Guest post by WonderCluelessMum sharing her experience of Endometriosis.
One day I will open up about the ins and outs of my Endometriosis journey. But seeing as this is the Chronic Mum Club, I want to share how my diagnosis of Endometriosis lead me to becoming a Mum.
I knew I wasn’t like most girls at the age of 18, whilst most of my friends planned to go to university, settle down and start a family, I didn’t want that. University seemed like an expensive three-year party, settling down seemed like an expectation, and as for having a baby? Who would want a dribbling, shitting, crying machine? Not me, I had zero maternal bones in my body.
Instead of the norm, I embarked on my career in the Financial Services. Spending 7+ hours a day with a middle-aged family man, middle-aged crazy cat lady and of course the soon to be retired craft lover. This suited me, we all shared a joint appreciation of hot beverages, cross-stitch and fiscal policy. #IKnowHowToHaveFun
One day I was struck with an excruciating pain in my tummy. Was I about to have a bad period? But I was sure I wasn’t due one. The pain continued to get worse, but Mother Nature failed to grace me with her presence.
The Dr’s, the hospital, some laxatives (they mistook it for constipation) and then finally a scan (in my foo foo) revealed I had an ovarian cyst. However, the sonographer failed to put her findings in her report to the Consultant.
So further scans and a referral to a Gynaecologist was when things fell into place. I walked into his room, he shook my hand and told me I had Endometriosis. I had no idea what it was, but in a way, I didn’t care because at least he gave me an answer.
Endometriosis is an often painful condition, where the tissue that lines the womb is found outside the womb, such as in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Symptoms may include; chronic pain, fatigue and fertility problems.
My understanding is, my organs and bones are covered in blisters, cysts and yucky tissue that would usually be expelled when a normal person has a period.
After two surgeries, an induced menopause, hormonal treatments and some acupuncture, none of these techniques were working in the long term. With each visit to my specialist, the age I needed to have a baby by kept reducing. Firstly, as long as I had children in my early 30s I would be okay, then it was before being 30 and so forth. But it’s okay, I didn’t want children, right?
WRONG. I chose not to have a hysterectomy, the only way they could guarantee I would not be affected by Endometriosis again. Why? Because of all these issues with my body, the changes to my hormones and everything I had been through, made me desperately yearn for a baby.
At the age of 22 I discussed wishing to start a family with my specialist. The words he said next, will stick with me forever: “Well if you and your partner have issues conceiving, we know the issue will be down to you and not your partner”. So no pressure then.
We got going, doing the do. Luckily we conceived quickly. Endometriosis doesn’t flare up in pregnancy and some people believe giving birth can delay a flare up (fingers crossed).
I try not to think about the future, but it is hard not to think about when my Endometriosis may flare up again, whether I will be able to conceive a second baby and when will I need to have a hysterectomy. However we are loving every minute with our beautiful miracle baby Delilah and even with the sleepless nights, I know how lucky I am!
Endometriosis affects 10% of women in the world. Unfortunately, it takes an average of 7.5 years to diagnose a woman with the condition and infertility is as high as 30-50 % in sufferers.