Dealing With Infertility and Pain

The last few years have been quite the whirlwind.

I got married, bought a house, got promoted three times at work, was in constant pain, and found out I couldn’t have kids.

At about 24, I started to experience a mysterious pain in my lower abdomen (mostly the right side by my hip) that seemed to revolve around my cycle. I told my doctor about this at my yearly checkup, and you know what she did? She laughed in my face and told me I was crazy. Well, needless to say this scared me off of doctors for a couple years.

So, I just dealt with the pain. Not very well either. Sometimes it hurt just sitting or standing there. Sometimes when I sat down, a sharp pain shot all the way up my back. I went from having a VERY healthy sex life to practically none at all. My husband was understanding at first, but then he thought I was making it up to get out of sex. “If it really hurts that bad, you would go to the doctor,” he would say to me. He didn’t understand the humiliation I felt or the fear of being laughed at again – and the fear of what they may find.

I became depressed. Really depressed. I googled everything under the sun. It didn’t help or give me any answers. Finally, I caved. I had to know what was going on. I found a new doctor and made my first appointment. The doctor was helpful (kind of), but it was a painstaking process that cost me thousands of dollars and a bit more of my emotional health.

First, he found the hpv. It was bad enough that I had to do a leep procedure. Good God that was terrible. The worst part was probably the epinephrine. They inject it right into your cervix, and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.

That got taken care of, but he said that wouldn’t be causing my abdominal pain. He was right. The pain continued.

Next, I got the ultra sounds. It’s kind of awkward having a wand shoved up your privates but at least not painful. They found a cyst on each of my ovaries. Maybe that was the answer? PCOS? They sent me for blood tests, but everything came back normal. On the second round of ultra sounds, the cysts were gone, but the pain was still there.

Nope. Not the answer.

Time for exploratory surgery. I had never had surgery or been put under, so I was terrified. But, it really wasn’t that bad.

They did a laparoscopy where they made three incisions, one inch long each. One on each side of my abdomen below my panty line and one in (kind of below) my belly button. They took pictures of my insides and performed a chromotubation where they push dye through your fallopian tubes.

It was difficult to move for a few days, but luckily I had five days off of work. I got really good at rolling sideways off of the couch so I didn’t have to sit up. It took quite a few months to fully heal, but the pain was bearable.

A had to wait a month for everything to get analyzed, but finally the results were in! I nearly skipped back to the doctor’s office knowing I would finally have an answer as to what was causing my pain. Even if it couldn’t be fixed, I would finally know I wasn’t crazy.

Or so I thought.

I didn’t like the look on the doctor’s face when he walked into the room. He showed me all of the pictures and explained what he found. Here is how it went:

  1. The dye never made it through either of my fallopian tubes. They were both completely blocked. He didn’t know why, and I was never going to be able to have children.
  2. I had an excessive build up of scar tissue in my abdomen – so bad that some of my organs had become attached (like my stomach was attached to my liver, and so on). He didn’t know why. He was able to separate some areas with a laser, but some areas were too delicate for him to separate.
  3. He had no real answers for me. He said the scar tissue and blocked tubes may or may not be causing my pain – he couldn’t be certain. The only things he did know for certain was that I was probably going to be in pain for the rest of my life with no real answers and that I couldn’t have children.

I was devastated. I was so angry at the world. Mostly at not being able to have children. I never thought I’d be dealing with infertility.

WHY were all these drug addicts able to have children and not me? WHY could some women have 10 children from 10 different fathers (who abandoned them) and not me? WHY could women who could not support themselves let alone a child able to have children and not me? WHY were women who abused their children able to have them and not me? WHY???

I had done everything right. I was the first person in my family to graduate college (with OVER a 4.0). I had a good, stable career. I was financially responsible. I had a caring husband who would make a great father. I had a house with three extra, lonely bedrooms waiting to be filled. I had so much love to give, so much to teach.

My heart ached. My empty womb ached (ha, no. Not just from the pain that was still there). I began to be filled with anger and hate, resentment. WHY I asked all the time. What did I DO to deserve this outcome? Is there a God? If so, $%*& him.

I cried, A LOT. I had screaming matches in my head with random people I didn’t know. Everyone told me stupid things like, “It’ll work out. Miracles happen every day. It just wasn’t meant to be. You’re meant for something else. I still have hope for you.” Ugh. I hated meeting new people and having them ask me when my husband and I were planning on having children. I hated the pity in their faces when I told them I couldn’t.

I hated that maybe I believed a little of what they were saying and that I still had a little bit of hope. I hated the disappointment and heartbreak I felt every month when inevitably Aunt Flow came to visit.

So, what helped, you wonder. How did you climb out of this pit of despair?

For the sake of 100% transparency, I haven’t. But, it’s getting better. It gets a little bit easier to answer that “when” question every time and a little bit easier to deal with their pity. It’s getting a little bit easier each month when I feel the bloating and cramps come on. Do I still Google things? A bit. Do I still buy things that **may** help? Yup. On my most recent venture, I got Serrapeptase and Curcumin which are supposed to help break down scar tissue in the fallopian tubes along with abdominal massage. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The biggest helper? Time. As each day passes, it gets a little easier. Maybe, just maybe, someday I’ll fully come to terms with it.

 

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