My health story is one that so many women understand, but not many speak about. My health story is one of fertility, or rather infertility, depression, and overwhelming everyday anxiety.
Two years ago I got my IUD removed. My husband, Jimmy, and I decided to start a family. We were told it could take up to a year- I was on birth control for almost 15 years prior and that can really screw with a person.
We were patient. And then, we weren’t. It seemed like everyone around me was getting pregnant. It was almost painful to see. But we weren’t ready to see the docs again yet. My body just now seemed to be reverting back to pre-birth control days. Yes, it had been over a year, but we felt okay.
Meanwhile, the ups and downs of every cycle was taking a toll on my mental health. Every month I took a test hoping I was pregnant, and I’d come crashing back down every time I saw the negative sign. A couple of times I tried to convince myself it was a false negative- it never was.
In February I thought I was pregnant. After 8 hopeful days, it turned out I wasn’t. I spent the next 3 days in the worst spell of my depression I’ve ever had. The thing about depression is that not only do you normalize the thoughts and feelings, you begin to think you DESERVE them. I did something wrong. We didn’t try enough. I didn’t track my cycle properly. I was too fat. I rationalized something by body shaming myself and scaring myself away from seeking help. I felt alone.
This March, I finally made a doctor’s appointment to address the potential issue. We did blood work first which was all normal. Next, a few weeks later, was an ultrasound to make sure my anatomy was correct.
I knew something was wrong in the ultrasound.
My ultrasound tech started asking questions while moving around the wand. Did I have regular periods? Are they painful? Have I noticed anything unusual?
I felt my chest tighten as I answered each one.
It turns out, my uterus isn’t formed properly. I have a vertical line of cartilage running almost the length of my uterus that has been keeping any eggs from attaching to the wall. The good news is I can have a procedure to correct it. The bad is that without it, our odds of conceiving are pretty obsolete.
Tomorrow I will have this procedure done.
In telling friends what we need to do, we have learned of 2 women with this exact problem. One woman’s doctor told her about 1 in 10 women have this. I’ve not been able to verify that, but having never even been aware this could happen before my own ultrasound, I definitely believe it’s under discussed.
So here’s why I am saying anything, a friend once posted about her fertility issues and for a brief moment, I felt like I wasn’t alone in that. My fertility issue, though fairly fixable, has caused an insane and unnecessary amount of pain for me. If one person can read this and feel propelled to speak to anyone and avoid the spiral I had, I call it a win. I hope so. Women need to stop blaming themselves for fertility issues and start taking control of them. We need to change the narrative.
I got my procedure done and so far, so good. We are hoping that’s the end of the road for my fertility concerns, but if it isn’t we will tackle that too.
When I told my doc that my husband and parents would meet her on surgery day she said, “hopefully I’ll meet them all again the day I deliver your baby.”