Hope In Moderation: My Experience with Fertility Doctors (Guest Post)


I have been a responsible person all my life. I have always made sure to take my vitamins and drink enough water. I work out and I pay bills on time and I get my oil changed on the recommended schedule. My house plants are watered, my dishes are clean, and all my emails are relegated to pertinent folders.

It took me a long time to accept that I might be infertile.

It just did not seem possible. I feel like karma should be kinder to me than that. But after two miscarriages, I had to face the fact that something about me just isn’t right…so I ventured into the daunting world of fertility treatment.

I got the referral.

I got my preliminary blood work done. Ten vials to the lab and I was ready.

I made the appointment…

On the day of my appointment, I showed up early. True to form, I tried to be responsible. Which is why I felt it was pretty unfair to have to sit and wait. Kind of an insult to injury situation. Because, you know why people go to fertility doctors in the first place? Because we are tired of waiting.

We have been waiting our whole lives for babies we might not be able to have. We are at the fertility doctor because we need help RIGHT NOW.

But that was not happening for me. I was just sitting in a waiting room, alone, while couple after couple after couple got called in ahead of me. I was there myself because my boyfriend and I have different insurance and I did not think he could come with me to my appointment.

So, I was alone, just texting and waiting and frankly, freaking the f*** out. For forty-five minutes.

At one point, a handsome, young doctor came in. He was the kind of man you can tell smells good, just by looking at him. He smiled a charming smile. And then took the couple next to me.

I am already nearly forty and I can’t seem to have a baby. I do not need to keep feeling like the last one picked for kickball.

Finally, a balding man with a scabby scalp and poor posture comes out and smiles like he would rather be retching. Spoiler alert: this one is my guy.

He takes me into the back and asks me a series of questions, which I expected. Actually, what I had expected was MORE questions. This guy seemed like he did not want to know anything about me and my sad uterus. I was ready to open up. I told him about my period, which recently had started doing some fun stuff like not coming at all for forty-two days, and then coming every two weeks for awhile. He did not seem to care. Apparently, this sort of sporadic spotting is pretty blase for Dr. Dandruff. He asked, so I told him about the fertility issues in my family. But, he still seemed kind of bored.

Then I told him where I was from and he perked right up. It seems he has some interest in buying summer property in the area. He also had some interest in telling me about his own family troubles and recent personal losses.

But his favorite topic of conversation? My age. As in, “We cannot take 38 year old eggs and make them 18 again.” Or, “Well….at YOUR age…

Which set me up for the first results I received from my “treatment.”: an email. The highlight of this email was this sentence, “What this means is that unfortunately you’re eggs are aging faster than you are.” I am still in my thirties, but my eggs, apparently, go to class reunions with Betty White.

All of a sudden, I felt I had to face a life which may look a whole lot different from the way I have been imagining it all these years.

And the prospect of being shepherded through this tough time by a moody codger with New England real estate aspirations seems untenable to me.

Fortunately for me, he dumped me. It seems me and my problems with acronymic hormones like “AMH and FSH” were too much for him. He referred me to another doctor. When I discovered she was a female, somehow I immediately felt better. I know it is a prejudice, but I want someone with the same equipment to tell me what is wrong with mine. Otherwise, it is like going to a mechanic who has never driven a car.

This time, I went to the appointment WITH my boyfriend. Which was good, because when the lady brought in a baby and cooed over it with impossible levels of ecstatic joy, there was someone else there who also found her annoying.

Our new doctor is skinny, modern, big-eyed, bold. She talks fast, which I like, but she listens with stillness, which I like even more.  She answered all of our questions, even the ones we both secretly felt were dumb. She did not think they were dumb. And she acknowledged I was old and moved on, like, “Oh well, it happens.”

She told us about a treatment called Clomid, which we are going to try. It sounds terrifying, and I definitely do not want triplets or quintuplets or a reality show or something, but we are not quite ready to go down without a fight.

Instead of feeling hopeless and sad, I am going to ramp up these antique eggs of mine and go ahead and feel something very much like hope

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