Updated: Nov 21, 2020
Hi there and welcome to my blog, Chasing the Cherub. This is my story of how I got pregnant naturally after being diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure and being told it would be impossible to have a baby. I will be sharing my fertility journey, my resources, my supplements, diet tips, recipes, non-toxic beauty and home care products, food for your soul and many other fertility friendly "things". Thank you for sharing with me and I hope you enjoy your time here.
So let's start at the beginning.....
I always wanted to start a family later in life, believing that you should scratch the proverbial itch thoroughly, so to speak. In 2018, my 38th year of life, I decided that it was basically now or never and if I wanted children I needed to make haste, as time was definitely not on my side. I never wanted to wait until 38, but you can't always control what life throws at you, so, it is what it is. My partner and I decided that we would start trying for a baby, I suspected that it may take a couple of months to fall pregnant because of my age and being on birth control for so many years, so as not to waste any more time, in May 2018 I ditched the pill and waited anxiously! A few days later I was in for a big surprise.....
It started from my belly and rushed up my body engulfing my back and then my face in the most intense heat known to women, I break out in a sweat, my heart starts beating faster and I want to rip my clothes from my body......say hello to the hot flush! It literally feels like you are going to spontaneously combust and all that will be left of you is a little pile of ash! Hot flushes are probably one of the crappiest things I have had to deal with. In the dead of winter I was sleeping with the fan on, well winter in Ballito that is, not sure if it counts as winter, but nonetheless, it was cooler than summer. My poor partner was huddled up under the duvet and dare not even suggest putting the fan off or that he was cold, as that was enough to start World War 3 in our bedroom. Never mind leaving the house, you never really know how to dress, it was cold outside, like I mentioned, Ballito winter, but every 30 minutes or so your body overheats, so I was literally in a constant state of dressing and undressing. Not to mention the sweats and horrible red face that accompanies the heat rush, so it's pretty damn hard to look ultra cool, haha, with all this going on. The hot flushes continued for quite a few weeks and I thought it was perhaps withdrawal symptoms from the birth control, I couldn't be getting hot flushes at 38, I was too young wasn't I??? So then I sought the advice of our "family Doctor", my sister, now please be aware she is not really a medical professional, but we all consult her on a regular basis with various aliments for a diagnosis. It was my sister's reaction to my new found "hotness" that scared me. She was convinced that I was having menopausal hot flushes, at the time she was also riding that long, slow, hot bus, so she knew all too well what she was talking about. I decided to get some blood tests done, at this point I was still thinking that my sister must be wrong and she just didn't want to ride the long, slow, hot bus alone. I waited for my blood test results with bated breath.
Two days later I received the phone call that rocked my world (and not in the good way), it was my GP bearing the bad news that I was going into menopause. What???? At 38??? I could not believe it!! Impossible!! As the news slowly started to sink in, the tears came and would not stop. I immediately went to see my GP to understand what he was saying. Did this mean I could not have children?? Was I now an old maid?? According to him, yes and yes. I was in absolute shock! How could this happen to me? Why was this happening to me? I started to ugly cry right there in his office. But all hope was not lost, he said, he phoned up a Fertility specialist friend (one of Durban's most well know fertility specialists) and discussed my blood test results, I was told that this specialist could definitely help me and I was given an emergency appointment. I was so relieved, thank goodness I thought, my GP has obviously made a horrible mistake and there is hope for me yet!
So a couple of weeks later we head on over to the Fertility Doctor. We are greeted by a very full waiting room, he must be some kind of a Doctor, I remember thinking, thank goodness we are in good hands! Finally it's my turn and I retreat into his office. He takes a look at my blood test results then does an internal scan. He sits me down to explain his findings. The scan revealed a very thin uterine lining, two very small ovaries and my antral follicle count was zero. This was not very good news. He proceeds to tell me I have Premature Ovarian Failure AKA Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, this means that you start going into menopause before the age of 40. He continued to explain that I would not be able to have any children of my own and my only hope of ever falling pregnant was with IVF and donor eggs.
That was the worst day of my life, my entire world came crashing down around me and the torrent of sorrow inside of me started gushing out. I have never felt so alone and helpless in all my life. This is when you start looking for reasons and blaming yourself. Why me? Why did I wait so long before I had children? Am I being punished for something I did? Did I smoke too many cigarettes? Did I party too hard? And on and on the list goes. I felt that I had somehow failed as a woman because I could not do the very thing our bodies are designed to do and I cried non-stop at the thought of never being able to get pregnant or have a baby. At that point IVF was not an option for us, as it is crazy expensive, so my little world was shattered and I was inconsolable.
To be continued.......
Please join me next time to find out what all these test results and diagnosis means.