I realized never posted on what happened with my sister after it became clear in December that we couldn't use her as an egg donor (after her AMH level came back at 0.19). Dr. Schl. had offered to speak to her to explain what this meant for her fertility future as a 31 year old single young woman, especially in conjunction with her FSH level (9.87) and antral follicle count (7 or 8 antral follicles, total).
I had first thought I might let Dr. Schl. explain things to her because I didn't want to misconstrue the information and make it sound worse - or better - than it was. Or maybe because I was being a coward. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that was not the best way to go, and that if it were me, I'd want to have already heard that things were serious so that I could wrap my head and heart around that and be able to formulate good questions and be able to hear what the "expert" fertility doctor had to say about my situation. So I was planning to talk to her.
Really, I was.
In the meantime, I let the donor person know that Dr. Schl. agreed to talk to my sister and that my sister would be in touch. The lovely and unknowing donor person in Denver then proactively contacted my sister and me by email and said that my sister should contact her to set up the appointment. Which meant - GAH! - I felt I had to hurry up and call my sister immediately to explain why that was even happening, lest she contact the donor person and hear it from her.
Cue me in an outlet mall parking lot in the Berkshires phoning my sister in the pouring rain to say all kinds of sensitive things she had no idea were coming.
I didn't know how she would take it. She has always been very laissez faire about having kids, has always said what will be will be, has always said that she thought she would adopt, has always said she doesn't care about biology or genetics and that that that was part of why she felt so comfortable offering us her eggs.
So I thought maybe she wouldn't care that much. But really, I was worried to tell her. I was worried she would care. A lot.
So I took a deep breath and told her that there had been some issues with the tests that we'd had run on her behalf. And that I wasn't a medical expert but that we were lining up for her to talk to one - hence the email from the donor person. And of course she wanted to know more. What were my numbers - my 8 years older than her with six miscarriages under my belt numbers? Ugh. Much better than hers. What had we been told about her situation? Ugh. I told her what I understood, that she might not have too much time to have a genetically related family if she wanted one, but that I was not sure what that meant - how long she might have.
She was devastated. Wailing. And I was crying with her. And then she'd stop herself - and apologize! Saying, "I'm sorry to be so upset; I don't even know if I want children. And I know you've been through so much worse." I had to tell her that no, this was really upsetting; it was ok to be so upset. And that I was upset on her behalf. And that I was so sorry to have uncovered this news for her when all she was trying to do was be so generous and help us. And that even if she wasn't sure if she wanted children, it made perfect sense to be really upset at the possibility that that option might not be hers anymore.
I kept telling her to wait and not jump to conclusions. To talk to Dr. Schl.
Which she did several days later.
He didn't mince words. He told her that if she wanted a family she better start trying within the next six months. And that she really should consider egg freezing. But that she would likely need to do it several times, because she doesn't have many antral follicles.
More devastation. But at least information. For now my sister doesn't want to freeze her eggs. She thinks it is still too uncertain. After watching us (and I've had 110 eggs retrieved during the course of my IVFs, and knock wood, if this pregnancy continues, we'll get one baby out of it....which don't get me wrong, I would be very grateful for!) she seems to understand that an egg does not a baby make. I mean, Will and I are crazy exceptions, but still.
I have reminded her too that Dr. Schl. is amazing and smart and clinically astute, but he is not God. He doesn't know for sure what six months or a year or even two years will bring. Situations like hers are unusual. And that he is a conservative guy. So what he is telling her is her best bet to have a genetically related family. She might luck out later down the line, but if it's really important to her, she might not want to chance it.
So she is still processing all of this information. Mulling it over, feeling her way through it, mulling it some more.
If I were her, single or not, I would throw away my birth control and just see what happens.
But I am not her. She isn't even sure she wants children, or if they need to be biologically or genetically related to her. She feels she isn't ready for children yet.
And that's all she can do. Feel her way through this and keep deciding what she wants to do - or not do - at this juncture.
Whether she wants it or not, her eyes are now wide open about her fertility. Which I feel a whole bunch of conflicting emotions about my involvement in.
But it is what it is.
I'll let you know what happens next.
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