Monday, April 11, 2011

Can I Still Conceive?

Two months ago I visited my RE to review my initial labs (FSH, AMH, E), I was disheartened to learn how far outside of the normal range my results fell. True I am 40 years old, however, I felt that I had been vigilant about my health my entire life. In fact, at the age of 36 and 37 I was an NFL cheerleader, where optimal physical fitness, flexibility, stamina, and dance were an integral part of the job requirement. Ok- that may have come across as a bit self centered (sorry) - but my point is, I am someone who always paid attention to my health and fitness.

Well, that day I learned that one's fertility declines tremendously (at age 40) regardless of other indicators of physical health. It's primarily age driven (at least, that is the situation for me). I sat there in shock... tears in my eyes as I looked at my lab report indicating an AMH far below one (1) and FSH above 14. Why and how could this have happened when I am such a health buff! Dr. X's response, "Some career women think their fertility will wait for them ... I see this all the time!" (Gasp) Did he really just say that to me! "No, Dr. X, I've wanted a baby for the past 7 years, I've just not been able to get the right man. Believe me!" In a tone of sarcasm, his response was, "Well, I guess you are one of the few career women who chose to wait but say they didn't put their job first!" Wow, how insensitive! It's bad enough to learn that you have indications of infertility, however simultaneously you have to hear your RE tell you that you are likely in this situation at 40 because you were so self centered by focusing on your career. That couldn't be further from the truth- I never put career first! I've been in private practice for 11 years, so there is no corporate ladder to climb. In my particular field I can take off however/whenever I would like for pregnancy and a child. I was insulted by his off handed comment that I put my career before family. I wanted so badly to tell him that my reality was 1) a string of bad men, 2) integrity of not wanting to trap a man, and 3) a fear of considering a sperm donor because I felt that if I just hold out longer 'Mr. Right' will come along. Those are the reasons I was sitting there at 40 with no biological children - it had nothing to do with my career! Geez!

Trying to conceive is certainly a journey. I feel fortunate I have wonderful people in my life to share my feelings with (the good and the bad). To my fellow women trying to add a new baby to their lives and found that you have obstacles, just know that you are not alone.



Single Mom 2b said...

Your doctor could have been more sensitive and tactful... I expect that he was trying to get the point across that there is a perception from those of us climbing the ladder (and looking for Mr. Right) that Advanced Maternal Age is not a real thing. And that if we take care of ourselves, we will not have a problem.

Even talking to my OB over the years, she never indicated that AMA was a big deal.

But for as long as I've been on this rollercoaster, I've learned I shouldn't have taken offense when my RE told me (at 37) that I needed to get started immediately.

Sophia said...

Thank you SM2B for your comment! :o) Same experience here- my gyn didn't discuss AMA as such a huge problem- however now we know otherwise.

As for my encounter- I switched REs, as I'd rather get my information from a person who has the capacity for social tact. Emotional maturity is important to me, and I would simply be too distracted by his poor social skills to focus entirely on myself and the IVF process. Perhaps others can ignore it - however, unfortunately I am trained to detect it and can't voluntarily ignore it - LOL. Wishing you the best in your TTC journey as well. I hope we get our babies soon! xoxoxoxox

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