Can I Still Have Babies?

Every little tot, boy or girl, grows up thinking about what they want to be when they’re all growed up. An astronaut, cowboy, racecar driver, princess. They set out on their life journey young, not realizing how much things change over time. After realizing being a cowboy doesn’t always pay the mortgage, they pick a different career choice. Sometimes if they’re lucky, they still get to dabble in their dream throughout their adulting.

I wanted to be a wife, a mother, part of something much bigger than myself. I just knew it was something I’d be great at hands down. I grew up thinking one day I’d have those things and live happily ever after.

I didn’t have the most stable childhood growing up. I was between my mom, my dad, and my grandparents. I knew I was loved by all of them, but it just wasn’t the ‘normal’ childhood that my friends had. All of my parents had different views on how to raise us and there were always deeper issues that hovered over my family. And to a point, it tore us apart. I don’t want to say I had it bad growing up, because really I didn’t, but I knew from a young age that I wanted a family of my own and that I would do things differently. I was learning from my family’s experiences and life lessons long before I actually realized it. My family was shaping me for the better.

At the know-it-all age of 19 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I can’t even begin to explain the emotions that came whooshing over me at that point, but the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘Can I still have babies?’.

When I asked that question, all my doctor could say was she didn’t know. What the hell do you mean you don’t know?! Aren’t you a doctor lady?! She said they’d have to run some tests, but not to think about it too much until we got the results. Ohhh but of course, no problem here. You just said I had a form of cancer, but sure I won’t think about it. So what did I do? I thought about it. Over and over. Oh and Google was a great help. #donotgooglemedicalillnesses #youwillregretit

After some tests and a week later, my results were in [insert drumrole here].

I would have to have these cancer cells burned off of my cervix. She explained it as kind of like a dry ice. Dry ice INSIDE my lady bits? Umm… are we sure that’s safe? I feel like that’s not safe. What if you burn ‘it’ off? After those feelings subsided… Back to the baby question… Her answer:

There is a lot of unknown and miracles do happen with the help of science. But after this procedure, your cervix will be incompetent.

Oh…

You know how your face gets hot and it feels like it’s fire engine red when you hear or see something and it’s an overwhelming feeling. That’s how I felt. Mixed with the room going dark like I had horse blinders on. Everything seemed to stop in that moment. At 19, everything I thought was my life had changed.

Despite knowing in my heart how amazing I’d be at raising a family, my body wasn’t having it, but part of me still had hope that maybe, just maybe, it could happen. That’s how we are raised right? With the mindset that maybe I will be different. Maybe I will get to defy the odds. But truth be told, I didn’t defy those odds. Hoping wasn’t enough and I was just another statistic.

A few years later, I had some more tests done for a second opinion. This doctor was great, extremely informational, and really supportive. The other lady could have been totally wrong. This one knows what she’s talking about. A biopsy and some cell scraping later…

Your cervix is incompetent. You have endometriosis and PCOS. There is a 3% chance that you will be able to have children and if you are able to get pregnant, there is a 99% chance you will not make it full term. But there are medications that can help this. They are expensive and there are not guarantees.

Yea this lady is smart because she figured out why I was in so much pain all the time, but why couldn’t she be smart in my favor. Why is this happening to me?

Feeling: Numb

The one thing I wanted more than anything was to have a family of my own. To have babies calling me mom. Looking to my husband for guidance on raising our children together. Sharing wisdom and ethics. Instilling imagination and logic into them. Teaching them right from wrong. Diapers. Baby clothes – oh so cute baby clothes! Morning cuddles. Bedtime stories. Band-aids on boo-boos. Trips to the zoo – lions, tigers, bears. oh my! Family vacations. Groundings. Door slams. First kisses. Boyfriends/Girlfriends. Driving lessons. Studying. College trips. Graduation. College. Jobs. Marriage. Grandbabies. Sugar highs and being sent back to mom and dad. To build an empire together. And it was all taken away from me within a few minutes.

It took a long while but after some time, I felt I was starting to accept this fate. I was trying to move on with my life and make the best of it. AKA not think about it. My serious relationship had ended, my father had passed away, and I was living on my own away from everything that reminded me of my past. It was my way of starting over. I felt I needed this time to find me and figure out what I wanted out of life. I felt like I was really getting my life together and things were starting to fall into place. A breath of fresh air, lemme tell ya! I needed this positive part of life. My bosses then, seeing that things were looking up, and told me I was being a hermit and hadn’t dated anyone in over a year, thanks for pointing that out guys, told me I needed to date. Actually they threatened me and told me if I didn’t they would create an online dating profile for me. Hold the phone! You’re forcing me to date? Basically yep. FINE. #wtf #whycantibeadoglady #likeacatladybutwithdogs

[insert horrible dating stories here. When I say horrible, I mean god awful. You hear them and read about them but don’t think they’re real. WRONG! They’re real folks and I’m pretty sure I’m a magnet for weirdos and crazy people]

And then I met someone I never saw coming.

