Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vodka, Infertility, And What-Ifs

Peter and I went to a pool party with friends on Saturday. I packed my bag on the morning of the party, the way I more or less always do for these get-togethers. It included my bathing suit, Pete's bathing suit, my iPod, speakers for my iPod, a change of clothes for later (when the sun goes down and it starts to get chilly), a book, a New Yorker, snacks, and a frozen bottle of Ketel One. All the makings for a great day.

There are no kids at these parties. It's just us, the pseudo-grown-up urban-dwellers, getting out of San Francisco and into sunny San Jose. We sit around and eat and drink and swim and play variations of croquet and yard-volleyball very badly. We listen to music and tell dumb jokes and slather sunblock on each other all day long. In every way, these parties feel like day-long vacations. Great days, indeed.

I have this now. I have adult friends who work and play and who do not have children. I have this because I sought this, after my first attempt at domesticity and wife-ness and motherhood failed spectacularly.

I've said this all before, but perhaps a refresher is in order. I met my ex-husband in college. We got engaged, we graduated, we got careers, we eventually got married. We got a house, we got dogs. We tried to get pregnant. And somewhere in this mix, at the time my mom got sick, I started to look around and go, "Really? I'm 25 and THIS is what my life looks like? This can't be right." I didn't want to get pregnant. I didn't want to have a mortgage. I didn't want to be settled down. I didn't want my mom to be sick.

Of course, I couldn't change that last bit...but I could change everything else. So I did. And I moved to San Francisco almost seven years ago.

Since then, it's been a big ole' guessing game. Lots of trial and error about what I do, actually, want. Lots of trying things on for size. Good and bad relationships, apartments, jobs. Mistakes galore, and heartbreak. Very hard, dark hours. Very bright, shining moments.

I am just a million miles away from where I began.

When I was in Connecticut, my future seemed crystal clear: the map was laid out before my eyes, and it bored me to tears. When I moved to SF, my future was a big question mark. Nothing seemed to fit or make sense, and so I adopted the "Fuck it - who needs a plan? Pour me another cocktail" mentality.

And. But. Well.

It's been a good, fun, vodka-infused run. I have no doubt, in fact, that it will continue to be a good run. It's just that my future has a little bit more shape to it now, and yes -- I can see "settling down" (as it were, and whatever that means in San Francisco) and getting married and having kids. I have taken my time to get to this place, to choose it, to actually want it for personal reasons.

I can see the picture, and it's one I'm pretty certain I want.

Which is why it's so hard to learn that I may be infertile.

* * * * * * *

I never wanted to go down this road. It's scary, and complicated. Google anything having to do with fertility -- say, "FSH" -- and the information overload is immediate. There are a billion stories, people, sites, blogs, discussions about this online and it is nothing short of terrifying to me.

This isn't what I ever wanted to blog about, but how could I not? It's been eating away at me for weeks.

When I first found out that I was a carrier of Fragile-X, my genetic counselor explained that the only real physical side-effect of this was that I am at a higher than average risk for premature ovarian failure. That is not something I wanted to hear at age 32, so I went in for tests.

My bloodwork seemed normal. "You're probably fine," was about the extent of it. And there wasn't much else to be done then, since Pete and I weren't trying to conceive -- I just wanted to know if I'd be able to. The problem with this kind of thing, unfortunately, is that there aren't exactly "warning signs." Your body can just change, your hormones can just shift, and then one day, your ovaries don't work the way they should.

Over the last year, I've taken the occasional ovulation predictor kit and monitored my cycles and from the outset, things continued to seem "probably fine."

Until one day, they didn't.

The month I got my wisdom teeth removed this past spring started it all. My cycle got totally thrown off. This also happened to coincide with my busiest months at work, and since then, my whole body has been out of whack. I got an exam, and everything looked normal. "You're probably just not cycling," the doctor said. So I went back to the fertility people.

My results are questionable. Taken independently, my symptoms could each have a non-awful explanation. (I don't know how much detail is warranted here, or interesting. My estrogen is a little high, but my FSH is good. My cycles being thrown off could be simply related to stress, or could be because my ovaries are starting to, as the doctor said, "peter out." My body could right itself, and return to its regularly scheduled program next month. Or never.)

