I always thought it would be easy.
I mean, it sounds easy right? That’s the way to the Great American Dream – go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, and THEN start living your life.
Sometimes it isn’t that easy, turns out.
I got the phone call from my OBGYN office on Friday morning. The nurse was bright, cheerful – too cheerful – telling me all of my great test results, without mentioning the super-important blood work that had me a nervous wreck. I finally had to ask her about it, and her voice changed.
My heart thudded painfully in my chest.
My LH (lutenizing hormone) was normal – a 6. My FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) - a 14.
Google it if you’d like, but it all basically boils down to this – the more your eggs drop in quantity or quality, the higher your FSH number goes. They want my FSH number to be closer to my LH number.
The good news (right?) was that my ovaries are still functioning. The chemo hadn’t killed them completely.
The nurse was all full of reassurances and said we needed to do the test one more time to make sure it wasn’t a fluke reading. So now I have to wait another three weeks, drive 40 minutes out of my way on a Saturday again, and then wait in complete terror for another week to get the results. More terror that before – terror with a terrible weight behind it.
If the FSH number is high again, I will have to go in and meet with the doctor to talk about it. I am terrified of it.
I think the worst part, to me, is the shock. Given my medical history, I tend to be a pessimist when waiting for test results, expecting the worst. This time, for some reason, I actually expected it to go my way.
Oh, I wish so badly it had gone my way.
I never, ever thought it would be this hard.
I keep trying to tell myself that I don’t have anything to worry about yet. First, I need to do the test again and see if the number is still high. If it is, then I can allow myself some worry. Next, I meet with my doctor to talk about it. That meeting I am dreading more that anything else. What if she tells me it’s hopeless? What if she gives me some awful, depressing statistics about my chance of actually conceiving and/or carrying to term? What if she just flat-out tells me it’s not going to happen?
Right now, I’m going through a complete roller coaster of emotions. Sometimes I find a curious peace with it. This was my initial response after I cried my eyes out for a good hour. I thought, “Hey, I am dealing with this SO WELL!” And then, of course, by the next day I was a total wreck about it.
It doesn’t help that my peer group is completely booming with babies right now. They are literally falling from the sky around me. You know those women who want babies who cry when someone in a trashy romance novel gets pregnant or who stare with wistful jealousy at Facebook photos of baby showers and pregnancy portraits? I have already become That Woman, and I’m not even trying to get pregnant yet!
Bless Mr. M. for being so sweetly patient and supportive (he even researched FSH himself) and for rubbing my back while I was sobbing in the bathtub last night. Bless my amazing mother for being so supportive, for letting me cut short my visit to her house late Saturday night so I could drive an hour back through the country to my bed and my husband’s arms. Bless my wonderful sister for helping me find some humor in it even as she is going through some awful times of her own.
I haven’t really done any research about high FSH levels and their possible treatments and options. In fact, I’m kind of forbidding myself to do so. I feel like I need to get the second test done, and then if it’s still high I need to get my doctor visit over with (luckily I LOVE my OBGYN), and then I will allow myself to spend eight hours a day on Web sites and message boards and forums.
I did research it a bit after the phone call, just so I could learn what it was. In my browsing I even found a support group message board where women were posting their success stories of pregnancy with high FSH levels. I am so glad I found that page. It has now become kind of a beacon of hope in my tossed and shattered psyche that I turn to when the sadness threatens to overwhelm me.
Today, however, I did start researching natural and herbal fertility boosters, and found some really helpful articles. This one especially I love. It shows me there is plenty that I can do to help boost my own fertility, especially in the months before we start trying.
It gives me hope, and hope is pretty thin on the ground in the M household right now.
Stay with me…