I’ve just spent a quiet weekend accepting the fact that I am infertile. You’d think by my third attempt at IVF I would have come to terms with that right?
Let me back up a minute.
Before this weekend if you had asked me to characterize my infertility I would have said this. “We have some male factor infertility problems that probably could be overcome naturally given enough time and persistence, but due to my husband’s age (40) we are going to do IVF. We realize IVF may not work the first time as anyone can have bad luck, but eventually it will work. Then we will have our only child or hopefully twins.”
Bottom Line: I’m not the problem. He’s the problem and in the grand scheme of things his problem is not that bad. We will overcome!
I believed this even though my last FSH test results were 14. I believed this even though my AFC was 8 at my baseline. I believed this until my monitoring appointment on Friday; two follicles on my right ovary and six follicles on my left. Mentally I started subtracting two for immaturity, two for non-fertilization, two for not dividing, and suddenly I realized that I might end up with nothing to transfer.
How did I get here? Why was my perception so different from reality? Well, for one thing I have always had very regular periods. I have never failed an ovulation test. Then there was the pregnancy (and subsequent miscarriage) after four months of trying which seemed like a long time at the time, but was quick in retrospect. My FSH in June was 7. My first IVF cycle was cancelled for overstimulation. (My current RE thinks this was a misdiagnosis.) I thought I was more than fertile. I thought we just had an egg meets sperm problem.
I can't wrap my head around the change in my ovarian landscape this cycle, but maybe it isn't really a change. Maybe the problems have always been there. I have always had low inhibin B results, but my first RE never raised it as a cause for concern so I dismissed it. Maybe my pride wouldn't let me admit that I might be part of the problem.
There have been some tears this weekend as I have adjusted my expectations for this IVF cycle and beyond. I started this whole IVF thing thinking I would have lots of eggs, leading to lots of embryos which I would donate to all the truly infertile couples of the world once I gave birth.
Now I’m hoping that I will have something to transfer, something that will implant so that I don’t have to face the really big questions. Is it worth doing IVF again if my ovaries are failing? Should I move on to donor eggs? Should I move on to adoption? Should I quit? I have never seriously entertained those questions before. This is the first time I have seriously considered that this whole thing might not end up with a baby.
I feel like infertility is a parasite in my life. It just keeps taking and taking and taking…
I am incredibly nervous for my monitoring appointment tomorrow. Just once it would be nice to leave an RE's office without tears in my eyes.