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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Getting a Little Personal

Tonight I took my first birth control pill in two years and it feels a little strange (we've been using other methods before this.) While we are not ready to have any other kids right now the reason to go back on the pill was not totally to prevent pregnancy but to make me having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome bearable.
I got my period for the first time in 7th grade and it slowly became less and less regular until it disappeared all together when I was in high school. I was never a skinny little thing but around the same time I stopped having my period I started gaining more weight and having abdominal pain. I went to Dr after Dr and they would tell me that I was constipated or that I was just stressed. I ended up getting so frustrated that I just gave up and decided to live with the pain.
When I got married my brother had just had his second child and Curt's sister Angela was pregnant with her first and I started to realize that if I wasn't having my period that meant that I might not be able to have kids. I remember many nights where I told Curt that I knew that he wanted to have a baby and I would understand if he didn't want to be with me if we ever found out that I could not have kids. He assured me there were other ways we could have kids. Around this same time the pain started to get worse and worse and my poor husband would just lay beside me and let me cry. One night laying in bed I was flipping through a magazine when I read this article about a lady with similar problems that I had and it was the first time I have ever heard of PCOS. I just knew that was what I had.
My parents helped me to go a new Doctor and for once I found someone who would listen to me. I went through several tests and an ultrasound and I remember the tech telling me she was so surprised that I was living with the amount of cysts on my ovaries and that there was a possibility I would have to have them surgically removed. The nurse practitioner I was seeing suggested I try going on the birth control pill first and almost instantly my pain went away and on every 4th Thursday morning I would get my period.

Since we were still newlyweds and were not ready to have kids just yet we decided not even to worry about any fertility issues. I took the pill every day for three years and then one day I started to feel strange and when for the first time my period didn't start on the 4th Thursday I took a pregnancy test and was shocked when I instantly saw two lines. The same nurse practitioner that helped me get a handle on my PCOS also became a midwife and was the one that delivered Lucas.

For some reason I thought that having a baby would "cure" my PCOS and things would go back to "normal." This month I started to get mild abdominal pains here and there and scheduled my annual check up knowing that I would need to go back on the pill. Tuesday was my appointment. The nurse asked me if I was sure there wasn't a chance I was pregnant since I haven't gotten my period back at all since Lucas was born. My midwife explained to her that I had PCOS and that was to be expected. It felt so strange to hear it said out loud.

Hopefully the BC pills will get everything back to "normal" I've been blessed that all I've had to deal with a few of the PCOS symptoms. I honestly don't know if we will be able to have anymore kids but I know if we are meant to be parents to any other children whether by birth or any other way God will bring them to us just like he did with Lucas, our little miracle baby.

I'm not writing this so I will get sympathy or so anyone will feel sorry for me. I think more people should know about PCOS (If I had known about it a few years before I read that article I could have saved myself a lot of pain and heartache) Also I write this so that if any of you see me out this month and I seem a little weepie or hormonal know that I am NOT pregnant... I'm just getting used to being on the pill again.

These are some of the symptoms of PCOS: (the ones I have are in bold)
infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding
infertility or inability to get pregnant because of not ovulating
increased growth of hair on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
acne, oily skin, or dandruff
pelvic pain
weight gain or obesity, usually carrying extra weight around the waist
type 2 diabetes
high cholesterol
high blood pressure
male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
sleep apnea―excessive snoring and breathing stops at times while asleep

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

WOW kari that is crazy. I can't believe you lived with that for so long. Hope evrything returns to "normal" for you now.