Hi everyone. I wanted to share my infertility journey as it has a positive outcome and I was hoping to give some ladies some hope. This will probably be long!
I was 31 and husband was 32 when we started TTC. I am a real "planner" in life so I put a lot of pressure on myself to get pregnant immediately. I wanted to time everything around my teaching schedule.
I have a BMI of 21 and exercise a ton - 6 days a week vigorous. No family history of any fertility issues. No health issues on my end but some apparently harmless follicular cysts about 3 years ago which apparently the NuvaRing took care of.
We went off BC 1 year before TTC. About 2 months into TTC, I started spotting brown 3-5 days before my period. My period also lightened up and shortened. I was worried and started to freak about about not getting pregnant.
After 6 months of TTC I was absolutely convinced something was wrong. My OB was not concerned and told me to relax. I was using OPK's and BBT temping. This made me really nuts, stressed, and super controlling about timing. My husband was very stressed.
After 9 months I lied to a very reputable Fertility clinic near me (I live in upstate NY), saying we'd been trying for a year, and got everything checked out.
The test results from the clinic were “bad”- sky high FSH of 23, low progesterone, super low AMH of .3, low testosterone. But genetically I was fine and other blood, thyroid and cystic fibrosis measurements were all perfect. The doctors said I most likely would never conceive naturally as I had either diminished ovarian reserve and or poor egg quality. They DID say however I was young and this would give me a chance. But I felt vindicated and believed the elevated FSH issue (meaning it was in overdrive trying to get my ovaries to release an egg) was why I wasn't getting pregnant.
We immediately started monitored cycles, checking for follicles and FSH. Usually it was “bad”...between 3-8 follicles and FSH varying between 14 -30! We had to cancel two cycles which is when Fertility clinics basically say it's a no-go, there's no way you will be getting pregnant with our interventive services. We were devastated. One miserable IUI with injectables failed (meds: Menopur, Cetrotide, Follistim, HCG trigger shot)
Here's the good part:
About 5 months in to the hellish world of cycle monitoring/ ART, I got a terrible FSH reading of 30 and the clinic would not proceed with treatment. My husband and I decided to still try but in a more relaxed way- starting from day 11, intercourse every other day, no temping, no OPK's, just acknowledged I had absolutely no control over the process as we thought it was impossible to conceive. We had given up. I actually did decide on my own on CD 18 to start Endometrin Progesterone supplements which I had laying around- I believe 200mg per day. I was also taking coq-10 (Ubiquinol) and DHEA supplements because I was like, f*ck it, might as well! I went to NYC, got drunk, went to weddings, climbed a high peak and even ran 7.5 miles the weekend we conceived!!
Other details about what I was doing when I got pregnant: I reduced dairy (tried to reduce the amount of animal hormones), went to a fertility acupuncturist every week or so, exercised a LOT and still drank alcohol. Like I said, coq-10 and DHEA supplements, progesterone supplements.
I also did a lot of positive visualization and meditation in which I imagine myself holding an ultrasound and showing it to my students. Isn't that weird? But maybe it worked.
Well, CD 29 of “the bad FSH reading of 30 cycle” I hadn't gotten my period. I had absolutely 0 expectations I was pregnant, not to mention no symptoms whatsoever. I took a cheap HPT. POSITIVE! And pretty dark. I woke my husband up saying, "Babe, the stick has two lines." He was like, "Um, I don't know what that means." Took a FRER and it was nice and dark. Called my fertility clinic and a few days later my HCG was something like 500!!! I was definitely pregnant. But would it stick, after they told me basically my eggs were crappy and/or I didn't have any left?
The little baby embryo stuck. I did end up staying on Endometrin (progesterone) supplements until 12 weeks. (I did have some very consistent brown spotting from weeks 4-7, I think due to it irritating my cervix.)
Long story short, I have had an absolutely wonderful pregnancy without any issues. Baby is growing perfectly on schedule and appears to be perfectly healthy. It's a boy and he is due in 5.5 weeks. I feel great.
What do I attribute this pregnancy to? I think it was a combination of things. I think for women with poor or low egg quality/ quantity (high FSH, low AMH, etc) IUI and IVF usually are not successful. I think just giving up and relaxing about the whole process helped. I believe the positive visualization, progesterone, DHEA/ Co-Q 10 supplements, exercise, and acupuncture helped.
TL; DR: healthy 31 y/o basically stresses herself out into infertility. Fertility specialist tells her she has terrible eggs, IUI monitored cycles fail, and she gives up. On a supposedly “bad” cycle in which docs said she wouldn’t get pregnant, she gets pregnant by realizing she has 0 control over the situation and making a few little changes. Baby stuck and appears to be perfect! Due February 2016!