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?
Would it have made a bit of difference if I had known years ago that I had stage II/III endometriosis?
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.
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.