I will have a totally different set of tests done next cycle, and hopefully they will be more conclusive.

Of course, now I'm scared that I will never have another cycle and that I am done for, for good. Which isn't rational, but is possible, and "possible" is awful. Also, shortened cycles is a sign of pre-menopause, and my cycles have been totally shortened. So on the one hand, I hope my cycle doesn't start for another few days; on the other hand, I repeat: What if I NEVER cycle again?

I am trying not to stress about this too violently, but it's tough. And I have every reason to be worried.

* * * * * *

I don't really know what to do.

It seems totally irresponsible to me to think, "Oh, forget about it. When you and Pete are ready, it'll happen." Because what if it doesn't?

And then there is all the internet noise, loaded with pop-culture beliefs and anecdote. What do you believe? There are thousands of people who will swear to you that your body will become spontaneously fertile if you just...adopt. Cut out alcohol. Cut out sugar. Take up accupuncture. Lose weight. Do yoga. Quit your job and move to Thailand and spend a year meditating. Go on a raw foods diet. Stop eating meat. Eat more meat. Fast for a month.

The list goes on and on.

What about IVF? What about egg donation? What about adoption?

What about I have no idea.

Maybe none of these things will be necessary. But how can I not start thinking about them? What if ths IS my path? What if this IS the road I'm traveling on?

* * * * * *

I have this now. I have adult friends who work and play and who do not have children. I have this because I sought this, after my first attempt at domesticity and wife-ness and motherhood failed spectacularly.

I just always assumed that I'd get another shot at it. That when -- and if -- I wanted to revisit those descriptors (reinterpreted, of course, to suit the new me I've become), I'd be able to.

I don't think I've made a mistake, living this life. I know I'd make a much better mother now than I ever could have been ten years ago. But by waiting, did I lose my opportunity?

By having "this" did I miss my chance at "that"?

Oh, the what-ifs.

51 comments:

  1. For what it's worth, I called Ish "Peter" in this post, I guess because it's more personal and serious to me. Just felt right.

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  2. I'm pretty sure the best way to get pregnant is to lose your job.

    Or join Menudo.

    But let's not get crazy here.

    If it's any consolation, I know lots of parents who would be more than willing to let you borrow their kids. Even for extended periods of time. Like puberty.

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  3. I know exactly how you feel. At 22 I turned away from the ethnic marriage my parents dreamed of and I've spent the last 10 years basically screwing around (not literally but sort of now that I think about it). My hormones are out of whack and I've got PCOS. I might have no children. I might get IVF and have a litter. who knows. I am scared and a tiny part of me wonders if it is because I didn't do what my parents wanted and take the ethnically and religiously appropriate route.

    but then I would have spent my days deciding when and if I should leave, instead of wondering when and if I should settle down. scary as hell

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  4. I wish there was a snappy answer, you know? But it's all. So. Real.

    I don't know what to tell you except to say that every time I get worried about what to do. Life sorts me out.

    Perhaps that will happen for you too.

    Life will just happen. And you'll just be happy.

    If not, there's always vodka.

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  5. I'm sorry you're struggling with this. I have a hard time with the what-ifs sometimes too, just different ones.

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  6. I'm sorry. I'm going through a whole lot of "this is not what I planned" myself. It sucks.

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  7. Delurking to give you a hug. What-if's are THE WORST.

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  8. Wow - this is such an honest post. I can totally relate - I always thought I wanted kids, but then have recently gone through a period of not being sure for the past year or two. It has been complicated by some health issues that also leave me unsure whether I will be unable to conceive (and some related mental issues that are somehow about whether I "deserve" to be able to conceive). And as I turn 35 (today actually), I don't know how much more time I have to figure it out. It's so confusing and painful and I just wish I had more time. My partner and I are open to adopting too, but it just feels scary to think that having my own child may no longer be an option. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

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  9. I'm so sorry this is happening. I know that is impossibly trite and probably a bit weird, as I have only met you one time (and was slightly tipsy at the time) but I have read you for years and feel connected in some vague way. So, trite and weird as it may be, I am sorry.

