With one lone follicle and postmenopausal hormone levels, 29-year-old Wendy’s IVF story, told in her own words, will leave you believing in miracles.
This is a special thank you to Dr. Gihan Bareh. She played a huge part in our fertility journey. Her faith, love and support are appreciated more then she will ever know.
After two years of trying to conceive with no success, and our regular doctor telling us there was nothing more he could do, we decided it was time to see an infertility specialist. After meeting with a “highly recommended” infertility specialist, I walked away feeling lost and confused.
I truly felt that all this doctor cared about was getting my money for in vitro fertilization (IVF). This was the first time I realized my dream of having a baby just might not come true. I felt devastated.
My husband suggested we give it one more try and go to a specialist at Loma Linda University Center for Fertility. Hopeless and weak I decided to give it a try and at that point I had nothing to lose.
Hope, then shock
When Dr. Bareh walked in the room I could tell this was not like before. She was sweet and welcoming. She sat with us and listened. She wanted to know OUR story. This doctor actually cared about ME … the peace I had lost started to come back.
Dr. Bareh reviewed all my records and right away ordered blood tests (a lot of blood – like nine tubes). I had never been so happy to get my blood drawn! We were finally getting somewhere. I just might actually get to grow that baby in my tummy!
After about a week Dr. Bareh called with my test results. I’ll never forget the conversation.
She explained that my hormone levels were in and were, “showing that you are POSTMENAPAUSAL [my emphasis]. At 29 years old your levels are coming back as if you have already gone through menopause,” Dr. Bareh told me.
She continued to explain that my anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels that show my ovarian reserve or “egg supply” was even more shocking. The normal range for someone my age starts at 0.9. My level…0.1 (an extremely low egg supply, if any left at all).
Crying & comforting
I was speechless and so was Dr. Bareh. We scheduled a follow up appointment and I hung up the phone. I longed for answers and now I finally had them, but I never expected this.
What was wrong with me? Did I have any eggs left? I could not conceive without eggs.
I met with Dr. Bareh and after me crying and her comforting me for a long time, she went over my options:
- Go in ASAP and get any eggs I had left and use for IVF
- Get donor egg (family, friend or stranger) for IVF.
My chances of conceiving using IVF with my own egg was three percent because my egg quality and supply were so low. About $15,000-$20,000 with three percent odds…ouch! While my chances of becoming pregnant using donor eggs were around 50 percent.
But I wanted to use my own egg – will it really be MY baby if I use the donor egg? My sister would be closest thing to me, but then it’s like it’s my sister’s baby? I left the office numb and heartbroken – I truly felt like a part of me had died.
I was mourning a loss of a baby that I never had, but had dreamed of my whole life.
My hurt turned into anger. I cried out to God asking why? My faith that had been so strong was now shaken. I just could not understand.
I mourned the idea of not actually “being pregnant” but I had to trust that God had a plan.
After lots of prayer and thought, my husband, Paul, and I decided we would harvest my eggs and start in IVF ASAP! I just had to give “my eggs” a fighting chance.
We met with Dr. Bareh. She was hopeful and excited about our decision. She wanted to do one final ultrasound just to check my ovaries and follicles. I almost couldn’t, but I decided to ask, How many follicles would a “normal” woman have. She told me around 15 in each ovary.
I had zero in my left ovary and only one in my right. I stared at the one small follicle on the screen. I shook my head in disbelief – one. At that point I knew we made the right choice, we needed to move fast.
We met with a financial planner and had everything lined up to start the egg harvesting. Now we would just wait for my cycle to start. A week went by no cycle … a few days more, no cycle.
Great, I thought, this whole menopause thing is now stopping my cycle all together.
Finally, after another week with no cycle, I figured I would take a pregnancy test. I felt nauseous but just assumed I was getting a “beginning of the year” bug from my students. My sister said I was setting myself up for hurt, but I wasn’t. I knew it was negative like the million in the past.
My pregnancy test reveled a positive result! I felt overwhelmed and so many emotions at once: shock, joy, disbelief. And I was screaming and jumping and praising God all at one.
I called Dr. Bareh right away to tell her the news. She was overjoyed, but I needed to go in and do blood work and an ultrasound just to ensure everything was ok.
And it was confirmed. There really was a baby growing in my tummy! From one small follicle a true miracle!
Thank you Dr. Bareh. I know without a doubt that God led us to you! We will always be beyond grateful and thankful for you! And so will our baby girl, Sydney Jane Mog.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
She’s here! Meet Sydney
The little miracle herself, Sydney, came for a visit to meet Dr. Bareh.
Are you struggling to get pregnant? Loma Linda Center for Fertility & IVF has a wide range of solutions for every age & diagnosis, including holistic therapies and advanced treatments, such as IVF.