Friday, October 14, 2005


When I was eighteen, I found out I was infertile. I had a period that went on for weeks, so I went to the gynecologist to get my blood drawn. He told me my hormone levels were slightly abnormal. My diagnosis was polycystic ovaries, an endocrine disorder that affects 6-10% percent of women. In a polycystic ovary, follicles that mature form cysts on the ovary wall instead of releasing ova into the fallopian tubes.

He told me don't worry, when you want to get pregnant there is medicine for that.

I didn't worry.

I couldn't imagine my ovaries releasing eggs to travel down my fallopian tubes. I couldn't imagine having a child. I was about to create other selves anyway. The night before I left for college in Medford, Massachusetts, I cried to a circle of friends I had known for years. I hugged my apricot poodle Nicky good-bye. By second semester I had torn down my photos of my New Jersey friends and toned down my makeup. I was studying Kant and Stieglitz and Geertz and Caravaggio.

I didn't think about my ovaries, full of unrealized potential, for years and years and years.


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