It has taken me over a year to get the courage to talk/write about this. This is something that I live with on a daily basis however, I am not alone.
Millions of women across the world have been through or are going through this and I hope that my writing about it will help ease a broken heart….If not mine then maybe yours!
Let me start at the beginning.
When I was 25 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). My ovaries do not function properly and instead of releasing an egg each month, it would turn into a cyst on my ovary.
I had the symptoms of PCOS from a young age however, was never diagnosed properly. I gained 20kgs, had irregular periods, acne and all the other symptoms that go with it.
I became so self-conscious that leaving the house was hard. I would be picked on and asked constantly why I am so fat or why my skin was so bad….I would cry so much.
Anyone with PCOS knows that our bodies work against us. I could drink a glass of water and have it turn into fat.
It is so embarrassing when you own body sabotages you.
Given that I have tried exercise and diet but the results take so long that I get bored/demotivated. Also, it tends to have a negative impact on your budget – eating healthy can be so expensive.
Have I considered fertility treatment? Yes. I did a round of very mild fertility treatment back in 2012 which was not successful. Due to the toll it took on my body, we decided to avoid it as it is not healthy – emotionally or physically.
Then in In May 2016, I had a miscarriage. We were not even trying.
It was a very early miscarriage and even though I did not know I was pregnant at the time, going through the miscarriage naturally and having the symptoms for the weeks/months that followed was emotional torture.
Bruce and I tried to focus on the fact that I fell pregnant as a positive especially knowing how much harder the battle is with PCOS.
I felt so alone.
Who could I talk to about it that would actually understand what I was going through!
Would anyone understand?
I did not want the “Everything will be ok…it happened for a reason…you can try again” speech.
I wanted someone who could tell me how much it will hurt, how my body would react…the bitter truth.
But I could not bring myself to speak about it….I bottled it up and filed it away in the back of my mind.
I kept telling myself that I was doing great.
When I was diagnosed with depression in late 2016, I had to face the truth and deal with the pain that the miscarriage caused.
It made me more open to talking about it. A dear friend who also has PCOS referred me to her gynae and amazingly I was given a clean bill of health. Bruce and I were so shocked.
The doctor did mention that sometimes this can happen after a miscarriage as your hormones regulate.
Even though I have this new clean bill of health, I still wonder who that little miracle would have been.
Do I obsess about it…definitely not!
I have learnt to take life a day at a time….slow down and just go with the flow while enjoying what God has planned for us.
Am I obsessed with starting a family…no and I have made peace with it.
Would I be unhappy not having children…definitely not.
We have decided that we would focus on the blessings that we do have and not the ones that we don’t.
Somedays this is harder but we will get there together.
Fertility issues are becoming so common. Every other couple that you chat to is having some sort of fertility related issue.
I just hope that my story will help someone out there who is/has gone through the struggle.
Here is some PCOS facts for you:
You are not alone. We need to stick together to ensure that the stigma around these issues ends.
Drop me an email with your story: firstname.lastname@example.org.