Friday, July 24, 2009

Menopause

**Disclaimer: I know I am a neurotic infertile. I know it is crazy to go down this path....but this blog is filled with my thoughts as I go through infertility. All of them. Even the crazy ones. :) **

I have been thinking that I will go through menopause prematurely.

There, I said it. :)

And when I say prematurely, I don't mean next week or next year or anything. I really have no idea how early. But based on all my tests that indicate ovarian reserve, I feel like I am barely hanging on in the "normal" fertility range.

FSH: 8.7 & 9
Antral follicle count: 11 (8 on one ovary, 3 on the other)

I am 28 years and three months old. I see women on the internet in their late 30's with numbers like mine.

So...yesterday I googled. And came across a helpful website that had charts galore. And according to their chart, I am not in the "excellent category." My antral follicle count of 11 falls in the 11-14 range and is, "Normal (but intermediate) count, the response to drug stimulation is sometimes low, but usually adequate. Slight increased risk for IVF cycle cancellation. Pregnancy rates as a group slightly reduced compared to the "best" group." And, mind you, I'm at the very bottom of that range...if I had one less resting follicle, I would be in the "reduced count" category.

And then I went to their FSH chart page. Again, I'm not in the "best category." With my FSH of 9, it says, "
9 - 11 Fair. Response is between normal and somewhat reduced (response varies widely). Overall, a slightly reduced live birth rate."

Now, before you say anything, I know that my results are NORMAL. They are FINE. I can still potentially get pregnant. I have eggs. I do not have diminished ovarian reserve. I know. :) That's why this post is kind of crazy. And I am sorry if anyone reading this post DOES have DOR and is envious of my 11 follicles and 9 FSH. I am so sorry, and please know that I am thankful I am where I am right now. I'm sorry if it sounds like complaining.

This post is much more about that nebulous future out there....in which I hope I will have at least one baby. And of course I say, "I would be happy to get one baby!" But the truth is, my infertility struggle is not just about that one baby. It's about all of my hopes and dreams...dreams of a house full of children...and with test results like mine I can't help but feel like I might not get that....even if I do get one. Which I would be so very thankful for. But I would also have to let go and mourn those other dreams, you know?

I called DH during lunch yesterday sobbing. I said when we meet with the RE I think he will tell us we need to go straight to IVF with sperm like yours and eggs like mine that might be getting bad sooner than later. I said maybe we should consider IVF more, because maybe I won't have my fertility for very long. I explained all the numbers to him. I don't know if he understood them all, but I think he was kind of sad, too.

But then...Dr. RE called me. He said let's do an IUI this cycle. No mention about IVF. I took it and ran.

DH came home from work and I opened the door for him smiling. "We get to do an IUI this cycle!" I said. He gave me a hug and said, "This is pretty different than the tears at lunch." I was happy and hopeful. I am still happy and hopeful...not necessarily that THIS IUI will work (how lovely would that be!), but that we're working on getting our baby. Our one baby. That's all I can do right now.

I feel like it was such a blessing from God that he has given us the opportunity to do an IUI this cycle, right when I was feeling the weight of our current infertility as well as our future infertility. I realized I cannot and should not worry about the future. God has given me this suffering to endure, to grow from, and, most importantly, to seek him in. He has given me this suffering today, but who am I to say what blessings or sufferings he will give me tomorrow? I have been humbled.

From Matthew 6:28-34 (I added the emphasis):
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

12 comments:

Mrs. Hammer said...

I completely understand the neurosis you are going through. I spent the better part of my lunch breaks all this week looking up articles on poor responders to IVF, reduced IVF response from ovarian endometriosis. One article made me feel better, the other worse. And here I sit with a normal antral follicle count and an FSH of 4.5 and I STILL have trouble making eggs. There is no way to know what will happen and if it is God's plan for you to conceive with a high FSH and low follicle count, you will. It only takes one, the one God chooses. Hang in there!

Kelli said...

I feel your pain! I, too, have high fsh, low follicle count, and a very low amh to boot! I've often wondered about the early onset of menopause... I know it's going to happen, but you'd totally right... No use worrying about it today!!! Stay positive babe! Love you!

Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,

Your concerns are so understandable and anyone suffering through IF has also felt the same worries that they will never have their dreams fulfilled.

One of my favourite bible verses that helped me a lot through infertility was Isiah 44 (you probably know it)...

"When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you.
When you walk through the fire
You will not be burned.
Since you are prescious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will bring your children from the east,
and gather you from the west...."

I hope that this brings you the same sense of peace, knowing that God is in control.

Hugs,
xx

Amanda said...

You're not crazy, POF is a mean blow... women that should have years left to reproduce get the short end of the stick. But at least you have the blessing that you know and are trying now. And I'm sorry about the dream of a home filled with many children, it may still be possible, but difficult to say the least. I have another link for you... Dr. Licciardi did a post on the AFA's blog the other week with stories of hope for women with high FSH... now most of these stories involve IVF, but I think you will enjoy reading it none the less (http://www.theafa.org/community/blog/P5/)

Oh, and is this a sign? the word verification is comphine, which immediately looked like clomiphene to me.

The Wife said...

Everytime my RE tells me that my responses aren't "normal" for a girl my age I always jump to early onset menopause. It's hard to take, thinking that not only are you going to have trouble TTC but that you have a limited time to do it in. I'll be pulling for you.

Woohoo for the IUI though!

BTW, I tagged you on my blog.

Betty Rubble said...

Oh how I needed that verse today!

Hugs.

Tabitha said...

Hillary, I absolutely LOVE that passage of scripture, it's so comforting. All we can live for is today, not yeasterday and not tomorrow. We have enough to do and worry about today, and God WILL take care of us and our needs. Thank you so much!

Rambler said...

You're not neurotic at all! It is perfectly understandable how far the mind jumps when dealing with all things IF and all things that are outside any type of control.

And you are right, its what your blog is for. So have at it!!

Liked the bolded part of the verse!

Erica said...

This post illustrates the "roller coaster" of emotions we feel as IFs. One minute you're freaking out, thinking everything is hopeless and then BOOM. Out of nowhere a glimmer of hope shines and we smile. It's awful, isn't it? I'm sorry you're going through this but totally psyched that you get to do an IUI this cycle. That is wonderful news and MANY women get pregnant this way and don't need to go to IVF. One of my IF and IRL friends called Just Trying to Make a Cub (on my blogroll) got pregnant this way. Feel free to read her posts. Good luck! I'll be thinking of you and praying for you.

entrusted said...

I hear you! I have wondered similar things, and I definitely empathize with mourning over the realization that the dream of a big family may be out of reach. Another verse that has helped me when I'm tempted to fret about the future is Phil. 4:8. "Whatever is true ... think about these things." I don't know what will or won't be true about my future, so it doesn't help me to run through all the what-ifs. What is true is that I know that God will give grace for each moment as it comes.

Fran said...

Hi there! isn't that great you get to do and IUI THIS cycle?? I'm so happy for you and I really hope it'll work. take one step at a time, it is true that every day has its own load of trouble but sometimes solutions come along the same path! Love, Fran

*ICLW* #62

WantWait&Pray said...

This post reminded me of my frantic post regarding my dh's and my karyotype testing: "adventures in google-land" or something like that. Remember that the internet is filled with information that is subjective- so try to relax and pray that what is supposed to happen, will and that you'll walk through it with grace and faith to move mountains. I am praying for you and lifting you up. God Bless.