By Alisha Blanding
The path to motherhood is a unique and deeply personal journey, one that often comes with unexpected challenges. My story is a testament to this truth. At the age of 34, I was diagnosed with pre-ovarian failure and perimenopause, a diagnosis that left me facing the reality of infertility. I want to share my journey and the valuable lessons I've learned along the way, in the hope that it may encourage and support other women who find themselves in similar situations.
At 34, I believed I had ample time to start a family, considering myself still young enough to carry and birth a healthy child. However, I later learned that the medical community designates "advanced maternal age" or “geriatric pregnancy” as beginning at 35, accompanied by increased pregnancy risks, including a higher likelihood of a c-section. Unfortunately, I prioritized my career and postponed family planning. Looking back, I wish I had possessed the knowledge I have now, as it would have influenced my choices significantly.
My journey began with a diagnosis based on my hormone levels, specifically Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) tests. These tests play a crucial role in assessing a woman's ovarian reserve and overall fertility health. A low AMH and high FSH, as in my case, often indicate diminished ovarian function.
In response to this diagnosis, I decided to explore the option of freezing my eggs. This process involves stimulating the ovaries with hormone injections to produce multiple eggs, which are then harvested, frozen, and stored for future use. However, I must emphasize that this path was not without its challenges. The hormone injections were not only physically painful but also emotionally taxing. It was a difficult and inconvenient journey.
Throughout this trying time, my faith in God became a source of strength and resilience. Infertility is a path marked by uncertainty and heartache, but faith can provide the inner strength needed to endure the challenges and persevere.
As I write this article today, I remain unmarried without children, having faced the disappointment of not being able to successfully freeze my eggs. While this was not the outcome I initially envisioned, it has led me to a deeper understanding that life often unfolds in unexpected ways.
My experience has led to new opportunities, including me authoring my first book Unmarried Without Children, which dives deeper into my journey to marriage and motherhood, and the establishment of a ministry dedicated to supporting women navigating similar journeys. I'm embracing my single season and trusting that God's promise for motherhood will be fulfilled in His time.
If you need support or have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Stay strong, and never give up on the promise that God has for you.