As the title might indicate, I have had issues with infertility. Difficulties getting pregnant and staying pregnant would soon define my twenties.
I do not wish miscarriage on my worst enemy. It is a horrible experience for any woman to go through and it took me over a decade for me to find the silver lining.
Before I can take you on this journey and share the bright side ending, I need to take you back in time before the inevitable infertility intrudes into my life.
It was always my dream of having children. From a young age, I pretended my stuffed animals were my babies. I gathered all the children on the block to organize games, taught lessons of manners and kindness, and was quickly thought of as the Mother Hen.
I dreamed of having many children on a farm with a literal white picket fence while chickens pecked at grains and we grew fresh fruits and vegetables. I knew that to support my dream of having a house with land and lots of children, I needed a plan. Even from a young age, I was a power planner.
Step 1: Work my butt off in school to get accepted into college… Check ✓ (graduated towards the top of my class).
Step 2: Get accepted and graduate from a University to become a teacher…Check ✓ (I was accepted to the University of Florida and graduated with honors).
Step 3: Gain experience to become a great mom and great teacher…Check ✓ (Became a nanny, tutor, a Special Olympics Swim Coach, and a teacher).
Step 4: Get married…Check! ✓
Step 5: Have a baby…XXXXXX
Twenty six years of learning and goals came to a standstill with one phone call.
My husband and I had been trying to have a baby but it had not happened yet. I was not nervous about it. I chalked it up to me being a bit stressed and busy with my career as a teacher for students with Emotional Behavioral Disabilities.
I went to the OBGYN for a yearly checkup and mentioned that I noticed weight gain, an increase in acne, hair growth on my neck and chin, and random bursts of brief pain in my lower abdomen that would occur once every few months. She scheduled an ultrasound and I went on my merry way to continue working hard and check more things off my life’s checklist.
I was not really worried about it. I was a young Hispanic female and foolishly believed that we were fertile people. In fact, I received so many lectures from my mom, aunts, grandmothers, teachers and society on the dangers of getting pregnant as a young person…I thought it must be super easy to get pregnant from whenever I thought was the right time. I assumed the weight gain was due to me going to the gym less, I have always had issues with acne, the hair was maybe because I was getting older, and I was so caught up with daily life that I would just muscle past any pain. I was a woman with a plan and I was not going to let things deter me from my goals.
I was driving home from work and I received a call from my OBGYN with the results from the ultrasound. I picked up and my OBGYN told me without hesitation that they found cysts on my ovaries and that I have PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. The diagnosis meant nothing to me because I had never heard of it. It could have been another word for the common cold or as scary as the word cancer, but I did not react because I had no idea what I had and the implications that would come from it.
“So what does that mean?” I asked.
“It means you may never have children,” she replied.
She may have explained the details of it, but I have no recollection. I remember saying goodbye, hanging up and driving home in shocked silence and numbness…unable to process.
Years of building a dream in my head and without it, I felt worthless. I felt incomplete. I felt empty.
Those feelings would define my existence for the next decade. I fought those feelings with anger at myself and God, stubbornness as I continued to make plans to solve this issue and contingency plans as backups for the possibility of not having biological children, and self-depreciating internal monologue.
The months and then years flew by as I filled our living room with medical textbooks about PCOS, listened to countless youtube videos on fertility cures, made appointments with reproductive endocrinologists, and special diets to “fix” me.
Currently, I have done traditional therapy, hypnotherapy and quantum healing to hug that version of me and facilitate the healing of the many aspects of my soul that was wounded. I understand now that infertility and the experiences that came from it had a purpose in my life plan. Little did that version of Jazmin know that this was the beginning of her Grief journey.
Part 2 coming soon….