TTC at 43

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
TTC at 43
14
Fri, 04-09-2004 - 3:10pm
Hi everyone,

I am new to the board and have a ton of questions! I have read through some of the messages posted here and really appreciate the level of honesty, goodwill and support among the community of women out there. It is really wonderful to share information in this way.

A little about me: I am currently in a 5 year relationship with a man who has had a hard time committing based on traumas he has suffered from his own parents relationship. I have gotten pregnant 3 times by him (where we were not trying) and each time has ended in a mc. The last mc was last February at 10 weeks. The fetus just died. I am very healthy and have always been my whole life (I practice yoga almost daily and people tell me I look 25! I have good genes). I did have some recent blood tests come back with an FSH level of 7 but my progesterone levels were very low. I am now applying progesterone cream in the last part of my cycle. My cycle runs regularly every 28 or 29 days.

My boyfriend tells me he is just not ready to have a family and is basically asking me to wait but I am concerned about time obviously and am considering maybe just doing this prg thing on my own.

As I am concerned about keeping my fertility and have some questions:

1.) Does anyone know if it is possible to freeze ones eggs when one is over 40? And if so how do you go about doing it? And is it effective? Has anyone on this board done it and then gone on to conceive?

2.) Can anyone recommend an re that is also open to alternative treatments and isn't so harsh in his/her judgements?

3.) Are there any other recommendations anyone can make in regard to my situation. I am thinking of just going ahead and trying to get prg anyway. Are there any other single women out there who are TTC #1 and don't have a committed partner. I am considering just doing it on my own.

thanks again,

Jadu

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2004
In reply to: jadu77
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 12:41am
Hi Jadu

My sympathy for your losses, that must have been very difficult. Welcome to this board, there are alot of wonderful, comforting women here. It's helped me get thru many BFN's.



Regarding your questions, 1) eggs are mostly water therefore cannot be frozen and thawed successfully as embryos can be. However, just a few months ago some scientists overseas were able to freeze and thaw an egg which was then successfully fertilized. It made it to the blastocyst stage I recall but then fragmented. So freezing eggs may be in the future. Also, there was a recent study where ovarian tissue was placed in the abdomen of a woman. When given high doses of hormones, the woman apparently developed follicles in the tissue. This is early success but may someday lead to restoring fertility in certain women. If a woman were about to face radiation and/or chemo which could render her infertile, she could have some ovarian tissue stored. After her recovery, there is hope that the tissue would be capable of producing eggs which could then be used in IVF for the woman.

2) Regarding a good RE, where do you live? I love mine, but I live in SE Michigan. I've heard that RESOLVE can help with finding a good RE.

3) I can't offer any help here, sorry. My DH and I both decided to wait (we're 41) to get married and start a family. Have you considered relationship counseling to help your BF with his commitment feelings?

Good luck and I hope that things work out,

JnAnB

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2003
In reply to: jadu77
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 4:37pm
Dear Jadu,

I read your message with interest and compassion, since I was in a sense in the same boat a couple of years ago. I had a marriage that was falling apart (and we were living apart), and I seriously considered doing it on my own, either through a sperm bank or with a close platonic friend. Since then, my marriage thankfully reconciled and we are TTC #1 since July. However, since I am 42 (43 this summer) I am constantly plagued with the fear that I waited too long.

Not that your relationship is in any sense in the trouble mine was in, but due to your partner's current thinking on the issue, you may be essentially in a similar place...

I don't want to increase your anxiety, but if you are over 40 I think the best advice is not to wait. Perhaps your partner will reconsider if he becomes educated on the statistics for women at our age. Or, perhaps your option will be to do this alone, and see what happens in your relationship.

I think calling Resolve is a good suggestion, and I would also recommend the book Inconceivable by Julia Indochiva, since it addresses alternative therapies (with a successful outcome).

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best. Keep us posted.

