Bad news/good news test results

It is hard to come up with pictures for some of these posts.
Embroidered uterus.
(photo source)
After my positive HSG experience and "all clear" results, John and I were feeling very positive.... but as is so often the case in the land of (in)fertility, the high only lasted so long. The next day I got my blood results back which revealed an elevated FSH level. FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) is involved in the production of eggs and an elevated level of FSH most commonly indicates peri (pre) menopause. Most women reach this stage in their 40's and I'm 27 so this definitely came as a shock.

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. :-)



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Jillian -

    Your post puts tears in my eyes. We're going through this crazy fertility process pretty much at the same time - we're a month or so ahead of you, I think. It is so hard not to KNOW. The what ifs...all of it.

    Just know that there lots of other people out there, taking these steps alongside you guys. Sometimes we all get discouraged and sad, other times are full of a feeling that God will provide - or at least show a way and a will.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this journey. May we both have positive news very soon!!

    Karen R.

    p.s. - the embroidered uterus is hysterical. :)

    1. Wish I could reach out and squeeze your hand! Sisters on the journey. YES - may we both have good news to share very, very soon! xoxo

  3. Anonymous9/10/2013

    Wishing you so much luck! I've followed your blog for a long time and can relate to this path you are on. We adopted our son (domestically) and then went through IVF 3 times to have our daughter.
    I can relate to what you said about adoption preparing you for infertility testing. So does parenthood. All through our treatments, I had a strong sense of peace because we were already so blessed. I knew another child would just be like gravy.
    We love the way we've created our family. Wishing you the best!

    1. Thank you so much! Love hearing from other women who have walked both the adoption and the IF road. Esp. in that order! So cool.

  4. Anonymous9/10/2013

    Praying for blessings and perseverance! Your attitude and faith in God are so inspiring, I am blessed to read about your journey. A friend of mine was diagnosed with being peri menopausal and didn't think they couldn't get pregnant but then by God's grace they did. I believe that God is going to bless your situation tremendously!!!

    1. Thank you for those prayers! Loved hearing that your friend still got pregnant. Praise God!

  5. The peace that you seek and find along your journeys is something I want to sit at the feet of and learn from.

    Peace in an exam room? Ethereal and lovely. Love you.

    1. <3 It is not something I would have ever chosen to learn on my own, but so blessed to be finding it in the midst of my fears.

  6. I wish I could write better in English (I'm from Brazil) to tell you my experience, but I also did a FSH exam and had the same result as you, a sign of early menopause... I was devastated. It turned out the exam was "incorrect", because I got pregnant after removing a inflammatory spot in the uterus. So, keep trusting God and dreaming with a baby!

    1. Your English looks perfect to me! That is so great to hear! I am thrilled that you were still able to get pregnant and YES I will keep on trusting and dreaming!

  7. Jillian,

    I too am about a month ahead of you. We just had our first "bust" cycle and while it was hard, getting to see pictures of my friends newborn twins that Dr. Colbert helped make a reality reminds me that we are in GOOD hands!

    We're giving my body one more month to respond to oral drugs before we get super aggressive. Unfortunately for us we're dealing with both my IF issues, as well as male factor infertility, so the cards are definitely stacked against us.

    Keep the faith, and know that in His timing, all will be well.

    1. Becky I'm sorry your first cycle was a bust. That's hard. :-( I hope and pray this next month is it for you! I have another friend who had her daughter with help from the same clinic and she constantly assures me that once you hold that baby in your arms, all the longing and the tests and the indignities of infertility fade into the background. Praying we will both know the joy of our babies in arms soon!

    2. Thanks Jill! If anything this entire experience has been an exercise in patience and faith. Lord knows that patience is not one of my strong suits.

      Perhaps I'll run into you at Dr. Colbert's office one of these days. So don't be alarmed if a chubby short blonde approaches you in the waiting room.


I love reading your comments! Those left on posts older than 2 days will require moderation.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...