Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Consultation with the RE, Dr. VID

Trying to Impress Mr. VID (Very Important Doctor).

Everyone told me that I would have no problem getting pregnant. "Oh you look so young and you are so healthy, I'll bet you get pregnant on the first try." I was a bit more skeptical. My eggs don't care if I look my age and I don't think they care that much if I drink wheatgrass at age 38. It's not not they are hanging out saying, "Dude that was so healthy and good for us, we're taking on the chromosonal characteristics of a 20-year-old."

That would be nice, but um, no.

Today was the big day, meeting Dr. VID. He was shorter than I thought. Direct, but in a nice way. I had basically given myself a crash course in Fertility 101 in the three days prior to meeting him since my bad FSH test scores came back last Friday.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone synthesised and secreted by gonatropes in the anterior pituitary gland. FSH and LH act synergistically in reproduction.

  • In women, in the ovary, FSH stimulates the growth of immature Graafian follicles to maturation. As the follicle grows, it releases inhibin, which shuts off the FSH production.

High FSH levels

High levels of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone are indicative of situations where the normal restricting feedback from the gonad is absent, leading to an unrestricted pituitary FSH production. Whereas this is normal in women leading up to and during postmenopause, it is abnormal during the reproductive years.

If the FSH level is high during the reproductive years, this may be a sign of:

  1. Premature menopause also known as Premature Ovarian Failure

My weekend was spent surfing the internet looking for ANYthing that would give me some encouragement that an FSH of 21 at age 38 wasn't bad news. I didn't find any hope. What I found were three fat letters. I.V.F. (In Vitro Fertilization)


And not just IVF, because a score of 21 is saying "decreased ovarian reserve"....but IVF with donor eggs.

Nothing like bypassing everything and just going for the most invasive thing possible, eh?

Of course, that's not the only option. A 38-year-old with an FSH can most certainly get pregnant on her own and give birth to a healthy child. It happens. If I were with a male partner, I could just 'keep on trying'. But because every time I have to 'keep on trying' it will require doctor's visits, drugs and the purchasing and shipping of donor sperm, those tries end up pretty costly. And it could take a really long time. I don't have a lot of time. I've already been waiting years, I would've like to have started this process a couple of years ago when a little voice went off in my head that said "My eggs are depleting as I stand here".

But, that's not the way things worked. There were a lot of other things going on, like the fact that I was backpacking around South and Central America and didn't really have a job...that prevented me from having a child at that point. We weren't ready. Our lives weren't ready. K was in grad school.

So we waited...for both of us to get our lives on the baby track.

Finally, we both felt it was the right time, we could do this, we were ready.

Only to find out...maybe it's too late.

Maybe it's done before it ever even started.

Maybe I wasn't meant to have children?

I mean, really, what does it mean?

All I do is listen to the soundtrack from the movie Amelie and dance in my living room.

Sometimes K comes out from the office and we dance together or I'll pick up the cat (but he doesn't seem to enjoy it nearly as much as I do).

I can't get enough of this soundtrack, especially the track "A Quai". It makes me swoon. If you haven't seen the movie, you really should.

It's happy and melancholy at the same time.

Mostly, it makes me smile a silly lopsided smile and keep dancing.

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