When Life Hands You Lemons, Say Thank You

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I was supposed to get my period almost 2 weeks ago.

I waited, but it never came.

Weird, I thought. But not abnormal: I had a similar situation back in December (same time as the Thomas Fire) but Aunt Flo showed up, four days late, like a total jerk.

It happened again in May. I was supposed to get my period on Mother’s Day (pause for irony) and six days later, on Harry and Megan’s wedding day, Aunt Flo showed up, like a total jerk.

This month, my temperature remained elevated. And, after taking my temperature every morning every day since December I knew this wasn’t normal.

I didn’t tell Kyle. I waited.

YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW HARD THAT WAS.

I’ve trained my somewhat logical mind not to get excited about such things: Aunt Flo can be flighty, bodies are weird, the doctor said we must be patient, and, in the grand scheme of baby making things, this is nothing.

But, you try telling a hopeful heart these things: a heart that’s been waiting as patiently as a Type A heart can, a heart that has been subjected to tests and bloodwork with a husband who had to do the same. I couldn’t help but get a little excited. COULD THIS BE IT?! My heart would flutter at the thought.

When I was a week late I told Kyle.

“I AM A WEEK LATE!” I practically screamed at him. “ONE WHOLE WEEK! THAT’S HOW MOST OF THESE PREGANCY STORIES START!”

“Okay,” he said with a big grin, “let’s stay the course.”

(But I knew his gingery heart was hopeful, too.)

I walked into the fertility clinic on Monday morning for an appointment I made almost 3 weeks ago and asked for a pregnancy test. Nine days late, I told them with pride. We defied the odds! We were pregnant after all! We COULD do it! (Literally and figuratively)

It was the doctor’s lack of emotion about my late period that waved the first red flag. No excitement that we had potentially defied the odds showed on his face, instead I saw concern for the fact that my period had been late before. He requested an ultrasound.

I laid there as he went through my lady parts, vulnerable and scared, a flimsy cover the only thing protecting me. He didn’t even buy me dinner first.

He diagnosed me with PCOS, right there. Healthy uterus, but with no baby inside and the realization that my body is not ovulating on its own.

It was a literal punch to the baby maker.

I cried. I couldn’t help it. I cried for all the ovulation tests I’d taken and thought I’d passed, for all the times I’d taken my temperature at 5 AM. I cried for all the ways I thought I knew my body and didn’t.

On the way home, sitting in traffic with my tear stained face, I looked up and asked the same question I asked all those years ago when Warner was diagnosed: WHY? WHY ME? WHY US? WHY? WHY COULDN’T THIS BE EASIER? WHY HASN’T THIS BEEN EASIER? WHY IS NOTHING GOING RIGHT?

The answer was the same as it was all those years ago: it’s not going to go right, so go left.

We are going to attack this with joy. We are going to choose to be hopeful and not sorry for ourselves. This is another opportunity to find joy in the sadness and grow. This is making our journey to parenthood that much more meaningful and giving us some leverage when our children act out as bratty teenagers.

Yesterday I went in for hormone testing. 7 vials of blood later, there are promises that we can still get pregnant, but it will take some help. But, I’m learning its okay to ask for help, especially when it’s for something you really, really, really want.

I had to fast in preparation for the testing and let me tell you: I never want my blood drawn while uncaffeindated again.

I’m sharing this with you because I think sometimes we sit in silence with these hard things because we feel shame and embarrassment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m embarrassed and a little ashamed of my body, especially because one of things I have to do to help my PCOS is lose weight, but I am not alone and neither are you. Please treat our story with kindness and know that while I am sharing part of our story with you, this isn’t the whole thing so please do not make assumptions or draw conclusions based on this information alone. And, know that I am only sharing my part with you: Kyle has his own part in this but it’s not mine to share.

Thank you, as always for being here.

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