When I married the love of my life, we intentionally set out to enjoy marriage for a while. We knew we wanted to be in a really great place before changing up that dynamic. When we were ready to switch gears and try for baby, we never imagined that it would be so difficult to conceive.
At first, it was no big deal; we weren’t in any rush so we figured if it happened, it happened.
Six months go by . . . and nothing. OK, no big deal, maybe we just need to time things a bit more closely. I start charting my cycles to be sure we are hitting our prime window of opportunity each month.
Another six months . . . nothing. Time for a wellness check. The doctor runs the basic hormonal blood work to check things out. She doesn’t seem too concerned, so I guess I shouldn’t be either. But, just in case, I tighten up the reins a bit on our diet, I improve my supplements and I add some green smoothies to the meal plan.
Somewhere along the road after this last appointment I fall into a pattern of self-diagnosing. I think I wanted a baby so bad and I had no answers as to why we weren’t conceiving that I convinced myself there must be something wrong with me. I had to be broken somewhere. Sure, my hormone blood work came back normal, but was it optimal?
I set up an appointment with my doctor to address my concerns. She ran a thyroid panel and told me to relax. I think she could sense that I was searching for answers, so she recommended that we go ahead and have the hubby run some tests, too. All good there.
At this point, most people close to us are aware of the fact that we’ve been trying for a while to have a baby. We have their support, but some of their well-meaning comments don’t land so softly on my heart.
“Well, at least you’re having fun trying!” No, not actually. Timing intercourse, fertility testing, the pressure mounting . . . kinda feels like a job now. Not so fun. Not really.
“You just need to relax, then you’ll be able to get pregnant.” Little did I know that it wouldn’t matter how chilled out I was, endometriosis would keep our odds of getting pregnant at less than one percent.
“You just need to quit trying. When you stop trying, you’ll get pregnant.” Um, OK. But in the meantime I’m not getting any younger.
My doctor had mentioned trying out Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) to really narrow down our prime window of opportunity. Maybe we are just doing this wrong? Timing it wrong? Who knew getting pregnant was so technical? I’ve since lost count of how many OPKs I’ve bought.
The next move, medically speaking, was to check out my reproductive organs with a laparoscopic surgery. It sounded easy enough, but surgery was a big milestone for me. I still have my tonsils and my appendix. And I definitely wasn’t prepared for what my doctor would find—stage IV endometriosis all over my reproductive organs creating a web-like mess of scar tissue everywhere.
After surgery there was this sense of relief in knowing why we were struggling to conceive. There was a sense of empowerment for being able to make a plan moving forward. And then there was disappointment. And resentment, maybe?
How could I not know that I had endometriosis for 20 years? Why didn’t I push harder to get diagnosed sooner? Would the outcome have been any different? Will we even be able to conceive naturally when this is all said and done? Did I just ruin my chances at having a baby?
I just wanna be a mama . . . and it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.
There is an inner turmoil and struggle that comes with a woman yearning to be a mama but struggling to make it happen. Some days I’m just fed up and mad and angry and frustrated that we can’t just get pregnant already. I’m irritated by the position endometriosis has put me in. I’m saddened with grief for something that may never be.
Every day I pray for God to bring us a baby. And every day I keep waiting.
It is my faith in God that allows me to find the good and purpose in this journey I’m on. These desires of my heart, He placed them there. He knows my needs and my wants. And He will write a better story than I could have ever imagined writing for myself. I just don’t know what the next chapter holds yet.
Originally published on the author’s blog