Cole Jeannette's Story
posted June 24, 2013
I’m writing this today because I feel it is important to get my story out there to as many women as possible. To give inspiration to those wanting a family but are suffering from infertility and encourage them to not lose hope.
In modern times, it has become more common for women to have a baby a little later in life. Recent research has shown that forty percent of babies are born to women over 30 and that one in seven babies is born to women over the age of 35. The problem with this is that as we get older, fertility begins to decline making it more difficult to conceive. One such fertility problem is Premature Ovarian Failure, sometimes called Premature Ovarian Insufficiency depending on the severity of the case. Premature ovarian failure is a condition in women where the ovaries stop producing eggs unusually early, before the age of 40. One in 100 women is diagnosed with this life-altering disorder between the ages of 30-40. Yet I, like many women, had never heard of this condition… until I was diagnosed with it at the beginning of this year.
I am 34 years old and had come off of birth control last summer after seventeen years. When I didn’t get my period back after four months my OBGYN recommended I see a reproductive specialist. Upon doing so I was given a battery of blood tests to measure my hormone levels. When the test results came back I was given the shock of my life. The numbers indicated I was POST menopausal with diminished ovarian reserve. My ovaries had stopped responding. I was given the diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Failure and was told I had a one in ten million chance of being able to conceive. That using a donor egg would most likely be my only option, as InVitro Fertilization was not even an option since my ovaries were unresponsive. Devastated, my husband and I mourned the loss.
Not long after my diagnosis, I began researching my condition and seeking out any information I could that might shed a little positivity on my situation. But with every article I read I felt hope slipping away more and more. Western Medicine dictates that there is no treatment proved to restore fertility in women with POF and most sites state that women with the condition need to understand and grieve for this loss of ovarian function and to seek counseling if needed. So I began searching alternative and Eastern Medicine and it is there I found some answers. Shortly after, I found a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor and began weekly acupuncture treatments and taking Chinese herbs daily to naturally stimulate the promotion of estrogen in my body. I also found a slew of other alternative suggestions ranging from herbal supplements to fertility massage, yoga and castor oil packs. I was willing to try anything!
In the meantime I had seen three other doctors, all in hopes of getting a different prognosis. All three gave me the donor egg speech. After three months of a steady daily regimen of all the alternative treatments I found, I had my hormone levels retested. They had gone from postmenopausal levels to NORMAL. Two weeks later I spontaneously ovulated! The last reproductive specialist I was seeing said that ovulating gave me a potential window of opportunity to try IVF. There were no guarantees that I would ever ovulate again, so the fertility drugs may not even work, but we could try if I wanted to. This was a very difficult and expensive decision for my husband and I, especially since we’d have to decide right away, as with IVF you have to start as soon as you get your period after ovulation.
As it turned out, we didn’t have to make that decision. During ovulation my egg was fertilized. I was PREGNANT!!! We couldn’t believe it. The doctor couldn’t believe it! But it was true. After a few weeks of being monitored that my hormone levels were doing what they should, I had my first ultrasound. You can only imagine the look on our faces when we found out I am having TWINS!!! My doctor is floored! He wants to put me in a medical journal because of the circumstances. They are fraternal twins, which means I ovulated with TWO eggs! Given that twins do not run in our families, I have no doubt it was all the alternative treatments and Easter Medicine I was taking. It completely turned my diagnosis around in a matter of only three months! And how crazy is it that my due date (January 20, 2014) will be the EXACT date one year later from when I received the news that I could not have children. Just goes to show you that anything can happen!
Throughout my experience, I had started a blog to share all I was going through and what I was doing in my fight to get pregnant despite having Premature Ovarian Failure. I had no idea it was going to have such an amazing ending. The best part about all this is presently I have had over 8,000 page views of my blog and it is being read in over 42 countries. I constantly have women writing me telling me that my story has given them hope and they are trying all the alternative things I did to get to where I am today. This truly means the world to me as I know what it is like to be given the devastating diagnosis of infertility and I want to get my story out to as many people as possible to promote hope and inspiration to all the women out there going through the same thing.
For anyone interested in reading my story, here is the link to my blog: