A Personal Fertility Journey
We introduced you to Denise about two weeks ago, she was our first brave volunteer to share her personal fertility journey with all of you! If you missed her first post be sure to click here and read it now!
She opens up about her fears and nerves on her first visit to the Reproductive Endocrinologist. A very powerful read, please be sure to share your thoughts with her.
In Her Words….
Fear pounded through my veins with every beat of my heart. My heart itself, beat so loudly that I was sure the Reproductive Endocrinologist (a fancy name for a fertility specialist or RE) sitting across from me heard it as clearly as if he had placed a stethoscope on my chest. My hands shook so badly I could barely fill out the forms the nurse handed me. My voice trembled with every word that tumbled from my lips. It was here–the appointment I had both dreaded and anticipated for the past six weeks.
At that point, the RE walked in and introduced himself. I told him that although I was nervous and scared, I had a list of questions prepared. Even in the midst of my fear, I thought I WAS READY for my first visit with a fertility specialist. I soon discovered how wrong I was! After I explained to the RE that I was 40 years old, looking to get pregnant by donor insemination (as I was single) and that I had fibroids which had caused my uterus to expand to the size of a 16-week pregnancy, I realized I had reason to be nervous.
The RE immediately launched into an obviously rehearsed speech on my chances of getting pregnant. He proceeded to pontificate on the difficulties and improbabilities of my being able to get pregnant at my age: I was 40. My eggs probably weren’t that good. My chances of getting pregnant were less than 2%. I really shouldn’t do IUI, but should go straight to IVF. But, if I decided to do IUI, then I would have to go straight to injectable drugs. And if I wanted to take my chances with timed IUI and have a chance of less than 2% of getting pregnant, then that was my choice. His said all this in a dry and rather condescending tone.
Before walking into his office, I’d scoured the internet and knew the statistics for 40-year-old women getting pregnant. What woman my age, hoping to get pregnant, wouldn’t be aware of the statistics? But, I also know of the many success stories of 40 year old women conceiving by natural means, IUI and IVF. It baffled me that this doctor could determine what I needed to do without conducting any tests. I left his office in tears. Heck, what was the point of my questions. He’d already made up his mind about my chances of conceiving and what needed to be done. I decided that he was not the doctor for me and quickly found another RE in the area.
If I was a nervous wreck at my first appointment, I was a nervous wreck multiplied by 10 at this appointment. I needn’t have been. This RE handled things much differently and much more professionally. He didn’t make any snap decisions about my case. He preferred to have test results in hand before making a diagnosis. My results: FSH 9.6, AMH .9, ovulate regularly, antral follicles range from 6 to 12, normal estradiol and progesterone levels. In other words, my blood work was ok. Not great, not too bad, but ok. I passed the SIS, a test in which they inject saline into the uterus to see if it is normal. But, I did not pass the HSG, a test which looks at the fallopian tubes and uterus to make sure there is no blockage. Unfortunately, the fibroids had blocked not just one, but both of my fallopian tubes. I could not get pregnant without having an intense and invasive surgery called a myomectomy . Crushed and devastated. I cried for three days. But, eventually, I scheduled the date for the surgery. Through my faith in God, my hope was renewed and I chose to see the surgery as simply one more step toward achieving my dream of conceiving my little Jaydon. In essence, I refuse to give up.