Like many women, I spent my 20s and 30s being single and focusing on my career.  I was livin’ the dream – I ran marathons, did volunteer work, enjoyed exotic travels, had a busy social calendar, and reveled in being a single, independent career gal. Settling down and having a family was the last thing on my mind.

Of course, later I married, “settled down” and decided to start my family. I got pregnant in the spring, a few weeks before my 42nd birthday, the second month after we “officially” started trying.  I was ecstatic, but at my first appointment with the obstetrician, the embryo was too small on the ultrasound and there was no heartbeat.  I’d suffered an all-too-common missed miscarriage.  I was devastated.  I had a D/C and decided that we needed the help of a fertility specialist to try again.

It was like getting punched in the stomach when I got my results from fertility testing in the summer–blood-test-527617_640

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) : 16.4 (“normal” is below 10)
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH): 0.15 (for a woman over 40, a “good” result is anything over 1.0)
  • Antral Follicle Count of 5 (“normal/good” is in the 12-15 range)
  • I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve, which is a fancy way of saying I didn’t have a stockpile of eggs left. My AMH result alone determined that my egg supply was “undetectable.”

My doctor said that I had less than a 2% chance of successfully getting pregnant with my own eggs and suggested that we go straight to In Vitro Fertilization using donor eggs.

 

I was 42 and felt like a broken failure.

In the fall, we started fertility treatments.

Even though the doctor had said our chances were very low, we did Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) because I didn’t want to undergo invasive procedures.

BBTMy first IUI cycle gave me a positive pregnancy test, and once again, the euphoria was short-lived as I suffered another early miscarriage.  The following cycle was unsuccessful.  The cycle after that was cancelled because I had cysts and raging hormone levels.  When that happened I felt like my body was breaking down so much that I couldn’t even do fertility treatments.

I felt like a failure as a woman because I couldn’t do the one thing that women were supposed to do. I started avoiding my friends with children because it was too hard to stick out as the childless one.  I regretted not settling down when I was younger when having a family might have been easier.  Despite not being overly religious, every night at bedtime

 

I made bargains with God about all the other things I would give up or not do anymore if He would just let me have a baby.

When the World Says,  “Give Up”,

But Hope Whispers,  “Try It One More Time.”

taking charge of fertilityop._l.;After my cancelled cycle I didn’t do fertility treatments for a few months.  Instead I focused on myself.  I took my feelings of devastation and hopelessness and channeled it into action. I incorporated more fruits and vegetables and whole foods into my diet.  I faithfully kept up my yoga practice. I monitored my menstrual cycles by charting my basal body temperature every day and tuning in to my body.  I researched holistic remedies that could give me an edge in getting pregnant.

To deal with my feelings of regret, I journaled every day, focusing on the things that I was grateful for rather than the one thing I didn’t have and desperately wanted. I took up meditation and focused on setting an intention.

Charlie collageIn the winter my husband and I escaped the cold and snow and went on vacation to Puerto Rico.  We talked a lot while we were there about the options before us – donor egg IVF, surrogacy, adoption.  We decided we’d try one final IUI cycle before exploring other options, which we began shortly after our vacation.

What followed in the spring was a positive pregnancy test, three weeks before my 43rd birthday, a completely normal and uneventful pregnancy, and the birth of my son Charlie the following December.

My ride on the fertility roller coaster was just a year, but what a year of intense ups and downs. The immense pain coupled with expansive self-discovery was incredibly powerful.

And now, not only do I have a child, I am a healthier woman with a new lease on life.  I’ve also earned certifications that allow me to share with you my insights, tips and strategies for trying to conceive.

  • Certified Fertility Counselor with Joyful Wellness Services
  • Certified Holistic Health Coach with Institute of Integrative Nutrition

I’m here to help you navigate your path on the roller coaster and find the hope on your journey.

Drop me a note to get started.

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At 42, between Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Advanced Maternal Age, I was told I had less than a 2% chance of getting pregnant with my own eggs. 

Instead of letting infertility define me, I took action. I extensively studied fertility & reproductive health and made positive changes to my lifestyle. As a result, I conceived and delivered a healthy baby boy without major medical intervention.

I’ve developed a 3-part video series detailing the key steps I took to help me get pregnant despite the odds against me.  Get it for yourself.

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