Friday, April 26, 2013

National Infertility Awareness Week

Although it is coming to a close, this week is National Infertiltiy Awareness Week. And to share and show support, I'm going to post my story. It's personal and might be a little too much information for some, so I'll edit here and there. But just fair warning, if you don't want to keep reading. =]

When I hit puberty at 13 years old, I gained weight and my period was normal to start. After a few months, my period stopped being regular and I only had one every 3 or so months. My mom took me to the doctor, they ran tests and nothing was "wrong". So, after talking to my doctor about it, my mom and I decided that I should be on the pill to regulate me. I was on birth control for about 2 years and everything was normal.

Flash forward a couple years, I stopped taking birth control, gained more weight, and my period stopped completely. For 2 years I didn't have any bleeding at all. Then I met Brian. And after being with him a few months, I started randomly bleeding again. It wasn't regular by any means, but it was a period so to speak. The first time it happened, it lasted for over a two full months. Bleeding every day for over two months. Then, it went away for a few week and came back for about the same amount of time. And it would go away and come back, the periods. I don't really call them periods though, since they aren't regular and they stay for so much longer than they're supposed. I just call them bleeding.

Another couple of years later, my wonderful boyfriend became my wonderful husband. And I gained a little more weight. After we got married, we decided to stop using protection. (Sorry, details, I know! lol) We wanted to have a baby! We weren't counting days or taking temps, but we were ready! We called it "Not trying, but not preventing." And my bleeding was the same. Off for a few weeks, on for a few weeks. Nonstop pretty much. And week after week, month after month - no pregnancy, no baby.

Then, about 2 years ago (one year into our marriage), I decided to make a doctor's appointment. I've always been heavy/overweight/fat, whatever you want to call it. So I developed a small fear of having undiagnosed Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I don't have a bunch of the symptoms, but I'm overweight and apparently infertile and I wanted to get checked out. We didn't have insurance, so I found a clinic nearby that worked on a sliding scale pay system. It took two months to get in, but I got an appointment. After the normal bits of blood pressure, weight and height, the doctor came in for my pelvic exam. Normal exam. After my clothes were back on, he came back in to see if I had any questions. He said everything looked normal and my swabs would be back in a couple weeks. I asked him about not being to get pregnant. He told me that it's because of my weight. He recommended I lose 100lb and then I'd be able to get pregnant no problem. That's right. He told me to lose 100lb, like it would be a magical cure-all for infertility. Now, I'm the first to admit that my weight is a problem. I shouldn't weigh this much, my body isn't built for it. I'm unhealthy, I eat too much, I have a food addiction. I know that about myself. But I felt like he just blew off my questions and concerns. So then I asked him about the possibility of cysts on my ovaries. And he said "Oh yes, I felt cysts during your exam." What the hell? If you felt ovarian cysts during my exam why in the hell would you tell me that everything looked good?? That makes absolutely no sense to me. He pretty much just walked about after that, but not before recommended that I go out and pick up a weight loss book that he co-wrote! On top of all that, while I was walking back to the car, I started bleeding again. I went home and cried. And I've never been back to any doctor after that.

So, now we're two years later, three years into marriage. (And a wonderful marriage, it is!) I've lost about 25lb total so far. I have kinda stalled at 245-250lb. I've gotten down to 244lb, just to gain again the next week. But I have noticed that my weight is effecting my bleeding. I'll lose 5lb and start bleeding, lose another 5lb and stop bleeding. Gain back 5lb and start bleeding, gain another 5lb and stop bleeding. Thankfully, my bleeding has become less over the past year. Maybe it's b/c my body is only letting me bleed so much or maybe it's because I have gotten more active the past year. Before, I would bleed so much that I couldn't leave the house. And I'd get light-headed. Now, it's almost a normal period. Except that it doesn't come around the same time every month. I'm getting serious about losing weight and working out. When I start bleeding again, I'm going to start charting and keeping a journal. I want to lose weight and find a new doctor. So the next time I go get checked out, I can tell that that I've lost weight and nothing has changed. And be able to show the new doctor if I have anything regular about bleeding. I'm going to journal my weight loss, and my bleeding and my workouts. Everything. I want to be accountable for all of this. I want to be a mom. Brian is going to be such a great dad. We deserve to be parents! And I want to make it happen.

As I look back and write my experiences down, I am grateful for things that have happened to me. No, I'm not grateful for the doctor who made me cry or the breakdowns I've had when I start bleeding yet again. But I'm grateful for my awesome, wonderful, amazing and ever-loving husband. He's pretty much the best things that has ever happened to me and I'm so thankful I met him. I'm grateful that I've found a wonderful friend through all this who is going through almost the exact same problems as me with weight-loss and infertility (she knows who she is!). I'm grateful for my other friends who know what I've been through and have been supportive. I'm always thankful for the things I do have in my life. I know it's a little sad, but I'm also a little grateful that I haven't been able to get pregnant, instead of getting pregnant and having a miscarriage. I know a few couples who have lost a baby, and I can only imagine how devastating that has to be. So much more hurtful than starting to bleed and realizing you're not pregnant. I know that God must know how much it would wreck me completely to lose a baby. I don't know if I could keep trying after that, I would be so done with everything. Brian believes whole-heartedly that we aren't meant to have a baby YET. He believes that God has a plan for us and that we just aren't ready yet. And I agree. As much as I want to have a baby, and little ones running around, I want to be healthier first. I want to be able to run around with my children without getting winded after a few minutes. I want to be there for them, all my life. And I want a long one! lol My mom did tell me that my grandma, who is a psychic, told her that my brother (who just turned 21, single guy) will have a kid first. I'm working to change my fate. Nothing is written in stone, I will make this happen. Although I joke with my brother that he needs to get started and knock someone up, I want to have a baby first. I want to be the married woman with a baby, I want him to stay the single guy living it up. =]

So I'm working on me. Getting healthier, losing weight, being a better me. My goal is 70lb. I want to be a solid 180lb. I'm setting new goals, going to buy a notebook to journal everything and I'm going to stick to it. Being healthy is worth it. Being a better wife is worth it. Being a mommy IS WORTH IT.

Wow, that was a long post. Thank you to those who stuck it out and read what I had to say. I appreciate it! Until next time, I'll be crafting, working, cooking, cleaning, working out, and writing in my journal.. =]

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