Growing up I had friends that wanted to be Teachers or Doctors, Musicians or Politicians - I wanted to be a Mom. Following my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 21, I began to live in fear of my body failing me when it came to starting my family. I began to live in fear that becoming a Mom may not be an easy reality for me.
The main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. Women with PCOS typically have higher levels of male hormones which affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation. These hormone imbalances result in missed or irregular periods and the growth of many small cysts on ovaries. In my mind, with the statistics of my syndrome, proof of my messy medical records, and words of my doctors, starting my family would be a challenge.
In October of 2015, my husband and I discussed starting our family. We met with our doctor for a pre-conception consultation and were advised that we would most likely need to meet with a fertility specialist in six months should we not be pregnant. My doctor recommended we don't "drag on the disappointment" for longer than that.
By December we were in our second cycle of trying to conceive and four months away from our expected fate with the fertility specialist. As early as I could begin testing for an early pregnancy, I would. Unlike our first month of trying where my cycle was regular (which doesn't often happen for PCOS-ers), my second cycle was typical, coming with a missed period and along with it, many negative pregnancy tests. Being realistic, I feared PCOS was the culprit and threw myself a pretty epic pity party - pizza, ugly crying, cookies - they were all invited.
As I sulked in worry, depression and anxiety, my optimistic husband persisted I take one more test just to be sure.
His gentle smile and positive outlook were hard to turn down. I grabbed the last test in the box, marched my way to the bathroom, peed on the stick and left it be. Unlike other tests where I watched and anxiously awaited the result - I left this one alone. I already knew it was going to be negative.
About a half hour passed and I made my way into the the kitchen, past the counter where this time the test was anxiously waiting for me. Something caught my eye. Something looked different.
I stopped. Peered down at the stick on the counter and without hesitation blurted out: is this for f**ing real?
The test was positive.
My husband hopped of the couch, scurried over to the counter, confirmed what I was seeing was indeed for f**ing real, and hugged me. One would think I would have been overcome with emotion - crying tears of happiness while doing a silly happy dance. No. I stood there in silent shock with a "what the f***" look on my face.
This can't be real.
But it was real. Today I am 13 weeks along and carrying our first child. A child that will make his or her arrival in August 2016, within two weeks of my 27th birthday. A child I'm still getting used to being real.
To go from a place of having a diagnosis that could result in anything from ease in conceiving a child to complete infertility - to attempting to start your family knowing the odds may be against you - to being pregnant in just under two months has provoked a whirlwind of emotions. I've had a hard time coming around to this being a reality for my husband and I. I've prepared myself for five years for the worst, and my unexpected life presented me with a best case scenario.
In no way can I understand the disappointment couples face when they are in the ruts of infertility or experiencing long-term challenges when trying to start a family. I can however understand the anxiety one may have when entering this special and intimate chapter in their lives, that is so sensitive and delicate, and also expected to be shared with the world.
Although it may seem like the worry I had for the last five years may have been unjustified, it created a bond between my husband and I that may have never existed.
My husband accepted me for who I am and embraced what I believed to be my faults. He supported me and became my most trusted confidant. This situation forced us to talk about decisions we may have had to make. We discussed everything from IVF, to surrogacy and adoption. And through those conversations we learned we were not only capable of loving a biological child, but capable of loving any child that was destined to be ours. In having the wonderful opportunity we have to carry our own biological child and bring him or her into this word, we feel it is our duty to be open to offering the service of surrogacy to a family who may be in need, and would love to adopt a child in the future - no longer because we may have to, but because we truly want to.
Life can be full of unexpected things, either happy or sad, but no matter what happens, keep a loving heart, wise mind, and believe your strength will get you through this journey called life.