From PCOS to Pregnancy - a decade long journey.
I can honestly say I didn’t know if I would ever get here. There was a moment at the age of roughly 19 I was sat down in a doctors office and told I have all the signs of endometriosis. At the time, I really had no idea what that meant - all I knew is I had pain, shooting severe pain that would not quit. Pain to the point that some days I would have to leave work early. No one really had a clear explanation but they did have a list of pharmaceutical drugs I could try that may help.
As my doctor read off a whole slew of birth control options, medications that caused you to go through a “fake” menopause, yes at 19, I only really walked away hearing one thing.
At that age you have no idea what you want. I didn’t think that I even wanted kids in that moment but I do believe there is a deep maternal instinct that was destroyed a bit that day. The day I heard - “It will likely be very difficult for you to conceive a child.”
I spent a lot of drunken nights later on in my 20’s crying over a bottle of wine about these words. A whole lot of time fully believing that my body had failed in some way and who wanted to be with a woman that could potentially not bear a child? I spent these years trying different hormonal birth control’s to ease my symptoms, researching what exactly endometriosis was and what my options were. I read through articles from IVF and surrogacy. Deep down I really did not think I was ever going to put my body through that.
At 25, I finally had enough of the medications, mood swings and pain. If I was ever going to have a child, the drugs being pushed through my system to prevent that from happening were not going to do me any good. Looking back on that moment in a doctors office, telling the nurse I would not be receiving my shot anymore - she seemed so confused as to why I would do such a thing. And after answering a few questions I was finally free of injected hormones.
My research became deeper at this point and a diagnosis of PCOS now came along for the ride with me. With yet another push to get back on hormonal birth control, this was what seemed to be the “cure” in the eyes of every doctor I saw.
Forgive me if I have begun to loose faith in the system that makes me gain weight, become a moody bitch, and actually cause more pain when on than off. The research continued into diet, exercise and supplements. I kept seeing online posts about women controlling their symptoms with paleo, keto, plant based, whole 30 etc. I read success stories of what worked for others and began to actually feel like there was a glimmer of hope and I was not alone in this.
Over the next five years I cleaned up my diet had great success with paleo and the pain had finally disappeared. No more shooting pains! This was enough to make me steer clear of Wendy’s for the rest of my life!
As my marriage ended at 29, I began to accept that this may not happen for me. It may not be part of my journey and I had to be okay with living a life where I may never be called Mommy.
This is about the time I made the decision if it was going to happen, I was determined to have it happen naturally and when the time was right. Not when I decided to pump by body full of hormones and injectables. (For the record, I think IVF is an amazing option and a gift to many families out there. It was just not a journey that I felt I could emotionally or physically handle.)
I spent a whole lot of time on personal development in this phase of life. I spent months listening to Tony Robbins, Jen Sincero, Gabby Bernstein etc. I put my focus on bettering myself as a whole. I cut A LOT of stress from my life in this phase also. I began really tuning into what made me tense up and what made me feel weightless. I began asking myself the question - Does it feel light or heavy?
After ten years of research and trial and error on myself, I have to say that stress was probably the biggest issue in my life. I allowed myself to get worked up over so many things out of my control! I had allowed myself to see much of the world as negative rather than positive and it directly affected my health - not only mentally, but physically too.
As I allowed myself to break through the bullshit stories I lived for years I began to feel a lightness. I began to let things be what they are, and not what I want them to be. There is a lot to be said for a mindset shift in the way you view yourself and others.
I finally had a conversation one day with an old friend and a lightbulb had gone off in my mind about a “story” I had been telling myself since that day a decade ago. We were talking about fertility and she stated her family is very fertile - and immediately I said I am the total opposite!
This was the story I had been carrying around with me since 19.
I am infertile.
It is difficult for me to have children.
Men won’t want to keep me around because I can never provide them with a child.
If I learned anything in a my personal growth journey, it has been stories are just that - stories. They are your programmed subconscious mind and once you recognize them, you have the power to change them. So why was it that I thought for years I could not have children? Because doctors have told me I have hormonal imbalances? Because other people have a harder time conceiving - so therefore I must also?
This story had consumed me whether I knew it or not over the years. It was the foundational groundwork imbedded in my subconscious mind that - I WAS NOT ENOUGH.
I will be forever grateful to that old friend, and I wish we still talked, that truly changed my life’s perspective in a way that I can never fully explain. There was a burden, a weight lifted off of me when I realized that life is ALWAYS what you make it. Life is ALWAYS responding to you. And you are ALWAYS creating the life that you believe you are worthy of. Once I dropped my bullshit story at the door there was room for a higher power to come in and allow me a gift when I was ready.
We tend to want to plan our lives out to the year. We want to get engaged by 26, married by 27, have a baby by 28 and another one on the way by 30.
YOU CAN NOT PLAY GOD.
As much as we all want to plan out the perfect time line - life will prove over and over again that we only have so much control. We may be able to make decisions, but when it comes to the BIG stuff it is truly out of our hands.
