Friday, April 13, 2012

My fertility journey - Part 1

I've alluded that my journey to becoming a Mom was long, was very challenging, and for over a decade something I thought would not be possible without the gift of adoption.  While on one hand I have been wanting to share this journey, on the other I've struggled to start.  Sharing this journey is more than "this is what is wrong with me and how I was able to get pregnant"... it is a journey that started when I was in high school, profoundly affected my self confidence, and (I believe) played a significant part in shaping the person I am today... so, in short, sharing this journey is baring a bit of my soul.

So why do it?  Not because I have a burning desire to bare my soul - that's for sure!  But I want to simply because I know how much comfort I found from other women who also struggled with fertility, self confidence issues, etc.  If my story helps even one person - then it's worth it.

My journey started when I was a little over sixteen years old.  My Mom decided to bring me in to her gynecologist because I had not yet started showing any signs of puberty... none.  I'm sure most of you can remember what high school was like... it was challenging enough with all the hormones, figuring out the "relationships" between boys and girls, trying to get emotional maturity to catch up with mental/educational maturity, etc.  Now imagine still looking like you are about 10 or 12 on top of that... I can't begin to describe how self conscious and uncomfortable I was with myself EVERY DAY!  I loved sports and p.e. but dreaded the time in the locker room where it might be obvious how under-developed I was.

The fall of junior year my Mom took me in to her ob/gyn.  They did full blood workup on me and an abdominal ultrasound.   I remember being in the ultrasound room - it was cold!  The tech worked for a while and then excused herself.  She came back with another person and they both went back to imaging me.  After a short time, they both left... this time returning with the radiologist...  By this point I was really wondering what the heck was going on.  As any of you who have been through an ultrasound before - they won't tell you anything.  The next day my doctor called and all he would really say was that they have hard time seeing things on the ultrasound and he wanted to schedule me for a laparoscopy.

A laparoscopy is a scope procedure where they make a small incision below your belly button and insert a scope to check out inside.  It is an outpatient procedure an the main discomfort that comes from it is from the gas they put inside to kind of "balloon" up your abdomen to make imaging easier.  It takes a while for this gas to be absorbed away so after the procedure it feels alot as though you have constant side-stitch... Anyway, I went in on December 8th of my junior year for this scope procedure.  On December 9th, my Mom picked me up from school.  I knew something was up because she only picked me up... not either of my other two sisters...

We ended up parked in front of our church - St. Agnes - and went inside.  It was there Mom told me that my doctor had called with the results.  From the scope he was able to definitively see why they had a hard time finding things (ovaries, uterus) during the ultrasound - it was because I did not have them.  Here I was at 16 being told that I had no ovaries, no uterus... no hope of ever having a family (when all I wanted to be worried about was if I was ever going to have a date!) ...

7 comments :

Shelly said...

I'm glad that you are opening up about this. I really think sharing your story will help others. I look forward to reading the next part.

Diane said...

It's so vulnerable to bare your soul...but God blesses a heart that wants to help others. I had a similar experience and saw myself as "damaged goods". My final diagnosis was different but I was 16 too when I went to the doctor "undeveloped". I'm sure we have similar stories. God bless you as He brings further healing to your soul.

Elena said...

Given the post below this one, I can tell your story has a happy conclusion (an obviously you found a date!) but I can only imagine the journey you went on to get there. I am anxious to read part two. Thank you for sharing.
~Elena
`a casarella

Krista said...

Wow, what a story. I can't even imagine, but I'm curious to see how it turns out since you do obviously have kids.
Have you read Casey (MooshInIndy) and her fertility struggles?

Ginny Marie said...

I've had quite a few ultrasounds, and you're right...they don't tell you anything! What a cliffhanger you left us. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Kortni said...

Wow... how very brave of you to share.

Jen said...

What a story. Thank you for sharing. I too found out some startling reproductive news at 16 and thought it would not be possible to have children. From your post below I can see that wonderful blessings opened up in your life like mine. I am so happy to have met you. Your family is darling!

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