My red string of fate.

He had 2 kids already, which I was really excited about. And it turns out, he didn’t want anymore which was also a relief for me given my body issues. This man taught me so much whether he realized it or not. He was my rock, my inspiration, someone I looked up to in so many ways. He pushed when I pulled and he has always stood by me and been my support system no matter what. He is my best friend. And the kids… those two heathens are the best things in my world. I never knew I could love something so much. They test me constantly and are always obnoxious, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We were becoming a family. The family I always wanted.

A little over a year into our relationship, I started having some body issues again. By again I mean more than normal, pain, things I couldn’t explain and had no idea why they were happening. I went to the doctor and we did some tests. I had a blood clot in my uterus and a cyst on my fallopian tube. They wanted to remove the cyst because if it were to burst, it could burst my tube. Which sometimes can lead to internal bleeding and death. With removing the cyst, they’d have to take the tube with it. The way it was positioned and the location, there was no way to save it. Which sounds all hunky dory, but to someone that has always had the dream of being a mom, it changes things.

I was happy with my family and having my love and the boys. But there was always a part of me that hung onto that 3%. Even though I knew it would never happen, I never actually got over it. And to be honest, I don’t think anyone ever does. I’m not saying they weren’t enough, that’s far from it, they are my world, my everything. This surgery would just mean that everything I had been dealing with emotionally, physically, and mentally since I was 19 was going to be set in concrete. There would be no pushing it off or not thinking about it. This, in fact, made it real. And making it real meant I had to come out of denial. I had to deal with the whirlwind of emotion that had been manifesting for years that I didn’t realize I had.

Following surgery, I was told my hormones are going to be out of whack, more so than normal and it could take 6 months to a year to get them balanced out. Great, I’m already a train wreck and now you’re adding more hormones to the equation? Cue speeding derailed train now.

During my hiatus of dating and swearing off the world, like I said, I focused on getting my life together. With that came losing a bunch of weight and becoming healthy. I hadn’t always made the best choices in life, but I wanted, I needed a change. So I overhauled my life and made a lifestyle change. Being overweight most of my life was something that I always let drag me down. Fortunately I got tired of it and did something about it. I fought day in and day out setting goals and pushing to achieve them. I will say, when you have a hormone imbalance, this makes things 10x harder than I ever expected. It was a constant struggle. This was probably one of the things I am most proud of in my life. To see what hard work and determination can do when you put your mind to it… It’s extremely rewarding.

Postop: tube removed and life is supposed to go on.

Holy sweet baby jeebus, let me tell you… They say your hormones will be off for awhile, but you don’t know what that means until it actually happens. The amount of feels and blahhh feelingness that comes over you is insane. There are no words to describe the empty feeling that followed this procedure for me.

Everything I had put off feeling came spiraling in. Everything I didn’t know I could feel THIS IS SPARTA! kicked in the door. Everything I thought I should feel got shoved into a closet. Everything I had no feeling about whatsoever burned the house down. #stuckinaglasscaseofemotion

My dreams from when I was a child, gone. My hard work getting my body in shape, fading. Energy, non-existent. An empty feeling, literally and figuratively, more than ever. Sadness, sluggish, depressed, confused, numb, blank… front row center.

I have been fighting this internal battle for 9 months. I have been trying to pull myself out of my emotional slump and pushing myself to let go and see the light. I have finally started to gain my motivation back and have started pushing in the upward direction. This has been one of the hardest obstacles that has ever been put in my way. I have days that I don’t know what to do or how to think. Part of this I believe is because I never dealt with any of these feelings and emotions until I had no choice and they were standing on my doorstep. A fault of my own. Someone once told me it’s OK not to be strong all the time. That’s something I have a hard time accepting because I don’t want to feel weak. I don’t want to be seen as weak. But you know, sometimes you have to just break down and feel. Really feel so you can begin to heal and come back stronger. It has been a rough 9 months for me, really rough, but I am in the process of healing. I’m regaining my strength and confidence. But I couldn’t have done it without my assbag. He has put up with me and this crazy ride. I can’t thank him enough for being by my side. It’s time to grab the reins and ride into battle for the win.

Onward and Upward. I will succeed.

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