So I guess I should preface this with few things: First, this has little/nothing to do with my diet update, so if thats what you tune in for, feel free to skip this. Also, names have been changed for identity purposes and will be marked by ‘*’. And lastly, it comes with a warning.
:::TRIGGER WARNING::: Pregnancy loss, Infertility, Feels
Ok y’all, so Its National Infertility Awareness Week. AKA #NIAW April 23-29, 2017. Ironically, Today marks a tragic day for me in history. I was eighteen and carefree and thought the world was my oyster. In other words, I was sexually active and not giving a damn. I was going steady and sleeping with my boyfriend at the time, Shithead McAsshole*. I had know him since we were tots and then bam! puberty hit and once we reached high school and got back in touch, we fell in love. Or what I thought was love at the time. But I digress.
The morning of April 26th, 2007 started like any other. I got ready, picked up my friends and got ready to head to the lake. It was senior skip day and even though my two friends were juniors, they were down with ditching with me. We had a huge breakfast at Jims diner and I was so full and happy. Hindsight twenty/twenty, I was eating for two and didnt know it. But we were soon on our way to Canyon Lake with fishing poles, floaties, and sunscreen in hand.
Ashley* and I were swimming in the lake as Charles* was chilling in the shade. After about an hour of swimming and splashing, I started to feel crampy and bloated. I thought it was because of the huge breakfast I ate so we came back to our quiet camp on the shore so I could lay down and relax in the sun; after all it was a day meant just for that. After about ten minutes of laying down, the cramping got alarmingly worse. I threw up out of the blue and had my friend call 911 once I realized something was incredibly wrong.
Now, we were in the middle of nowhere, on the outskirts of a remote lake. I had driven my friends there in my car, and neither of them could drive, let alone, drive a stick. The ambulance comes and takes me away to the nearest hospital. My friends called my mom and she and my grandfather were thankfully able to find them. My grandfather took my friends home and my mom took my car and drove straight to the hospital to see me.
Before my mom got there, the nurses informed me that my urinalysis had come back with a positive pregnancy result. I immediately burst into tears. I wanted to be a mom so bad, but not like this. Not with a boyfriend who was immature, verbally abusive, and oh yeah, completely convinced that this baby wasnt his and that I had cheated on him. I didnt want that. I wasnt strong enough to handle that.
Twenty minutes later my mom came in, already aware of the news and she told me that we could do this. And I believed her. I knew if my mom could take care of a hell-raising teenager (me) on her own, then I could handle a baby, with her help of course. A trans-vaginal ultrasound was performed and I was too obsessed with seeing my little bean on the screen to notice the look of concern on the techs face.
Fear slowly turned into excitement, which then quickly turned into heartbreak. The Doctor came in, looking like she just came straight from her white coat ceremony and she delivered the bad news: My pregnancy was ectopic, and my tube had ruptured. I was bleeding internally and needed emergency surgery. They tried to go through my belly button laprascopically, but ended up having to open me up Cesarean style. After four blood transfusions and a six hour surgery that not only removed my right tube and ovary(including the nine week old fetus) but also a left ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit, I was released into the ICU in stable condition. Recovery was a bitch, but I was assured I would have no trouble having children in the future. Ha!
Fast forward ten years exactly. I sit here typing out my story. Now knowing the heartbreak and wild emotions that goes with the infertility struggle. 14 months of charting and tracking cycles, hundreds of dollars in natural herbs, and a shit ton of ovulation and pregnancy tests. That translates to crying every month my period shows up, wanting to scream and punch a wall when I dont ovulate, and sobbing with every negative pregnancy test. Im lucky to have an amazing, loving, and supportive husband who will one day make an even better father. Im ready to be a mom but my biology is shaking her head with attitude.
I write this, not looking for pity or sympathy, but understanding and sensitivity. Because theres people out there who say some really hurtful things albeit having good intentions. Theres the “Oh just relax!”, and the “Stop trying, itll happen when you least expect it!”, or “Everything happens for a reason!”, and of course, my all time favorite “God will bring you a baby when He knows youre ready!”
If you have ever said this to someone who is trying to have kids, STOP IT! And stop it NOW! Just shut your mouth, because the next time someone says something like that to me, theyre gonna get a sassy response.
~Yes, let me just relax. Why didnt I think of that? Do you also tell cancer patients to relax and theyll be healed?
~If I stop trying, Im damn near guaranteed to not get knocked up. But if you stopped trying to be an asshole, youd still be an asshole.
~If everything happened for a reason, Id be barefoot and pregnant right now with more babies than the damn Duggars, ok? And I can tell you right now – Im only barefoot.
~God, doesnt decide when I get pregnant, I am not the virgin Mary. Science and biology decides when I get pregnant.
So as you can see, these little quips, that even I am guilty of saying, can be hurtful to someone who longs to have a baby in their arms. A thousand things have to go right to get a BFP (thats trying to conceive jargon for Big Fat Positive) And even after that, women with PCOS or other hormonal disorders risk having miscarriages or stillbirths.
So this week is to bring awareness. If you are struggling – you are not alone. If you have lost hope – hope is out there as well as a massive supportive community. If you encounter someone who is struggling – be kind and dont offer any unsolicited advice unless asked. Sometimes a hug is all I need. Other times I need to whine about my uterus trying to kill me. Also chocolate. I always need chocolate.
Spread the word. Be aware. Dont give up hope. We will be parents. Somehow, someway.
We are 1 in 8 who struggle with infertility!