Last year around this time, a fertility doctor told me that I would never conceive on my own. In the same conversation he also told me that IVF would never work for me after he chose a really crappy protocol for my first IVF cycle.
When my son is born in March, shitty fertility doctor will be one of the first people I mail a birth announcement.
Diminished Ovarian Reserve sounds like a death sentence in online chat rooms and blogs. Little hope and big fears of a childless life. I never bought in to the idea that my story was already written. My AMH level was a .60, my antral follicle count always hovered around 12 and I have never had anything but a normal menstrual cycle.
I spent the last year believing that I to could solve this thing with a steady cocktail of CoQ10, Maca, wheatgrass, acupuncture, blah blah blah.
Maybe I just got lucky. Maybe all my holistic approach to health and healing worked. Maybe when I was matched with my daughter through adoption, some magical adoption dust helped me conceive. I personally like to think it was my steady stream of dirty martini’s, an In-N-Out burger and an indifferent attitude about pregnancy at the time. I also think God has a great sense of humor and was giggling about his master plan for me to have two babes under 7 months.
Either way, here I am, almost 6 months pregnant with a baby boy. I am the furthest I have ever been. This past week I actually graduated (I did not know that could happen) from my high risk specialist. The doctor said both myself and baby boy (we call him Ax) are now officially low risk now and she predicts smooth sailing from here on in.
I don’t want to wax poetic about my pregnancy, but I do want to offer hope to those that may find themselves in the same fertility boat that I’ve been in. There IS hope for the diminished. The truth is, part of the reason we Google incessantly is that we all really want to find a story similar to ours where the person did conceive, have a baby or make it out of the fertility trenches in one piece.
So while my sweet son will not be in my arms for a few more months, I have made it this far and so can you!
It took exactly one day after my failed IVF for me to realize that I am in this for the long run. Grief demands answers when more often than not there isn’t one. Prior to my second IVF attempt I had made a commitment to myself that I’ve already broken. I had decided that if it did not work that was the end of the road for me. My husband and I would pursue adoption and that would be it. I have longed for the “old me” whoever she is and was. I wanted to throw myself back in to my career with little regard of the physical toll it could take on me. I wanted to stay up late and drink too much wine. I longed to run myself ragged with travel and a full schedule of social activities. I have quickly realized that ship has sailed. That was the Jenna of my 20’s and I did not bring her along for the chapter of my 30’s.
The weekend after my failed cycle I had my WTF call with my doctor. He told me that the embryos transferred were beautiful and perfect and that science can only do so much. I inquired about donor eggs and he said that while he admired my openness to alternative options that I owed it myself to continue to try. With my history and my age of 32-years-old I have been told I have a good chance of not only conceiving with my own eggs, but naturally as well. He was absolutely right. I was jumping the gun. I have a good 8 years to continue to try without pursuing donor eggs. I informed him that I needed an emotional break but would consider another cycle sometime down the road. I mentioned revisiting it in 6 months and he said that it would be no issue at all as my ovarian function wasn’t going to diminish that much in that time frame.
He then told me about this woman in LA who is an acupuncturist that started a program called Seed Fertility (http://www.seedfertility.com) Seed focuses on the nutritional and mental aspects of fertility. Let me just tell you, this was/is the most genius recommendation my Dr. has had to date. The program recently launched online and is available to everyone for $199. For $299 you get two 1- hour coaching sessions with her. (A drop in the bucket compared to our fertility treatment costs). Danica (the founder of the program) was told, at 32-years-old, she would never have her only biological children. At the time she had an FSH of 26. She said as a fertility acupuncturist she began to practice what she was preaching and at 37 years old she got naturally pregnant with her first child on her first try. My Dr. was her fertility doctor years ago which is how he became familiar with her practices.
I think my Dr. saw right through me. While I put on a polished outwardly presentation, emotionally and spiritually my insides are a mess. Even though he is not in a position to address those topics Danica and her program are. The statistics of the program are as follows: Average person entering her program 38. Average time trying: 2 years. Average time to pregnancy upon completion of the program: 6 weeks. Yep, you just read that correctly 6 weeks. Immediately when I spoke to Danica I knew this program was for me.
The entire program is based on “cultivating a healthy garden”. The soil is nutrition and the “weeds” are past emotional wounds, losses, etc. In order for my personal garden to grow I need to pull my weeds. As Danica told me after two sessions (one over the phone and one in person) I have a tendency to mow my weeds and not pull them.
My personal program is focusing on the loss of my son and transitioning from grief to gratitude. It’s been emotionally painful for me to work through the program thus far. The online modules require a ton of introspection and journaling. What I have realized is that for me I am so fearful of another late pregnancy loss that I rather remain non-pregnant than get pregnant and lose the baby. It’s no wonder my cycles have failed. It’s not a mindset that I can proceed with. In addition to that realization it has also been pulled out of me that I harbor resentment around the loss of my son. In trying to preserve his memory and legacy I’ve let my maternal instincts get the best of me. Without going in to too much detail, I’ve worked really hard to protect him.
So for now I am taking everything one day at a time and working to heal my emotional wounds.
I still have weeks left of the program. I am going to take my time making sure I feel everyone ounce of it and work through slowly so I can make sure all my weeds are pulled. If anybody is interested in the program check out the web site. While I am not pregnant as a result of it (yet) I would recommend for anyone who may be struggling with the dietary and emotional challenges of baby making.