Premature Ovarian Aging: Michelle’s Story [SUCCESS]

February 12, 2018

Topics in this episode:

Today’s success story is about a woman named Michelle. She is a 37-year-old director of policy for a medical association in Washington, DC. She met her husband at a bar in 2010, and today, they complement each other well. Although they very much enjoy each other’s company, they both have independent sides. Becoming a mother was always a non-negotiable for her, but her husband wasn’t sure about parenthood at first. Once they began having trouble conceiving, she worried he’d change his mind back, although of course he never did. Join us to hear how she learned to advocate for herself, both with her treatment team and those in her personal life, throughout a journey that involved IUIs, IVF, PGS testing, multiple losses, and ultimately, success.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • For fun, Michelle loves outdoor activities, working out, going to concerts and plays, and hanging out with friends
  • Before infertility, she was social and loved hiking, biking, and staying busy
  • When she and her husband first met at a bar, they chatted, she challenged him to a basketball game, which led to dinner, and the rest is history!
  • How infertility has brought them closer together and able to communicate better
  • Why motherhood was a deal-breaker in her relationship
  • How insurance coverage led them to make decisions like purchasing a house with room for kids
  • The gut feeling that something was wrong, especially because of her Lyme disease diagnosis in 2010
  • After a year of trying, she saw her OB-GYN and then the first RE
  • The first fertility clinic and RE: not friendly or helpful at all
  • Changing clinics, looking around, and the new diagnosis of a thyroid issue
  • The unexplained fertility diagnosis and horrible side effects from Clomid
  • Two IVF rounds with no surviving embryos: How she knew something was wrong but couldn’t get any answers
  • How a phone consultation with a doctor in NY led to a new diagnosis of premature ovarian aging, brought on by Hashimoto’s and Lyme disease
  • A chemical pregnancy when Michelle lost all hope: “There is something wrong with my health and no one is figuring it out.”
  • What the NY doctor recommended to balance her hormones
  • The next steps to prepare for a 3rd IVF retrieval, which yielded 22 eggs, of which 10 fertilized
  • PGS testing, a 2PN freeze, transfer of one, positive beta, and then her third miscarriage
  • PGS testing on the remaining embryos, of which 3 were normal
  • They transferred one embryo and she is now 15 weeks pregnant!
  • How Michelle regained strength by considering adoption while fighting a frustrating uphill battle
  • A fond memory of time spent away at the family cabin in Wyoming and a sweet family memory to remember the losses
  • Finding healing in going through foster parent classes and the moment they knew they would be parents
  • Balancing work and treatment with supportive employers
  • The complicated insurance issues Michelle and her husband had to work through
  • How her relationship with her husband has grown closer and with improved communication
  • The “hardest part” of infertility for Michelle: “Rearranging some friendships and keeping social interaction with friends that created a safe space”
  • How Michelle learned to advocate for herself with everyone in her circle
  • How infertility has changed Michelle: “It’s given me empathy in understanding that sometimes people just need someone to listen. You never know what someone is going through.”
  • Michelle’s advice to herself back then: “Remember that it’s going to be OK, one way or another. You have choices and you are empowered. Sometimes it seems that the infertility process controls you, but YOU are really in control. Someday you will be OK and happy again.

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Words of Hope:

It's so important to follow your gut. Look at your options. You know your body, so if something doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to speak out. Focus on moving forward. Click To Tweet


Thanks for listening!