Mar 31, 2015

Fight Like a Girl: Part II

Everyone recovered from the overload of facts about PCOS? Yeah I'm not sure I am either. But I have been overwhelmed with a lot of information recently and there is still so much I don't know.

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Since I was a teenage I was always afraid I wouldn't be able to have children. It was such a weird
worry for a 16-year-old. But I always felt off. I always felt like there was something wrong with me. I would hit highs and lows emotionally. I was always so tired, much more so than I should have been as a teenager. I never had a regular period, never knew when it coming. But after awhile I thought maybe it was all normal. How was I supposed to know any different? But there was always that nagging feeling that there was something wrong.

Fast forward to years later.

When I went off birth control to try for a second baby was immediately different from when I went off with Addison. Almost from the start I felt off-balance, which only got worse with time. I was emotional. I hit highs and I hit extreme depression and sadness. I would go from happy to angry to crying in a matter of minutes. And my poor husband took it all. Actually he thought it was all normal (so sorry to women everywhere because he thought all women were as crazy as I've been for the past year and that's probably not true or fair). I was frustrated. I could cry at the drop of a hat. I was depressed. I was anxious. And I did my best to hide it all around other people, but as time went off it was harder and harder to keep it in check. But keeping it all bottled was only making it worse when no one was around.

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Beyond the emotional imbalance and feeling like a crazy person, my hair was falling out and thinning. I thought it was just from dyeing my hair but even after the color was all out of my hair for months my hair was still coming out in handfuls. My self-esteem was starting to take a hit. Especially when you couple the falling out hair with the acne that was still plaguing me as a 28 year old. I didn't want to go out in public because I was feeling horrible about myself.

My cycles were also all over the place. Thanks to taking my temperature every morning I knew how my cycles were going and when I ovulated. When I got pregnant with Addison I ovulated on exactly cycle day 14. This time I wasn't ovulating until anywhere between cycle day 18 and 22. Then after my first miscarriage it was even more all over the place. There was definitely nothing regular about my cycle, which was causing me more stress and anxiety worrying that something was wrong.

I have since learned that some "side effects" of PCOS during pregnancy is miscarriage and gestational diabetes. Which I have had the misfortune of experiencing both.
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So when I was diagnosed with PCOS it was like a switch was flipped. Suddenly so many things made
sense. Suddenly I knew I wasn't crazy. I felt better knowing that it wasn't all in my head and I wasn't making a bigger deal out of how I was feeling. I felt better knowing that what I was feeling could be explained. All those years and all those things had an answer. It was like a light was flipped.

However the more I looked into PCOS, the worst I felt. I was glad and thankful to finally have an answer but I was learning that this was a lifelong thing. This was so much more than our struggle to have a baby. This was never going away.

But at the same time I had more hope for our future and us having more kids. I knew that plenty of women with PCOS were able to get pregnant. And my RE was very optimistic about us getting pregnant again. But it might take a little more than it did when we got pregnant with Addison. Although I had PCOS when I got pregnant with Addison, we just got lucky. The stars aligned and we got the exact little girl we were meant to. It's not to say that she is more special than any other kid we might have because we were able to conceive her naturally. It's just different now.

But I have hope now, something I haven't had for a long time. We have now started moving forward with our treatment plan and I'm excited. I don't expect to get pregnant immediately but maybe soon we'll see a second line and 9 months then finally get to meet a new addition. So in the meantime I'm learning the ins-and-outs of fertility medicines and procedures, and how to make a lifelong change to feel like me again. I'm just learning how to fight like a girl.

xo, B

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