My Journey with PCOS
Being entirely open to sharing something so personal is vulnerable. It can feel scary, overwhelming and many thoughts go through your head- but I am excited to open up and hopefully bring awareness, and hope to at least one of you reading this blog.
Around the time I turned 19, I had gone through multiple birth-control options. Not really knowing much about me, my doctor switched it out like candy at the store. To the point that the nurse gave me the Depo-Provera shot a month before I was due for the dose. The doctor came in with a panic on his face and said, "take this estrogen for the next 2 months. NO birth control and we will check you on your next visit." I was 19, I had no idea on much on birth-control and perhaps like many patients, I left the office. Took the estrogen not knowing what it would do to me and my issues began.
My body went through significant changes in those two months. My hormones were completely out of balance. To the point, I was feeling so irrational that I had to go talk to a therapist because I was not understanding myself or how to control emotions. I spoke to my actual doctor (we rotated in the office). He had no idea of what had happened to me, what the practice had done and began to get me in check.
After testing and seeing the changes my body had experienced (rapid weight gain, hair on my face and more), he determined that I had PCOS. I had NO idea what that was. To be honest, I actually had no clue what it really was until I was married.
Fast forward to being married, being happy and getting a positive sign on that stick. We were scared but so happy to be expecting. At around 10 weeks, my cousin who is a midwife sent me for a sonogram. Not even minutes went by when I was sent to the ER. She shared that I had a rare ectopic. The baby was both touching the uterus and still in my fallopian tube. A super scary situation that I will share with you all soon. I almost lost my life. The ectopic ruptured and it if it wasn't because of God's grace and will, I wouldn't be here to tell my story.
After this, I began to get myself educated on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
Around 18 months after my first loss, I was pregnant with my now 6-year-old, Ezra. Naturally and by God's faithfulness, we got pregnant on our first try. The doctor told us that it would take us 6 months to a year to be able to conceive. And apparently, after Ezra, we would not be able to conceive again. Well, to our surprise, Shiloh came by total surprise 18 months after Ezra. All God! Those are my precious gifts. And I know that this isn't the case for everyone. I pray that no matter what you have to do, or what path you have to take to have those babies in your arms that you embrace it and that you can accept what the best option for you is.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. The factors and causes may be excess insulin, heredity, and excess androgen amongst some of them. Complications? Infertility, gestational diabetes (I had this with both kids), miscarriage, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. It is definitely a very long list. Obesity is definitely something that has truly troubled me. It takes me twice as long to lose weight as it would a normal healthy female.
While PCOS is researched, and so much awareness is finally being brought to the open, it is NOT an easy topic to discuss. So many things can make you feel like you aren't put together properly, or you aren't normal like the rest. But that stigma needs to be broken. You are your perfect you. Cliche, I know.
YES, PCOS took 2 babies from me. But- it also brought me my two precious gifts. Naturally. I opted for a holistic treatment and to this day, I still do.
Anxiety has been a harsh struggle the last few months. Especially after my daughter. I take what my kids call the "Chill Pill" every day. I depend on it and I take Hassle Tree amongst other things. I know when my hormones are somewhat unbalanced and I know I have to fix or adjust something. Diet has played a huge part in all this. A healthy balanced diet is necessary and this is something I am working on.
I want to tell you that having PCOS makes you no different than the rest of the women in this world. Will it take you a little longer to lose weight? Maybe. Will it take dreams away? Maybe and perhaps there has to be a different way for those dreams to happen. It may feel like it is crushing your life with every day that passes, every breath you take but I am here to tell you- there is HOPE. No matter what your journey with PCOS. Hope for a baby, hope for a whole healthy body and mind.
If you are struggling with PCOS, know that we are in this together. I've listed some resources with the information below that you can check out. Most importantly, seek your professional doctor for guidance and for ensuring that you are taken care of. You are not alone!
I hope that this brings you some awareness. That it brings you to hope and that it helps you understand better what you or someone that you know may be experiencing.