Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Infertility. My Journey.

Well, that's a yucky yucky word.

I have many friends who suffer from infertility, I've watched the struggle. I feel like I can't talk about my own journey because there are so many people that are out there who's story isn't like mine. I mean, how can I talk about infertility if I haven't even experienced IVF or IUI or egg retrievals or doctor appointments of unexplained infertility.

Because I've been blessed on my own infertility journey. 

So to get you all up to speed, I suffer from Endometriosis. 

So what is endometriosis? Well, here's the definition of it from good ol' webmd

Endometriosis happens when tissue normally found inside the uterus grows in other parts of the body. It may attach to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the exterior of the uterus, the bowel, or other internal parts. As hormones change during the menstrual cycle, this tissue breaks down and may cause painful adhesions, or scar tissue.

I suffer from this. 

Many women suffer from this actually. It's one of the main causes of infertility. But many women don't find out they have it until it's too late, they try and try to have children, go through testing, being poke and prodded to find out they have it. And it's too far along for them to conceive on their own.

My story is a bit different. I didn't have unexplained infertility, I didn't show up at doctors office wondering why I couldn't have babies, because I did. I had 2 beautiful babies. 

My journey, started in March of 2012. I was at work having some really bad pain on my right side, we thought it was my appendix so off to the emergency room we went. After running some tests they couldn't find anything wrong with me. 

I didn't think much of it, I got married and life moved on. Then, in October 2012, I was having the same exact pain again. I was frustrated because it was in the exact same spot. We decided we'd go to the ER just in case it was my appendix. It wasn't. They did an ultrasound and found some fluid by my ovary. They told me a cyst had ruptured and probably infected my ovary and I needed to schedule an appointment with my OBGYN. So I did. They ran no tests, didn't tell me anything new, just told me "it happens" and moved on.

But the pain returned. I knew it wasn't just a "cyst" so in December 2012, I went to my family practice doctor and had him run some tests. He told me it could be 1 of 2 things. The first a really bad infection or Endometriosis. He put me on some heavy antibiotics to see if we could flush out the infection (if it was indeed an infection) he said if I continued to have pain then it wasn't an infection and I needed to make another appointment with my OBGYN. The antibiotics made me super sick and it was the week of Christmas when I started this, so it was pretty lousy. 

The antibiotics didn't work, so off to the OBGYN I went again. She told me, "so you suffer from endometriosis," but usually they go in laparoscopic but they didn't want to do that until it was absolutely necessary so that way it wouldn't build up more scar tissues. 

I was given 3 options
1. To have a baby.
2. Put on hormonal birth control
3. be put in a menopausal state

I was currently in school and wanted to finish school before we had a baby, so I went on birth control. I got freaked out though thinking about never being able to have children, so I went off the birth control 2 weeks later.... And we started trying to have a baby. (this was in January) 

We found out we were pregnant on April 30, 2013. 

It was a relief because we weren't infertile yet. We caught it in time!

It's always in the back of my mind though. When we started trying for baby #2, I freaked out thinking we were infertile since it had been such a long time since we found out. We stopped preventing but not actively trying...

It was disheartening to read "not pregnant" time and time again. Because I was worried we were going to have to go through infertility treatments. Because once your told your chances of conceiving naturally become slimmer when you have Endo you start to freak. 

But... we were blessed again.

But here we are again. I didn't have a period for 2 years after Hailey, and my endometriosis is back with a vengeance. I can feel the damage done, the pain it's causing, all the scar tissue and the blocked Fallopian tube on my right side. 

Moral of the story?
Listen to your body!

Even if you aren't trying to have kids, listen to your body. If your periods aren't consisted like on a 28-30 day cycle and bleed for 5-7 days, if your cramps are absolutely terrible that you can't get off the floor that first day (like me) or if you have pain when you ovulate, (like me) go talk to your OBGYN! 

I feel incredibly lucky I found out early. My situation could easily change though in a moment. I may not have gone though IVF, or IUI,  but I could very easily be someone who could or will. 

So that's my story, I may not be infertile yet on both sides. But I know that feeling of "something is wrong" or "will I ever be able to have another kid?" I thank Heavenly Father that I've been one of the lucky ones on this journey. 

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