The fear factor

Ok, maybe this picture is a bit over-the-top, but there are moments during all of this infertility stuff when I feel exactly like this. The caption changes from “What the fuck?!” to “I can’t handle this anymore!” to “Does anyone else feel this way?”, but underneath most of my feelings about infertility and motherhood or the possibility of the former keeping me from the latter is fear.

I’m afraid that I’m not going to become a mother.

I’m afraid that June’s IVF will fail.

I’m afraid that we’ll get over-stretched financially.

I’m afraid that I don’t know if my real fear is not being a mother or not getting something I think I want.

I’m afraid of my own judgement and what I think of myself because I cannot get pregnant.

Today my doctor tried to allay some of my fears. Yes I have a low AMH (.91), but I never had childhood cancer. None of the women in my family struggled with infertility or early on-set menopause. All of my other test results are within the normal limits. So why then, my doctor wondered out loud, was I faced with infertility? “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “There’s nothing in your record that says you cannot be successful.” His comforting way is the reason a friend recommended him, and his comfort surely helped squash some of my fears. But, and please don’t judge me as overly cynical, I’m still scared. I feel like life in the grey of infertility — you’re not in the black of motherhood or the white of being childless by choice — is a place I am eager to get out of. More importantly, I’m eager to move out of this state of fear and into a place of even greater acceptance and gratitude for my life.



AMH makes an appearance

If only my eggs looked this good! With Easter around the corner and talk of eggs in the air, my doctor (new doctor) thought it was time I rallied for the dreadful and dreaded AMH test. I think it’s the one test all fertility-challenged women want to avoid. Why? It’s said to be a pretty good indicator of a gal’s eggs supply. Now, I didn’t have this test before my prior IVF (why? no idea!), but my new doc said the information would help him out as he planned my June fun. As if he needed any more info on my low egg count. (If you don’t remember, I was hopped up on crazy amounts of follistim, but the doctor only harvested three eggs, all of which were immature. Awesome.) Not wanting to start off on the wrong foot with the new doc, I obliged and got the test. The results: .91. I have a low ovarian reserve. Shocker!

I’ve come to realize that the reason I go to acupuncture and blog is to help me keep things in perspective. There’s always someone with a lower AMH (acupuncturist’s words were: that’s borderline low, but I have other patients with a much, much lower number) and someone with a worse situation than mine (the gal who’s been through seven IVF cycles!). Of course, I’m also turning into that story friends tell other friends about the girl who’s struggling with infertility. Sweet!

So to reclaim some of the negative energy around the awful AMH test, my brother and his wife have decided to name their baby such a fab name her initials will be AMH! How crazy is that? Sure, I’m reading too much into it, but now I have two AMHs in my life, and one will surely be more exciting than the other.

I’ve also decided to take a few steps in preparation for our June IVF: I joined the local yoga studio and I’m seeing a therapist. The first was something I needed because my energy is gone and my lethargy is over-powering. I know a lot of this has to do with my lack of training or running, but I’m not running or training as much because I feel like my body needs a break. But like most training-plan-obsessed athletes, I don’t work well without a game plan. Enter the yoga studio with bargain basement pricing. I’ve been to three classes in four days, and I’m excited to get into a routine that gives me some peace of mind and some exercise. The second item is also a step I’m taking to try and get my head around what’s going on. It’s not like I don’t know I can’t get pregnant, but as my hubby said the other night, we operate in one of two modes: obsession or denial. I figure there’s got to be a third, more healthy option. Right? Who knows what June will hold. Who knows what another round of IVF will cause. And while I know my husband and I are a strong unit, I also know we’re being stressed in the most significant ways: emotionally and financially. If it were simply one or the other, no problem, but mix the two together and it’s exhausting.

I head to the doc in a few weeks for yet another baseline ultrasound and a mock transfer. Then we wait and fill prescriptions and step fully into the chaos that will hopefully, just maybe help us expand our family.