Just bad luck!
Well, what can I say about this day…..
I always knew that the cards were stacked against me, after all every article you read about women’s fertility tells you it declines after 30, but I still had this feeling that everything would work out. One thing you will get to know about me is that whatever cards life deals me I’m ever the optimist!
I’m not sure whether my friend Jo knew what she was letting herself in for, but with no questions or hesitations she happily agreed to join me on the start of the journey. For anyone that’s decided to seek professional advice on their fertility options, I can’t stress enough how the support of close friends and family will give you the momentum to keep going and steady you during the ups and downs you’re bound to go through.
I had no doubt that my head would fill with a fog of confusion as soon as I was faced with the consultant and all my best prepared questions would disappear out of the window, so it was reassuring to know that Jo would listen, digest the information and ask the right questions.
As I sat down, my initial thoughts weren’t really on my results, but were focused on the female consultant, who seemed surprisingly stern for a women delivering life changing news to women who at the very best of times can be emotionally charged.
Compared to some of the things that women have to go through, like smear tests the scan was pretty straightforward, however sitting opposite the consultant whilst she explained the blood and scan results was a different matter altogether!
She seemed to skim over the results of my scan in a flash, vaguely touching on the health of my womb ” I couldn’t see any reason why you couldn’t successfully carry a baby”, but without even a moment to pause, “however your AMH results indicate a low count!” I can’t really remember the next few minutes very well, as I think my head was quickly filling up with fog and thoughts were racing at a million miles an hour. In her usual upbeat way Jo automatically stepped in and asked what that meant, trying to turn what was obviously not the news I needed/wanted to hear into something more positive.
I had already read all the available literature on what to expect from the initial consultation and tests, but none of it really explained what a low AMH count meant for women opting for fertility treatment. Or may be it did, but I was so focused on my ‘everything’s going to be ok’, that I didn’t take it in? Looking back I can’t even remember what the count actually was, but I do remember the consultant explaining that the results for women of ‘my age’ would almost certainly be low, but mine was even lower than to be expected.
To be honest, the only thing I do remember thinking at that time was how unfair this was. I was fit and healthy and although I wasn’t exactly an angel when I was younger, surely my efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle in recent years counted for more! I don’t know why I asked, as I knew I couldn’t change the result, but at that stage I wanted answers and quite frankly I didn’t know what else to do whilst I got my thoughts together. She asked me whether my Mum or Sister had gone into early menopause, but since that’s not the kind of thing that’s ever come up as part of dinner table conversation, I didn’t have the answer. She concluded by saying that if I didn’t have a family history of early menopause then it was ‘unfortunately just one of those things’. No rhyme or reason just my bad luck!
Upon discussing my options with the consultant, it was pretty clear to her that I knew what I wanted to do and since I didn’t want to go down the sperm donor route, I had one option, to freeze my eggs! I hadn’t prepared myself for these results, but I knew that time was now of the essence and I needed to act quickly and not let chance dictate my chances of becoming a parent.
As the consultant explained the steps of the egg freezing process, I remember Jo seeking her reassurances that ‘quality over quantity’ was the most positive way of thinking in regards to my fertility if I was going to keep strong through the next steps of this journey and I can’t tell you how right she was.
The emotions I felt leaving that room were some of most confusing I’ve ever experienced and something I would never wish upon any women. Once I was in the waiting room the full extent of what the results meant hit me, and I couldn’t hold the emotions back any more.