It has been awhile since I covered our infertility journey. So much of our life is overwhelmed in our journey with Reactive Attachment Disorder that I tend to gloss over something that has been a true villain in my life for many years. The villain's name?
March happens to be Endometriosis month.
Many may ask, what exactly is Endometriosis?
It's just pain right?
The answer is actually quite longer than that. But yes, it causes pain, sometimes severe pain. It also causes infertility, fatigue, and like in my case can actually cause major damage to a woman's reproductive organs.
Now I'm 37, I'm no spring chicken when it comes to carrying a baby for nine months. I have some beautiful friends who have rocked pregnancy in their near 40's and I have been overwhelmed with joy in seeing these adorable babies posted all over my Instagram and Facebook.
I truly am so happy for these amazing women in my life and this beautiful journey they get to ride.
Three wonderful years ago we adopted our son. He truly has been the best little miracle to end our infertility journey. I thought I knew I was done trying for more children when we adopted him. We had our hands full with four kids, a child with a severe behavioral disorder, my husband's career, no family around to help us, church callings, my migraines, and dealing with the everyday highs and lows life brings us.
I thought I knew I was done having children.
Now our way of having children isn't exactly fun. I honestly have no idea what it feels like to use the beautiful power God gave us to create one of these amazing creatures. I have never had the privilege of finding out I was pregnant before anyone knew we were even trying and surprising anyone with the wonderful news. I have dreamed of miracles and I have actually dreamed of the idea of surprising my sweet husband one day that we were able to conceive a sweet baby on our own. I've thought of the ways in which I would tell him, and how we would then tell our family and friends.
But almost four weeks ago that chance was taken away from me permanently.
All because of my Endometriosis.
And at that moment, I found myself questioning if I truly was done having more children.
A year and a half ago, I was getting ready for bed when my abdomen started killing me. I was in so much pain, I thought I was going to die, literally. It was sudden and it was real and I knew it was serious.
Flavio took me to the ER late that night and after several hours of not knowing what was happening, they did emergency surgery. They found so much endometriosis, the tissue had actually caused my right ovary to burst and I was bleeding internally. This was when we knew for sure I did in fact have endometriosis.
Fast forward to February 28th of this year, I had driven to St. George with my two youngest to visit my parents. The day was great, we had just left my parent's house to go back to where we were staying when all of a sudden my abdomen felt like something had just exploded inside me. Once again, I thought I was going to die. I thought to myself, no way was this happening...again.
I crawled on all fours getting my two babies into bed, and then found myself in a fetal position agonizing in severe pain.
Now because I am stubborn and wanted to wish and pray the pain away, I waited all night long, trying to find any sort of comfort. It never got better. I finally called my parents early the next morning.
Again, I found myself in the ER.
My pain was high...the kind of pain where death becomes a welcomed thought. They did an ultra sound and a CT scan and still they had no idea why I was writhing in so much pain...once again, surgery became the answer. However, this was the last thing I wanted to do. I was without my husband, I had my two youngest with me, and worst of all we had a planned family trip to Disneyland the following week.
In the end, I didn't have a choice. If I wanted relief and answers, I had to have the surgery.
I am so grateful I did.
Not only did it take the pain away, it apparently saved my life.
You see, my villain, endometriosis, had once again caused this. Only this time instead of completely destroying my left ovary, it just tore it open and I was bleeding out internally.
When they went in, they had to cauterize the hole in the ovary to stop the bleeding and ended up taking out five cups of bright red blood that had spilled into my abdomen.
I would have bleed to death without the surgery.
Because they couldn't completely save my left ovary, it is now dying. I am going into pre-menopause as we speak and any chance of me ever carrying another baby is gone.
I have no chance.
Making the decision with your husband and with God to not have more children is one thing, to have it taken from you is another. We didn't have much of a chance anyway, but knowing that door is now shut and locked without my permission, has been incredibly harder than I thought.
In the end I want you to know that I thank my God for the four beautiful and relatively healthy babies I was gifted. I know I have a beautiful family that I can share my life with forever. I know that this too will pass and that life does and will go on.
I know that God has a plan for all of us.
He loves us.
He knows us.
For whatever reason we are given the trials we are given, He truly is there for us. I have seen too many big and small miracles in my life to think otherwise.
Endometriosis is real. It is painful and it just plain sucks. If you or someone you know thinks they may have it...get help now. It can happen to any woman at any stage while she has a period. In my case I didn't know until it was too late.
Lots of love,
Here is a link that explains it in detail: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/basics/definition/con-20013968