Note: This post errs on the personal side, feel free to stop reading at any time:)
I went on the pill at the innocent age of 15. I had minor skin issues which at that age seemed unbearably major to my vain young self. I was also in a serious relationship with my now fiancé and I wanted to be completed protected, you know just incase we decided to “do the deed”.
My 15 year old self was carefree. I didn’t care about what I was putting into my body. On the weekends it was a concoction of booze, snack foods and greasy takeout to cure my hangovers. Horrific I know, I’m not proud of my wild teenage behaviour. My interests revolved around hanging with my friends, being cool, getting drunk & having fun, considering this, there was no thinking twice about my decision to go on the pill.
I had a pimple or two, my sister was on it, my parents were willing to pay for it, Oh and I heard it could make my boobs bigger. Whatttt? Bigger boobs? I was sold. I don’t recall my GP ever really discussing how the pill actually worked to me although even if she’d have done so, I probably wouldn’t have listened.
Yasmin (the brand of pill) and I spent five temperamental years together. I was a highly strung, angry, biatch of a teenager. I lost my cool on a regular basis, everyone else copped the brunt of my mood swings, and I never once thought to blame my beloved Yasmin. One day I read a short article in a women’s magazine about giving your body a break from the pill. I’d just finished my period and I was low on funds so this prompted me to come off Yasmin, albeit only for a break. That was October 2009; I haven’t had a period since.
Then the testing process began. I did pregnancy tests, had blood tests, external & internal ultrasounds, visits to the Gyno to get to the bottom of it, all to no avail. First I was an over-exerciser, they pointed the finger at PCOS, could it be my diet? Finally it was dubbed as a “nothing to worry about” case of post pill amenorrhea.
Apparently this is a common occurrence in after women coming off the pill. I was advised to go back on the pill to avoid & oestrogen deficiency. I wanted to ask what happened to my oestrogen but I didn’t. Confused & naïve I implemented their advice. But something changed second time around, it just felt plain wrong taking a pill that had caused me so much grief in the months passed. Beyond the side effects, it no longer felt safe to put these little pills in my mouth. I stopped taking the pill than & there. I pushed it all to the back of my mind for the remainder of 2010.
At that time I wasn’t really thinking about babies and life was exciting. When asked how I was going with it all, my general response was usually. “Oh fine, I'm not worrying about it, if I can’t have kids, then maybe I’m not supposed to procreate”. Looking back now, I can’t decipher whether that was how I really felt at that time or if it was just a way to respond to people’s curiosity whist seeming unaffected by the matter.
Pushed relentlessly by my fiancé, I booked an appointment with a different GP in the early months of 2011. The exact same testing process ensued as in 2010. It was time consuming, expensive & emotionally draining. With still no apparent reason backing my absentee period, I was directed to a hormone specialist.
By this stage I’d come to the conclusion that I wanted to have a baby. All the baby talk, working with babies, lack of ovulation & testing wreaked total havoc on my emotions. Fears of never having children were brought forward; I began longing for something I never knew I wanted so badly.
The hormone specialist accused me of being too skinny- an irritable offence considering she was noticeably thinner than I. She couldn’t understand why I had been sent to her given that my results showed no indication of a hormonal imbalance that she could fix. Proceeding on she turned her nose up at my decision to conceive and pushed her theory of getting older & fatter.
It was an explanation I was after, not feelings of inadequacy. Motivated by frustration I went straight from her office to my original GP for a referall to see my Gyno yet again. No longer just Tegan, I was a woman on a mission to fall pregnant! There was no time to lose.
My Gyno boasted his pregnancy success rate with clomid. Full of confidence he assumed that I would more than likely fall pregnant within the next month or two. My desire to conceive outweighed my desire to care for my body so willingly I turned a blind eye to the potentially harmful toxins I was swallowing. This was a choice riddled with hypocrisy bearing in mind that I was eating organically, using organic beauty products & building a healthier lifestyle.
When the clomid wasn’t working, he did what doctors do best & upped my dosage. I was prescribed another form of medication which I couldn’t pronounce but that was unsuccessful too. I felt dreadful, angry & desperate throughout the clomid process. I did pregnancy tests knowing that the results would be negative yet hoping that just maybe I could be a mysterious case of pregnancy instead of a mysterious case of infertility.
The worst part was I built a fence around myself and kept it all inside. No one was to know the truth. For some reason I was adamant on announcing my pregnancy as if it had occurred naturally. My fertility issues were not to become a topic of discussion, no that would be far to depressing. I was hell bent on showing the world that I was happy & healthy been it the truth or not.
The fifth visit to my gyno, I came undone. His words smacked me hard like a punch in the face. “Your body is totally unresponsive to the treatment”, “It’s a case of unexplained infertility”, “Your levels are impossibly low” In conclusion, “the only viable option I see for you is IVF, I’m sorry I can’t help you”. OUCH! My every emotion in regarding this issue rushed through me. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I practically ran outside, finally I let go. I cried so much I vomited, I called in sick for work, broke down in front of my mother in law before getting in the car & driving straight to my mums place. I needed to be hugged.
Unknown to me immediately, this was actually a blessing in disguise. Bye bye harmful toxins, no more blood tests and no more suppressing of the truth. Quickly I became aware of the freeing power that naturally feeds your soul when you speak your truth.
A month or so later my sister was deliberating over her late period. We bought a pregnancy test. I held her stick, yep in her pee while she busied herself. I watched as one line quickly became two. She did a little dance, I wanted to dance too but I felt numb. I could have hugged her but I didn’t. I was “unbelievably” happy for her, I still am. Negative thoughts were aroused though, I questioned the universe – Why did she conceive effortlessly, whilst I’m finding it so difficult? I personally felt like a failure. I cried for hours that night as well as at the drop of hat in the weeks following.
I felt it well & truly but than amazingly I perked myself up and began directing my energy into positive thinking & healing my reproductive organs holistically. I immersed myself in health & nutritional information, I remembered what it was like to love & accept myself for the amazing being that I am. And now these things make up my life.
The deeper I dig the more discoveries I make, I am powerful, I am strong.
I’m currently undergoing natural fertility treatment & acupuncture here. My goal now is not so much to achieve pregnancy but to acquire hormonal balance & body synchronicity. This form of natural treatment is working wonders for me.
Now if you have made it this far, your unreal!!! That’s a long time to read me banging on about myself. The past 12 months was a massive learning curve for me. If I had of known that at 22 I’d be sitting here rambling on about fertility I would have practised in self care sooner. A lesson well learnt.
I shared this story because speaking openly & truthfully is so vital to your wellbeing. I felt compelled to share so I did. Another reason why I decided to share was that when I started researching infertility, I realised that about 1/6 couples are affected by infertility and that there is this growing support network out there if your willing to tap into it.
It’s a touchy matter for most.I hope that in sharing my story other women are inspired to share their own. Fertility is important whether you want kids now or in ten years. We constantly need to work at it!
♥From time to time you'll see I mention fertility/ hormones. Now you will understand why.
♥I've also been asked a lot of questions about the links between infertility & the pill. I'll share more information on that soon.
How does the word fertility make you feel? Do you have a story to share? What are you doing right now to improve your fertility?
Sunshine & Sweetness