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  10. I do read your blog all the time (and love it!), but I never comment. Thanks for posting this....it's both horrible and reassuring to know that other women are going through the same thing that i am. When I was a little younger I did the same thing--got caught up in the whole "I must settle down/get married/have a family" thing. It didn't work. I know now that I was trying to force things that I thought I was supposed to want, but just wasn't ready for at the time. Today I am divorced and life is going down a very different path...I feel a little wiser I guess. But the last few months, things have not been going well with my health. I won't get into the details and bore you, but the result is that I may never be able to have children. I don't even know what to do with this information right now. i feel so overwhelmed by it...I mean, I didn't feel like I was ready to be a mom just yet--and lately I haven't even been sure whether or not I want to have kids at ALL! but to suddenly feel like that decision is going to be made for me?? I can't even describe how I feel. Nothing's written in stone yet, healthwise. Maybe I will be ok. But maybe I won't be. I've been wondering a lot now if I haven't just wasted the last 5 years of my life--what if that was the only opportunity for me to have my family? What have I been doing? Following my own shiftless, selfish path to nothing in particular? And for what? But you know, for good or for bad--the past is the past. I can't change the decisions I have made. Maybe I missed my chance. I know I wasn't ready yet, and if I had had kids before now, then it would have been with the wrong man. I know that these last few years (stupid as they may seem to me at times) have not been a complete mistake. This was time that I needed to find myself and to grow. So yeah, I'd love to look back with no regrets....but it's really difficult to feel that way with all these recent health issues hanging over my head. I should have had more time.

    Anyway, I know this wasn't a very helpful comment...but I just want you to know that there are other women out there who are struggling with the same crappy issues. I wish you all the luck in the world with your health, and I hope things get better! But even more so, I wish you the strength to carry on no matter what the future has in store for you. I need to believe that life can be amazing and fulfilling with or without our children.

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  11. It sucks to realize that sometimes our choice to whether or not to have children is taken out of our hands... whether that's due to (possible) infertility or due to not meeting the right person at the right time.

    I've heard for years about our 'choice'. It sucks when you don't get to choose. I'm sorry you are going through this.

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  12. Sing it, sister. I'm right there in the same boat. Tried to get pregnant before, didn't work, divorced due to unrelated reasons. Fertility highly suspect. But what can you do? You'll continue to make your life and some of it will be good and some of it will be not-so-good. But mostly it will be good.

    Keep going. You're doing it.

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  13. isn't it sometimes...really, really difficult to be a woman?
    don't let the what-ifs get you. think of them more as, i wonder what's nexts....
    xoxo

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  14. I hope this becomes a theoretical discussion. Stress is awfully hard on the body, and if your other systems are giving you trouble as well, then maybe it's as simple as that.

    If it isn't, then you'll have plenty of time to consider your options and google your prognosis. I didn't mean to sound trite. I just think that I would take it one step at a time and not overwhelm yourself with input and information.

    The human body is a funny thing. I've heard of holistic remedies cracking tough cases, but I've also heard my share of scientifically based problems that while heartbreaking, can be worked around.

    I don't think you can say that you gave up "that" for "this". You said it yourself- that you had to travel long and wild to get to this point of readiness. Because you weren't there back then, "that" wouldn't have been "that". It would have been something wholly different. Maybe pleasant. Maybe not. No way to tell, but if you weren't ready, the odds were against you.

    You are very young to have reached even peri-menopause. It's possible but not likely. My Mom was considered having gone early, and she started at 42. She had my little sister when she was thirty eight. A perfectly healthy, beautiful, intelligent disaster. :)

    You're in my thoughts.

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  15. I hit myself with that question now that I have one child and hoped for a second. The second has never come. Now I'm 41. Yikes. Which means I need like lottery-winning luck at this point. You are far from alone in this worry. We all need to practice "loving what it is" -- which is way harder done than said. Hang in there. Babies seem to surprise us, sometimes!

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  16. Thank you for your honesty. What-if's are really hard to have to deal with. I'm sorry you even have to go through this at all.

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  17. The "what-ifs" will really haunt you if you let them. Even though you might not be on the road that you planned or wanted...you're still on the right road because it's your road.

