Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fertility and Me

I've been giving a lot of thought to fertility the past month or so. It is something I struggle with pretty much daily, and sometimes I don't deal well. Let me take it back for you.

I got pregnant when I was 18, almost 19. Looking back, this in itself, was a miracle. I lost that baby at 5 weeks. I only knew I was pregnant because I took a pregnancy test. If I had not done that, I wouldn't have known. After the miscarriage, that ob/gyn said I had a small ovarian cyst that would go away on its own.

After several years of being on birth control and knowing I wanted to have a baby, I stopped taking them and we started trying. After trying for a year, my ob/gyn (the old guy whose name is on the door) had me start charting my cycles. I never did see any changes in temperature or anything else that is supposed to signal ovulation, but then again, I was only 21 or 22, so what did I know?

In April of 2004, I had an ovarian cyst burst. I suspect that I had one burst earlier, while I was at work, but it wasn't quite so bad. I was in a barely staffed office, so it was a holiday of some kind, and it was some of the worst pain I've ever experienced. But, I couldn't leave, and really, it just hurt when I breathed deep or moved, so I stayed. I thought perhaps I had pulled a muscle and I don't know how I thought I could have done that by sitting on my ass all day. My gp doctor agreed. Then came the big one, the one that sent me to the ER in an ambulance in the middle of the night. And when they did all the tests, they found, not one, not two, but more. Including one the size of an orange, or a baseball, or a grapefruit. Right on my ovary. And if that one had decided to go, well, there's a good chance I would have died before getting to the hospital.

So, I go back to my ob/gyn, who refers me to someone else in his practice, someone younger. And that doctor, when he looked at the sonogram, he said "Wow, it must really hurt to have sex." He could see that it was bad. It was at this point, he made a tentative diagnosis of endometriosis, pending a laparoscopy.

I was 23. I went through chemical menopause. I was told I'd have to have a complete hysterectomy by the time I was 30 or 35. That I was infertile. After my surgery, the diagnosis was firm.

I was told I had three months to get pregnant or my chances would return to zero. I got pregnant the first try. But to hear that I would have a zero percent chance? At 23? That I'd have to have a hysterectomy by 30...

After I had my beautiful, wonderfully big child, Doc told me I should have my kids back to back. Because of that looming deadline. I told him that unless he was paying for everything and helping, he could forget it. I wanted them spaced out, every 5 years or so.

My son turns 4 in June. I have baby fever. I am, once again, infertile. I will never have a baby without medical intervention.

I have a lying body. And that's what it is, a lying body. Month after month, cycle after cycle, lying to me, making me think there's a chance. There isn't one. I feel, I am, broken. There is no hope there.

Now, now there is a possibility of another hormonal thing wrong with me. And the treatments I've already done, the pharmaceutical ones, are horrible. As in, if you put me on another SSRI, I might just actually stab myself in the chest instead of just thinking about it. Hormone treatment just makes the original endometriosis worse. Therapy has helped some, but every month, I still have these episodes. Directly related to my lying body. There is another treatment, a permanent one. To have a hysterectomy.

I am 28. I want another child, to carry it, to conceive it, to love it. I do not want to think about having a hysterectomy. I am not yet 30. I hate my lying body, but I am not ready to give up, not yet.

7 clued in:

Issas Crazy World said...

Oh dude that sucks. All of it. Except for the baby boy. I think if you are not ready to give up, then don't. Try. That's all you can do. I know many miracle babies who weren't supposed to ever be born. But they were conceived anyway. If you want one, it's worth a try. Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

The red letters on the purple background hurt the eyes a little...have you heard of the CEC in Atlanta? They helped me with the endo...I highly recommend them! No need for a hyst, that doesn't remove the endo...they excise it...

GREAT doctors

Anonymous said...


Lump said...

I can't even imagine. :( I'm not quite sure if I'm infertile, but I went through cervical cancer and later was told a child would be unlikely.

but I wish you much luck! and many hugs.

Haley-O said...

Oh, Ruby! I'm so sorry to hear this. It is such a blessing to have your wonderful child, but I so understand why you want another, and you deserve that.

Can you go see some other specialists? Get some other opinions?

Also, as a yoga teacher, I have to say -- a little thing you can do is to speak more positively about your body. So, instead of calling it "my lying body," call it "my needy body" because it demands a lot of attention from you. Try not to hate it -- it did give you your first.

I believe you can have another. I know people who've had endometriosis and succeeded in getting pregnant....

I hope this helps. It's hard to find the right words because I'm not in your position. I really hope you can have this second child. Blessings..., Haley

Haley-O said...

I hope that didn't come out wrong when I said "try not to hate it -- it did give you your first." I just want to clarify.... What I was trying to say was, if you focus on the good things your body has given you (your first pregnancy, birth), that will HELP you think more positively in your darker moments -- because i know it must be so hard to think positively about it.... ((Hugs))

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Hailey was a miracle baby. 3 miscarriages and hundreds and hundreds of shots in the stomach to have her. I don't understand why it's so easy for hard for others.

Sending you thoughts of healing, my friend.