Our PCOS journey and miracle.

It has been a journey for us trying to conceive. In May 2016, I found out I have PCOS. I wasn’t getting a period. I need one of those to get pregnant. I wasn’t ovulating. In August 2016, it was confirmed what they had already suspected that I also have a Pituitary Gland Tumor. It’s a major gland that controls many things but mostly hormones and what my doctors believe was contributing to my PCOS. Therefore, with both of these things, it was going to make getting pregnant naturally extremely difficult. I was on prescriptions of Metformin and Cabergoline.

I couldn’t use the Ovulation kits to tell if I was ovulating or not. Due to my PCOS, every time I took an ovulation test it came out negative because of my hormones. Yes, making it extra hard to predict if I’m even ovulating or when I’m ovulating.

I finally had a menstrual cycle in the month of August. It was the first time I was excited because it means my body is finally working as it should be. We were excited to start trying in September. If only I knew if I was ovulating or not? With PCOS it’s common to get a period but still not ovulate.

We went to the doctor on Friday, September 16, 2016, for our annual physical exams. I told them I was waiting to get my period the following week.  They did a pregnancy test and it came back negative. I was a little sad as I was hoping by some miracle the doctor would’ve told us, “Surprise! You did it! You’re pregnant!” It didn’t happen.

Nine days later, on Sunday, September 25, 2016, I was waiting on getting my period. It was supposed to come that Friday. I was cramping, bloated, sore breasts, and tired just like when I used to get my period. My husband was cooking out and the smell of the food was making me sick. While he was outside on the grill I snuck upstairs and took a pregnancy test. Right away the stick showed two lines (Pregnant)! I was in disbelief. I started to shake and pace back and forth. I kept saying out loud, “Oh My God!” “Oh My God!”

I knew I had to take another test because what if this one was false? I started to drink another glass of water as to force myself to pee on a stick again. By this time, my husband had come back inside. I called him up to our bedroom master bath. I asked him to look at the counter as I left the positive stick there for him to see. He turned to me with tears in his eyes. I had tears in my eyes. He said, “I love you so much!” I said, “I’m going to take another test just to make sure.” I took the other test and again right away two lines aka positive pregnancy test. I showed my husband and again we cried together as he held me in his arms and kept kissing my face. We couldn’t be happier or more excited!

Do you know how hard it was for me not to tell my mom and everyone else in the world? All I wanted to do was tell the world, “We’re pregnant! We’re pregnant! We’re pregnant!” I made an appointment with my OBGYN on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, to confirm my pregnancy. It was confirmed.

For those 9 months, it had been a roller coaster of emotions. There have been more frustrations than I can count. This was the most beautiful surprise ever. What I’ve learned over the 9 months of trying to conceive and going through health issues, is patience and learning to surrender.

I learned to surrender to God’s timing. I accepted if it wasn’t going to happen for us, it’s OK. We were going to be OK. We were going to live our lives to the fullest. I learned that I can plan my life as perfect as I possibly could but ultimately I couldn’t plan this. It was a great reminder that God is in charge and He is who bestows all of our blessings. The night before I took that first pregnancy test, I knelt next to my bed. I prayed. I asked God and La Virgen de Guadalupe to help me be patient on this journey. I asked them to see what was in our hearts and to answer our prayers but that we would be patient. I prayed to La Virgen de Guadalupe to help me to become a mother like her.

When I say, “I prayed for this miracle”, I did. Becoming pregnant with PCOS is difficult. Becoming pregnant naturally with PCOS and a Pituitary Gland Tumor is extra difficult. I’ve become more compassionate for my fellow sisters out there also struggling with infertility issues. I know it’s hard. I know it’s frustrating. I know it’s the most helpless feeling in the world. I know our husbands sometimes get a front row seat to our emotions and fears but remain our most loving and kind part of our sanity. I know how it feels to have heartbreak when someone asks, “Are you pregnant yet?” or “When are you guys going to have a baby?”

 

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Thanks, to Caligrafia Bella, for the beautiful custom artwork and announcement.

