Baby Dreams

I lay wide awake tossing and turning trying to force myself back to sleep. The clock blinked 3:52 AM. Enough time to sneak in another cycle of REM sleep but only if my mind would stop churning….and I knew it wouldn’t.

My anxiety fulled sleeplessness was due to a doctor’s appointment I had in the morning. An appointment I had put off for months until the pit in my stomach finally became loud enough I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

I was going to the doctor because I hadn’t gotten my period for 8 months. Pregnant? No, I had packs of pregnancy tests to prove otherwise. This irregularity had happened before so I wasn’t too concerned initially. Except those past times had only been 3 or 4 months, and this felt unnervingly different. But as happens with most ailments I wanted to wait it out – convince myself this is nothing to worry about. Plus I had plenty of other things to fret over like comprehensive exams, dissertation proposals, manuscript submissions! So of course this hormonal imbalance was related to stress. That pesky grad school stress that influences everything I do. It must be the culprit. Once summer comes all will be adjusted and my hormones will realign to their necessary levels. Yes, of course this is the answer.

Yet it was August and my period did not return. I had taken relaxing vacations, reduced my work load, and fell into a healthy diet and exercise regime. One thing that was remaining were intense stomach pains. They came in waves, pinching my insides until I was doubled over in agony. These aches would last all day and then disappear the next morning as if it were never there.

The doctor’s office was a blur. The words just spilled out of my mouth as I sat there endlessly waiting for her to report something, anything back to me. And with that she said, “Based on your blood levels it appears you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. It’s very common. It’s the #1 reason for female infertility.” I couldn’t even memorize the title or let alone understand what this means, but that word infertility was already burned into my memory.

I somehow didn’t cry in front of this woman. I just stared blank face as she told me what I needed to pick up from the pharmacy. I thanked her and told her I would keep her informed of my symptoms via the highly impersonal electronic messaging system. I stepped outside and biked the rest of my way to school, sat down in my office and started working. I sent emails, I finished reports, I ran statistics. My mind was on automatic pilot – no emotions, no panic, no sadness just the dull hum like that of a robot who was programmed to dutifully complete an assignment.

And then it happened 2 whole days later. I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried until I couldn’t feel that never-ending sadness anymore. I cried for my stupidity in thinking nothing was wrong. I cried for genes I was gifted with 27 years ago that would lead me to this very point in my life. I cried for being defected like a toy with all the wrong parts. I cried for my husband who may not ever be gifted with a child who had glittery blue eyes just like his own. I cried for all those years of dreaming and planning just to be smacked in the face years later. And I cried for the innocence I lost after those words trickled out of my doctor’s mouth.

All those tears somehow forced me to create a lifeboat. I wasn’t going to drown in this misery, this feeling of ineptitude. So I picked up my sorry self, packed up my pride, courage, and sense of humor, and set out to find myself once more, or perhaps for the first time. But before I could navigate my way into this new world, I stopped and prayed. I prayed for the first time in my life (if I’m being honest I was faking it all those years before). I asked God, Allah, Buddha, or whoever was listening up above to gift me with compassion, patience, and kindness for myself.

This inner emotional turmoil was actually the catalyst for me to start writing this blog. I wouldn’t have linked the two events at the time and would have adamantly denied wanting to use social media as an outlet for my inner frustrations. But yes it’s true, I wanted to say something, say anything to anyone who would listen. So I thank you for listening, reading, commenting. Helping me process any and all of this confusion and chaos life grants every single one of us.

I wanted to share this personal story because I find the more I talk about this the more I realize how many others it affects. Not necessarily just people who have PCOS, but others who have difficulty getting pregnant, have used alternative pregnancy methods, or those who never had children of their own. It is not an easy journey we tread down. And I think I have every right to say, “this fucking sucks.” I’m allowed to feel angry, frustrated, emotional, discouraged, sad, and even hopeful at times. I refuse to ever let someone convince me I should just get over it because it will all be fine. This feels like something because it should feel like something….and this is the wonderful benefit of being alive.

Lastly I want to thank my friends and family who unknowingly gave me the courage to write this post. I cannot ever repay you with the confidence and compassion you all bring into my life.

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14 Responses to Baby Dreams

  1. Jenna says:

    Love you/miss you!

  2. Kate says:

    Linds! I am so proud of you for sharing this! I am going to send you a few links of others bloggers who have PCOS. One, who never thought she’d be a mom, just had their first baby – she’s awesome.

    And you have to have the “this fucking sucks” moments. Allow yourself those moments. I know through our experience that you have to mourn the loss of what should be. And I get so frustrated when people tell me to only look at the bright side when I feel down. Of course I look at the bright side, but it doesn’t mean I ignore the dark side.

  3. Tina says:

    I had no idea. Big HUGS and bravo for writing such a brave post.

  4. sarah says:

    I’m sorry to hear that, Lindsay. Lots of good thoughts, and thanks for writing.

  5. Lindsey – you are so strong. Praying for you. ❤

  6. Rita Bird says:

    Lindsay:

    Not sure if your Mom told you – but Christine was diagnosed with PCOS in November. She has gotten great help from my niece Bridget who also has PCOS and now has 3 children – 8 year old twins and a six year old. She got this book and really likes it – you might want to pick up a copy. The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility” N.D. Nancy Dunne. I am glad you posted this – because it will be the love and support of family and friends that will get you through this now and in the future. I will pray for you as well in hopes that your dreams do come true.

    Love
    Aunt Bird

  7. Anne says:

    Linds….so wonderful of you to share this. You are brave and strong! Love to you and Mike.

  8. Christine O'Brennan says:

    So….
    My mom already burst the bubble on my PCOS diagnosis, but I wanted to talk to you personally about it since now we are soul sisters dealing with the same demon! I’ve fb’d you my cell # and I’d really love to chat!

    You are definitely NOT alone, and there is hope and you WILL be a mother someday – the infertility is just a side effect that can be managed and or reversed completely! Just know that everything you do now, is for your future children 🙂

  9. Lindsay Ann says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I think it is a condition that not many people know about and I’m so glad you shed some light on it!

  10. Monica says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this diagnosis, but thank you for your openness and honesty. This is something I think about often as being a Mom is my number two life goal.

    Hang in there and know that life grants miracles all the time. Also, I hope this outlet continues to give you a platform and a source of comfort.

    Thank you again for sharing this.

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  12. You are so brave for putting this out there. I can only imagine the overwhelming emotions that you’ve had to process. My thoughts are with you and I know that you will find your way through this.

  13. Laura says:

    That fucking sucks:) Thanks for sharing this with the blog world and I hope you’ll keep us informed about your baby dreams. Hang in there!! I actually just went about seven months without a period and my doctor didn’t seem too concerned (I just went back on birth control), but now I’m a bit worried….

  14. Carol Monfredo says:

    Lindsey, You have become such a wonderfully complete woman. So many of us believe that becoming a biological mother is the answer to life’s questions only to find out we haven’t even touched on the answer. Your open mindedness allows not only you to see the truth but all those who read your blog. Being a complete woman comes from within the core of our being. We cannot reach it by thinking outside influences (work, family, environment) will give us the answers. Congratulations on the start of your journey! Just know the journey should never end until you do. So, look forward to all life offers you, as our life’s purpose is not always what we think it should be. Embrace the feelings you experience since they will be what defines you on your journey, and they are all good even if we don’t feel that way while going through them. Revel in you growth…you are such a special, beautiful person. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It only helps us to grow along with you.

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