Angela (Australia): Baby dreaming journey
Let me take you on a journey…
In April 2015, my partner and I decided it was time to start a family. Excited, nervous and naïve, we assumed we’d be pregnant within six months. Fast forward to April 2018, and three years have gone by with still no baby in our arms.
To say the past three years have been a rollercoaster would be an understatement. We’ve faced more than any couple should ever have to experience in a lifetime.
It all started with the old wives’ tales that I told myself would help me to conceive. Fertility crystals, growing parsley, sleeping with yellow booties under my pillow. (Yes, we do these crazy things to inject a little hope into our world).
Then it progressed to obsessive ovulation tracking – I was taking my temperature every morning and charting it to hope for a spike that would indicate I was ovulating. I used “pee on a stick” ovulation tests for two weeks every month.
When it dawned on me that this might not happen naturally for us, we met with a Fertility Specialist who agreed that we needed a little helping hand to get ourselves pregnant.
The treatments I had were rounds of Clomid, designed to help me grow a big, plump egg. In addition, we also used trigger shots that would help me release my egg so that we could baby dance on time and hope that the egg meets the sperm!
I am overwhelmed with emotion when I say that we were blessed with two successful pregnancies. The first in October 2016 and the other in August 2017. We had built the perfect picture in our minds of the future we would have with our children. But the universe had other plans. With a heavy heart, we lost both of those pregnancies at seven weeks gestation.
Looking for answers, we went back to seek help from our specialist. Why had this happened to us twice? Was there something wrong with my body? Why couldn’t I keep my babies safe?
She conducted a series of tests which showed that I have a genetic mutation and a thyroid imbalance that may have contributed to the miscarriages. But I wasn’t satisfied. I knew in my heart that something else wasn’t right.
I’d always experienced period pain – I thought it was just a normal part of being a woman. But it wasn’t until I came off the birth control pill in 2015 that my pain became progressively worse. At first it was cyclic and aligned with my periods. But it soon escalated to two to three weeks out of every month that I would struggle to get out of bed due to chronic pain. Not only was I cramping in my uterus, but the pain had spread to my bladder and bowels. I’d asked several doctors about the possibility of Endometriosis. However, they kept telling me period pain was completely normal and that I was probably just susceptible to UTI's.
I decided to seek the support of a Naturopath to find out if there was anything I could to do help my situation. At my very first appointment, after taking a thorough medical history she asked me… “Do you have endometriosis?” I told her that every doctor I have seen has said I do not have this condition. She wasn’t convinced and explained to me the reasons that she felt I was symptomatic for Endo.
After a few more visits to her, and my pain intensifying even more, I agreed to see an Endometriosis Gynaecologist for a second opinion.
It was lucky that I did, because a laparoscopy confirmed that I have Stage 3 Endometriosis infiltrating my uterus, pelvic walls and bladder. I also had multiple endometrioma cysts on my left ovary. My surgeon removed all the Endo from my pelvic region and explained that this may also be a cause as to why I have been unable to fall pregnant naturally, and a high possibility that the hostile environment the Endo was creating was the leading cause of my miscarriages.
It sounds strange to say, but the moment I woke from surgery and was told of the extensive amount of Endo found...I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Finally, after years of chronic pain, infertility and pregnancy loss, I had answers.
We are still waiting for our baby to join us here on this earth but now, for the first moment in a long time, I am hopeful again. We may have faced pain, loss and heartache – but we have also gained so much. We have gained strength in our relationship and an even deeper appreciation of what life will be like when we have children. I’ve gained so many friendships through connecting with women in similar situations, via online support groups and communities. We’ve learned to trust our instincts, and we have both grown in the process. We’ve felt the lowest of lows, and the highest of highs. We may not have it all, but we have each other. And we know that one day we will be able to share that with our own child.
This is our baby dreaming journey.