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She was eleven weeks pregnant. The pregnancy had a bumpy start but she was optimistic. There had been no bleeding. No pain. She had a miscarriage before. She knew what to look for. The night before her appointment had been rough. Her grandmother was dying and she was devastated. She had wanted to whisper her secret in her grandmother’s ear. She wanted to give her good news in the midst of so much negativity, but something stopped her. The technician came out to get her. She asked if she had any pain or bleeding. “None at all,” she had said “I am feeling really good.” The ultra sound began. There were no words. The silence was chilling. The images on the screen were crushing. She has her miracle child. She knew what she should be seeing. “I am sorry. There is no heartbeat.” She already knew.

After scheduling her surgery for the next day, she went to the other part of the hospital to be with her family. She couldn’t tell anyone. How could she do that to them? They were in so much pain. This day was hard enough. She couldn’t add to it. So she kept it in. She hugged, supported, cried, and did whatever anyone needed her to do until her grandmother passed. The next day, she woke up and went to her surgery. This silence, this feeling as if she could not tell anyone never left. There was always a reason.

The days and weeks past and she kept everything in. She wasn’t ready to give up. She wanted a family. Her husband wants more than one child. Her daughter will want a sibling. Her dream is three, she wants three children; she always has and probably always will. She suffers one more early miscarriage before finally talking to a fertility doctor. She finds out she should have went to him sooner. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.  Pre-menopause. That is her new diagnosis. Since the age of 26 she knew she had diminished ovarian reserve so she was encouraged to get pregnant as soon as possible. Even though she suffered one miscarriage, she eventually conceived and has a miracle baby girl. The two miscarriages after her delivery could possibly have been prevented but no one will ever know for sure. The doctor had disregarded her history and no labs were ever taken. Her fertility doctor had hope but admitted another child would be a miracle. She decided to try anyways and did a round of injections. Poked and prodded for weeks, this too ended in a miscarriage.

Menopause knows no age boundaries. It can sneak in at any time and change your whole world. She is 30 years old and is perimenopausal. Her hormones are completely out of whack. She is dealing with things that no one her age can relate to but she can’t keep it in any longer. POI and menopause before 50 need a voice. She will be that voice.

 

Stephanie H., Pennsylvania