    You'll get to the place you need to be, whatever and wherever that is. Hang in there.

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  18. Kristy... You are so brave. Thank you for letting us into your pain. I hope that spreading it across so many shoulders gives you some relief.
    I hope you won't think me trite to say this: I am confident you will have the strength to deal with what is necessary and make the right decisions for you — when it is time to do so.
    In the end, you may or may not end up where you thought you would, but you will be where you are destined to be.
    And we will be right there with you.

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  19. The "what if" game ... we all play it. What if we went down that path instead of this one? What if we never/always/instead of ... it'll drive you crazy.

    It sounds like you're taking the steps you need to in order to know what your body is doing. And that's about all you can do at this point.

    If it helps, put on some different shoes. i.e., think: what if we got pregnant tomorrow? Do I want that? What if we NEVER got pregnant? Is that OK too? Close your eyes, breathe, and think without being panicked about the what ifs. You've been true to yourself for 10 years. Don't stop now.

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  20. I have PCOS and have had irregular periods ever since they began. When I went off the pill 4 years ago (at age 32) we discovered that I never ovulate normally. Probably never have. It became clear that we would never be able to conceive naturally, but it took me a looonng time to truly accept that, and be open to getting medical help. I tried losing weight, I tried the herbs, nothing helped.

    Eventually I did come around to the idea of being treated for infertility, and I'm now 4 months pregnant. It took over us over a year working with a reproductive endocrinologist and several failed strategies/cycles, but we did it. We did have to go to IVF (which I had never ever wanted to do), but we got it on our first try. Many people have success with less invasive methods though (Clomid, IUI, injectibles with IUI, etc).

    In hindsight I wish I had pursued a more aggressive treatment strategy sooner, as I will now be 37 when I give birth (the same age my mother was when she had me, which I always thought was WAY too old to have a kid—ha!). I never pictured having a child like this (no one does), but eventually realized that without this help, I wouldn't have a child, and all the wishing in the world wouldn't make it so. The biggest hurdle in all of this was not the procedures themselves but in getting myself to open up to accepting that I needed them. If this is the right path for you, you'll get there eventually. You may find yourself doing things you never in a million years imagined, but if having a child is what you really want, you won’t care.

    BTW, once you tell people you’re being treated for infertility, people will come out of the woodwork to tell you they’ve gone through the same thing (Exhibit A: this very long comment). So many people I know have gone through this, I’m amazed anyone gets pregnant naturally anymore. But I found it extremely comforting to know that we weren’t alone.

    I know you’re not ready to enter this world right now, just know that when you are, you WILL have options. And all those people who tell you to “just relax” or lose weight/ destress/adopt, etc. Tel l them all to fuck off.

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  21. I know you and Ish will figure it out somehow but regardless of what comes, I am sorry that you have to go through this.

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  22. I wish I had some meaningful response other than to say I can really relate, but words are failing me and that's all I can think of. I battle the "what-ifs" so much as well, and it's so hard to not let them take over sometimes. Hugs to you.

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  23. Kristy, I totally sympathize. You think you have all the time in the world and then one day, you don't. Or you do-- but not as much as you need. I know that you and Pete will work it out-- you'll adopt, or you'll decide to not raise a family, or maybe you'll find some other solution. But there is something about realizing that you don't have all the options you always thought
    would be there, when you were ready.

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  24. I'm sorry you're going through this. But, you're very brave. Brave for posting this, brave for finding out about the what-ifs.

    I know my younger sister is a carrier for a certain genetic something-or-other, which makes it much more difficult to get pregnant and have healthy kids the older you get.

    I know I'm supposed to get tested to see if I too am a carrier. But part of me just wants to see what happens. If even trying to have kids is in my future. If it is, and I can't, there are other possibilities.

    But I hope for you that if that's what you really want, that's what you will be able to have. But remember you're brave and strong. You'll be fine no matter what the what-ifs might be.

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  25. I'm not sure I've ever commented but I read...

    What struck me the most in this post is your honesty about not really wanting to post this and yet...it starts eating away.

    When it came to having babies the unknown and what-ifs ended up being a lot heavier than I ever anticipated. I think it has to do with the fact that as women, primitively, this is what we were made for.

