After over four years TTC, Maya is a mom of a four month old girl now. She has tried almost every option, including temperature chart, ovulation tests, IUI, IFV and DOR. Finally, it's FET that helps her get pregnant and end the long TTC journey. Getting pregnant is never an easy thing to some of us, but a new member in the family makes all the pain become smile. Take a look at her Maya's story and watch her film about her TTC journey. You will see an inspirational change from a woman to a mom.
How did you start trying to conceive? Did you just avoid any birth control or try some ovulation tests?
We started trying the way most people start trying: the old fashioned way. We quickly moved to temperature charts and ovulation tests. We did a few rounds of Clomid. And when I found out I had DOR, we quickly moved to IVF. When that didn’t work we did medicated IUI’s for a few cycles while we prepared to IVF with eggs donated from my sister. When that didn’t work we moved to embryo donation. It was a four plus year process and when I think of the ovulation test strips I laugh at how naive we were!
What is Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)? Can you tell us how DOR affects your fertility?
DOR is exactly what it sounds like. Basically there are fewer than expected eggs left in the tank. I got this diagnosis in my early 30’s when the doctor ran some blood tests (AMH, anti-mulerian hormone) and did an ultrasound and saw that my body was producing far fewer follicles than someone in their early 30’s should. There is no really reason (that I know of) why it happens but fewer eggs means fewer chances to get pregnant, and it also means the whole egg production system is compromised in some way. So the eggs I was creating didn’t seem to be of great quality. With IVF, it becomes a bit of a numbers game. Yes, you want quality and only need “one good egg,” but the chances of getting a good egg are better if you produce many eggs. Having just a few eggs gave us a very small chance at IVF, but we still felt like we had to try. I wrote a post about DOR here: http://dontcountyoureggs.typepad.com//blog/2014/12/what-causes-diminished-ovarian-reserve.html
What made you want to break the silence and start documenting your TTC journey? [Check out the trailer]
We started filming just as a way to process what was going on. My husband, Noah, is a TV producer, so it felt natural to him to start documenting. We sat down a few days before our first RE appointment and interviewed each other, and then we filmed the first appointment and everything after that. We didn’t really know what the goal was at that point. I was 32 years old at the time. Ovulated regularly, and figured I’d be in and out of the RE’s office within a few months with a baby on the way. I didn’t know much about Assisted Reproductive Technology, and perhaps that’s why we kept filming. It felt like this secret world that people didn’t talk about. I’m a social worker with a strong sense of advocacy and I thought that if we did need to do something like IUI or IVF, then it could be good to be able to share our experience with others in the form of a short documentary.
Over time, our story and our lives just kept unraveling. After IVF didn’t work we realized that we were not at the end of our journey but just at the beginning. It was at this point that we knew we had a larger story to tell that wasn’t just about us but was about how people create a family when the old fashioned way doesn’t work. We decided to start interviewing others who created a family in different ways— like through surrogacy, egg donation, adoption, etc. Meeting and interviewing these people really helped us better understand the meaning of family and that if we could be open to how our family is created, we would have a family. We also realized at this point that we had a really interesting documentary about infertility and making modern families.
We felt like it was important to share because we felt it could potentially help a lot of people who feel scared and isolated and confused on their journey to parenthood, and it could also educate others about what infertility is really like. I started writing a blog a few years ago, called Don’t Count Your Eggs, and was astounded by the response I was getting in the form of comments and emails from people all over the world. People who had never told anyone about their struggles, people who felt isolated and alone. The more time we spent in the world of Assisted Reproductive Technology and the more we researched alternative family building, the more important I felt it was to show and normalize that families are made in different ways. Over 5 million babies have been born through some form go ART, but I still think people see it as a weird science experiment. I know I did when we first started down this path. Never in a million years could I imagine I’d be pregnant with a donated embryo. I didn’t even know what that was. But through our process and through documenting and meeting others I’ve learned that the different ways a baby can come to you are really special and beautiful. We are hoping to contribute to a redefinition of family and normalization of some of these processes.
What's your feeling when you knew you were pregnant? What did you and your husband behave at that moment?
I didn’t think I could be “a little pregnant,” but apparently I was. We took a home test and the line was so faint I didn’t see it and I burst into tears. We went through a lot to finally end up pursuing embryo donation and when I thought it didn’t work I was a wreck. Then my husband noticed a faint line and I quickly got dressed and went to the doctor to get my beta blood test. The number came back at 23 and the clinic told me that “technically” I was pregnant but it might be a chemical— needless to say the next week of beta testing was stressful but eventually my numbers rose. We were always cautiously optimistic but it was a rough ride. We never felt sure and always felt like the other shoe was going to drop at any moment. I had several other issues during my pregnancy, so it was a lot of anxiety the whole way. I was on bed rest for the majority of it, which wasn’t what I expected once we were finally pregnant. Infertility and the fear of losing the pregnancy kind of robbed us of the opportunity of being purely excited, but we always believed that this baby was a tough cookie. She kept growing strong and now she’s a four-month-old miracle! I wrote about it a little in this post.
Maya is a 35 year-old blogger writing her over four years journey of trying to get pregnant. After trying ovulation tests and other Assisted Reproductive Technology treatments, she had Diminished Ovarian Reserve, IVFs and IUIs. Although those treatments did not really work well, she becomes the mom of a lovely girl after having an FET with an anonymously donated embryo. She shares her stories and tips in her blog, Don’t Count Your Eggs, to help and encourage people to keep strong during TTC