It was 5 years ago yesterday (January 29th) when my little (or should I say the biggest) miracle came into my arms. This infertility stuff has never been easy, and just when you think you've conquered it, you realize it's a part of you forever.
To illustrate my miracle, I'd have to tell my story. I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure after stopping birth control. I was on birth control for over 6 years, so there's no telling how long I've had this condition. (Birth control hides pretty much all symptoms of POF). No birth control, no period--that's how it started. Then, came the hot flashes in the middle of the day, night sweats at night. I was feeling more depressed (despite a new "amazing" guy entering my life, who is now my husband). I went to my OB/GYN about the lack of periods, and she ran several tests, which all pointed to POF. Estrogen was basically zero and my FSH was 85. Those in the infertility world understand FSH numbers. At the time of my diagnosis, I was clueless about that number, but after an internet search, I learned very quickly how bad that number is for any woman who wants children. My OB/GYN referred me to a RE doc, and the news continued to get worse. Not only did I have POF, but my ovaries were the size of a woman in her late 40's (I was 28 at the time). My one ovary was barely visible on the ultrasound. Then, I got the talk. If you want children, you'll need to look at other options. I kept thinking 'why me?' I already lost my Dad too early (to evil cancer cells) and was finally rebounding from that year from hell...now POF without the chance to have my own biological child. Yep, at that moment, my life pretty much SUCKED. I was given the possibility of my own child, which is the usual percentage they give every POF woman: 5-10%. First of all, 5% or heck even 10% is a pretty slim chance. Based on my ultrasound, I felt doomed.
Then, I got a glimpse of hope. I went back to my RE office for a follow up, but I had another doctor. He sat down with me to talk, but his tone was very different from the first RE doc. Yes, I still had POF (and now hypothyroidism), but when he looked at the ultrasound images, he said there appears to be a few eggs in your one ovary. A few eggs...that was the best news I've heard since the diagnosis. Afterall, it only takes one egg, right? He still gave me the 5-10% chance of conceiving on my own, but I left that meeting with something that fueled my quest for a child. For once, I began to hope.
I began my HRT, and I did all the things they tell you to do to conceive. I cut caffeine and alcohol from my diet. I ate healthier. I excercised. I began accupuncture depsite my huge fear of needles. With accupuncture, my hope was getting stronger. My doctor (he was an MD) who performed the accupuncture seemed pretty convinced that I could get pregnant. Why? I really don't know. He stuck needles in me and examined my tongue every visit. How could he possibily be confident? The HRT was helping my mood and eliminating my hot flashes, which was a huge relief.
One month later, I saw my OB/GYN for a routine PAP and breast exam. Wow, my breasts feel sensitive. OB/GYN takes a pregnancy test to make sure I'm not pregnant. Really? What is she thinking? Just as I suspected, it was negative.
Two weeks later, my PAP results. Seriously, this can't be happening...it was freaking abnormal! My first abnormal PAP results in my life. I scheduled to see her again for a follow up.
A week later, my HRT-induced period was late! Must be something screwy with my HRT or maybe the stress of the abnormal PAP is causing a late period. Then, it was 7 days late. Ah, what the heck, I'll just take a home pregnancy test for the fun of it. (I am feeling nausea after my run today). Looks negative.
Next day, I still have one more HPT. What do I have to lose? Am I reading this thing right? I check the instructions. I need a second pair of eyes to look at the results window. The results were clear--it was positive! (and yesterday's HPT WAS also positive!)
My OB/GYN and RE doctors were amazed at the news. To this day, they still call my daughter a miracle. I've been told that my story is told in their offices to other women. I hope my story gives other women (not just those with POF but all women facing this rough road of infertility) the spirit of hope.
This infertility pain never seems to go away. Everytime I hear the stories of other women facing the struggles of infertility, tears form in my eyes, for I'm taken back to the place where I was before my daughter. I remember that pain and sadness, and I would never wish it upon my worst enemy. I feel a different kind of pain today, but it ultimately is linked to infertility. How do you tell a now 5-year old that she might not have a brother or sister? 'Why Mommy?' Then, the pain re-visits. Darn you, infertility.