    It's hard to believe that our bodies can let us down. Not having a say in it feels like the rug getting pulled out from underneath us.

    Good luck...I wish you the best.

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  26. Thank you for such an honest post. I too am struggling with fertility but don't share that with too many people. I prefer to freak out in private.

    And freaking out about all the "what ifs" is entirely appropriate. Each person's body is different and what works for one person may or may not work for you.

    I have no concrete advice. I am not trying to cheer you up.

    I'm just saying that it's only because you care so much about this that you are worried and that worry and anxiety is totally normal. Otherwise you wouldn't be a fully emotional human being.

    Good luck.

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  27. Hugs to you!

    I am hoping that all these comments from all these women who relate make you feel slightly less alone in this struggle with the "what ifs".

    I've always laughed hysterically or run screaming whenever someone mentioned the possibility of me as a mother... ME? Someone's MOM? Are you insane? I even went out of my way to date guys who didn't want or couldn't have kids... I even married one! But every so often I find myself thinking "what if...?" Or am I really ready to say "never"? It's very disconcerting.

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  28. Beautifully written...you are one talented lady.

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  29. I'm sort of in the same position. Want kids, may not be able to have them. But what I've been realising is that life is so much bigger than this one thing. There are so many opportunities, so much to do, so many ways to give to others, that don't involve kids. It takes a while to see those things, but they are there. All the best with your journey.

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  30. I don't know where Ish/Peter is on the whole having kids issue. But, let me share a little.

    I did it "right". Got married, waited and then got pregnant. Then husband left me and I ended up a welfare mom. I waited again and ended up with a very nice fellow who did not believe in procreating and had a vasectomy to prove his point. I still wanted another child. He adored my son and adopted him. We eventually came to a place where we both wanted another child and adopted. Since then I have found out that if I hadn't married my son's bio-father, I never would have been in a country where I was eating the right things and getting enough exercise to conceive due to PCOS. By marrying my current husband, I was able to adopt a little girl who was unadoptable in her country of birth, but happens to be a great match with our family.

    I'm not saying that things happen for a reason. I'm not sure I believe that. I am saying that things happen, and usually not how you planned them to. How you respond to it is your choice, and frankly the only one you really have in life. I made choices/decisions that gave me the life I now have. Some of my decisions were good, some not so much. Either way, here I am now, and this is what I've got to show for it.

    Making a choice is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Once a choice is made, it is pretty easy to follow its path. When you decide to make a choice concerning children, I hope that you're content with the outcome.

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  31. What-if are the worst. I always wonder... what if I never got married and pregnant at 18. I'm missing out on my youth and I will never get it back.

    I'm going through a divorce now. At 20. I'm going to be a welfare mom. I live thousands of miles away from home, and I don't want to go back.

    Everyone always says you have options. Do we, really? What are mine? Minimum wage + welfare, or living in a tent in New Orleans under a bridge... I'm only 20. I have no degree, and I am single mom.

    My best advice is no advice at all. You'll know what to do when the time is right. It's all about living.

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  32. Just so you know, I think you're pretty amazing.
    The rest, who knows.

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  33. I know that it's a very scary thing - to not know. But, I've learned that no matter the situation, you have to handle your worries over to God. He doesn't want you to worry; He doesn't want you to stress. He he a plan and has ALWAYS had a plan for you since before you were even born. I know that the only natural thing for us to do is to worry about the things we cannot change - God knows this, he knows we are human and are going to worry. Just don't worry about the things you cant change - you weren't ready back then to have a child...and it's better to wait till you are ready than to have a child that you end up putting your frustrations on because you werent. If that makes sense.

    Bottom line - I'll be praying for you. Try not to worry. Give your worries over to God - it's His decision, His plan, and He'll take care of you.

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  34. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm sure you've had advice on this but if your ovaries are probably still working right now - could you not get some extracted and frozen for future need?

