How Endometriosis Made My Pregnancy Better
I know it sounds crazy... How could this chronic illness that wreaks havoc in your body and in your life, make anything “better.” Yet here I am – admittedly just one perspective in our vast community of endo sisters – finding that endometriosis has made this pregnancy better.
How it started
When I had my first laparoscopy in 2011, now 10 years ago, I was told that if I wanted to have children, I should have them soon. For the next decade, I remained single despite my desire to be married with a family, and those words haunted me. Spoiler alert: If you’ve read my “Finally Pregnant” article, you know that there is a happy ending to this tale.
How it's going
At 41 years old, I’m now married and just weeks away from delivering my baby girl. Looking back on the decades that lead up to this moment, they were filled with pressure, fear, and doubt... not to mention the physical, mental, and emotional pain. But it has all made this moment that I stand in now to be filled with a deeper sense of gratitude that I don’t believe I would have without endometriosis and my fertility journey. My body has overcome so much... most of which went completely unseen because endometriosis is an “invisible disease.”
I think back to all the diet and lifestyle changes that I wondered if they were REALLY going to make a difference, but I decided to make anyway. I think back to the courage I had to muster up to get the laparoscopy. And I think back to the emotional work – through yoga, prayer, therapy, etc. – that was so uncomfortable to work through, but I showed up even when I thought “meditation doesn’t work for me!” Did any of them play a part in enabling me to finally get pregnant, not only with a history of endometriosis, but to get pregnant at age 41? There’s no way of knowing.
The questions I had to ask myself
But what I believe was most important was the fact that I didn’t give up. If I was going to play the “what if” game, with all the fears and doubts, I had to also play the other side too. I had to also ask: “What if taking care of my body today really does increases my chances of getting pregnant? What if this surgery brings relief and the help I need to conceive? What if this pain won’t last forever, and someday I will be pregnant?”
Overflowing with gratitude
Those scenarios were just as much a possibility as the negative side. It just often takes extra work on our end to believe them as real possibilities. I was determined to be a mother and completely open to whatever path that looked like for me. So, I had to tap into this belief when the doubt popped up. And when that moment finally happened biologically, with the help of fertility treatments, I was overflowing with gratitude. It has made every day – the good and even the bad ones – so much sweeter because I’m experiencing a season in life that I’ve dreamt about for years. It didn’t come easy, but it did happen. And there is a deeper sense of appreciation for pregnancy that I don’t think I would have had it not been for my years of struggle leading up to it. The aches, pains, and sleepless nights during my third trimester, are a little easier to handle because I truly view this experience as a gift.
Have you had a similar experience in that the struggle that lead up to your goal or dream made achieving it so much sweeter than you could have ever imagined? Please share below. Each of our stories is an inspiration to a fellow endo sister, and you never know when your story will be the one that someone needs to hear today.
Have you ever experienced a "weird" symptom and wondered if it was endo related?