With Me At Birth

As my little girl gets older, I have more time in my day to reflect on her life.  I also have more brain power to do so because sleep gets better with each passing month.  Lately I have been intrigued with the circumstances that got her to us.  The crazy happenings that lead to her being made.  Her.  Not just a baby, but her.  Her personality, her looks, her being.  I am truly amazed by everything that had to happen for her to be here, and every day I feel like I have a new realization on just how amazing it is to have her, and why I have been overwhelmingly attached to her since the moment I first saw her.

Ignoring ALL of the tiny things that had to happen for her to be here, like the Big Bang, the solar system forming, and life evolving on our little planet, I think about just the things that had to happen for her daddy and I  to meet.  He grew up an Army brat, traveling to a different state every few years.  I grew up in a small town, and stayed there almost my entire life until college.  We ended up both living in the same state, both attending the same college, and both, somehow, befriending the same people on a campus of thousands of students.  It seems almost inevitable that we met, but I won’t go into all of that.  Let’s just say that we were meant to be.  Simple (is that simple?) as that.

Where it really starts to get interesting for me, is when we finally decided to try to have a baby.  We had just bought a house and figured that this was as good a time as any.  I was 25, he was 26, and everything felt right.  We went through all of the motions for having a baby.  I went off birth control, waited three months, we tried, and tried, and tried for a year with no results.  We then sought help, and began the process of fertility treatments.  Five rounds of Clomid, three rounds of IUI, and finally the big IVF.  Luckily IVF worked for us, but that is where my mind starts to be truly amazed, because that is when our little one was made.

After injecting myself with what felt like a million needles full of hormones, we had our egg retrieval.  There were only five mature follicles that would attempt to be fertilized.  Of those five, four fertilized and began to mature.  Of those four, two were chosen on day three to be transferred back to my uterus.  It all seems simple, doesn’t it?  But in reality it is insane.  I was born with millions of eggs, but only five were made to try IVF with.  Five.  Then, in a lab at our specialists office, an embryologist took five of my husbands sperm, and inserted one into each egg.  Four of those eggs became embryos.  Four out of millions of eggs were now becoming babies, humans, life.  The embryologist then decided that two specific ones would be transferred back.  Two, out of millions of eggs, were receiving the chance to grow and become babies inside my belly.  Back to where they came from, after having started their little lives in a lab.  Seeing the outside world before they saw the inside of me.  Imagine!  What a way to start life!  Of those two transferred back, our little girl decided to latch on.  To bury herself deep into my uterus, and to begin to live.  Developing from an embryo, to a fetus, to a baby, and now into an infant.  Absolutely magical.

…but what really blew my mind is this… this simple fact that half of my little girl has been with me since I was born.  It’s no wonder that mothers become to attached so quickly, as we have been carrying our babies with us through our entire lives.  She was with me when I was born, as I learned to walk, as I started school, when I cried, when I laughed, when I got married.  She has been with me through it all.  She has been with me longer than my husband.  Isn’t that absolutely amazing to think about?  She has always been with me, and that is why my love for her is so overwhelming, deep, and perfect.  My little egg.  One out of millions.

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I Am An “Anomaly”

That is the exact description my Reproductive Endocrinologist gave to me after my second AMH results, which were 15.  He assumes that in six months it could be as high as 20.  He has no idea why my level is so high, seeing as how you cannot grow more eggs.  My level definitely dropped in 2012.  There was no doubt.  Two AMH tests (.67 and 1.3), an ultrasound, and the fact that even with an incredibly high dose of medication for IVF, I only produced eight follicles, only five of which were mature.  There is all the proof you need.  My ovarian reserve was gone.  Diminished, if you will.

I emailed the doctor back to ask what this means.  No response yet.

The Anomaly waits….

The Absolutely Impossible AMH

Well, I got the results back from my AMH test.  14.  14?!  This is the email I received from my doctor :

“Very strange.  The level came back as 14.  This can’t be right.  I suggest you repeat the test.  I’ll put an order in your chart again.”

