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June 22, 2021

My Journey Part 1: Fertility Challenges

Alana Warner

Tomato, representing a woman's egg, has blood dripping from it and sperms swim away from tomato.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

“Technically, you don’t have fertility issues…”

That is what my fertility specialist said to me after over a year of trying to get pregnant and two miscarriages. I can get pregnant, we know that because I got pregnant with my son, somewhat easily, within 5 months. I also got pregnant two other times, but then miscarried. So yes technically, I can get pregnant.

All of this was on my mind that day when we met with her for my test result. I had just had my second miscarriage the month prior, and now had just found out I was pregnant again. However, my FSH was low, so everyone at the clinic kept saying “we are cautiously optimistic”.

Then more results came in to reveal that I have PCOS. They noted though, that “it’s not really active now, as you don’t really have a lot of eggs left”. ‘Diminished ovarian reserve’, they call it. To which the specialist revealed, “it’s a good thing you are already pregnant because IVF wouldn't work for you”. I had so few eggs left, that to try to do IVF would be a waste of time and money. The likelihood of harvesting more than one egg a month was slim. This pregnancy had to progress. This could be my only chance.

I was angry and terrified. I started researching egg donation, surrogates — anything I could think of to take away from the fear and dread I felt. Every time I went to the bathroom I cried. I was spotting and was not convinced that this pregnancy would end with a baby. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes early on in my pregnancy and started insulin within the first three months.

But somehow, magically, my pregnancy continued. I was grateful, but terrified the entire time. The joy of my pregnancy was instead plagued by fears and grief.

When you start trying to have a baby, everyone tell you to “relax, have fun, enjoy this time”, but the truth is there is a lot of anxiety. Especially for those who have experienced loss, it is impossible to “just relax”. Pregnancy, fertility, postpartum, it is a complicated time. You need support and you need compassion. You need to feel your feelings and some of those feelings are uncomfortable. There is fear, there is grief. It is not all happy baby showers and toy and clothing buying. It’s okay to not be okay. Your feelings are valid.

I’m here for you, if you need support.

Alana Warner shares her journey with fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum. Click to read Part 2: Grief and Loss and Part 3: The Birth Plan.

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