Part of the reason I’m relishing motherhood so much is because of how hard it was to get pregnant. Having just entered my thirties, it never even occurred to me that I should be concerned.
I thought getting pregnant was something you feared, not something you had to work at.
I didn’t have a period for almost a year and thought nothing of it. If anything, I was a bit jubilant that I didn’t have to deal with the hassle of it each month. At nine months, I finally thought maybe I should get it checked out.
And there it was. I was diagnosed with PCOS, a condition that results in irregular menstruation and ovulation related infertility. We had test after expensive test done – ultrasounds, x-rays, consultation with specialists. I was put on a bunch of different meds, some to induce menstruation and some for ovulation. I took my temp every morning and knew more about my cycle than I ever knew I could.
Each month was chunked into segments of different concerns. Ten days of one pill. Will I get my period? Five days of another pill. Will I ovulate? Is the ovulation test positive today? Is there a shift in my temperature? How many days past ovulation is this now? Should I get my period soon?
Every day felt so calculating and cold. There were moments – some memories that are painful to think of even now– of me collapsing into CS’s arms like a ragged doll, an emotional mess, because I felt so…defective. As a woman, we’re made to have children, aren’t we? If I can’t have kids, what does that say about me? Would CS have married me if he knew I couldn’t have kids? So many thoughts. So many insecurities.
And the thought of repeating and enduring another month seemed so untenable. And that thought, that ever recurring thought that I just couldn’t shake, of what’s wrong with me?, just swirled round and round in my head.
By the time we got pregnant, I had stopped all the meds – it’s not advised for an extended period of time, they say. And, according to my charts and temping and ovulation testing, I should have already gotten my period. So it was all the more surprising then, that the pregnancy test finally turned positive. That same month, I told CS, I can’t do this anymore. Maybe we’re not meant to have kids. The emotional toll this had taken on both of us was palpable.
So yes, we were at the end of the rope, and if Ollie didn’t come when he did, we might have given up altogether. And yes, infertility was unexpected and definitely not an easy road to traverse, but I wouldn’t want a thing to change. I can’t imagine not having this little guy in our lives.