July 1, 2009
Starting a blog can be a daunting experience... an open page with a lack of words, a heart full of promise for the times to come. And the anticipation... oh, the anticipation.
Growing up, I boldly told family and friends that I would one day be a single parent because I just didn’t think I would settle down. Did I fully understand an impact a statement like that would make? Probably not. However, situations changed as I sped through my teenage years and early twenties, and I found myself a newlywed a few months shy of my twenty-seventh birthday.
Another thing I took for granted was my fertility – that no matter what, it’d be there for me because that was the job of a woman’s body...to grow and nurture babies. Like a lot of women of my generation, I spent many years on the contraceptive Pill to regulate my cycles and protect me from pregnancy before I was ready to become a parent. What I didn’t know was that the artificial hormones were holding my (at this point undiagnosed) endometriosis at bay, which I discovered three years after going off the Pill.
A lovely female doctor set me on the right path, thrusting a wealth of information at me about a condition I’d never really heard of before – and something clicked into place... my painful and heavy periods, back pain, inability to wear a tampon or even have intercourse without tears welling up in my eyes (not from pleasure, either!)... I wasn’t alone and these symptoms had a name. Something real to grasp onto, at last!
My suspicions were confirmed in January 2008 by laparoscopic surgery (with endometrial ‘nodules’ found on the back of my uterus and on my bowel), and I now have a lovely picture of my insides on the fridge for all to see.
... Just kidding (it’s in a folder with my bills, and tax receipts).
But in all seriousness, this surgery changed my life. Daily tasks became manageable, and sex became a wonderful thing (especially now that I had a husband to share it with!). It did also force me to think more about having children, as my specialist said that the best time to fall pregnant was immediately after a laparoscopy cycle. He (yes, I had a male specialist) also recommended Zoladex as a follow-up to the surgery. I naively started the monthly injectables without truly understanding the impact that it was going to make on my life.
Did you know that Zoladex is an oestrogen-suppressant? Or that it puts you into a state of artificial menopause to stop the growth rate of endometrial growth? (it’s also used in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat breast and prostate cancers It’s also a drug not widely used by medical practitioners for managing endometriosis anymore, but I didn’t know my options at the time.
I won’t say that the time spent on this drug (six months) wasn’t the most pleasant of my life. Without the support of my husband and family, I don’t think I would have coped as well as I did... and even that wasn’t very well at times. I did get to experience menopause at the same time as my mother, and I don’t think many mothers-and-daughters could say that’s a journey they’ve made together! But within six weeks of finishing the last injection, my menstrual cycle returned and I began to feel like a woman again.
By this point, my husband and I were ready to start trying for a baby – the mythical “right time” had arrived. Or had it?
Over a year on from making that decision, and here I am... sitting here writing a blog about not being blessed with pregnancy as yet, while friends and loved ones around me are walking examples of female fertility. I’m neither bitter nor angry, but I am frustrated that our time hasn’t arrived yet.
I hope that my husband and I are to be biological parents of a child someday.
But in the meantime... I write.