March 23, 2022

Going Through IVF A Second Time: Poor Egg Quality Good AMH

I am sitting down to write this post not because I haven’t been actively talking about going through IVF a second time… I have. I have been actively sharing about the journey on my Instagram. But I’m writing here because I need a place to vent and document it all this time. When we conceived my first IVF baby, I didn’t share ANY of the story until we had our happy ending. But this time, I’m walking everyone through alongside me. And it’s hard. I also haven’t found many with my similar diagnosis that have talked about it, so I hope this blog post series serves someone else in the future. So here’s the story and the emotions that it entails… going through IVF a second time: poor egg quality good AMH.

Going Through IVF A Second Time: Poor Egg Quality Good AMH | Brighter Darling

Going Through IVF For Second Baby | Going Through IVF Journey | IVF For Baby #2

 

Let’s start with some basics:

Going Through IVF A Second Time: Poor Egg Quality Good AMH | Brighter Darling

me and my husband, nov. 2021 (under egg retrieval treatment)

As of March 2022, I have done three failed Letrozole IUIs prior to starting our IVF chapter.

As of March 2022, I have also done three failed IVF retrieval rounds.

  1. Round one had 16 eggs retrieved, 10 fertilized. Antagonist protocol. All embryos died but 1… and it was abnormal.
  2. Round two had 9 retrieved, 7 fertilized. Antagonist protocol + Omnitrope. All embryos died but 1… but it was genetically NORMAL and we did a frozen embryo transfer in January. It failed.
  3. Round 3 had 10 retrieved, only 4 fertilized. Low dose micro flare Lupron protocol + Omnitrope. All embryos died.

Without a doubt, the third retrieval was an ABSOLUTE bust in more ways than one. Not only did we get fewer mature eggs for fertilization, but NONE made it to blastocyst and I physically had the WORST recovery from this protocol.

I am glad we tried a different protocol, but at the time of writing this post, I am unsure what my doctor wants to try next time. We have a follow up call on March 30, 2022 to discuss next steps. Stay tuned.

Going Through IVF a Second Time

In choosing to share my journey publicly this time, it has made the highs higher, but the lows lower.

Going through IVF a second time gives me a different level of wisdom (and patience) for this experience that I did not have the first time.

It also has provided me with a deeper understanding for HOW LUCKY I WAS the first time only having to do one retrieval and one transfer to get our first IVF miracle. It’s crazy to know I will be starting a FOURTH retrieval with nothing to show for it yet and I’m not even 40 years old (I’m 36).

Going Through IVF A Second Time: Poor Egg Quality Good AMH | IVF Miracle Story 5CB Embryo

me and my first IVF miracle (3 years old)

It is absolutely devastating to watch dozens of friends and acquaintances around me get pregnant and have their babies in the timeframe I’ve been just trying to have one. I can’t even tell you how many people (both IVF moms and not) started trying to get pregnant after me, and have since delivered these babies while I’m still sitting here with nothing to show for it.

Which leads me to emotions and physical side effects….



The Emotional Side of IVF

IVF is an absolute roller coaster from hell. There is SO much waiting, so much anticipating… so many highs and lows. So many diagnostics. And then multiply that each time you have to go through it. It’s draining and steals so much joy from your life. You have to have a strong mental stamina to go through this.

I’ve also tried other ways of clearing negative energy and establish a calmer environment – reiki, twice a week acupuncture, massage, infrared sauna… all have still led me nowhere.

Going Through IVF A Second Time: Poor Egg Quality Good AMH

before egg retrieval!

It is important to take care of yourself during this time. The hormones you take wreck havoc on your body and emotions and if you’re a normally active person, it can be hard to slow down and take a step back from your routine while you’re under treatment or recovering.

I’ve put on about eight pounds going through these last three retrievals and for someone of my body frame and height (5’3″), it feels like SO much more and certainly doesn’t make the process any easier.

I eat pretty clean – a dairy/gluten/egg free diet, while weight lifting four days a week with low intensity cardio and chasing around a toddler. Putting on weight makes me feel depressed. I have put on 8 lbs with no baby to show for it.

What is my diagnosis?

Now that we know it’s my eggs that are the problem, what do we do?

I have poor egg quality…. but a lot of eggs. 

How annoying is that?

There are tons of groups online that are for women with Diminished Ovarian Reserve… which means you just do not have many eggs left for your age.

But what about women who have plenty of eggs left for her age, but they’re dummy eggs (lol)? I can’t find anything for us.

What do people like us do?

How many rounds of IVF will it take to find the golden egg?

Will I ever find a golden egg again?

Do we move on to alternate options?

Finance an egg donor? …which is a whole “thing” in itself to even select one, not accounting for any ethical or genetic questions to address…

***

I guess the point of this blog post was to put it out there in the universe for another woman to find… another woman like me who may be going through IVF for the X-number of times because she also has poor egg quality but a good AMH and can’t find anyone else going through this, too.

I’m also writing this because one day, I want to look back on the post and have another happy ending story to share.

I want to show someone else the journey we had to take to get my daughter a sibling and hope it helps them save some time on their journey.

For now, I’ve opted to take a break from our IVF protocols. I have three more retrievals left in a package deal we opted in for, so in the meantime… I’m focusing on my physical and mental health and taking a family vacation.

Once I speak to my doctor next week and we have a plan, I’ll be sure to update this blog here and on my Instagram so you can follow along, too.

 

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-Steffanie

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