What is it? Who has it? Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
All through my late teens and early 20’s, this was never spoken about or caught from my OBGYN. I had no idea that it was a thing. Every one of my pelvic exams would come back normal. I would have irregular periods but I just chalked that up to my birth control. A few friends of mine got pregnant through out my late teens. I’ll never forget what an old ex best friend once said to me when we were 19. We were in her room (we lived together) and we were discussing how she and a few of our friends have gotten pregnant and how I never did (everyone has a few oops moments) She said “Maybe you just can’t have kids”. Deep down it hit me like a bag of bricks. Not have kids? That never crossed my mind. I just assumed I got lucky in those moments of oops and someone was looking out for me. It never dawned on me that there could be a chance that I was not going to have them. I always assumed that I am a female and our bodies were made to have babies. Period.
Let’s fast forward to my late 20’s. I am 29 and just got married. We planned it out as to when I would stop my birth control to let my body rest so that we can plan to have a little one of our own. After 2 years of trying, nothing seemed to be happening. Was it me? Was it him? In the back of my mind, I would hear the friends voice “maybe you just can’t have kids”. I went to my new OB and explained everything to her. After a ton of blood work and a few ultra sounds, she sat me down and had a kinda sad look on her face. She said ” It looks like you have P.C.O.S”. As she began to explain to me the symptoms, it all started falling into place. The random weight gain in my waist area only, the mood swings, the irregular period, the random hormonal acne ( I did not have acne when i was going through puberty), and the big one, not getting pregnant. I looked at her and asked the one question I was fearing hearing the answer too “Can I get pregnant”? She still had a sad look in her face and said “Maybe, but you are going to need some help and the longer you wait, the less chance you have”. With that, she gave me a big hug and sent me on my way.
It was the longest drive home. Maybe? In my head, I took that as a No. Why? We did not have money for “help” at the time. It was like that bag of bricks hit me again, but harder. It took me to a very dark place in my head. I was never going to be a mother. I was never going to be able to look into my child’s eyes and see that smile that melts your heart. I would never get to watch my child grow and learn. And the hardest, I would never be called mom.
It was a very rough time for my husband and I. I would decline any invite to a baby shower. I did not want to be around anyone with little kids.
What made it even harder for me, was when family members got pregnant. I loved them and were happy for them but hearing things like “When are you guys going to have one?” “It’s your turn now” “We will save it for you guys, for when you have one” just dug the knife a little deeper. I was fortunate to be present in the room when our God Son was born. I was able to be a part of something amazing. It was still hard for me, but I was so happy for the new parents and got to get my baby fix as well.
2 years after the doctor told me “maybe”, my husband was at home watching TV and an advertisement came on about a convention in Pasadena, CA. It was for people with P.C.O.S. We decided it would be a great thing to go to (we lived in Los Angeles). We talked before about adoption and possible IVF ( In vitro fertilisation ) if we could afford it in the future. This convention was the best thing we ever went too. . We sat in on a lecture with a Doctor that specialized in IVF for women who have P.C.O.S. and then got to sit with him and ask questions. We decided that we would move forward and if it did not work then it truly was not meant to be and we would just have to accept it.
Now here I am, 6 years after I was told “maybe”. I get to wake up to a beautiful 7 month old boy who is perfect in every way. It was a journey to have him and I am sure it will be a journey to raise him. It was an uphill battle. My husband and I never gave up hope and we never gave up on each other.
I still suffer from P.C.O.S. It effects my milk supply for my son and my weight loss/gain. I still have to cope with the mood swings/ depression. We know that if we ever wanted to have another baby, it would be a very difficult. We have accepted the fact that we probably will not have another one. I still have a hard time with the comments of “Time for another one”, the “So when is baby number 2 coming”, or the “You have to give him a sibling”. If only people knew the struggle we had just to have him. He is our little miracle.