even if she doesn’t like other doctors at the same clinic.  I still have the same diagnosis: premature ovarian failure.

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