So, yea.  When a doctor starts your email with “very strange,” you should probably also think it’s very strange.  And I do!

Let’s go over the results again, so that everyone can comprehend the oddness of these results….

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August 2011 – AMH at 6.9 (above a 3 is considered high, but I have PCOS, so this is very normal for someone with PCOS).

August 2012 – AMH at .67 — Test repeated and came back at a 1.3.  Obvious reason being Premature Ovarian Failure.  Had an ultrasound to verify the low findings, and it was verified that my ovarian reserve was depleted.  This is when we did IVF.  I was only able to produce five mature follicles, which was another indicator that my reserve was low.

March 2014 – AMH at 14.  Impossible!  Inconceivable!

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So, I went back in on Wednesday and had my level tested again.  Haven’t heard back on the results.  I guess it takes a few days.  The doctor is just as confused as I am, so I know as soon as he gets the results I will be informed.

Yeeesh, what on earth is my body up to this time…..

Hope (For the Second Time Around)

This entry is intended to give those of you who struggled with infertility the first time around, a little hope.  I am here to inform you that out of the three other women I know in real life who have gone through IVF, two of them have been successful in getting pregnant naturally the second time around.  Isn’t that amazing?  It is so exciting for them, and I hope that it is exciting for you too.  Just because you struggled so much, and went through so much heartache the first time around, does not mean you have to face this type of hurt the next time you try.  Not that it is full-proof, or that it is a guarantee, but it does offer a glimmer of hope.

The most impressive thing?  Neither of them were “trying.”  No scheduling sex, no temperature taking, no ovulation tests, NO HORMONES!!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  Too good to be true?  Fantasy… right?  Well, it is possible.  I offer you all love, good vibes, and hope.  For those of you continuing on in your journey for more babies to love and squeeze, I wish you all the luck in the world!

A Bad Infertile?

Today I went back to the fertility clinic for the first time since I was seven weeks pregnant.  It was… strange, but absurdly familiar.  I never thought I’d be back so soon, since my little one is only eight months old, but after an email exchange with my reproductive endocrinologist, we both decided that it would be a good idea for me to have my AMH tested.  Since it went from a 6.9 to a 1.3-.67 in just one year, it is likely that I have Premature Ovarian Failure.  I asked my RE if he thought it would be a good idea to see how much it’s dropped in the past year and a half so that we could decide on a course of hormone therapy once little miss is weaned.  If it is at an undetectable level, then I would not go on birth control (which would be needed to control my PCOS symptoms), I would go on hormones to help with the premature menopause.  Wow, forgot how messed up I was — reproductively speaking!  I also found out while I was there that my best blood taking vein was permanently scared from all my blood draws during IVF.  Holy cow.  That is unreal!  I guess it’s to be expected when I only have one usable vein though.

Anyway, while I was there, one of the guys at the front asked me if I was there for my second round.  (I had little miss with me).  I quickly, without thought, said “NO WAY!!”  Then I laughed and said “she is only eight months, so I definitely need a little time!”  He then said “Oh, okay.”  I guess having someone with fertility problems be so quick to say “NO!” when asked about more babies is rare.  So, does it make me a bad infertile if I am pretty sure that I will not want to have another baby?  Is it okay, in our community, to decide that an only is the right choice for their family?  I know that when someone struggles so much for babies, they can sometimes get baby fever so bad that they will continue until their bodies crash (I saw a lady at the specialist who had a three year old, a one year old, and a four month old — all conceived through fertility treatments), desiring as many babies as possible, but I do not feel that way.  I feel like another baby would be too much for me.  I think it is important to go with what works for your family, for your sanity, and for your heart.

My husband and my little girl are my entire world.  I cannot imagine sharing it with anyone else.  Could my mind change in the next few years?  Yes, maybe, I’m keeping my mind open, but I wonder if I am in the minority when it comes to be an infertile who desires to have only one child.

Any other infertiles who stopped at one on purpose?

(I will post the results of my AMH once I hear back from the RE — Hopefully tomorrow!)