I wasn't supposed to get pregnant. My last checkup was with Dr. X, the balding Italian with the Magnum P.I. mustache and thick gold necklace lain like a bird's treasure in the thatch of his chest hair on full exposure between the good 7 or 8 un-buttons. My sweet Mr. Curry looked at me out of the corner of his eye as I hoisted my legs into the foot rests, like pocketing them in animal traps set in forest snap snap. Later he told me he was thinking there was no doubt why this guy got into gynacology, and it wasn't for the miracle of childbirth.
When I told the doctor I had 'the endometriosis' which is like ' the cancer ' or ' the AIDS ' but much harder to say, less well known/understood, and not deadly, he raised his crazy eyebrows in surprise. ' So you got pregnant after surgeries? ' Yes, three, the last two with a specialist we flew to see. ' So then you can get pregnant again! ' Well, sure. That's what I want to believe.
Originally, my first surgeon, Dr. Y, told me I had little if any chance of getting pregnant. ' Stage Four Endometriosis, multiple sites of lesions, multiple sites of adhesions, large endometrioma on left ovary ( this is a large cyst, filled with disease ) ' and basically an enormous traffic accident of a pelvis, filled with pain, scars, blood and disease. I imagined my husband's sperm trying to swim through all this, little sperm tail wiggling terrifically, trying to make it up my damaged fallopian tube. I cried. I thought we would adopt. I put the idea of a baby to the side, in a crib, in a locked room, where I couldn't hear him crying. But he was there.
My second surgeon would give no firm opinion, just enough of a sympathetic look to underscore my first doctor's opinion. Little Chance. I had researched for a year straight to find this doctor, an M.D. who specialized in women's pelvic disorders, most intensely in endometriosis and polycycstic ovarian syndrome, both of which commonly result in infertility. Different doctors will try to give you different reasons for infertility springing from these diseases, but the truth is there is no definitive answers, but as with most issues of the body, a cluster of cause/effect that goes on in a body which have various reasons and outcomes, depending on the person. This doctor, whom I'm happy to recommend, believes in the autoimmune cluster, and in addition to being a top-notch surgeon who has created a new way of lessening adhesions (internal scars that cling to organs, binding them, creating pain), he also recognizes the other central forces in this disease, nutritional deficency and lifestyle choices. Without getting too clinical, these choices dramatically alter the hormonal state of your body, creating a snowball effect that can trigger or worsen disease, especially a hormonally based one.
My research led me to find that the newest information coming out is leading towards believing Endometriosis is an auto-immune disease, which often is accompanied by other problems, of which I had many. Chronic and at times debilitating pain, IBS, hypothyroidism, migranes, muscle spasms, fatigue and swelling ebbed and flowed, came and went, dramatically complicated and diminishing my life for my entire 20's- a time when I was also trying as a single mother to raise Dakota. Meanwhile I was sleeping at the wheel during red lights and weeping in pain, locked in the shower. After I had Lola, the pain ratcheted up unbearable degrees, and I was sick and fucking tired of being told it was depression, or ' just life '. Is this YOUR life? I wanted to scream at the doctors. Of course, it wasn't, and it was ultimately up to me to change things.
I believe I was able to get pregnant largely because I did not listen to Doctor One, or Doctor Two, or even absorb the sympathy of Doctor Three. Instead, I went about researching and dedicating myself to healing. I read so many books and internet sites and phamplets I could- and can- spout information about nutritional healing with the best of them. My mother, a long time health fanatic, whole foods eater and the bringer of health during my childhood, gave me many important leads and tips. Over a period of two years, including many crying jags and setbacks and hopeless feelings relayed to Mr. Curry, I changed my diet. Changing what I ate every day was a major emotional upheaval. I felt I deserved to eat what I wanted because damnit, life is hard, and my life, I felt, in particular, had been terrifically hard as a child, and so yes, Mocha Frap. for breakfast, and yes! Fries and Coke for lunch! and yes! the tomato and white lettuce counts as a veggie. I was addicted to carbs and sugar. I had chronic, systemic yeast and vaginal yeast infections. I had IBS. I had painful agonizing periods. I had horrific back pain, unexplained. I had migranes. My feet and hands and face swelled. I had chronic UTI. My vision was worsening. My tongue puckered and hurt. My throat swelled.
Once, I drove through Starbucks Drivethrough, crying. I wanted a Frappacino. I wanted health. I wanted a life. I got the Frappacino, and drank it. But I never gave up. Eventually, with the help of some blood sugar balancing supplements and yeast cleanses, I got my sugar problem under control, and tackled the bread. I did gluten free off and on for long periods. I exercised daily. I did yoga. I meditated. I took a laundry list of supplements.
Laundry List of Supplements For Feminine Healing
Grapeseed Fruit Extract
Bone Health Mix
I spent money we didn't have on these things. As it all began to work, a great fog lifted. My depression and anxiety began to ease. My eyesight cleared some. My head stopped hurting. My periods normalized completely. I lost weight. My hands and feet and face stopped being puffy all the time. My energy began to seep back into this body. My jaw stopped hurting. My IBS went away, just poof. The chest pain? Gone. The rapid heartbeats? Gone. The irritability? Mostly gone. As one by one these physical restraints dropped, I took steps back and forth, back and forth, like riding some giant wave. I started seeing an acupunctarist, who we couldn't afford either, who saw me for very, very cheap at her home. My diet was largely fresh fish and chicken, veggies of all and any kinds, fruits the same, nuts (almonds walnuts), peanut butter, goat milk and organic cow milk, water, green tea, hummus, black beans, ( oh avacado!), dark chocolate, coffee, Gluten Free waffles and pancakes and eggs. I cheated a lot, but I ate this enough that it changed my life. I took the supplements daily, daily, daily.
Then I got pregnant.
Years after they said I wouldn't.
And I will Again. You hear me, Universe? I WILL.
anyone interested in endo., i'd be happy to email a list of the books and websites i use in recovery.