In the last few weeks two different doctors came to the same conclusion – premature ovarian failure, or POF for short. I think an extra “o” should be added – PO(o)F seems more appropriate.
Seeing the positive sign on a stick, poof. Going to the doctor’s office and comparing with other pregnant women, poof. Feeling my body change and grow, poof. Sharing stories with my mom, mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, friends, poof. Feeling connected to all mothers who came before me, poof. Experiencing childbirth, poof. Holding my child for the first time, poof.
PO(o)F and it’s all gone. Just like that.
I haven’t cried as much lately. I’m slowly settling into it. I think I’m just tired. It’s been a year since I originally heard there was something wrong. Since then I’ve grieved and gotten angry and hoped and asked more questions and gotten more answers. I’m tired of it all.
On Friday when I saw my gynecologist I shared with her how my cycles had been off the last few months. “Premature ovarian failure.” “Yeah, that’s what the fertility specialist said.” We talked for a while then she confirmed what I’ve felt this whole time: “If you have to work this hard at something, maybe it’s just not meant to be.” “Yes, I think that’s right.”
I’m still annoyed when people ask if I have children. I still have to unfollow friends on Facebook when they announce another pregnancy. Often times, I feel like I’m living in an alternate dream life – surely this can’t be happening to me.
There’s no explanation for PO(o)F. They don’t know what causes it. But, I know it’s not my fault. I know there’s nothing I did or didn’t do that caused this. I’m just one of the very small percentage of women who (without previous STD, chemotherapy or genetic disorder) has failing ovaries at an early age. I’m not sure if knowing what caused this would help or hurt.
I told my doctor that we have seven nieces and nephews who we can direct our attention toward. I told her we will travel more. I told her that yes, we thought about adoption, but we aren’t 100% committed to that and adopting will never replace the baby we dreamed of having together.
A few weeks ago a friend at my reunion told me to do whatever it takes to have a baby because it’s so amazing. I’m sure it is and I know that’s the road she took. But, that’s not the road we’re taking. The road we’re taking is not well lit. I suspect the road we’re taking will reveal itself with each step we bravely take into the dark. That’s how it’s been for the past year. One, small brave step after another. It seems to work, so that’s what we’ll keep doing.
I’m sad and will probably always be sad about this. But, I’m also grateful. There’s no one in the world I’d ever want to navigate this road with than Brad. After leaving the fertility doctor we talked about how it’s too bad we didn’t meet earlier, maybe then I’d have functioning ovaries. But, if we’d met earlier, we may not have liked each other as much, we may have passed each other by.
We met at just the right time. We met when we both needed each other. And still do and always will. Children or not, I’ve got an amazing husband and best friend. How can I not be grateful for that?
One, small brave step at a time. That seems to be enough for now.