Fertility isn't something I ever worried about. Children, babies. They seem like such a future thing – once I’ve done all the things I want to do then I’ll think about it. But I’m not done yet, I’m not done travelling, or having all the freedom or doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. I'm not ready for all the responsibility that comes with being a parent. I've only just turned 30!
Except, my FSH levels are too high. Apparently FSH stands for Follicle-stimulating hormone and is my pituitary glands way of telling my body that it should mature an egg in my ovary, to kick off that whole fun cycle. It’s too high. My FSH is too high, and my AMH (whatever that is) is too low. Which, essentially means that despite everyone telling me how young I am, and how I have loads of time – that’s not true. I’ve got very little time, and essentially it’s now or never.
Just in case you missed that – NOW or NEVER.
What. How do I decide that? Children – now or never. Whaaaat. Now has never seemed so immediate, or so scary. At first I was all, pfft. You doctor, clearly are lying. All of society tells me I have plenty of time and I want that time, so you must be wrong. And so I took my results an expensive fertility clinic and oh… Perhaps not so wrong.
(Fun side note, turns out the NHS will help you out, but only if you’ve been trying for a year… They will help you interpret existing results, which is helpful if you happen to go into a private fertility clinic to figure things out and want a third/fourth/fifth opinion).
So, there I was. Expensive fertility clinic, fancy art on the walls (koi watercolours, lake vistas. Clearly aiming for calm, but with the fear and urgency whipping up a storm in my head, calm wasn't happening today). I wanted to hear that my GP was wrong. That is what I wanted. And after several blood tests and a wand up my vajayjay this expensive fertility doctor, with all her knowledge, told me otherwise. I was at the end of my fertility season.
Womp. I was disappointed and quite close to panicking. Seeing this, my doctor said if I don’t want children right this moment (or if I’d like more than one child down the line) I could do IVF now (as in, next week, next month, definitely within the next few months but ideally right now) so we can harvest eggs, fertilise and freeze the little embryos. Store them, till I was ready to have babies. It was an option I latched on to, filled with hope. Babies, I could still have them *and* I wasn't forced into having them right this minute.
However, if I wanted that as an option, we should do that now. Literally, as soon as possible. Don’t delay. Don’t delay don’t delay don’t delay. This sense of urgency is overwhelming. My body is broken and I feel so betrayed! But no time to process, let's get started. Tick tock.
I’ve been reading as much as I can find on all the things, and the success rate is not awesome. The idea of needling myself with hormones freaks me out, especially because the possibility of what is called a ‘negative outcome’ is so high. The odds? Not in my favour. Very much not in my favour.
I’m scared. Everything feels urgent, and I’m terrified. I’m scared about what this means. I’m not ready for now, and never seems to impossible to contemplate. I’m only half of this equation, too, there’s Zee to think about. I’m scared about what it means for us. About what it means for our future. The unknown is scary, the future is scary, change is scary as fuck.
So. Fertility. Woah buddy.