My story of “infertility” is probably not like yours, or your sister’s, or that friend you meet for coffee once a week. Mine is a little bit different, which is partially why it’s been hard to grieve. Very few people understand the specifics of my journey to motherhood, and usually once they find out, they don’t want to talk about it.
I have a disease called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, more commonly known as Lupus. I don’t have enough space and time in the world to share how Lupus has colored every part of my life. But the biggest problem I have with Lupus, out of everything (including organ damage and mind blowing chronic pain) is the effect the disease has on my fertility. It’s very common for women to be diagnosed with Lupus in their ‘childbearing years’, and the fun cherry on top of that is how difficult it is for pregnant women with Lupus to carry a baby to term.
Shortly after my husband and I were married, I strongly campaigned for a baby. What I really wanted to do was join The Peace Corps and head to South America with my new husband, but I felt intuitively that my fertility window was brief, even though I was very young. So we decided together that we’d try to have a baby, and see if it panned out.
I got pregnant after a few months of trying, and threw up all day every day before the pregnancy test even came back positive. The next four months were agony. In addition to being deathly ill, I lived in constant terror of losing the baby. Even if a woman with Lupus can get pregnant, miscarriage and/or pre-term delivery are constant nagging realities. My pregnancy was handled by a team of specialists, and I had weekly sonograms to monitor all sorts of potential problems. I was bedridden on and off the whole pregnancy, and I didn’t stop throwing up until after my daughter was born.
The amazing news is that in the end, I delivered a perfectly healthy baby girl. She’s almost 13 now, and she’s positively perfect.
Things were rosy until my husband and I decided to try for baby #2. We tried, and tried, and started freaking out when nothing happened, and tried some more. Three years passed and nothing happened. Finally we started looking into adoption, keeping the baby chapter on the back burner while we went on with our lives.
Eventually we were able to get pregnant again, after years of trying, but things were bad from the moment of conception. The short story is that I spent the entire pregnancy on strict bed-rest, hooked up to a portable I.V. drip. Medication was delivered weekly by our insurance company, and I was visited by a home health nurse 1-2 times per week. It was the worst thing I’ve ever endured, and it nearly destroyed my family. Towards the end of the pregnancy my internal organs were shutting down one by one, so the decision was made to deliver my son early.
My doctor fully expected that out of the baby and me, only one of us would live.
I have no idea how it happened, but we both survived. My baby more than survived, he thrived. An hour after my newborn son was delivered he was wheeled to the nursery for his first bath, and I was wheeled down the opposite hall to the O.R. for a tubal ligation. It was one of the most painful moments I’ve ever lived through, choosing to be sterilized, moments after my miracle baby took his first breath. Seven years later, I still haven’t gotten over it. My husband and I would give anything to have another baby of our own, but it isn’t going to happen, and it’s something I try to overcome every. single. day I open my eyes.
I get all kinds of comments from people truly thinking they’re helping. Things like: ‘But you got two!’ ‘You got a boy and a girl!’ ‘Some people don’t get any, you got two, so stop complaining’.
That’s not really the point. The pain and suffering it took to get my children here are a blink in time compared to having them here with me forever. If I were even capable of conceiving another baby and carrying it to term without killing us both in the process, I’d go through it all again in a heartbeat.
It’s a choice I’ll never get to make.
– Allison Czarnecki is the founder and editor of the popular lifestyle blog Petit Elefant where she writes about: style/home/family/travel. –
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”