I still had one more story that needed to be shed before it was finally my time. I still had one more hang up, that needed to be healed before I could finally be trusted with the title of Mom.
While I believe in faith and a higher being - I do believe there is science that plays a role in our hormones. You can pray all day long but if you are not putting in the action to treat your body correctly and feed it what it needs to grow another human, you are creating an environment that is not as fertile for your baby to grow. Some may have their vice of fast food, Coke or cookies. Mine so happened to be wine. I am planning on going into more detail in another post regarding the relationship to booze and fertility but for today let’s just say it was a vice that needed to be dropped for me. It was a bad habit that became unhealthy and I began to see a problem in myself.
Through all of my diet clean up I never fully gave up alcohol for more than 30 days at a time. It was the best friend that was always there for me when I was stressed out and the warm confidence I needed at social events. It was my way to handle the world - until I realized again, this is my story and I have the power to change it.
I dropped my alcohol habit, found more inner peace, a wonderful boyfriend and a voice that was my own. I had finally found me.
While I shed this story, and still am to this day, I realized so many things about what is truly important to me in this world. I saw at the core of my drinking was insecurity and a mask of the more introverted me. I saw a part of me that was still not fulfilled and I sat on my couch one night with my boyfriend talking about the renewal of my website. It probably sounds silly, but in this moment I didn’t know at all where my business was going, where my life was heading and what turn I was suppose to take next. I sat there talking about social media and how it was not speaking to my core anymore and he finally asked me - what do you really want? And I will never forget my response - I want to be a Mom.
In tears that night I sat feeling my old story come back up. Feeling my - I am not worthy reel play out. And I can’t say that I prayed that night but I can say that someone was listening to me.
Within a week I had an email from someone asking for coaching and it gave me the hope to renew my website and see where the next year leads. Within a few more weeks I was starting to feel symptoms of pregnancy but truly didn’t believe it.
I took a test in April, negative.
I kept focused on my sobriety and working on myself. I still couldn’t shake this feeling that something was different.
On Mother’s Day of this year I had quickly run home and decided I had to take another test, fully expecting a negative again but secretly hoping for more. The first line appeared immediately and I had to pull out the box to make sure I was seeing this right. This was the pregnant line …
As the other line began to appear I sat there stunned. I sat there thinking this is impossible. There is no way I could actually be pregnant. So I proceeded to do what every other woman would do and go to the store to get the digital tests! Clearly this could not be right.
Two more tests confirmed, indeed I was pregnant! The state of shock could only be described as utter disbelief. I had not had a cycle since December (which is very common with PCOS) so how could this be true? I sat there staring at tests and I finally began to cry. I had this overwhelming feeling of fear, love, faith and relief all at the same time. I placed my hand on my belly that day and knew that this little tiny seed inside of me came at the perfect time. What a blessing it is to become a Mother on Mother’s Day.
I write this blog for others today to share my story, my journey and my experience in becoming Mom. Not because I like sharing so much about my personal life but because these stories are the ones that helped me have faith that it will one day happen for me when it is suppose to. I can sit here and list off supplements, diets, herbs, oils and exercise routines - but that’s not the real story for me.
My story is more about allowing yourself to surrender to what the Universe has in store for you. Was I ready before this year to have a child? No, because I hadn’t yet made peace with me. I hadn’t accepted there is more to the story than hormones, shots, and smoothies. I hadn’t seen that the story imbedded in me for years was holding me back from believing in my own body. When we treat our bodies like they do not work, that is what you will see. When you treat your body like it can heal itself, treat your mind like it can create your own reality and you actually believe it. Miracles happen.
My journey has only just begun in becoming a Mom. I am sure there will be sleepless nights, incredibly hard choices, and a lot of patience in the years to come. I am sure I will have never expect some of the things I will face as a parent. And I am sure I will never love another human as much as I could possibly love this little one.
PCOS is just a diagnosis.
It is just a label that many women are given by doctors.
It affects more and more women each year and it can be a challenge for many to conceive.
When you read that last line I hope you read a challenge and not impossible. I hope you read my story and realize there is hope for you, when you just begin to believe it. Having faith that your body can do what it was designed to comes from a deep inner knowing that YOU ARE ENOUGH!
I invite you to change your story, like I did mine. I invite you to stop talking about yourself in a way where you describe yourself as infertile. I invite you to ask questions, say affirmations and research the things that help others conceive. But most of all I want you to know, it is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you you must take drug XY&Z to get your miracle. You are always creating a life that you believe you are worthy of. And you are worthy of ANYTHING you want that this world has to offer you. You just have to believe in it enough.
Gratitude, faith and belief in yourself is more powerful than anything a doctor writes down on a piece of paper. Don’t let yourself forget that. You, and your body are enough. Have faith in your fertility.
Change your story. Change your mindset. Change your life.
Grab my fertility affirmation cheat sheet and get started on your mindset today!