Today I am going to share with you something very personal. I was going to call a story, but that implies its made up and to some, that it may have a happy ending. This is my life. A very personal and raw look at a very difficult journey; one we’d already decided the destination on, by luck, medicine and sheer want changed that.
This is the story of how I spent 35 years, considered by all to be infertile, to the mother to do gorgeous girls who are in heaven and a longing in my heart that will not go away.
You’ll see that I am not sharing this on my A Style of Living Channel, I didn’t feel it was the right fit, but on my vlogging channel that I share with my husband. Because this is not just my journey, but his too and he’s been with my every single step of the way.
Before you watch this video you might benefit from some back story.
I was 10 when I first got my period and in hindsight, this was a indicator of some of what was to become. By my mid teens I was experiencing severe hormonal surges, but every book I read said this was normal; I only I’d known. In my late teens and early twenties I was a slim size 10. By the time I was 23, what felt like overnight I was a plump size 16 and my periods had gone from regular to every six months to non existent.
On reflection I wish I’d taken more of an interest in my health. Asked more questions. I wish I hadn’t ignored so much. If you take anything away from this, regardless of your current health, situation or age; take responsibility for your health. If something is niggling at you, or if you have a question, ask it. It’s most likely nothing; and even if it is something, if you ask early enough it can be dealt with quickly.
I met James when I was 22. I knew instantly he was the man for me. Very soon after we met I became unwell. Not seriously unwell, but enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. Weeks, lead to months and I had test after test, after test. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and something else the doctor couldn’t quite put his finger on so the tests continued. Almost 18 months passed and 3 days before our wedding I had one final set of bloods taken. I was more concerned with my arms being bruised in my wedding photos than anything the tests might show; no other tests they’d done had really shown anything.
We married and went on honeymoon. Almost 4 blissful weeks later we were walking down the aeroplane stairs when my phone rang. Assuming it was my mother I reached for the phone, not even glancing at the caller ID. It wasn’t my mother. It was the nurse. The doctor wanted to see me, in person, as soon as possible. I still remember that sinking feeling. Two days later I sat in his office and he confirmed to me, what I had suspected. That I had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS, a relatively common condition that effects about 10% of women. For treatment he would refer me to a Consultant who much discuss with me the best course of action.
The new Consultant ordered more tests, scans and MRIs. I was 25 and not even 2 months married when I was told I was infertile and that I had a tumour on my ovary. At that point I hadn’t had a period in 11 months. It was a horrible day. I left in a haze. Years passed and I was monitored, tested, scanned, had this drug and that drug. The tumour or ovary where never removed. I thankfully did not develop cancer. We visited fertility clinics with no success.
We made our peace with the strong possibility of never having our own children; we talked about adoption and fostering. And then, one night in September 2014 [10 years later], after working a particularly stressful wedding I woke in the middle of the night in agonising pain. I thought I was going to die. James rushed me to hospital.
I am sharing this publicly because, for us, as we were going through it, we wanted to see what others had experienced. What was it like. What would happen. Would there be a happy ending. We’re still in the middle of our journey. I honestly don’t know what will happen next and perhaps that’s why I am sharing now, because when I do get to the end I might not feel brave enough to share. If you’ve gone through something like this and would like to share with me or in the comments below, please, please do so. If you are just starting your journey and have questions, ask away. I might not have the answers but I’ll help if I can.