|It is hard to come up with pictures for some of these posts.|
My levels were thankfully only slightly elevated so this is a bad news/good news diagnosis.
Bad news: we are going to test again next month but if my levels remain elevated, it means my fertile years may come to an early close. I don't think just one blood test can indicate an accurate timeframe, but the nurse I spoke with said she would not want to see us wait even four years to start treatment (which would put me at age 31).
Good news: our decision to go ahead with treatment now as opposed to trying on our own or even pursuing a second adoption first was the right decision. As the nurse told me, it doesn't mean I won't get pregnant, but it does mean we should be aggressive with treatment as we move forward. In the fertility world, you always want time to be on your side.
John and I felt very grateful when we received this news because when we made the decision to start treatment, we did not feel a sense of supernatural leading like we felt when we made the decision to adopt. In fact, our decision was made almost entirely on the fact that women peak in fertility around age 28, so we thought, "If we want to do this, now is probably the time." We did not realize how true that decision would ring! Though we did not have a profound moment of divine guidance, I believe God led us to this decision though the simple fact of my age. I have also considered the truth that even if the worst happens and we never have a biological child, at least I will not have to live with the regret of missing our small window of opportunity. Again- thank God.
All the other hormones that were measured in my tests came back at normal levels.
After we received the bad news/good news about my FSH levels, I started to feel anxious about my ultrasound. Even though something is obviously not quite right as proven by my inability to conceive, I had been feeling confidant that the ultrasound would come back normal. Suddenly I started worrying about the what ifs.
After a few days of worrying, I moved past the fear to a place of just wanting to know. Infertility brings with is such a loss of control. I've found that it is hard to know what I should even hope for in this testing. Of course I don't want anything to be wrong, but at the same time, it is also scary to think that maybe there won't be anything wrong- or anything to fix- and we'll walk away empty handed with an "unexplained infertility" diagnosis.
In this sense, going through Arie's adoption has helped me prepare for this journey. In the adoption process, we also dealt with that same sense that we were not in control of the situation. We struggled with the idea that our family's future was being passed around- paperwork in the hands of our adoption agency, of our government, of the Russian government, of the doctors who did our medical exams, of the embassies who secured our travel visas and Arie's passport. We were secure in our goal: to bring our son home, but we had no idea what the process would look like and how long it would take.
Now again, we know we want to be pregnant and have a baby, but we have no idea what this journey is going to look like or how long it is going to take. We go into each test and hear each result knowing that in an instant the way we envision our future could drastically alter. As I sat on the ultrasound table, however, alone in the room waiting for the nurse, I was peacefully aware of God's presence around me. This was the blessing of the anxiety in adoption and it is again the blessing of anxiety in infertility: you are quickly brought to the end of yourself and you have no choice but to turn yourself fully over into God's loving hands.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31
My ultrasound came back mostly normal. The nurse saw something "cloudy" near one ovary which is most likely a non-concerning cyst, but something "to keep an eye on."
So that's where we are now: slightly elevated FSH levels and a "probably nothing" cyst.
Next week we will go back again to see our doctor and come up with a treatment plan. A while ago I posted about going the medical vs. holistic route for treatment; we are definitely moving forward with the medical route, but I am still sorting through all your excellent holistic recommendations to determine what else we can be doing in conjunction with our doctor's treatment plan. I'll post more on that another time!
Feeling mostly relieved, a little anxious, a lot hopeful, and more than ready for a baby in my belly. :-)