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“On a Tuesday afternoon in late April I was absent-mindedly sponging down my daughter Ellena’s highchair, and obsessively checking the clock. It was the day my OB-GYN would be calling with the results of a key hormone test. Ellena was just over a year old, and my husband and I had only been trying to conceive for a few months, but at 42, I knew it was best to make sure my numbers were favorably lined up.
I can still easily recall the rush of fear, after the phone finally rang and I stood in the dim light of our narrow Upper West Side kitchen listening to my doctor’s voice: “The follicle-stimulating hormone helps us assess a woman’s ovarian reserve. I’m afraid your levels are much too high, Julia. At 42, with an FSH of 42, there is nothing I can do for you. You should see a fertility specialist. The sooner the better. I’ll send you a list.”
This can’t be true, I thought, taking a slow, deep Lamaze breath and trying to reason my way out of panic: We conceived Ellena on the first try. How could things fall apart so quickly?
The next morning, armed with a list of referrals, I set out in search of a more hopeful prognosis. But things were not off to a great start. “I’m sorry,” said the receptionist at the first doctor’s office. “He will not accept you as a patient. Your FSH is too high; he doesn’t think he could help you.” The five reproductive endocrinologists who did agree to see me displayed graphs of plummeting success rates for women over 40, with high FSH.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."