What I’ve Learned About Infertility

It’s really time for me to explain what’s going on with me because it really is messing with every aspect of my life. I haven’t been myself for the past few months, I’ve been trying really hard, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I’ve wanted to make blog posts, YouTube videos, and just be myself, but I’ve been dealing with a few things.

In August my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. That alone was pretty hard to adjust to. Shortly before he left we went to a few doctors trying to get some answers for what was going on with me and my health, reproductively speaking. I was pretty sure we had been successful in the whole making a baby process, but when I kept having symptoms but all negative pregnancy tests, I went to the doctor again.

No one seems to understand what a slap in the face it is to think you are pregnant, to really want to be pregnant, and instead you are told that you may have a tumor in your head. Maybe I’ve experienced the lack of understanding because it is a weird connection between the two things.

I always just assumed I would be a mom one day. No big deal. I did not realize HOW BAD I wanted to be a mother until I was told I may never be able to. Typical woman, right? Always wanting what she can’t have.

SO LET’S GET PERSONAL for a minute. I have a pituitary tumor. It is benign. HOWEVER, it is releasing a hormone called Prolactin. The release of this hormone causes my body to think that it is already pregnant (and thus, it is preventing me from becoming pregnant also).

I drove two hours to see a specialist a few weeks back. He also preceded to tell me I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This specialist, whom I’d driven two hours to see, told me to GOOGLE it to learn more about it (sad thing is, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard about someone being told to GOOGLE PCOS after being told they had it). So I spent all day stewing on the fact that because of my tumor AND because of PCOS I would more than likely not be able to ever have kids. I think I was so angry about it by the time I got home and was able to GOOGLE it, it didn’t even matter to me that I did not think for one second I had PCOS. I think the doctor was completely wrong. AND it says a lot when I GOOGLE something and think that I DON’T have it. Yes, I am a hypochondriac.

Said specialist… doctor… go Google it man, prescribed me medication for my pituitary tumor in attempts to control it, possibly shrink it, possibly get my hormone levels in check. This particular medication is given ALSO as an alternative to chemotherapy for cancer patients. It is ALSO given to patients with Parkinson’s disease. AMONGST other things. That scares me. My pituitary tumor is no where near being as severe as those ailments, but it terrifies me to be grouped together with it. Not to mention said medication has a lot of debilitating side effects. I get weak. I get nauseous. I get headaches. I spend a lot of time in the bathroom. I have absolutely no appetite whatsoever. I’ve lost eight pounds in two weeks. In another few weeks I will be tested again to see if I’m evening reacting to this medication. I do not want to discuss or think about what happens if I am not reacting to this medication.

I see this specialist guy again in December. I don’t even want to talk about PCOS with this man until (if/when) my tumor is under control. I think he couldn’t be more wrong with his diagnosis. You don’t have a completely normal ultra sound one month and get told you have PCOS the next. You just don’t.

I have cried a lot in the last few months. I have been angry and bitter and downright spiteful the last few months. I hope I have the strength to keep my mouth shut the next person who says “We are so blessed! We are pregnant and we weren’t even trying!”

I know people are trying to be optimistic for me. Telling me it will be okay. Telling me just relax, in time. If you are doing this to your friend/family member/whomever – STOP. Optimism is normally great and I’m a huge advocate of it! BUT when you are told by a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL that you may indeed NEVER be able to conceive, OPTIMISM pisses you off. AND DO NOT get me started on the “Well if it’s meant to be it will be” or the “There’s always adoption” comments. Please, feel free to just stab me instead of saying those things. Those things hurt. Those things make me feel like an absolute failure. I am a woman and a woman’s body is designed to be able to produce little humans. BUT not mine. Oh yes, and it is really great that you know someone who knows someone who had the exact same issue as me (weird!) and has had five children since, but they were probably wrongly diagnosed and/or miracles happen. I WILL LET YOU KNOW when I think a miracle can and has happened. Until then, please STOP.

This is all very personal. I did not intend on this getting out further than my really good friends and close family. BUT you tell someone who tells someone who tells someone who tells someone. It’s really a weird situation being upset about yourself, but instead having to comfort someone over the phone about it because they thought you were going to die (people hear pituitary tumor, think brain tumor, think you’re going to die). I needed to be comforted but instead I’m having to say, “No, no. I will be fine.” AND I will be fine. I may never be able to have children but I will live. I will be fine.

This is my personal struggle. I am outing myself.

Infertility is not uncommon. It’s upsetting how many women and couples have to deal with it and are lead to believe that they are alone. People keep this a secret because it is personal, it is absolutely heartbreaking, but they ARE NOT alone. So here’s my situation, if it helps someone feel some sense of comradely, great!

My husband and I have only been “trying” for a year. That’s not even a realistic measurement because he is in the Army and the Army has had him away longer than I got to be near him. I understand that there are couples out there who have tried MUCH MUCH longer than I hope we ever have to. I know some women out there who don’t have a exact reason why they can’t get their hormones in order. I at least have a few things to blame, that may or may not be fixable.

I just need to put this out there, for whatever reason. Take from it what you will.

I hope one day I will be able to give my husband babies that have super blonde hair like him and that are awkwardly tall like me. Realistically, I may never get to. I’m trying not to be angry at myself. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. I’m trying not to unfollow every pregnant friend posting belly pictures and (GOOD GOD) videos of their bellies 89390287 times a day.

One day at a time. That is all I have. That is all WE ALL have. Life is a funny thing and I am constantly learning from it. I may not always be happy with the lesson, but hey, I’m told it builds character.

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8 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About Infertility

  1. Thank you for not being silent about it. We were struggling before he deployed since we had married and are just now getting answers and I haven’t shared any because it all feels exactly like you said, a slap in the face, and something we should be able to do. My heart hurts for y’all. Y’all are in my thoughts and prayers ❤

  2. Love you Cuz. My thought and prayers are with you. Just keep that head held up high. You are a strong person and can get through this. God has you in his hands and will help you along in your journey. Love from Alaska

  3. Kristen, I’m very sorry about all you’ve been going through. It must be especially difficult now that your husband is deployed. I so appreciate the honestly of this post. I relate to much of it. While it was very easy for my husband and me to conceive our daughter, we have not been lucky since, and we’ve been “trying” for years. We’re one of those normal, healthy couples who have no explanation for our inability to get pregnant a second time. While I am eternally grateful for my sweet girl, it sucks to know that I might never be able to give her a sibling. It sucks even more when (usually) well-meaning people try to share their words of wisdom and faith, and when it seems like everyone in the world is announcing a pregnancy or birth. *sigh* Anyway, you are not alone. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping for the best. Hugs!

  4. Hey there my super tall little cousin. I love you and you are awesome and always have been and always will be. I have nothing but respect and love for you. You have spent your life making those closest to you proud. I hope that you find in this time of your personal struggle something that will bring you comfort. I have no doubt in my mind that you will adapt and overcome as it is in your nature to be strong and stubborn. I can only imagine how much pain you are in today, but I know that you will not let this destroy you. Take the time you need and know that you have many people who love you and respect you and have your back no matter what your path may be. Feel free to call me once in a while or not either way the offer is there even if you just need someone to cuss at about everything stupid 😉 Love you.

  5. I hope one day your family is blessed with a baby. I know how you feel, wanting something so bad, and doctors telling you that you might not be able too. It is so hard. All we can do is hope and keep praying!

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