Lisa

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2003
In reply to: jadu77
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 5:10pm
Hi Jadu,

Welcome to the board!! I am glad you found us!! The women here on the ivillage boards are tryuly amazing and as for myself I can say that finding them has been the best thing I have done through this whole TTC rollercoaster ride.

I have been TTC for 3 years, having been married for 8 soon. My DH wanted children but was not concerned about the age factor and pretty much figured it would be just fine when he was ready. We were fighting for years about this because I was so concerned about all the info regarding difficulties conceiveing and the increased odds of birth defects, losses and othe PG problems that arise over 35. I don't want to scare you by telling you all of this but want to make sure that you know the truth so you don't put off TTC any longer and then it is just too late. I had told my DH that in this situation making no decision about if and when to conceive is in fact making a decision not to have children because the longer you wait the less possible it is.

There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself:

1) Would you be perfectly happy with your life if you never had a family of your own?

2) Would going for it on your own put a strain on your relationship and is this the kind of relationship that you can see having a permanent future?

3) If you continue to wait and see if he comes around and then are unable to conceive will you resent him and would this put a strain on the realtionship anyway?

I can't answer these questions for you but I do know how I feel and my waiting for DH to come around and the timing to be better has put a strain on our relationship. It is funny because in a way we are closer because of all the IF stuff and the fact that part of it is due to MF. He is starting to understand the ramifications of his previous choices and feeling badly that we can't have children of our own especially now that we are the only ones of our group of friends who don't and really don't fit in with them because of it. On the other hand if my next IVF attept fails again I don't know how I am going to feel because we can't afford treatment anymore. I am praying that it works and we can get past all this.

If you decide that having a family is a priority for you I would not wait and move as quickly as possible. There are many tests and procedures involved and it all works around your monthly cycle so it takes time. Your FSH is good and pretty low for your age so that is very good news. The fact the your progsterone is low is a possible sign why you could M/C but it also depends on when the test was taken because that # changes all throughout your monthly cycle. Freezing your eggs is an option and with your good FSH I am sure they will let you do it. The good thing is if you wait to try for a while the frozen eggs are from when you were younger so that helps to give you better odds of good quality. On the other hand the process of freezing and thawing does diminish the quality in itself. Sometimes the embies don't even make the thaw and they are lost. While this is an idea for you I would not leave it as your only option and then possibly be very disappointed later with no options left.

Looking at your history show me that you probably don't have issues with your partners seman as you easily get PG. The only problem that could be related to his seman would be if his DNA is fragmented and that could contribute to M/C. I am thinking this is probably not the case because often times men with these issues also have a hard time getting you Pg in the 1st place. Since you don't have a problem getting PG you are ovulating on time so that is not a problem and your tubes are probably not blocked either. A couple things you should test are: The shape and condition of your uterus: Some women have trouble carrying a PG due to the shape of

their uterus, others may have fibriods or scar tissue that is affecting implantation. I don't think fibroids are your case either because the embies do implant and you lose the PG later. Your lining may not be thick enough to hold the PG and this can be helped with the progesterone supplements you spoke of in addition of 1 baby aspirin a day. There are other reasons for repeated m/c's that have to do with the immune system and the blood work is very extensive but it would be a good idea to be tested and at least you will know if this is an issue or not. These test show things such as inherited blood clotting problems, high insulin levels and over active immune systems that actually kill off the embies. All these things can cause recurrent M/C's. This type of testing can be done through a Dr. named Alan Beer. You can register with him on line at repro-med.net

I know I have rambled quite a bit but I hope this info helps you!!

If you have any other questions I am only a post away!!!

My prayers are with you!!!

Lisa
Lilypie Baby Days
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
In reply to: jadu77
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 4:52pm
Hi JnAnB

Thanks so much for the very informative reply.

Yes going through the mcs was absolutely excrutiating. ONe was Sept. 11th related and I am still recovering from that. But I have to say that I am stregthened by the strength and tenacity of so many women out there who just won't give up.

