Monday, 12 September 2011
When I was just a girl at the tender age of 15 I was already labeled and became a member of what unfortunately seems to be a none too uncommon group even in this modern world we live in.
I can still recall hearing the exact words that have haunted me to this day:
You see I had been struggling with the onset of my puberty since 13.
It would come and then within the blink of an eye it would be gone.
I'd announce my impending breakthrough with delight to my Mum "I'm finally becoming a woman now!" only to have to sheepishly eat my words when it would suddenly disappear again.
It got to the stage that my Mum and sisters were starting to suspect I was a bit of an attention seeker until finally, when I'd reached a state of such incomprehensible depression, that something so irrational like the way the light would stream though my window or a sunset on a rainy day would set me off in convulsive tears that would leave me bleak and bedridden for days.
My hormones were put into question and tests to explain my behaviour were issued.
Turns out I had roughly 40-50 cysts in each ovary and my hormone levels were completely askew.
Back then there was no treatment aside from the Pill or ovarian drilling and there was no way my conservative parents would allow either of those. I was still a baby in their eyes and I'm sure they believed the doctors when they were told it was nothing to worry about until I was ready to have children and that my depression was just a normal part of adolescent growing pains.
I was told Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome was something I would live with and have to control for the rest of my life.
That at that stage I was considered infertile and that my chances to conceive in future were very low but not impossible with the help of new technology like IVF.
As you can imagine, for me to be told at the cusp of womanhood that my chances to conceive were next to zero was obviously devastating.
It's one thing to be 15 and nowhere near thinking about children of your own but it's a whole other ball game when you're essentially told that your basic human right to reproduce has been taken away from you whether you liked it or not.
What if I did want babies further down the track?
I'd barely even begun dating but instantly worried how and when I was supposed to break it to any potential partners in the future that I was clearly defective. A dud.
Who'd want to marry me if I couldn't even give them the chance at having children?
It all seemed so impossibly unfair. What had I done to deserve this?
I'd heard of girls falling pregnant as young as 16 and "shaming" themselves and their families, the gossip flying around almost carried in the wind.
Did you hear? Did you hear? They were only fooling around now she's gonna have it and she's really screwed over. Did you hear he's not even stickin' around? Yea but I heard she's a total slut, betchya it's not even his....
While I still dreaded the thought of ever being talked about in that way (or heaven forbid having to break something like that to my father!), I sometimes daydreamed wistfully about what it would be like to feel the excitement of falling pregnant accidentally.
How great it would be not having to worry about if I was damaged after all.
All this continued to get to me, compounded by my wildly swinging hormonal fluctuations. Things got pretty grim.
Thank goodness I was born into a family of adult siblings, all of whom had very open minds when it came to health and wellbeing so after plenty of pushing from my eldest sister I began to see the most wonderful natropath who soon set me straight both physically and emotionally.
After just 2 months I was smiling again, in 6 I had regained some kind of cycle regularity (well at least 1 every other month) and after a year my cysts were down to 10 on each side.
But of coarse I was still a teenager and once I'd start to feel good again, my strict diet and dedication to taking goopy potions and smelly pills would slide out the door, setting me up for a habit of yoyo-ing with my health.
Cut to now.
Here I am again 3 months in with a new natropath this time - only because the last one is in such high demand he's impossible to get in with and besides my current one is known as The Baby Maker so I figure with a reputation like that she's worth a shot.
For the first time in my life I've had a period for 6 consecutive months.
The condition of my ovaries has been downgraded to a level consistent with normal women - my cysts have cleared to less than 10 all up.
I seem to be ovulating, according to my charts and I've lost a whopping 15kgs in preparation for this next phase in life.
So all that's left to do now I suppose is wait. Wait another 9 months before I'm classed as having been 'actively trying'.
(even though I've been off the pill for 5years now and still nothing)
Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting by the way?
How afraid I am that my diagnosis from so long ago will be with me for the rest of my life?
That my worst fear is having tried every known avenue of conception and still being unsuccessful?
How afraid I am of not being able to deliver the one thing I wish for most? To produce this gift to my husband, family and mostly, to myself?
But I'll keep hoping, I'll keep wishing and praying for as long as it takes that each and every fruitless month so far in my life has simply been bringing me closer to that one day when my dream will finally come true and not to the realisation of my very worst fear.