I have PCOS, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Basically it means that it's hard for me to get pregnant. I don't ovulate regularly, if at all. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility and that is how we discovered that I had it, after unsuccessfully trying for awhile. I'll give you a little bit of our history – but I want to say that there are so many different things that go on in my head and that change about how I'm feeling day to day, that I have been scared for over a year to write this post. But I'll explain that more in a little bit.
Mark and I stopped using any form of birth control after we had been married for about 9 months. I always imagined having kids really young, and I also always thought that I was probably going to have a hard time getting pregnant because I was so irregular and that's why I had been on birth control since my sophomore year of college. After about a year and a half of no birth control, not really thinking about what day of my cycle I was, and nothing happening – I wanted to go to the Dr. I know it takes two years, sometimes it takes longer, I knew all that stuff but I was still worried. And so I went to the Dr., I explained what was going on, she ordered a sonogram and it was pretty clear from the beginning that I had PCOS. So we started on Metformin, an anti-diabetic that has shown to help women with PCOS. And it helped-right away my periods became more regular. I also lost 10 pounds because my testosterone levels went down. We tried that for awhile…still nothing. So Mark went to the Dr. and found out he had a low sperm count. So he went on meds, and his Doctor recommended we look into IUIs. Intrauterine Insemination. Basically AI for my cattle friends. We were happy to find that a clinic in the town 35 minutes from us did IUIs and that we weren't going to have to travel over 2 hours for this. After meeting with the Doctor from the clinic, I was put on Chlomid, along with my Metformin. Mark was put on Chlomid to keep his numbers up and I started to feel like there was some hope. It's been 6 more months since that meeting, and still nothing. We have only managed to do 2 IUIs, along with a whole lot of old fashioned baby-making with all of us all drugged up. And still…..nothing. That's made it 3 years since I went off bc. And I swear, if anyone tells me, well you weren't really "trying" for 3 years so don't worry – I will scream. Just because I wasn't counting days and I wasn't regular and wasn't on a whole bunch of meds that are supposed to make this thing work…doesn't mean that I didn't hurt every time I got a Negative on my little stick.
And so, where exactly does that leave me now? Hurt, scared, exhausted, emotional (Good Golly I'm emotional). But also guilty and ashamed and mainly just sad. Call me crazy (and many will) but I always imagined in my mind that I would have my fourth baby by the time I was 31-32ish. And I know I'm still a long way from there (I just turned 26 on Thursday) but it feels like those years are coming on a lot quicker than I ever thought with not a bunch of hope for our current methods. But at the same time, I also feel guilty for all these feelings. There are women who have been trying for 8 Years-10 Years, women who have suffered miscarriage after miscarriage, women who have been dealing with these feelings for so much longer, that I almost feel as if I have no right to feel sad, hurt, scared, and exhausted.
I have started this same post a hundred times, and have never really been able to finish it. I think because I don't know how to tie it up in the end, because there are a hundred things I want to say, and tomorrow I'll want to say it differently. I think I have a hard time with this because I don't want to be known as that girl with PCOS. That girl that can't get pregnant. I just want to be me, without a label. And before I told anyone when people would ask, "So when are you gonna start having babies? When's your time? Aren't you gonna have a kid yet?" and all those fun questions, I could just joke with them, or ignore them, or be bitchy to them (which I've done – and not been really proud of later – but it felt justified at the moment.) But now, are random people going to think they have a right to tell me how to get pregnant, or to ask what day I'm on in my cycle? Maybe, but that's ok. I'm going to deal with it. Because I feel like I'm going to explode if I don't let some of this out….and I know that people ask because they care, or well most do. And I know that sometimes, as tough as I want to be, I need someone to tell me that they're praying for me, and that there is still hope somehow. And maybe there's someone else out there who is struggling and I want them to know that they're not alone and it's not all craziness (because have you ever looked at some of those Message Boards? I haven't since I was diagnosed because they can be just downright depressing.)
So I have many more thoughts on mandatory every other day sex, and the unwanted advice about when I should be having my kids (have them now! no wait 10 years! No now – no later), and the things people say that they think are helpful, and even the questions I have for God. But here it is, the beginning of my PCOS story. This chapter of our family's life. And most importantly, I want to record this and remember this because when I do have four kids, whether from an IUI, adoption, or something just finally aligning right-I think I'm going to forget the hurt and the tears that I have today.