It was a Tuesday night at 9 pm when I got the email saying my test results were in. Without giving it a second thought, I signed in to review and check them out before my appointment with my OB/GYN (mistake number one). I read through the results and they all looked as though they were within a normal range except my estradiol, which was flagged abnormal. Naturally, I did what every red blooded, 30 year old, newlywed, ovulation tracking, pregnancy test taking, baby wanting lady would do. I headed straight to Google (oops…mistake numero dos). The first article I came across explained I had “low ovarian reserve” and that I “may have the best results with IVF and a donor egg”. And this is where I crumbled, googled, crumbled some more, googled some more… you get the point. The more I read, the worse my prognosis got. I was devastated. But I quickly realized sitting in my depression wasn’t going to get me anywhere and I needed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and do something about it. Granted, everyone is different and what worked for me might not work for the next person. But sitting in bed crying, watching Full House reruns and eating Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream most definitely isn’t going be the magic combination. (Total hypothetical btw, I never did that.)
Nope, I don’t mean google. I quickly ditched the internet search engines for Amazon. I bought an array of books that could help educate me on how to deal, how to heal and how to treat. I filled my brain with knowledge as opposed to what Stephanie from Kansas City posted on a infertility forum. The more I read, the more I understood and I was able to come up with a list of questions and concerns for my doctor (heck yea I brought a notebook to my appointment). One book I highly recommend is, “It Starts with the Egg,” by Rebecca Fett.
2.Talk the Talk (or Don’t)
Some days I would talk, some days I HAD to talk (I may or may not have told total strangers at Target…in the baby section), and some days I couldn’t think about it let alone talk about it. I think the important part is letting your partner, family and friends know where you stand that day. There were mornings I would start the day by telling my husband, “I can’t talk about it today. Let’s see how I am doing tomorrow,” and the next day we would reassess. You are entitled to a day off, but don’t let your day off turn into suppressing your feelings.
3.Take Care of Yourself
I turned my health and well being into my job by coming up with a lifestyle makeover tailored to my diagnosis. I drank the water, ate the greens and my favorite part… got the ZZZs. I tossed the plastic containers, ditched the fragrances and changed my cosmetics. There are so many elements we can’t change as individuals, but I changed the ones I could.
I needed to find things that made me feel like I had a handle on this. I immediately started acupuncture (per my Doctor’s approval) and began taking a regimen of supplements the acupuncturist recommended. I ordered fertility crystals (hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it) and meditated with them for 10 minutes a day and then slept with them under my pillow. I consulted with different Reproductive Endocrinologists throughout the state, coming up with a game plan if we ended up having to go that route. This all gave me a sense of empowerment and made me feel like I can and I will hold my baby at the end of this bumpy road.