Saturday, April 28, 2012

don't ignore...your body

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), I've been racking my brain trying to decide the best way to help educate people about infertility.
It is such a complex, emotional subject.
Where do I even start?

All week my Google Reader has been filled with wonderful, informative posts about all things related to infertility.
So what can I contribute that hasn't already been covered?
Well, I guess I'll try this.
Don't ignore your body.
Before I was officially diagnosed with infertility, my intuition kept telling me that something was wrong.
But I didn't listen.
I put off having children until my husband and I felt the time was right. Why hurry?
When cramps had me doubled over in bed every month and even Advil wouldn't take away the pain, I told myself that everyone has painful periods.
When large droplets of blood fell into the toilet after urinating during the few days before my period, I knew something must be wrong but my doctor said "that happens".
When I started tracking my cycles and realized my luteal phase was too short, I didn't worry too much because that wasn't addressed in the fertility books that I read.
But somewhere inside of me, I knew.
I knew something wasn't right.
But I did nothing.

I had never heard of endometriosis.
The thought never crossed my mind that I could have this incurable, painful disease.
Because certainly my doctor would have told me.
Over the years, I had complained to my doctor about spotting in between periods. painful periods. painful intercourse. extremely heavy menstrual cycles (one menses landed me in the ER at 2am because I thought that I must be having a miscarriage). 
And my OB knew that I was experiencing infertility.
Surely, he would've told me if he thought I might have this disease that I had never heard of.
But he didn't.

The disease that affects nearly 50% of infertile women.
Is it the only thing keeping me from my dream of becoming a mother?
Who knows.
Would it have made a bit of difference if I had known years ago that I had stage II/III endometriosis?
Maybe not.
But I would have liked to know what I was up against.
Do I blame my doctor? no.
I blame myself.
I didn't listen to my body.
And I should have.
I've learned a valuable lesson that I believe will help me be a better mother if I am ever blessed with a child.
Be an advocate for your own health.
Ask questions.
Do research.
Push for answers.
And most of all, listen to your body.
It may be trying to tell you something very important.

Find out how you can get involved with National Infertility Awareness Week or learn more about infertility at RESOLVE.


Jamie said...

Thanks for sharing information!

Shannon Elise said...

Woderful post!! I too, had so many warning signs for my endo. And a lot of signs weren't always there. The pain from my cramps is seriuously out of this world at times and I just chalked it up to getting older. But no, stupid endo. Everyone's body is great at giving signs; just make sure you listen. After all, no one knows you better than you.

mommy someday said...

What a great post!

Lindsay said...

So true. No one knows our bodies better than we do, thanks for the great reminder!

Sybil said...

I love your honesty and vulnerability. I believe that you are right, you must trust your body. The doctors may be the experts, but they aren't always right! Praying for you!!

Mrs. H said...

So very true. I think at some point everyone on this journey came to this realization we are the only true advocates of our own health. Good post!

Good Timing said...

I was the exact same as you with my endo. I thought everyone had very painful ovulation and I knew something was wrong. We need to trust our guts!

Dandelion Breeze said...

Great post... so true xo

ADSchill said...

Very true. I feel the same way. I ignored my inconsistant, painful periods for years until I tried getting pregnant. When it didn't work after 6 months I knew something was wrong even when my OB told me there wasn't. I insisted on being tested for PCOS after reading about the symptoms. I had it and proved to myself that i know my body better than anyone else.

Laura said...

YES! Great post! I ignored that all my OB's were hinting at Endo since I started going. I ignored it too, until it was in my face after my surgery.

EndoJoanna said...

what a great post, and wonderful advice to give. I have found that in the end, no one knows better about what is really happening in your body but YOU! I am sorry for your pain and infertility, but I wish you all the best in your journey to baby. Thank you for sharing your story xx

Stork Chaser said...

Great post! Thanks for that much-needed reminder. I've been worried about my endo and the RE wants to jump into IUI without doing a lap first (my last one was maybe 8 years ago and I've done 4 rounds of Clomid recently) so I'm thinking about insisting since my body just feels...not quite right.

Samantha said...

I am very inspired by this!!! I am going to blog about you today! XO

Alicia said...

I have endo too. Wow. Don't even know where to start to express my empathy. It sucks, plain and simple. So painful, so debilitating. I literally plan my life around the pain.

Do NOT blame yourself. You would never allow anyone else too, so wash those feelings from your very being! Endo is evil. And how were you to ever know that it was endo bringing you down month after month?

So much to say, such a little box to type it in! I'm right here with you. Looking forward to following the journey!

Kristin said...

this post screams me. im scared. I faint almost every month because my periods are so painful. so is sex. yet the doctors cant figure it out.

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