I want to share an amazing story. When I was in the hospital this last mc, someone from the staff came to me and held my hand (she was like an angel that appeared in a way). She looked at me and stroked my hand telling me that I shouldn't fret, that I too would have my dream of a baby. After all if she could do it then anyone could. She had had over 12 mcs! But then she successfully carried two pregnancies! I wish I had had the wherewithal to get her name and number but I was so out of it. But she said she never gave up. What an inspiration!

Anyway, I am really interested in this study you mentioned with the ovarian tissue. Do you know where the ovarian tissue came from? was it from another woman?

I live in New York City and I am sure there are many good RE's here but I am very picky thats why I am asking for good recommendations.

All the best.

Jadu

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
In reply to: jadu77
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 5:03pm
Dear Lisa,

Thanks for your reply to my post. Wow, I can totally relate to the anxiety you are feeling. I thank you for the recommendation of the book "Inconceivable" which is really great. Since I live in NYC I am thinking of trying to meet her.

The thing about deciding not to wait is a little tricky. Because it does take two to tango especially if the woman might need a little help from technology. I don't know yet whether I will need help because we haven't actively started going for it. But I have a feeling I might need ivf or something. I am in the process of getting insurance. Haven't had it in a year, and once I have it I will continue with my testing. I know that REs test quite regularly to find out what is really going on with the hormones. I guess I am not sure if I should just give my dh an ultimatum but I really love him and don't want to be with anyone else. I wouldn't mind doing it alone but as I said I still need him to tango with me! Which he has been doing but I think I need his full cooperation if we need to go the ivf route.

thanks!

Jadu

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
In reply to: jadu77
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 5:26pm
Hi Lisa,

Wow. Thank you so much for your reply. I have to say that when I read the 3 replies I burst into tears, it is such an emotional feeling to know that there are women like yourself who is generous enough to share personal stories that are inspiring and to really put it all out there.

YOu raised some very important questions. I have done a tremendous amount of soul searching and realize that I would not be happy if I didn't have a child of my own. Hey, I know some women who are fine with it and truly don't mind. I really want a family more than anything. Ideally I have always wanted 2 or at the most 3.

You are right that to put this off is a decision to not have children. I think I need to have a long conversation with my dh and really try educate him about the situation. He has always been of the belief that I was different and that I could get prg anytime. He is concerned that we don't have a stable enough relationship to bring a child into the world and that I need to get my life more in order. (Which means mainly my finances). But by the time that happens it may indeed be to late.

I have already started trying to go for it on my own so to speak, inotherwords just having unprotected intercourse as often as possible around fertile days, and nothing has happened so far (it has been 2 months of that). A friend of mine told me about a woman who was 42 and did ivf combined with sperm washing and she got prg very quickly this way. Have you guys tried that yet? I am thinking i might want to do the same, but if I go for that, for sure my dh will have to agree to it. On the other hand I have also considered going for it really on my own (with a donor) and actually have found two people who would act as a donor and agree not to have anything to do with the child, but I really only want to do that as a last resort.

Does insurance cover any part of ivf? If not how much does it cost and what are the determining factors were a doctor to recommend it?

I don't have fibroids but my uterus is tipped. I was taught the Mayan uterine massage which i have been doing. I don't know if it has worked yet because I cannot go to my midwife until my insurance has kicked in again, but she swears by it. It is supposed to put the uterus back in the right position. However i have been to several doctors in my life who have said that having a tipped uterus doesn't necessarily mean anything.

My last bloodwork was done in January (the tests showed low FSH which is good and low progesterone. It was the 11th day of my cycle so maybe that is OK???)

Thanks for the information about Alan Beer. And again thank you sooo much for sharing your story with me. It has truly helped me tremendously!

