Read this personal story about a mother struggling with pregnancy.
Secondary Infertility and the Magic of...
Like most women, I thought as soon as I wanted to get pregnant it would happen. And for the most part, it did.
When I was 31, shortly after I was married, we began to try for a baby. When it wasn’t happening right away I became a bit worried. After about six months of trying my doctor suggested I get an HSG (a hysterosalpingogram, which is an X-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes.) The test came back OK. The next step was to check my progesterone at the end of the month to see if I had ovulated.
I received a call letting me know that my progesterone was low and I most likely didn’t ovulate and that, under the doctor's care, we would try something else next month. But something unexpected happened. I didn't get my period, so after a few days, I took a test. Two lines! I was pregnant. Since it was my first time, I had every expectation that things would go normally. They did. Nine months later, I delivered a healthy baby boy.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years later; I delivered a healthy baby girl. As far as I was concerned, I was finished having children. I had a boy and a girl and felt extremely lucky. Three years later, I found myself going through a divorce. Fortunately, it was an amicable divorce and our children handled it quite well. I never thought there would be a time in my life where I would want another child.
Soon after my divorce, however, I met the love of my life. He had never been married and didn't have any children. He was a perfect fit in our house. My children loved him and he loved them. We all had a blast together. After more than three years of being together, we decided we would try for a baby. Sure, I was a little bit older (38) but since I really didn’t have much trouble the first time, I assumed it would be easy.
We got pregnant three months after we started trying! Hooray! We went to the doctor and saw a heartbeat at around six weeks. I decided to switch doctors and made an another appointment three weeks later. We were excited to see a second ultrasound and another peek at the heartbeat. However, when the ultrasound technician started to move the wand around, there was no heartbeat. No flicker. We had what is called a "missed miscarriage". The fetus does not survive, but the body doesn’t recognize it to expel it. I went in for a D&C (dilation and curettage) the next day.
After my body returned to regular cycles we tried again. After a few months with no luck and due to my age, we sought out a specialist. We took more tests. We got devastating results. My AMH (anti-mullerian hormone, which essentially tests the remaining ovarian reserve) results were .016 which is considered very low. Like, little to no eggs left kind of low. The specialist told us we would never get pregnant without a donor egg.
We left thinking that was a sign. No baby for us. We felt fortunate for the two beautiful children we had.
And then a friend suggested I see another specialist. I still wanted a baby with my new husband, so we followed the advice. He seemed to think it was a less dire situation. He told me I only needed ONE egg.
So we started out with injectables, hormones you inject in your stomach to stimulate the ovaries and help with egg quality. No luck. I had to go out of town the next month, so we couldn’t do any fertility medication. So, we decided to try something different. I had heard about acupuncture and booked my weekly appointments that month. We read about Goji berries and their “fertility” powers. I also read that if you soaked your feet in hot water every night it helped. The thought was cold feet, cold womb. I figured -- why not? Worse case scenario, I’d have warm feet, more antioxidants and I’d be more relaxed.
That month I was waiting for my period to come so that we could try one more round of injectables. But it never came. We were cautiously optimistic. We were afraid of the missed miscarriage again. It never happened.
So, I guess in my little to no-egg scenario, we did have at least one egg. She was born on Valentine's Day. A true love.
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