Thursday 24 May 2018
2 March 2018
Today, for the first time ever, I left a specialist appointment feeling content. Actually, it was more than content, it was a state of complete and utter happiness. I sat in the waiting room chair of my gynecologists holding my nine-week-old son. It wasn’t an unfamiliar place, I’d been there too many times to count – but this time it was different. I wasn’t scared, and I wasn’t frustrated. For the first time, I was excited to talk about my fertility and future health. I know it seems kind of crazy to already be thinking about this, but when you know there are potential obstacles in the way – you’re forced to keep it front of mind.
Let’s back track a little…over the last eight years, I’ve NEVER (and this is not a lie) left a specialist appointment without fighting off tears or feeling like absolute shit. I usually make it to the car, and the water works start. Why? I guess I always felt I was going nowhere, like nobody believed my symptoms were real, and like nobody could offer me any sort of helpful advice or plan of attack. You’d often get, “we could try this...,” and I was pretty over trying.
These types of appointments also forced you to go over your health history and what you’ve been going through recently. Time and time again I’d take a deep breath and go right from the start, laying every symptom and experience on the table, not missing a detail. It was depressing!! When you’re seeking help from professionals, they generally don’t want to know about the good things that happened in your day, they don’t want to have a chat about the weather. They want the problems, so in that particular moment - you live in the problems. When you walk out the door it can be really hard to bury them, especially when you’ve just been told you need another procedure, or given the suggestion of taking anti-depressants. If you sat there reciting all of the shit going on in your life, would you just brush it off?
Then there were the physical examinations, they were invasive and often left me in pain for hours after. I knew I’d be having one today, but I was carefree…I’d pushed a baby out of there, surely it wouldn’t hurt now. And it didn’t, I didn’t even flinch. I had some muscular tension which caused discomfort on one side – but nothing to worry about. Both my ovaries were there and visible, no signs of cysts of PCOS, and my uterus was apparently, “perfect.”
We spoke about my concerns for conceiving more children down the track and what point intervention would be needed (if it was). My midwife and some friends had suggested I get back on the pill/depot to balance things out and eliminate endo pain, but I don’t ever want to put those things in my body again – especially when I’m feeling the best I have in years, actually, in my whole life. I expressed this to my doctor, and for the first time in forever, I got the advice from a medical professional to keep doing what I’m doing. He said, “let’s leave you alone, and let your body do what it wants to do,” and it was fucken liberating.
So am I fixed??
A measure taken to resolve a problem or correct a mistake; a solution or remedy.
We’re told that one of the ways to cure endometriosis is to get pregnant. A solution which isn’t viable or even possible for many sufferers – even if they want to. And since having Riley a lot of people have asked me if I am “fixed.” To be honest, I don’t know if I am, nor do I think I’ll be able to answer that question properly for a few years. But there are a few things which are a hell of a lot better….
Sex - it doesn’t hurt anymore.
My body temperature - I don’t feel like I’m constantly having hot flushes.
Headaches - the only ones I get are from excess coffee which is used to conquer the sleep deprivation of being a new mum.
Weight gain – my body has found a happy and healthy resting weight without me having to starve myself.
My pelvic floors – ironically, I don’t pee when I sneeze any more. I’ve given them a lot of attention post baby, and they’re stronger than they ever have been.
My mind – I have no fear of never being mum and I understand what self-love is all about.
I’ve had one episode which felt similar to endo pain. At six weeks post-partum I cramped up and couldn’t move without feeling a stabbing pain down by my left ovary. I found myself taking Panadol and lying in a hot bath until it passed. I was home alone when it happened and burst into tears because I was nervous I’d be in so much pain that I wouldn’t be able to care for Riley. That same night I had some fresh blood, but have no idea if it was a period or not. I hope that when Riley stops breastfeeding it’ll restore itself and that’ll give me a real gauge of if pregnancy and child birth has helped reset me as such.
So what now? Well there’s not really a plan, and that’s the beauty of it. If I do get terrible periods with unbearable pain, or my periods don’t come back – I know what I can do…but now, my mind is at peace that everything is okay and I don’t need another surgery. And as I sat in the chair, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat holding back the tears, I was relaxed and in awe looking at Riley’s picture on the wall with a whole lot of other babies – a success story. I was the success story I’d hoped to be. I can’t thank my gynecologist enough for supporting me throughout the whole journey and making that possible!!