I’ve written about my struggle with infertility in the past, you can find a pretty emotional post here. But I thought it time to write about what infertility means to me, and how it all began. So here we are.
Warning: This post may be considered graphic. Women have periods, weird.
I was sixteen or seventeen when I bled for nine months straight. The first few months I convinced myself that it was normal. I had just gotten off birth control. My body was making up for lost time. This happens, I thought. About month five or so I thought something was wrong. No, something was definitely wrong. But being the worry wart I am, I refused to go to the doctor. Cancer. I surely had cancer. I’m not going to go to the doctor for him to tell me have cancer. I refused. I was in high school, I was not going to be a cancer patient.
Month nine I started to get sick. I get easily dehydrated, but couldn’t seem to hydrate myself. I kept feeling faint, and just off. I went to urgent care. It was there that my blood was taken, I of course was told I should have come sooner, and upon me leaving, he told me to “prepare myself for the worst” when I meet with my OB/GYN next week.
Cancer. Surely I had cancer.
I was given pills to stop bleeding, which eventually I did. The next week I went to my OB/GYN who ran tests and assured me, no I did not have cancer. I was so relieved, but that relief was short lived. Suddenly she was saying things like “Endometriosis” and “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome”. Before I could process what either one of those were, she said “It’s going to be very difficult for you to have children.” I started crying and she immediately began telling me stories of people she knew that were still able to get pregnant. This, I would soon learn, was what people do during conversations about infertility.
Comfortable words to end uncomfortable conversations.
I was in a relationship at the time with the man who would later become my husband. I was certain he would no longer want me. I knew he wanted kids. I knew he wanted a family. So surely he wouldn’t want me. But he did. He took the news very matter of factly. Seemingly without hesitation he accepted that this wasn’t just my reality, but his as well. A very noble and naive thing for an eighteen year old boy to do, and something I will forever appreciate.
Infertility isn’t so much an issue when you’re in high school or college. To be completely honest, it was helpful in many ways. But every once and a while I would get down. It pissed me off that I’d likely never be given the choice to have my own children, and it really pissed me off that no one seemed to understand. No one was in the place that they were even thinking about kids, or the possibility of not being able to have them. I felt like I was on an island.
Infertility when you’re married, now that is an issue. Your friends and family have babies and you’re expected to be their cheerleader on the sidelines. If you gripe at all, you’re selfish. People ask you when you’ll have yours, which hurts. People will stop asking, which will almost hurt more.
So you’ll try, you’ll fail. And in part two, you’ll find yourself at an adoption agency.