By Guest Blogger Lauren Bolis
"Have you ever had Endometriosis?” Not exactly the words I was expecting when I visited the ultrasound clinic “just to make sure” there was nothing wrong.
At the beginning of our journey to try to have a second child, a sibling for our beautiful daughter, I was so sure that it would be just as easy to conceive BB#2 as it was to conceive our first. When we were getting into our sixth month of trying, I started asking ‘Doctor Google’ at 3am in the morning, “why can’t I conceive our second child?” After going through a checklist I found one night, I decided that it was MOST DEFINITELY my ridiculous anxiety. Google at 3am is not a gift to an anxious person.
Soon after, I went to see my GP to get some assistance in calming down. I was prescribed some Valerian to take, had some blood tests done (which came back perfect, “a little low in Iron, but nothing a little more red meat won’t fix”) and was sent to have an ultrasound. It was there that I first ever considered that there was actually something “wrong”. Endometriosis? Me? All these thoughts went through my head, which were mostly confusing due to misinformation from others.
After reading the little letter you get from the Ultrasound Clinic, I set up an appointment again with my GP. It was explained to me what I actually had… Not Endometriosis, Endometriomas. Chocolate Cysts. Endometriosis in my left ovary.
We were instructed to see a specialist, and chose one that worked under the IVF banner. I will stop here and say that this probably wasn't our wisest decision. If I'm being completely honest, we had no intentions of going through IVF (we're in support of it, it's just not a process that we wanted for us!). After our appointment, it took me a little while to let it all set in, as it didn’t exactly go the way that I had hoped.
I was asked to have a Hysterosalpingo scan. I dare you to look it up! I wasn't excited about it. The test seemed rather invasive and mildly painful. Our specialist said that my endo could very well have cleared up, the whole reason for getting this scan. Apparently me getting a CT scan was a redundant process. Not having a clear direction was disheartening to say the least. I wanted to know more, I wanted to know what her plan was so that it could be my plan too. I didn't understand anything more or less about what was going on, the only extras that I found out were that this was going to be an expensive process.
I was telling a friend about our “situation”. After seeing our specialist, I felt particularly deflated. Being the person that I am, I needed a clearer path. Something to follow. A plan. My friend suggested acupuncture. So I went on Google and there she was. Michelle. A name that I feel follows me around, and when things get tough a new Michelle comes into my life and opens it up (fun fact: my mum is a twin, however her twin – Michelle – passed away during birth).
Michelle was so open and honest about everything. She TAUGHT me how everything in our reproductive areas work, and how they link to stress and anxiety (for example, when you are anxious, frightened or threatened, more blood flow goes to your arms and legs to help you run/fight, before it goes to “less important areas”). A client of her's was once so stressed out that when she had her emergency C Section her uterus was almost white she had that little blood flow to that area of her body! She also explained to me the difference between endometriomas and cysts on your ovaries, and how they can come and go during the monthly cycle. She explained that we can work on removing cysts and boosting fertility through acupuncture.
So, I had a plan. I was going to look after my body naturally before getting any medical intervention. I had cancelled all of my appointments with my specialist and decided it was 'me time'.
Our first babe stopped attending as many activities during the week and I found work close to home. Life was so much less stressful. I was seeing Michelle every two weeks and I was feeling good. Less stressed, healthy, and energetic.
10 weeks ago I was tired again... I was working nights and we had just found out that we were moving due to my husband's work. I felt different. I decided to take a pregnancy test, and it was negative. Something that I became quite used to over the 16 month period of trying. I had confided in a friend that I thought I might be pregnant prior to taking the test. I sent her a message "I was wrong. I was so damn sure that I was pregnant".
I was really confused and angry for not understanding my body. Two weeks later, five days late into my period... I did another test at 6am in the morning. My husband opened his eyes sleepily. I waited. Then there it was "pregnant". I looked up and nodded at my husband... I've never seen him move out of bed so quickly. We embraced and cried. Relief.
And here we are. 13.5 weeks PREGNANT. I did it all naturally and we are elated.