PLEASE NOTE: The subject matter of this post may be distressing. It talks about miscarriage and fertility issues.
Those, my dear readers are my ovaries. Never thought you’d see those things now would you!? These internal ultrasound images (yes, it was as unpleasant as it sounded) were taken in 2008. I’d just turned 22. It feels like SO much has changed since then, and it has, but it turns out, my body really IS changing.
Periods. It’s something some girls look forward to, others dread. I of course was sure that I’d get them for the first time in the middle of my Science Class and would never live it down. That never happened. One by one, my friends got them. Every month would pass and I never got a visit from Aunt Flow. Part of me was relieved, I did not want them, but a part of me was worried.
I think I was 16 when I went to my local GP, working up the courage to explain my problem. I’d been getting bad cramps, sometimes to the point I’d double over in such extreme pain. After talking she explained she believed I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndorme, and basically gave me ‘the pill’ to take. Soon after, I got my first period.
Left: Looking pretty chuffed at being one of the first to hold my nephew in 2001. Right: Holding another nephew around 2008
When I moved to Adelaide, my doctor wanted to run tests, sure, why not. I was older, I understood my body a lot more, I knew myself a lot more. I had the tests & the doctor called me in to talk. She explianed in more detail about PCOS, and showed me these ultasound images. My ovearies had lots and lots of little cysts. The largest being 6mm. She then went on to explain how it can affect my fertility.
HOLD ON, WAIT, FERTILITY!? That was my first thought. I never wanted children, well I did, but I always said I’d adopt. Birth scared me, and after witnessing my nephews birth, it scared me even more. I was suddenly hit with this feeling of sadness. I felt like a failure. Woman are amazing creatures, we have a body that can create another human being, we can grow another person, it’s something that is exclusive to us, and I was being told there was a bloody big chance that MY body couldn’t do it.
In this instant the saying “You always want what you can’t have” rang true. Adam was supportive, always happy to reassure me that it didn’t make me less of a woman. He never wanted children so he didn’t see it as a bad thing. I kind of came to terms with it, I mean, I never wanted them before, my boyfriend never wanted them, it was okay.
Then I had a miscarriage. I didn’t know I was pregnant, I was on the pill, we were safe, but sometimes things happen. I didn’t realise at first it was a miscarriage, I was just puzzled as to why I had suddenly got my period. But it was different, as I mentioned, I knew my body, something wasn’t right. My in-laws took me to the Doctors and she explained what was happening. I remember leaving in a state of shock, just in this weird bubble of “what, why, how, why, huh“. I broke down into a heap about 10 minutes after I got home.
I am an emotional person, but I don’t show it easily. This effected me on such a scale I still find it hard to put into words. I was pregnant, but now i’m not. I had a baby starting to grow inside me, but now it isn’t. How can you want something you didn’t know existed? How can you love someone you’d never met, that some would even debate even existed.
After Adam and I split a few years later, I came off the pill. I’d been on it for like 8 years. I’d go off it for a couple months at a time, to give my body a break, see if anything had changed, it never did. Seeing as I wasn’t sexually active, I figured I’d give my body a really good break.
Over the past 16 or so months, I had 2 natural periods. Three months ago, I got the third. 2 months ago I got my forth. HOLY MOTHER OF ZEUS I GOT TWO PERIODS IN A ROW. Last week, I got my fifth, making it the first time I’ve EVER had a string of 3 natural periods a month apart. Me, with a regular period.
I know this probably sounds strange to some. I think periods, pregnancy and fertility are something some women take for granted, but for me, this is just WOW. It’s probably stupid, but I can’t help but be excited, I can’t help but kind of feel proud of myself, of my body.
I don’t know what it means, and I’m kind of scared to go and have tests. I know that I would one day like to have a child, I want to experience creating a baby with the person I love, to feel it growing inside me, to feel it move and kick. To meet them for the first time, to figure out what parts of me they had and what came from their father. To watch them grow.
Maybe I’ll get my fourth period in a row next month. Maybe it means my body is righting itself. Maybe, just maybe it means that I’ll be a Mum one day. Who knows hey, but fingers crossed!