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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 CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."
"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."
"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."
"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."
"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."
"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."
"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."
"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"
"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."
"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."
"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."
"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."