For every great story, the ones that we love to retell over and over, there is a back story. The parts we like to leave out, try to forget about, and finally just come to overlook. Whether it is hurtful, depressing, or just plain embarrassing, the back story is important. Without the story before the story, those reading cannot truly understand why what you are telling them is such a big deal. Grasping how much of an impact and what actually happened in your life is difficult when people don’t know where you are coming from. Today, I’d like to share my back story with you. The good, the bad, the embarrassing and the ugly truth, of my life before God blessed me with my children.
I got my first period when I was nine.
I was 15 when my menstrual cycles started messing up. I was also dating and active with my boyfriend, so my first thought was, Oh No, I’m pregnant! That terrifying feeling soon became some of excitement, when I thought about what “I thought” life would be like. We’d get married, raise this baby and live in the American Dream scene from Little Shop of Horrors . . . Somewhere that’s green was about to become my reality – I thought. Dropping the news that I had not had a cycle however, brought my little dream world crashing down around me. Infuriated parents and extreme family embarrassment soon became the reality I was living in.
After a home test, that thankfully (now) proved that there was no baby in there, I was carted off to the doctor to find out why I had missed a cycle. I had gained some weight and the initial thought was this is causing the problem. My mom refused to take me to the “lady doctor,” so I had to make my very first trip to the Gyno, with my dad! I was humiliated enough by having to go and knowing what they were going to do, but my dad had to be there?! Either way, he was and we went, and I saw a doctor.
Diagnosis: You are overweight. But we need to get you regular.
I walked out of the doctor’s office with a rectangle green box. Birth Control Pills, the little white and green “fix” to my problem. Change my diet, take the medication and all would be fine. Everything would go back to normal. When I got home, to explain this to my mother, it was yet another disaster. Because she was not there to here what the doctor had said to me, during the actual visit, no one was there, I had to do that all alone, she had no clue what was going on. All she knew was that her “baby” had come home with a box of pills and now had a free pass to do whatever I wanted, physically.
Taking the meds were no problem at first, but then I noticed that I was putting on way more weight than I was before. In one summer I jumped 6 pants sizes, and nothing about my eating habits had changed. I was doing my “healthy-ish” diet (which was a miracle in itself because healthy eating is not what I grew up on), and walking several miles a day. My mom also bought me the Richard Simmons Videos, which I did every other day. So it’s not like I was psycho unhealthy.
Let me just say that regular cycles on birth control (back in the 90’s) were not regular. The pain was unbearable. There were times, I would just double over and fetal position in the floor for hours, rocking back and forth, trying to make it stop. Believe me, there was not enough Miadol on the planet to touch this mess. When they were over, praise the Lord, they were gone. The greatest part of the whole “pill” thing was knowing when they were coming, so I could prepare myself. Rice Crispies became my best friend during my weak of torture. I am living proof that you can eat, and eat, and eat some more until your pain goes away. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FORM OF TREATMENT! Basically, because you are getting yourself drunk on food, and you really don’t feel anything, until your body “sobers” up.
At my first visit, the doctor had given me a year’s supply of the “pill” during my visit and told me that I did not have to come back until they were gone, then she would recheck me to see if there was anything strange going on. When my year was up, I did not get taken back to the doctor. My dad was a big anti-overweight person, and the fact that I had packed it on since taking the pills, he felt that it was not a proper solution to the problem. Also, back then, there was a serious stigma about your daughter being on birth control. You didn’t talk about it, share that information, or even take your medicine in the sight of another person (other than those in your house). Boy! We have really come along way since then.
For the next two years (16-18), my cycles were hit or miss. I never knew when they were going to happen, or how severe they would be. This became the norm. The only problem with this was, I was still active with my boyfriend (who by the way is now my husband – just wanna throw that in there), so each time I would miss, I would get that excited, I’m going to have a baby feeling. Why? I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Thomas, from very early in our relationship. He was kind, and funny, and just a great person to be with, and I wanted to be around that all the time. I loved him then, and I love him so much more now! So the thought of having a family with him, thrilled me more than anything. Each time, I’d sneak to the store, buy the test, take the test, and then cry. Knowing that this was just another skipped month because of my weight.
After the letdown was over, I went back to being okay with life, I was so very young. Too young to be thinking of starting a family, especially as an unwed teen mother. They did not get their own TV shows back in my teenage years. No, they were sent away to live with family (still!) until the baby was born. Okay, typing that made me feel 143 years old – but it was the truth. I’m not sure that my family would have taken that route, but rest assure that it would not have been any way pleasant or a fun pregnancy experience. You could not attend school if you were pregnant either. I remember a girl getting pregnant while we were in the 9th grade (I think) and she was made to leave school. There was no going to alternative school, or other means of outside education, she was just out. Her parents sent her to a home for unwed teens, where she waited out her pregnancy, and put her baby up for adoption. She never returned to school (at least my school).
This is how my infertility journey began. An overweight, scared teenager, with no parental support, clinging to the hope that she was going to start her own family, each and every time her period decided to skip a month (or two, or three). These years were emotional torture for me, seriously, the ups and down, the not knowing and the constant trying to get the pounds off, thinking that if I did, my body would somehow fix itself. This first part of my journey was taken alone, I did not have the Lord in my life at the time, so there was not even a spiritual support system for me to fall back on.
It's crazy to think about it now, but at first there was NO Google! No WebMd, nothing but doctor's reference books for me to self-diagnose myself with. If I knew then what I know now . . . I know that is a cliché thing to say, but it’s the truth. It would be 20 years before I actually knew that I had a problem, and that there was no solution for it.
I have broken my backstory into several segments. To write it all at one time, would make it so very long that even I would not take the time to read it. Next to come: My Journey of Infertility | The Young Adult Years. If you’d like to skip to almost the end, please read Our Adoption Story, Part 1 and Our Adoption Story,Part 2.
Wednesday :|: December 12, 2017 :|: Posted in My Journey