Sunday, April 22, 2007

Self-Imposed Infertilty

When I read the other blogs, I feel so bad for the young women (and I mean anyone in their 20's or 30's). I didn't really try to get pregnant until I was well into 38. I can't help but feel that my infertility is age related and thus my own damn fault. It's not as if I never heard of the biological clock. I just figured I would be able to conceive since I was a "young" 38. I have always been very healthy and had regular periods. And then there is my cousin-in-law who got pregnant at 42 and my sister in law who got accidentally pregnant at 44. I was only 38 so surely it wasn't too late for me. But it seems it was.

I was finally convinced at 40 (I'm a slow learner) to go to a futility ( I mean fertility - was that a Freudian slip? I hope not) clinic. After all of the tests, where everything seems fine - including nice ovaries according to the doc - the final diagnosis is "old eggs". The doctor says he won't do IVF unless I can come up with at least 10 eggs. During my last injectible/IUI cycle, I could barely come up with 3. They were hoping for 5 or 6 but I seem to get a lead follicle that won't get out of the way which, I am told, is a sign of aging.

Did I miss a 20 year window of fertility? Couldn't it be just a little longer? It does seem like a fair enough window but perhaps there could be exceptions made. I mean, I wasn't just sitting around eating bon bons avoiding starting a family. Well, technically, I was avoiding starting a family but it was because I was busy leading my life. I just assumed the marriage/family deal would fall into place at some point. I went to school, joined the Peace Corps, went to work, went to grad school, went back to work, dated various and sundry men but none that I wanted to marry. Until I met mh and it did fall into place. I knew from the first date that we would be together, that we would marry and start a family. Why did we have to meet so late? That wasn't very good planning on my part.

So here I am, 41 and without children. I don't know that I was fertile when I was younger. I assume that I was, though as my friend points out, I don't know that. But I can't help but feel that this infertility was self-imposed. And I don't know what to do with those feelings.

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