The Blog

We became the 1 in 8

January 28, 2020

It started with night sweats.

I didn’t think it was necessarily normal for a 27 year-old to be having night sweats. Every night. Working in women’s hospital, in a department full of women dealing with both pregnant and non-pregnant women, my first thought was hormones. Naturally. I had no idea we were about to fit the statistic of the 1 in 8.

Infertility complications were on my radar.

However, I distanced myself from the possibility of the two being connected. After a long discussion with my husband and a lot of prayer, I booked an appointment. I gave up my lunch break for this appointment. Working in a busy OB/GYN Ultrasound department, my priority to be fast and prompt was important. I reported to the Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology and filled out paperwork. A lot of it.

The waiting room was full of couples.

Perhaps they were there for infertility treatments. Perhaps they were there for testing. Perhaps they were there for none of the above. The department itself made me feel like I didn’t necessarily belong because we hadn’t even begun trying for kids. My palms were sweaty and adrenaline was flowing as the Medical Assistant walked me back the brightly lit hallway into a room full of obstetric and gynecologic diagrams and plastic models. It was intimidating for no obvious reason.

Shortly after, the doctor came. We chatted for a while. Her calm demeanor but thorough “plan of attack” put me at ease. She asked a lot of questions. I answered them. She ordered bloodwork to be done at my earliest convenience. Once we knew the result of those tests, we could move forward with a “plan.” Naturally, I went the next morning and got the bloodwork.

The day after that, I received a phone call no one really wants after getting blood work.

It was the nurse. It went something like, “Hi Andrea. We received the results from your bloodwork. When would be a good time to schedule an appointment with the doctor to discuss them in person?” That same week, I went back. Again, I went on my lunch break.

She used the one word that every anxious person hates. The word “but.”

That all of my hormones were normal, BUT one. The hormone which was abnormal is called the “Anti-Mullerian” hormone. It’s a hormone that typically refers to a woman’s ovarian function and fertility. The official diagnoses known as “Low Ovarian Reserve” or “Premature Ovarian Failure” was spit out at me. The fear of becoming the 1 in 8 was deafening.

Time is what we needed. Time, which seemed to be infinite, quickly became measurable. In that moment, we entered the statistic. We became the “1 in 8” of couples who experience infertility. Time never mattered to us before. But it changed our lives then.