About Miss Conception
Welcome to my blog! I am excited that you decided to drop by. I am very new to this whole infertility thing, so I very much appreciate any support, encouragement, ideas or tips my readers might me willing to offer!
I grew up in the South, where summers are hot, winters are icy, and everyone says things like "ya'll" and "fixin' to."
At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. A soreness under my arm that was originally diagnosed as an infected lymph node wouldn't go away, and eventually I started having pain and trouble breathing in my chest as tumors began to grow there, too. In January of my senior year of high school I was diagnosed.
I was treated at a university children's hospital and, to be honest, had it pretty easy when it comes to cancer treatments. I had chemo, but it never made me sick. I lost all of my hair and swelled up from the steroids. After a few months of chemo and radiation, I was home free and have (rarely) looked back.
Mr. and Mrs. Maybe
During the time I was sick, there was one friend who stuck by me in a particularly wonderful way. A year older than me, he was away at college and kept in touch through phone calls and visits. We had gone on a couple of dates in high school, but as he was headed to college nothing serious developed.
When other friends were asking what it felt like to lose all my hair, or if I was afraid to die, or just avoiding me altogether, his funny, dry-humored phone calls brought a brightness and excitement into my scary life. He saw past the wig and the swollen face, the terror and the medicine...and he saw me. And he liked me.
As spring progressed we grew closer and his visits became more regular. When I was manic with energy from the steroids, he took me on long walks. When I needed distractions, he talked to me about his college adventures and brought hilariously bad movies over for us to watch.
The first time he kissed me, I was wearing a wig.
It takes a special type of man to see past all of the terror of cancer. I takes an even more special type of man to love a woman dealing with cancer and all of the stresses it produced.
I started college at the same place he attended (not because of him, but it WAS a happy coincidence). A few months later, we were "officially" dating. Three years later, we were married. He is the love of my life and I am so blessed to have such a kind, supportive man in my life.
Our Infertility Story:
When I was first diagnosed with cancer and going through the barrage of tests and preparations, I did ask if the cancer was going to affect my ability to have children.
The answer I received was less than helpful. It was something along the lines of, "Don't worry about it until you have to worry about it. But if you want kids, have them early."
Mr. M. and I had always said we wanted to wait five years before having children, to get ourselves and our careers settled and make sure we were ready. So, at my yearly OBGYN checkup this past January, I asked the question about damage from chemo and having children. My OBGYN sent me for blood work.
The results we not great. My follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) was high - 14.1 to be exact. Having never heard of FSH before, I was terrified when I began researching the hormone and its implications of infertility. (For more about FSH, click here).
The blood test was run again and FSH came back high again - 13. We met with the OBGYN, who referred us to a high FSH-friendly reproductive endocronologist at the same university hospital that treated my cancer. She didn't have an appointment until June 16, so we waited.
During the wait, I tracked by basal body temperature and did ovulation predictor sticks. Somehow, miraculously, we got pregnant on the first try. It was a scary pregnancy, complete with a ruptured corpus luteum sac and a threatened miscarriage. Our baby boy fought and we fought for him, and Ethan was born on December 11, exactly one month before his due date. He spent two weeks in the NICU fighting jaundice and eating issues, and on Christmas Day he came home with us. He is our miracle and the light of our lives and we are the luckiest parents in the world.