My attitude’s gotten a little bit better over the course of the last week, if I do say so myself. Putting our decision to try again out in to the universe made it real. Now that it’s out there, I’m putting my game face on. And not a moment too soon.
I had my first blood test last week. My estrogen and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels came back normal, which is good. My AMH level came back high, which is what I was hoping for. AMH, or Anti-Mullerian Hormone, measures a woman’s ovarian reserve. A normal AMH level ranges from 1.5-4.0. My AMH level is 9.0. In layman’s terms; your girl has a lot of eggs left to be harvested.
Women with PCOS often have high AMH levels, which actually bodes well for IVF. While the AMH level can’t predict how many of my eggs will be considered normal before harvesting, it does generally correlate with the number of eggs that will be retrieved. And of course, we all now that the more eggs retrieved, the better the chances of harvesting normal eggs. I’m considering that a win.
It’s important for us to hear these tidbits of good news, because time isn’t exactly on our side right now. Lee is about 6 months away from turning 42. Our doctor generally doesn’t use the sperm of men over 42, as it is believed there is a significant jump in children developing autism with older parents. Our doctor has made exceptions to this rule, but we can’t count on that.
I’m also now on the wrong side of my mid-30s. As women age, so do their eggs. Eggs that were once considered perfectly healthy, start to develop abnormalities. The number of abnormal eggs a woman has in her ovaries jumps to roughly 40-60% around the age of 35. That number will go up roughly 20% in the next year or two. The good news, is that with my AMH level being what it is, I’m probably closer to the 40% abnormal number. But I won’t be for long.
After we received the good news about my blood tests, it was time for my Sonohysterogram. It’s a rather uncomfortable procedure, so I was thankful that Lee not only drove me to the appointment, but treated me to breakfast afterward. It’s the least he could do, really.
**Pro – Tip: When your wife is being subjected to speculums and ultrasounds, do yourself a favor and buy her some pancakes. It’ll make her considerably less crabby (at you) when she’s dealing with the aftermath of the procedure.**
We received more good news at the Sono. My uterus is still “nice & healthy”. We’ve officially received the green light to proceed with IVF.
Up next is Lee’s semen analysis. We’ll be waiting (im)patiently for the results. Lee’s already got a sample on ice, but we’ve told the lab that if Lee’s next sample looks better than the one he currently has frozen, we would like to replace them. Even though they rarely use the frozen sample for IVF, it will still be nice to have a back up (hopefully better) sample, should an issue arise. You know, like Lee turning 42.
So that’s where we’re at. It doesn’t quite feel real yet, but it’s getting there. I’ve been travelling a lot for work later (which I’ll cover in another post), but I’m hoping that once I’m done with this assignment that I’ll be able to get back home and truly focus on the things that will make me feel good as we head into this time of uncertainty. Until then, I’m trying to keep my head up and my eye on the prize.