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  35. I know quite a few women who have struggled with infertility and completely sympathize. I do think, though, that as women we are socialized to want children, feel like less of a woman if we don't have them, and less of a woman if we don't have "real" (i.e. biological) children. I know the prospect of childlessness is very heavy. But you might take the time to think about why you want children: is it because you feel like you should? You certainly didn't do the wrong thing before by leaving your marriage and following your happiness. Instead of worrying about the what-ifs, think about what you truly want. If you do want to be a parent, you can still do that. And it doesn't have to happen today, or a year from now, or five years from now. As many have said, there are options. And while the following response might lead some to want to say "fuck off" I say that adoption should not be discredited. It can be wonderfully fulfilling.

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  36. You're so brave, I struggle with leaving a comment and you post such an open and honest story. Anything I offer in sympathy or empathy would sound trite and unnecessary. The best thing I could think of to say is that it is a what if, it's not an absolute and as a probably infertile mother of three, when you're ready, you can determine how to work on possibilities, absolutes and changing them. . . . and there's all the fun of trying in the meantime!

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  37. My what ifs were the other way round. I was married and pregnant at a young age. The marriage didn't last, but the children did. There were many times I wondered what if I'd gone on to college...well, I did that later, but there were still the what ifs, but they don't bother me anymore. I'm happy with my life.

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  38. I'm so sorry, hon. The what-ifs and the woulda-shouldas are so tough sometimes. I truly hope it works out for you and that you are happy with whatever the results. And I send you big hugs, too.

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  39. hi - i understand where you are. i am in the middle of an ivf treatment and here is my advice that you didn't ask for but i'm going to give you anyway:
    - STAY OFF THE INTERNET. It will make you depressed, confused, and insane.
    - Talk to your doctors about harvesting and freezing eggs NOW - you will be taking action and doing something to keep your options open
    - You probably did not miss your chance, but if you give your doctors something tangible to work with (I want to freeze my eggs) instead of vague (do you think I can have kids?) it may motivate them to take more action.

    good luck. you are not crazy. this is a nightmare, i'm sorry you have to go thru it.

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  40. "it sucks when you don't get to choose."
    Too right. My husband and I thought we didn't want to have children of our own, but then we found about we couldn't. It was bad, and continues to be kind of rough on occasion. I too struggle with this question of whether somehow I deserve to be infertile because of how I've lived my life. I don't believe that on most days, and shouldn't believe it ever.
    I'm sorry you're going through this, and I hope things are better when you have your next doctor's appointment. If you don't mind, I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  41. Ditto on the "I read your blog, but never comment." I think that doctor err's comment about not thinking of them as big scary What-If's is a good one... I mean what if you'd never moved to SF? What if we have an earthquake tomorrow? What if's become obsessions so easily. Continue to do what you've been doing - think of these things as "I wonder what will happen next's." That's what's gotten you this far. Sending good karma your way - and keep walking around with it! :)

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  42. I have an ovarian fibroid. They run in my family and caused my mom to have early menopause. I am her only child. I always worry that if I don't have children soon, I will lose my chance. But I'm not in a serious relationship and I'm not ready. And when I get emotional I cry about it and feel really helpless. I'm 28 and it's scary. I totally understand.

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  43. I have kept your post marked as "unread" in my reader and have read it several times since you first posted it on Sunday. It really spoke to me, not because our stories are the same but because our fears, in some ways, are.

    I have been married for almost two years. I waited a long time to get married, and I am now 32, while my husband is a month away from turning 37. He has two teenage sons from a prior relationship. I don't have any kids, and I don't really have an urge to have them right now. Except...

    Time is ticking away. Even without something like a Fragile X carrier diagnosis, my eggs are getting older. I read blogs and message boards about people who had fertility issues or losses or never got pregnant. I work in a NICU and see everyday babies who are born very early, not all of whom make it.

    It all makes me a little crazy.

    I play the what-if game often. What if I never get pregnant? What if I do and it doesn't stick? What if ten years from now my biggest regret is I never had children of my own? Will being a stepmom be enough? Somehow I don't think so...

    And they say to relax and it will happen. Well, it's hard to relax when you can't turn off the voices in your head.

    My husband says no babies after he turns 40. So that gives me three years. I don't really want to start trying yet, but it seems stupid not to. But if we try and fail? What will I do then?

    I hear you...and I am thinking about you!