My prayers are with you too,

All the best to you,

Jadu




iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2003
In reply to: jadu77
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 6:08pm
Hi Jadu,

I am glad to see you are going for it!!! I feel the same way. I really feel a family is most important. IVF will increase your odds. Many ins will cover it but most of them will only cover up to 3 cycles for life and it is expensive without coverage. It could be $10,000-$15,000 with the drugs and all. It depends on where you live because some states have passed a law that ins has to cover it while other states have not done that yet. I will be praying you can get it covered. As far as the FSH test, it has to be done on day 2 or 3 of your cycle in order to be accurate. Your best bet right now is to get all the tests done and this why you know the best course of action for you.

I think it is a great idea to educate you man on this. I tried with my DH and he didn't listen and is now sorry that we have gone through all of this. We have been TTC #1 for 3 years, had 2 IUI's, 2 IVF's, and 2 M/C's. We both have good health in our families and I have women in my family that had healthy children in their 40's. I was also worried about finances and felt as your man does about having enough financial stability to raise a child in a good neighborhood and give them what they need. People told me that if you wait for the right time it will never come. They were right because I abused my body terribly for 6 years working 90 hours a week, sleeping only 3 hours a night and eating on the run, all to get enough $$. I thought I could handle it and was doing the right thing. 2 weeks after all our bills were paid off and we had $$ in the bank I fell in the street while photographing a house for work. There was unmarked road construction and I broke my leg so badly that I have had 2 surgeries so far & it is still not right. I was out of work for 4 months and went right back into debt, so all that hard work to be financially stable was for nothing. You just never know. Not only that but because I was not taking care of my health, only my $$, I now have other health problems. 2 hernited discs in my back from heavy lifting at work, the leg problem, a high insulin level that also causes extreme fatigue from eating on the run all those years and weight gain that just won't come down even though I have been working out and dieting for 4 month now.

Sometime you just have to go for it and worry about what happens later. We really don't have as much control over our future as we think we do.

Hope this helps.

Lisa
Lilypie Baby Days
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
In reply to: jadu77
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 6:34pm
Hi Lisa,

You are amazingly brave having gone through everything you describe! As I said in an earlier post I met a most amazing woman in the hospital who had gone through over 12 m/cs and then went on to have a succesful prg and healthy baby. Then she had another baby. She told me to never give up. I say that to you too. YOu have been through far too much. Julia I. from the book "inconceivable" is also an incredible inspiration to me. I think we just have to really be as positive as possible and keep doing the things that will increase the likelihood of conceiving. Julia did a combination of things but it seems to me she also relaxed as well. I have a feeling that worry and regret are not our best friends. God knows I have my share of regrets but I know that today is a new day and that many things are possible especially with a good outlook.

I do agree with you about the $$$ and that it is never necessarily the "right" time. I just know with all my heart that I was meant to be a mother and that no matter what, even if I have to raise a child on my own and work 2 jobs, that I would be an amazing mother. It is such a gift to carry a life and then raise that child and I have never been more ready for that!

I hope you resolve your health issues and stay as healthy and happy as possible! Someone told me that being happy makes a huge difference on our health and I am sure on the possibility of conceiving.

much happiness and baby dust to you,

Jadu

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2003
In reply to: jadu77
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 10:28pm
Dear Jadu,

Thanks for your message. I am also in NYC, and if you like I can e-mail you my contact information so I can tell you about the two REs I've seen so far. Let me know if you are interested.

I am also considering going to Julia Indichova's seminar; apparently you can join a support group after attending one seminar.

I really feel for you in your situation. The main reason I did not start TTC until last summer (and did not get medical help until October) was the instability of my marriage and financial worries. But, the "perfect time" will likely never come, and I am glad we did get started.

All the best to you. I feel it is quite likely you get pg just doing what you are doing, but you are smart to get all the proper tests done just in case!

Lisa

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
In reply to: jadu77
Tue, 04-13-2004 - 10:32am
I would love the names of those two RE's. you can email me direct at kalyaniforyoga@yahoo.com.

I so much appreciate your words of encouragement.

best to you too,

Jadu

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