Our struggle with infertility consisted of medical conditions and miracles — doctor after doctor — they were never able to pinpoint the exact reason for our struggles.
My life has been filled with doctors, diagnosis, diseases, and disappointment. As a child, I was diagnosed with a kidney disease. Treatment for my condition meant a round of chemotherapy to push the disease into remission. At one point a doctor told me one round of chemo could be enough to damage my eggs.
Once we were married, I saw a doctor after two months. I had ovarian cysts and the pain had become unbearable. He told me I would probably have a difficult time getting pregnant because of my cyst and some early signs of endometriosis. I felt frustrated and disappointed.
We moved often during those first few years of marriage. I went to different OB/GYN’s and a naturopath trying to balance my hormones and see if it would help me conceive. Month after month my hopes of being pregnant were dashed with each negative pregnancy test. For five years we bounced around, filled with emotional and physical pain, the answers were never conclusive.
It was hard to understand why. I felt my desires were righteous. It wasn’t as if I was asking for something selfish – I just wanted a family to raise. I watched as everyone around me was getting pregnant effortlessly. Going to church was particularly hard – babies were everywhere.
I was in the middle of working on my Master’s Degree when my kidney disease came out of remission. It had been seventeen years and meant another physical fight was underway. In the midst of more tests and procedures, I found out I was pregnant. It was a total shock! I was on twelve different medications and had to be taken off most of them. I had three different specialists because my pregnancy was very high-risk. It was an exciting and scary time in life. Our little miracle baby Truman was born in 2007.
Our next little miracle, Rachel, came along two years later in 2009. I still had to see several specialists during my pregnancy. I always wondered why I had to struggle to get pregnant and when I finally did why couldn’t it be easy.
We wanted a large family, so when Rachel was 15 months old we tried to get pregnant again. My infertility issues seemed to have returned, and for six years we waited. Even with two at home, it was still so hard.
When I was 33 the doctors found two tumors on my uterus, a cyst on my ovary, endometriosis, and complex atypical hyperplasia (precancerous cells on my uterus). I was told I needed a total hysterectomy because of the risk of cancer. I was heart-broken.
Hurt and Hope – We are Not Alone
Our hopes for another child were quickly dashed, and our concerns changed to my health and the possibility of fighting cancer. When the pathology reports came back showing the cells were only precancerous we felt a wash of relief, but deep in my heart, I hurt for the children I wouldn’t have.
One thing I’ve learned through all of my medical issues is it is easy to feel alone. Like no one really understands what you’re going through, and sometimes it even feels unfair. I’ve felt so much comfort in understanding those thoughts were not true. As women, we can share our stories and feel comfort in knowing someone else knows. We are not alone.