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  44. btw - when i said, "stay off the internet" i meant, don't do all the tempting medical research...that's all...there's a lot of scary wrong info out there! :-)

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  45. Seems like there are a lot of us rowing the same boat, against the tide and a little blindly. I had a mangled fallopian tube removed two weeks ago. I met with the endo repo two days ago, and his outlook is iffy for a baby.

    The family I have is not the family I had in my head when I married, but it's the only one I have and I try to hold on to that.

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  46. Having been struggling with our own inexplicable infertility for seven years now, I totally get where you're coming from.

    Why is this happening? Is our life this way enough? What if it's not? Why can't it be more?

    And while doctors, god, life and family have never been able to give us a single answer that explains anything, the only thing we've been able to hang on to is finding as much as we can in the blessings we do have, in each other, and doing our best to keep moving forward.

    The hardest parts to deal with(for me), have been those damn pop-culture beliefs and anecdotes and the fact that it doesn't seem the medical community really *knows* anything.

    Doctors throw percentages and possibilities at us when what I really, really want is just a 'yes' or 'no'; and I swear to god, if one more person offers their uterus to me or says the adoption=conception idea, I'll smack them so hard their own eggs fall out.

    Because those anecdotes are crap. People only say them because it makes THEM feel better - they don't research it, they don't live it, they don't KNOW. They just get to feel like they're helping by offering a solution they'll never, ever have to consider.

    Sorry. I know that sounds bitter. I just wanted to say I understand what you're saying, feeling, in a similar-boatish way, and that I'm sorry you're going through this.

    It's really, really hard. But you will find your way through.

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  47. Actually I don't see why you're worried, since a) you're not after getting pregnant, b) you don't know there is anything wrong, c) if there is anything wrong, there isn't much you can do about it anyway and d) even if there was much you could do, you wouldn't because you're not after getting pregnant. Just leave it alone until it such time as you are motivated to do something realistic about it, and at that time, you'll think of an answer somehow. Really no need to spend energy worrying about it if you're not after doing something about it right now.

    Not that it wouldn't be a good idea to quit drinking all the same, in my opinion, but then that's my opinion of drinking, and nobody asked for it.

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  48. I missed my chance.

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  49. I'm 31 and infertile. Even before my ovaries failed a year ago, I had issues. Honestly, finding out for sure will be the best thing for your mental stability and all of those "what ifs" racing at a million miles per hour. Once I knew, I knew. I relaxed. Sort of knowing "okay. I can't get pregnant so when I'm ready, if it's right, I can adopt. Not being able to be pregnant doesn't mean I can't be a mom." And it doesn't. My biological mother isn't my mom. My step-mom is my momma. She's the one that's been there for me, raised and loves me. The desire to be a mother doesn't stop at merely passing on your genetic make-up. You haven't passed up any chance. You've just been given a myriad of options.

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  50. So. I can't help myself, but I feel I may be verging on "creepy reader making unwanted suggestion" so, just know I know what it's like to get random suggestions from people I don't know...

    I am a big fan of hormone testing. The fun kind - spitting in tubes, and voila! Saved my life. I am not exaggerating. Truly, turned my life around. My "issues" were very different from yours - except I see the common thread of EXTREME STRESS. That s*#t will jack a girl up.

    My body was acting all pre-menopausal - at 32. Yup. After spit-testing I found my estrogen was actually "normal", but all my symptoms screamed "high estrogen". Turns out my progesterone was so low, it made my body act like my estrogen was high...

    Too many details beyond that really, but after friend after friend has done this testing (and not all that expensive compared to scans, etc - between $100/$200 depending...) I am convinced every woman should do this. Oh, and my Cortisol level (the stress hormones - ahem...) was through the friggin' roof.

    I don't believe "traditional" doctors go with the spit-test thing. I had to go through a naturopathy-type-hormone specialist.

    Kristy, I just wanted to share - take it as you will. I guess I just feel so passionate about this stuff I just had to share. I'm not crazy, well, not "stalker/i know how to save the world " crazy - that is :)

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  51. Oh, Kristy. My biggest, deepest, darkest fear is that I won't be able to have children. My eyes filled up and my heart ached a little for you reading this.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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