Saturday, May 28, 2011

Staring Down the Barrel of a Gun

I've been dealing lately with a variety of symptoms that, while they are not anything catastrophic or close to it, are bothersome enough to have me searching for answers. The main problem seems to be that I'm affected in a variety of ways (different systems), so I can't say I have X and then address it. Trying to pinpoint the root has been impossible. I have a few things going on that are all related and causing symptoms in different parts and in different ways.

Taking into account my medical history, plus all the stuff I've learned in the last month, I feel pretty confident that I've been able to trace a line from stuff I've dealt with in the past (blood sugar issues and bad knees, for example) to what I have now, and I believe I've found an answer and am now immersed in fixing it (there's a fix, that in itself is pretty great). I've been on a bit of a roller coaster, feeling worried, confused, frustrated, and now, empowered and a bit relieved.

But having to face this health matter calls to the front of my mind the one problem I have been trying to avoid dealing with, which, while probably related to the larger health issue, nonetheless stands on its own: my fertility.

I have a suspicion that my PCOS is back. You'd think, given that I was first diagnosed at 17 and that my PCOS has always been pretty mild (i.e., I got pregnant without any intervention when I wasn't even trying), that this would be a non-issue by now, but it's not. And it's not because 35 is a mere year away from me, and I feel like my window will soon slam shut, and whatever desire I may have had for more kids will stay that, a desire, and not something that will be a real possibility for me.

(Let's review some statistics, for the unaware: at about age 35, fertility starts to decline pretty rapidly. A regular woman at age 35 has about a 15-20% chance of getting pregnant (it dives to 5% at 40); for a woman with PCOS, it's always a crapshoot, no matter the age, since the very issue with the condition is a lack of ovulation.)

I look at these facts and feel a hopelessness that completely depresses me. They're grim. They're unsettling. Sure, I have yet to confirm the return of PCOS - but I know the symptoms and the deck is stacked against me (though I'll have a better idea in the next couple of weeks if my hunch is right and can then see my doc about it). And sure, my PCOS is mild, and overall I'm healthy. And sure, bajillions of women are having babies into their 40's. It's all good! I've got nothing to worry about!

But. But. But. There are a lot of those for me. First of all, interventions (IUI, IVF, etc.) are not an option for me. I have no desire or interest in going that route, and I won't. Even the most common and surest (and safest) route, taking Clomid, is not something I want to do. At most, I'm on the fence about that. So you know all those women in their late 30's and into their 40's who are having babies? Yeah, this is how they're having them, and I won't do it that way.

There's a whole other (pretty big) issue, which has nothing to do with PCOS but everything to do with being 35: I don't want to be an older mom. The thought of being 38, 39, etc. and having a baby then is unappealing. I don't want to be in my mid-40's with a preschooler. My son will be a big kid then, and I will be far enough away from infancy and toddlerhood to have any compelling reason to return to it. God, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. My concerns about my fertility and my health are just the stressful icing on this giant stress-cake. If either were to be a serious problem that would result in a troublesome or risky pregnancy, why would I want that?

No wonder, then, that I see 35 on the horizon and feel like a caged lion, going crazy when there's nothing to be done. This has no solution. I'm not about to get pregnant any time soon. Time is my enemy, so it's not like "giving it time" does anything for me. This will grow and compound as time passes. I think a lot about my long-held desire to adopt, about the idea of adopting an older child at 39, 40, whatever. I have no clue how possible that will be, what I will feel at that time. Adoption is no simple matter, and I don't know if it's something that would ultimately fit with my life.

I hate this feeling. I'm relieved to get this off my chest, but man, I'm stressed the hell out over it. And I am. I am so stressed. I see nothing but a problem that's totally out of my control. I'm just standing here watching it all unfold, unable to do squat about it, and it's maddening. It's frustrating.

It makes me slightly resentful of time and circumstance. And in the worst moments, I can't help feel that it's terribly unfair.

Labels: , ,



Posted by Tere @ 5/28/2011   | |

2 Comments

  • Blogger Freckle Face Girl posted at 5/30/2011 9:03 PM  
    It is frustrating to be facing an issue that you are passionate about but have your hands tied. Best of luck with your health issues and hopefully everything else falls into place.
  • Blogger CJ posted at 5/31/2011 2:48 PM  
    Having been a young mom (at 19) and having my youngest child six months ago (at 34) I have to say, it isn't as "bad" as I thought it would be. It's not like when I was 19, but there are HUGE improvements to being a mom NOW, as opposed to THEN. Hang in there, medical stuff is never fun to deal with.
  • Post a Comment

    « Home

    Create a Link