Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How I got here (the second prequel)

October 2003
The visit to the IVF clinic is coming up and I am already (foolishly) imagining the possibilities. I start doing addition in my head. Let’s see- if we start treatment right away, I could be pregnant by December. Baby 9 months later in September! Or maybe we should get pregnant in March and have a December baby. The small bedroom will be turned into a nursery. Is it better to have a stroller or a pram? Maybe I should start calling day cares's so hard to get a spot..

This little scene comes to a crashing halt with our appointment at the IVF clinic. Let me review the results of your tests with you, says Dr. IVF. He reviews my husband’s first. Blood tests…good… good. Sperm count excellent. Sperm mobility and morphology all very good (yeah!). Now my turn. He circles a number on my blood test report. FSH: 19. It means nothing to me. Yet.

Turns out I’m not so young after all.
This FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) reading tells Dr. IVF that I have ‘poor ovarian reserve’. Both the quality and quantity of my eggs is severely compromised. As I sit, stunned, in his office he proceeds to explain our options to us. You can try donor eggs, he helpfully suggests, and there’s always adoption. At this point I am staring intently at the tips of my shoes. I cannot bring myself to raise my head and look him. I have waited 9 months and driven 300 km to meet with him so that he can tell me something he has known for past six months since he received my blood tests. He will not take me on as an IVF patient. I will not have my September baby. I may never have a baby at all.

This shock and awe treatment is begining to take a toll. My reaction is predictable: I cry, I curl up on my bed in the dark, my mood swings between raging anger and helplesness.

I turn to my friend, the internet, to help me through this difficult time. I search PubMed articles and read hundreds of abstracts. I review statistics on the CDC website. I visit the univeristy library and peruse issues of journals such as "Fertility and Sterility". I decide Dr. IVF is an insensitive moron.


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