I'm having a bit of an identity crisis.
If you've been following my blog, you know the crazy story of how I wound up pregnant. In case you haven't, here's a brief summation:
I mentioned to my OB, Dr. A., that Mr. M. and I were thinking of starting a family in the near future. She decided to run some tests to see if my cancer treatment at the age of 17 (I am now almost 27) had affected my fertility. It had. My blood work came back showing high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Now I'm still not sure how it works, but basically the higher the number is, the more diminished your eggs are in quality and/or quantity. People with high FSH are often diagnosed with DOR (diminished ovarian reserves) or POF (premature ovarian failure). Dr. A. referred us straight to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) in the area who accepts high FSH patients. Many REs don't accept high FSH-ers because it lowers the success rates of their clinics. Yeah. It's that scary.
In the 2.5-month wait for my RE appointment, I dove headfirst into the world of infertility. Remember, this is all before we had even started trying to have kids. I bought five or six different books on infertility, went on the S.outh B.each diet because Dr. A. said it was great for fertility, started taking prenatal vitamins. I also ventured into the world of infertility blogs.
What I learned amazed, inspired and frightened me. I found so many women struggling with infertility, sometimes with multiple devastating diagnoses stacked up against them. I discovered Mo, a fellow Hodgkin's survivor who has suffered six, yes SIX miscarriages and more tests and treatments than I can imagine. With some help from her husband, Will, Mo has navigated infertility with a grace and hope that touched me deeply. I read her entire blog in one sitting, barely moving.
I read heartbreaking stories of unsuccessful treatments, the horror stories of injections and egg retrievals and two week waits. I read the devastating stories of loss and grief. And somehow, through it all, there was an undercurrent of hope, and strength. These women were not accepting their infertility. They were conquering it. They were fighting back and looking forward with hope.
I looked into my own future with dread - the injections, the disappointment, the astronomical costs when your insurance covers NOTHING to do with infertility. It scared me. I turned to the infertility community and found battle-scarred women who took pity on the new girl who (scoff) hadn't even TRIED yet and supported me with enthusiasm.
And then something extremely strange, and wonderful, happened.
I got pregnant.
Determined to make the most of the time before the RE appointment, I bought a basal body temperature thermometer and a ovulation predictor kit. Not even sure that I would ovulate at all due to my high FSH, I cautiously entered my first cycle of trying to conceive. The day I got my positive on the OPK I jumped up and down and screamed for joy. We, um, you know on the days we were supposed to, and then I waited for my "monthly curse" to start. I wasn't sure how long my cycle would be since it was my very first off of birth control pills.
I waited, took a pregnancy test. Negative.
Waited some more, another pregnancy test. Negative.
Still waiting, one more spur-of-the-moment pregnancy test.
So, I'm pregnant. It hasn't been easy, including a ruptured luteal sac that caused Dr. A. to describe the pregnancy as "iffy," endless days of gross progesterone suppositories, a trip to the ER due to bleeding, and more terror and stress than I have ever experienced.
I can't shake the feeling that this might be my ONLY chance, my one chance to have a child. And I really, really don't want it to go wrong.
So where do I belong? Not with the determined infertiles who have tried for years and spend thousands of dollars to get that one positive pregnancy test. And certainly not with the "smug fertiles" of the world who complain about being pregnant, gripe about their kids and just in general make infertile women want to punch them in the face.
Is there a separate category for me, like "Infertility-Sensitive Unexpectedly Fertile"? Or "Miraculously Fertile but Terrified"? Where do I belong?
I plan on "coming out" on F.acebook this weekend if all goes well at my appointment on Wednesday. I am trying to figure out how to announce it in a way that reminds people that is isn't always easy for everyone, and that not all pregnancies are simple and complication free, while still being joyful. Any thoughts?
One thing I DO know is how much I appreciate the support and encouragement from women to whom my miracle pregnancy must be a bitter pill for them so swallow. So thank you, ladies, for your kindness and patience with me during this time.
If you were wondering about the oncologist appointment, all went well and she doesn't appear to have any concerns related to my prior treatment. It was a stressful day but one I am glad to have behind me.
Regular OB appointment with Dr. A. this Wednesday. I am, of course, VERY anxious to hear the heartbeat again for reassurance. If all goes well on Wednesday, I will be OFFICIALLY in the second trimester and will breathe a very small and very cautious sigh of relief.
Hang in there, ladies.