 

While I’m reveling in this miracle pregnancy, I’m praying for those who have the same prayer in their hearts. May your prayers be answered. I’ve been there. You are not alone. It helped for me to open up about it and find a support system of women outside of my relationship. The camaraderie of womanhood runs deep. I’ve been prayed for by women I’ve only ever met online. I’ve been prayed for by the women in my family. I’ve been prayed for by my very best friends. If anything, I’m not short of prayers in my life. For me, that has made all the difference. Baby Sunshine is due June 2017. She will be our greatest adventure!

PCOS & a Tumor: The Struggle is Real

I was recently diagnosed with PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. What is PCOS? I found out I have PCOS because I kept gaining weight, became prediabetic, and finally with an ultrasound it became clear that my ovaries are surrounded by cysts. Along with that joyous news, it was determined I have a 3 mm tumor in my head. Seriously. Not to fear, it’s not cancerous, thankfully. It’s a pituitary gland tumor aka pituitary adenoma. The pituitary gland is a master gland below the brain that controls many things in the body, but mostly hormone related. This was diagnosed after discovering I had elevated Prolactin levels in my blood. I’m currently on medication of Metformin and Cabergoline. I was originally on Bromocriptine, but I had such adverse side effects from it I stopped taking it. My endocrinologist has since prescribed me Cabergoline. So far so good.

How do I feel? Physically, fine. Emotionally, depends on the day you ask. Right now, I’m okay. Plus, I think I’ve had enough time to process the news.

What does this mean for children in our future? A number of things, mostly, we don’t know if we’ll be able to conceive a child naturally. I hope and pray that we do. If not, adoption is definitely and has always been an option for us. Which reminds me, I stress the importance of talking about infertility before marriage. I’m grateful that it’s something we had discussed pre-marriage in great detail. Especially since we are in a place now in our lives where it hasn’t been easy trying to conceive due to my health issues.

The only reason I’m sharing this news is because I know we’re not alone. However, many friends and family members are ashamed or scared to share their stories. It is what it is. I can’t sugar coat it. It sucks. It sucks because I finally got to a place in my life and heart where I’m ready and want to become a mother. Then to hit this roadblock this huge is hurtful and frustrating more than anything.  I’m thankful we found out what is going on with my body. It feels unnatural to not be in control of my own body. To know that my issue is greater than what I can control on my own is at times overwhelming. It’s manageable, but not curable. It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. I don’t know how I would’ve handled this news without the unwavering love and emotional support of my husband and our families. It’s not easy and there are lots of times I questioned myself as a woman and wife. Why is this happening to me? Why isn’t my body normal? Why can’t I get pregnant right away? When will I get pregnant? When will I have control over my body again? When do we start looking into a fertility specialist?  There are so many questions and yet still uncertain answers. The only thing I can do is continue to take my medications.

The biggest lesson I’m taking away from this is to be kinder to myself. I need to accept this is what’s happening right now. I will be okay. Life will be okay. My marriage will always be okay. If anything, it has brought my husband and me closer. He has seen and heard me cry. He shares in my prayers.  He has experienced first hand my frustrations and side effects from medicine. It has forced me to share with him and others how I’m feeling. Sometimes, I don’t feel emotionally strong. As someone who has always been an optimistic and happy person, these feelings of sadness or frustration are new to me. I’m learning that it’s normal.

I wasn’t able to predict what’s going on with my body, but family genetics has a lot to do with it. I have family members with PCOS and Pituitary Gland Tumors, that I’ve only recently found out about. This is why it’s important to know our family history. I know I’m not alone in this. While my husband insists we are going through this together, which we are, I still feel this is very much my own journey. That’s because it is happening in my body. Even that feeling of alone is normal. It’s most important to remember none of us are alone. The difference between me and most is I’m willing to share what’s going on. That’s because I believe we can all learn from one another and help each other when we are in a place of the unknown in our lives.

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If I can be of help and support to someone else and have another woman become more familiar with her body, then it’s all worth it. I want to let other couples know that fertility issues are extremely common. It wasn’t something we expected or could have predicted. Even though we’re currently experiencing this new challenge in our lives, we’re not going to let it stop us from enjoying our lives or marriage. We’re going to continue to travel. We’re going to continue to pray. We’re going to continue to enjoy the full lives we have created with our friends and family. We’re going to continue to show other couples that our love is enough to get us through anything together. If you think you have PCOS contact your doctor asap, especially if you are trying to conceive. The struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be the end all and be all of our happiness and life together.