Thursday, 2 March 2017
My Fertility Story - Part 1
This series will talk about my reproductive health in general, my two ectopic pregnancies, the reproductive health issues I've had since I had my fallopian tube removed, and also the decision for James to have a vasectomy, thus making us a childless couple. This is quite a lot to tell, so I'm going to break it up into at least a few parts. These posts will obviously deal with child loss, so please don't read these posts if they'll upset you.
There's no time like the present, so let's get cracking.
PART ONE - BABY NAMES AND FIRST BLOOD
Even when I was a child I was a storyteller. I never had a pad and pen out of my reach and I used to write stories about princesses who lived in huge castles who had lots of brothers and sisters. With childlike optimism at that stage I just assumed I'd have kids one day. Sometimes I'd make all the names of the children rhyme - Brandi, Shandi, Candi, Mandi. Other times I'd pick names that began with the same letter, or make up names that sounded like mystical gems. I think I knew then at some instinctual level that bigger is better when it came to families, even though it was just my brother Wayne and I. My dad had 5 brothers and sisters and my mum had 4 brothers and sisters, so it was normal to us to have lot of people around us. Our mum and dad divorced when I was 7 after a few rocky years. We'd never really known peace in the household as my mum and dad bickered a lot. They were both very young, and it wasn't the best experience for any of us. I think by the time they'd divorced I'd lost my dreams of big families, and as I grew into a teen I didn't know if I was the marriage-and-kids type of person at all.
My first period arrived when I was 13, and pretty much straight away they were difficult. I remember having TERRIBLE mood swings as a teen, and I was put on Vitamin B12 tablets by the doctor but that didn't seem to do much. You just get on with things, don't you? So I did.
I thank my lucky stars for my bad choices in partners over the years because I never met anyone I wanted to have kids with before I met my husband, but I do think I had a miscarriage once when I was in my early 20s. I was working evenings cleaning offices and when I came home one night I went to the toilet and pulled down my trousers and they landed with a splat. I thought 'That can't be right' and looked down and my knickers were saturated with blood and my trousers were sodden halfway down to the knees on both inside legs. I got so sweaty at work because it was a busy, physically taxing job and I hadn't noticed. It wasn't my period because it had finished by the next morning. I've never mourned it (unlike my ectopic pregnancies) because that current partner wasn't right for me (he was later violent, so I had a lucky escape). I didn't even go to the doctors because I didn't want to know for sure. I just put it out of my mind.
The really bad troubles with my periods came when I got thyroid disease, which happened in my mid-20s. The thyroid gland controls every cell in the body, and one of the symptoms or side effects is heavy, painful periods. I would actually miss work some days because the pain was so bad. It affected my ability to walk, so it was pretty major, but I just took over the counter painkillers and didn't seek help from doctors. I had thyroid disease for a long time before I was diagnosed and they did get better again after I started treatment with the regards to the pain. The bad moods? Not so much, they've been a constant. 😝 The pain only got really bad again after my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011 but I have the first one to talk about before we get to that. That was in 2003, and I'll talk about that in my next post.
Thanks for reading.
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