Thursday 10 April 2014

for I

is for infertility

This is the post I wasn't sure I would ever write, or not write for a long time anyway, but while doing a blog challenge about reflections of my life I thought it fit and it's time I share this part of me....

Last year I went to my lady doctor for that lovely test we have to get done every 2 years, and while she was performing the necessary tasks to collect what was required she was clearly making small talk by asking me how my older sister and her children were. It was at that point I thought to ask....... I had wondered for a while if there was a way of knowing if I would be able to conceive a child. Not that I had any particular reason for worrying but I just felt like it was something I needed to know. I know that I am not old and people are always telling me I have plenty of time and blah blah blah... but I wanted some facts!

So I asked the doctor if there was a test or some way of determining just how loud my clock was ticking..She explained that there was a blood test that I could take to check my AMH levels. Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is the hormone secreted by cells in developing egg sacs. An AMH test can give some insight into the remaining quantity of eggs and number of fertile years you may have, but it cannot tell much about the quality of those eggs. I had an agonizing few days wait before I could ring the doctor's surgery for the results. My heart sank when I got the "you need to come back and see the doctor, I can't give you the results over the phone" spiel from the receptionist because you know that NEVER means good news.

So, as it turns out....
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The news was not so great, and I was referred to a fertility specialist pretty much straight away so he could explain what the results meant and what my options were. My AMH levels were extremely low, the chances of me conceiving a child naturally are very low and I will probably be facing menopause before I'm 40! BooYeah! Triple whammy!

Needless to say this was not exciting news for someone who has spent their whole life wanting to be a mother and all of a sudden I felt a lot like this...
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I didn't know where to go or what to for a little while I did nothing (well I cried...and then I cried some more, and then I wallowed in self-pity and cried some more).

I finally decided that the sensible option was to have some eggs retrieved (sounds so..weird), basically the Specialist had convinced me that 33 year old eggs were better than 38 year old eggs and the longer I waited the "worse" things would get!

So pretty much on this day 12 months ago I started giving myself needles which would increase my hormone levels and hopefully produce more eggs so that there would be something worth retrieving! Giving myself the needles was something that I was so scared and nervous about and when I really questioned if I could do this alone. Thanks to a wonderful wonderful friend I was not alone most mornings. As the drugs had to be given at the same time every day and to fit in with my work life she would leave her family every morning at 6am a drive over to my house to help me. For this I will be forever grateful.

Throughout all of this another thought that was constantly on my mind was the cost of doing what needed to be done. In all the reading I have done about infertile couples and how common it is these days and how many couples have to go down this road, the cost of all of this is often brushed over and I think that is wrong and sad.... While reading back through all the information I was given and looking at all the receipts for all the different appointments, the drugs, the anaesthetist, the day surgery, very little of it was covered by my health insurance I gave up adding it up once it went over the $10 000 mark... and that is just the start.

I find that so ridiculous and couldn't help but wonder if that is the only reason so many couples chose not to have a child. Imagine that, not having a child because you can't pay for the procedure required to have sad.

Luckily for me I have a wonderful father who loaned me the majority of the money I needed to have the procedure done. So the day came when I had my eggs retrieved and my friend was able to drop me off and pick me up afterwards. It was not the most pleasant of experiences and if you read my hospital confessions you'll know that coming out of the anaesthetic is not a great experience for me...This time I took a long time to come around and my blood pressure kept dropping, and I cried.

One of the nurses from the fertility clinic came to see me and I vaguely remember her telling me how many eggs they got, luckily she also wrote in on my hand. A few days later I got a letter explaining they collected 6 eggs, however one had ruptured and one was deemed not suitable so only 4 were frozen. I've been told (quite unconvincingly I might add) that that's pretty good for a first time.

Ever since then I have juggled further options around in my head. Every 6 months I get a letter asking me what I want to do with my eggs, and a bill for $235.00 should I choose to continue to store my eggs. Each time that letter arrives (which it did just a matter of days ago), and about a thousand other times in between, I think about what I should do, I know my clock is well and truly ticking and turning 35 this year means I am another year closer to menopause and another year further away from being able to have a baby without all this drama...

Truth is...once again, I don't know what to do so I am doing nothing....except with this "do nothing" there are lifelong consequences to consider...

But I am so thankful that I made the decision to ask that question that day because at this point I still have options...

Am also linking this post up with A Parenting Life (one I hope to have one day!) for Thankful Thursday..

What are you thankful for??

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