The clock was ticking…. A few weeks had passed since I had “The Conversation” with my doctor, and to be brutally honest, I wasn’t coping.
I don’t think I have ever cried, screamed, yelled or eaten so much chocolate in my life.I probably had one too many wines to help dull down my brain over thinking too (who would have thought my hubby was a personal trainer during those few weeks!)
It was one of the hardest times of my life. But I slowly realised that I had to get myself back on track somehow.
It was time to have a follow-up appointment with my doctor.
And since, at my previous appointment, I hadn’t been in any condition to get a word out let alone a whole sentence, this time I thought long and hard about what I needed to know, and had my list of questions to ask. This time I was determined. I was re-energised with positivity, and felt in control. I was determined to be ready to tackle this head on.
“So doc, let’s talk, then you can refer me to an IVF specialist, then TaDa! Like magic, a baby will appear. Right?”.
Little did I know he was about to knock me down again…
Apparently I was old. Well, not on the outside anyway. On the outside I was your typical 25-year-old woman. But on the inside, I was 40+ and ageing quicker than you could believe. The way I was ageing on the inside led my doctor to think that they had made a mistake, so I had to wait until the following month to ensure they got an accurate reading on the next lot of blood tests.
Unfortunately when the results came back, I had ‘aged’ again in that one month. Only one month, yet more damage had been done. So now I was not only dealing with endometriosis and the scarring that it had left, but now I had old eggs too. Things were not going how I had planned at all.
My clock was ticking fast. We needed to start treatment ASAP to have any chance of this working.
I was nervous. I was scared.
Luckily, we were referred to the amazing people at Monash IVF. Our appointment was in three months’ time, so in the meantime I did a lot of research and reading in the hopes that I could wrap my head around this IVF thing that I was about to embark on.
The wait was tough, yet my husband and I were so luckily surrounded by amazing and supportive family and friends, who rallied together and got us though this emotional time. Though I don’t know how they got me through. I found myself feeling so negative sometimes, and desperately disheartened about what might happen, yet my girlfriends would always be there to pick me up and get me back on track again.
My hubby turned into ‘Mr Google’ there for a while too, searching for an alternate therapy which could help the IVF process along. We wanted to be absolutely ready, and be sure that we were doing everything within our power to make this work.
I didn’t know if I would be able to take it not working. I couldn’t let myself think about it for a second. It would break me if it didn’t work.
Mr Google told me in no uncertain terms to say goodbye to chocolate and coffee, apparently they are no good for fertility. Luckily we were already healthy in the food department, so there weren’t too many other drastic changes that needed to be made.Who am I kidding?! It WAS drastic cutting the chocolate out of my life! I am pleased to say that chocolate and I have since re-kindled our romance. Rather strongly in fact.
One of the alternate therapies I tried was acupuncture. This was to help increase my blood flow, and in turn increase the efficiency of any eggs travelling through my body. I found these appointments really therapeutic and relaxing. It gave me time to reflect on what I was going through in peace, and allowed me to quiet my mind which otherwise had “What if” running through it on a constant loop.
What if this didn’t work? I had to believe that it would.
Just weeks before my appointment, I was knocked down again. The migraines began, as well as fatigue and the horrible abdominal pain and bloating. All the classic signs of endometriosis were back. With a vengeance.
People began to question me and my health. All I would hear is “Are you sick again?” or “You’re always sick”. The worst one was said to my hubby, when they didn’t think I would find out.
They said “I think she is being a hypochondriac”.
This comment cut me so deeply. I played it over and over in my head. I couldn’t let it go. I began to question myself. Maybe I just have a low pain threshold? Maybe there isn’t actually anything wrong with me? Maybe it’s all in my head?
I made myself believe that I should just ‘suck it up’. But I couldn’t. I tried. I really tried. But the pain was too strong. It got the better of me.
So there I was, in hospital. Again. Sitting in an emergency cubicle. Again. Getting regular morphine pumped into me. Again. Awaiting my bed on the ward. Again. Surgery was booked for first thing in the morning, as I was now also dealing with ovarian cysts alongside everything else.
The pain was overwhelming and was clouding any thoughts I had of having a baby. But it was there, it was always there. It was in the back of my mind. Would I ever be able to conceive?
* This blog was originally published on the Ellyn Shepherd Blog. Head over to www.ellynshepherd.com.au to check out all her amazingness!!