This post is a bit difficult for me to write. I actually, to be honest, don’t even know where to begin. It may be a little all over the place because I still get emotional about it and this journey is in progress. I’d love to tell you that this page you have began to read holds a success story. A story full of life and love but unfortunately I cannot write that in earnest. I can, however, walk you through a diagnosis that has rocked our world and has brought many tears and heart break. You see, ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted one thing… To be a mom, and not just any mom but a young mom and be done with having all or most of our babies by 30. Even when we first got married at 23 & 24 I thought this was a possibility. And then at the age of 26 I received a diagnosis, coupled with a husband who’s desire was to wait until we were finished paying off our debts to start a family, that would confuse me and break my heart.
I’ll take you back, way back to 15 year old Melissa… I was competitively dancing by this point in my life and played some sports in High School. Keeping busy with school work and probably being a little too active for my age. I have had very irregular cycles during that time in my life and put on birth control to normal them out. Which mostly it did but sometimes not. I was on the pill until I was 21 when I became a Christian and decided it was time to come off it. Then went back on the pill briefly for 5 months when Brenton and I first got married. Four months into our marriage I read an article by The Village Church and came to the conclusion through my Christian world view that I was not comfortable being on it. I was not comfortable using contraceptives to prevent the gift of life. So I have been off the pill for nearly 5 years now.
We followed the Natural Family Planning method but that proved very difficult to predict because my cycles were once again very unreliably predictable. I’ve been tracking them since month one using charts and apps by taking my basal body temperature in the morning and noting any change in cervical mucus (sorry guys). We used it as a way to prevent pregnancy for 4 years while we paid off the rest of our debts. Again, this was always difficult to follow correctly because come to find out later I do not ovulate regularly due to hormone imbalances. We moved to Spokane and I visited my OB/GYN and shared with her my concerns that I have not had regular cycles in the previous 2 years (well really my entire life). She said that it sounds like classic PCOS but recommended I make an appointment for a vaginal ultrasound to receive a definitive diagnosis.
So, I put my big girl pants on and scheduled an appointment for an ultrasound. Sure enough, as I was laying on the table for my ultrasound the tech told me that I had cysts on my ovaries that concerned her. I saw the pearl-sized black circles polka dotting my ovaries on the screen and it had confirmed my PCOS diagnosis. She also told me that I had a tilted uterus which would also make a natural pregnancy difficult. I didn’t know how to feel at that point. We weren’t actively trying to conceive but I was always hoping for a surprise pregnancy to start our family. The idea of an unplanned pregnancy always felt right to me. It wasn’t until this past year, when we finished paying off our debts, that I came to terms with my diagnosis and the realities around it.
Polycystic ovary syndrome: Abbreviated PCOS. Polcystic ovary syndrome is a condition in women characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. PCOS is a disorder of chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism (abnormally elevated androgen levels). It affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is also called the Stein-Leventhal syndrome.
PCOS is so common in women of childbearing age. 1 in 10 women have it. That means many of the ladies you know in your life very well could have it and be silently suffering with it. Since sharing my diagnosis I have had many friends share with me that they too have been diagnosed with PCOS. It can be comforimg knowing that I am not alone in this struggle, but it makes me sad for all my fellow PCOS ladies. Whether they have had a healthy pregnancy or are struggling to get pregnant like me. Just because you have PCOS doesn’t mean you will have problems getting pregnant or that you will miscarry but being aware of your body, doing research, going to appointment and remaining healthy is key! I am so happy for my fellow cysters (get it?) when they achieve a natural pregnancy because that is my ultimate goal.
How are Mr. B & I doing these days? Better than we were, that’s for sure. Some days I still get really sad and angry that we are unable to get pregnant as easily as some friends but I am grateful for the struggle. I have had to mourn the loss of a dream. The dream of being a young mom with a lot of biological children. Mourn the loss of an easy and quick pregnancy. Some days I still feel like I am in mourning and others I feel like I am on the other side of it. It’s a constant yo-yo. But one thing remains true, this covenant bond I made with Brenton on our marriage day.
I am proud of how we are healing and cleaving together through this trial. It has brought me closer to Lord and becoming reliant on him to get me through each day. I am so thankful for the conversations we have had and the strength it has given us. Strength and love I never thought would be possible. And a vulnerability with God I never experienced before. I know that as we attempt to grow our family in God’s timing we will grow even deeper roots established in The Word. For reasons unknown to us God has chosen this season of life to be a family of two plus our Sadie girl. I tear up with so much joy and gratitude for this season even in the midsts of great difficultly and heartache. Looking at photos of just the two of us that we will be able to share with our children along with the stories of this trial. I truly cherish this time of “us” before we welcome our children into our lives and do not wish these days away.
Married life rocks friends and I am grateful for these years with my best friend. I’m so thankful for the time to grow together, get stronger and to just enjoy each other every day… now if he would only stay home for longer than a month. Military life adds another element into marriage and growing a family with Brenton being gone more than half of the year. But I cannot imagine life without him and I know that one day when all the kiddos are gone and living with their own spouses and own families all we will be left with is our love for one another. No children to mother daily, only a husband to love and a life to continue to live.
My hearts desire has always been and still is to be a mommy. I mother basically anything in front of me. A dog, children I have nannied and worked with, my own and sometimes, to the definite detriment of our relationship, I have even mothered my husband. And I know that one day I will be a mother. The Lord has spoken that to me. We are taking this infertility journey one day at a time and one step at a time. Currently we are not seeking the help of a fertility doctor because the Lord hasn’t called us to that. I know that it might be easier to get pregnant with the help of certain treatment but right now God is walking us through natural remedies such as diet, exercise and the use of aromatherapy.
I am certainly not defined by my PCOS diagnosis and I will not allow it to ruin my life. When I feel the heavy blanket of sorrow and longing I will pray to my God for relief. I will not blame myself, my God or my husband. This diagnosis does not rule my days. I will struggle because I am human but I know my God has good plans for me. Better plans for my family than I do, however he makes it. I anxiously anticipate the day he relieves his plans. He truly does work all things for his good, even this, in the midst of pain, heartache and tears. He has called me beloved, child, daughter and an overcomer. I simply have PCOS and I will overcome it daily with His help.