Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Letter to My Body

Dear Body-

Why have you betrayed me the way that you have?! What have I done to you to deserve all of this unnecessary pain and heartache? I have tried to take care of you- sure there have been some bumps along the way- many were out of my control- the medications that I have had to take since childhood- I was told were for our own good.

That first cyst, the confirmation of endometriosis at age 18- the first surgery and then the start of BCP to control the cycles and stop the production of further build up of scar tissue- 'to protect' my future fertility. The knowledge at that age that conception might be difficult, but not impossible- a little Clomid but no other problems where forseen- don't worry about it- you have all the time in the world.

That next cyst a year and a half later- caught too late- it ruptured, causing who knows how much damage- told by a trusted OB/GYN "let's start depo-provera you're young; let's get all this under control for a year or so, then look at getting pregnant". We were told that the injections were safe, that they wouldn't harm our chances of conceiving- we believed, we were naive. When we were ready to stop the injections because the added weight that I put on you wasn't healthy I let others get in the way of my decision to protect you my body. I let outsiders make my decisions on how to protect my body- but is that really a reason to now continue years later to betray me- to hurt me- to fail me- to make me feel broken and inadequate as a woman?

Yes you have been put under the knife multiple times in the past 32 years: urinary issues, 2 cysts and endometriosis, an appendectomy, along with various other body parts to be repaired. I have had you poked and prodded, tested and re-tested. And then hospitalized because the estrogen that was supposed to regulate our cycles so that we could get pregnant tried to kill us with a DVT in the left leg, breaking into smaller clots traveling into each lung. This seriously limiting all future options for infertility treatments.

Along with my husband, sometimes on my own, sometimes with the urging of other family members the decision was made to wait to have babies. Wait until I was finished with school, wait until things were settled, wait until jobs were stable, wait until the perfect falling star shoots across the sky. I now know that I made us wait too long- I can't turn back time, I wish that I could, oh do I wish that I could. I know that it is no ones fault but my own for making you wait to do what you were ready to do- I am sorry- but isn't it time to stop punishing me for my ignorance- yes I took what I thought was fertility for granted- I was oblivious to the fact that all this time I was actually dealing with infertility and was on a time table- I took that for granted- I wasn't in control- you were- you are- I know that now and it is too late.

Then you surprised me in late September 2005, without any planning- you gave me, along with some help from my husband, the answer to my dreams! You gave me those first few signs- I remember how happy I was, for those few brief weeks. I called and made that first appointment after seeing that faint BFP. I remember being so careful and thankful to you not wanting to do anything wrong to hurt you are the precious cargo that you were helping me carry. Then on that early Tuesday morning, the 25th of October at 5:30 AM you woke me from a deep sleep with the cramping; I tried to ignore it, change position afraid to get out of bed because I knew what would happen if I did- I didn't want to believe that anything bad was happening- not to me, not to my baby, not today- today at 10:30 AM we were having our first prenatal appointment, later that day my Dad was having knee surgery- no this was not happening today- if I ignore the cramping it will just be a dream- none of this will be real. But it was real- you kept cramping, and then you started to get rid of my dream- slowly at first, and then as soon as I got up you let me know that everything was over. I back in bed to tell my husband that our dreams were ending- I went to my appointment to have the pregnancy confirmed by ultrasound- yes there was a gestational sac measuring 4 weeks 3 days in our uterus but there was also so much bleeding around that sac that it was inevitable- the baby was gone. Our dream ended. Why? There were no answers- but there was ironically hope- I could get pregnant- it was a bittersweet moment. Little did I know that it was actually only the beginning of what was to be the be the next 2 1/2 years of heartache that you were about to bestow upon me and my family- heartache that I still have yet to recover from.

Under doctors advise we waited for you to heal physically and me to heal emotionally- then we started the famed 'Clomid Protocol' after a well thought out and loving planned fertility ceremony was performed by a wonderful circle of girlfriends on our behalf. Cycle 1 began with much excitement and stress in May 2006 ending in a BFN; but without discouragement we went right into Cycle 2 in June 2006- and you cooperated right before the 4th of July weekend you again blessed me with a BFP! Only to have that dream ripped away on July 5th at 5 weeks, the cramping and spotting started and once again you got rid of yet another dream. And again, I ask- what I have done to deserve this- I am giving you PreNatal Vitamins, I have stopped drinking any type of caffeine, I have stopped all medications that are harmful to a growing fetus, I am eating foods suggested by fertility specialists- what more do you want from me? Is maintaining a pregnancy too much to ask of you?

Cycle 3 in July 2006 yielded yet another BFN and then the headaches began, so it was decided to stop the protocol for a few months. You continued with the headaches until August. All I wanted was a baby, I began to fear that that I had waited to long as my 31st birthday was quickly approaching. What had I done by waiting- was this your way of getting back at me for waiting until the 'time was right'? I don't know how many nights I spent begging and pleading with you for just one more chance. Test after test- result after result, retest after retest all with the same results- everything is normal with you. The only problems you have is the endometriosis that is starting to build up again which you prove to me with each months cycle and the increasing pain in my lower back and pelvis, and the 3 cysts that we have had on the right ovary over the last 10 years- other than these problems everything else is coming back normal- nothing should be causing any further problems with our fertility. And we know that our husband has fathered a child in the past.

The Clomid or on our own these are our only options- you know this as I have had long heart-to-heart talks with you regarding this- you know that we cannot do the IVF or IUI protocols- we cannot take the medications required for those protocols because they are not safe for us- we are already putting ourselves at risk with the current protocol by taking 5 days of estrogen. Because of past mental issues that we've suffered we don't qualify for adoption. This is our only chance to fulfill this final dream of becoming parents.

Our final chance ended up a surprise yet again in January 2007; I did notice the signs that you were trying to show me, but I was too afraid to be happy, to get attached, so I ignored what you showed me. My husband noticed the signs that you showed, he pointed them out and made me believe that it was really happening again, he had me take the test that showed that the BFP yet again- it was like you were giving us a life as my grandmother was saying goodbye to hers. You let me be happy, you made me sick, but I enjoyed every minute of it, you made both my husband and I feel that this baby was going to be the one, that there was something very special about this baby- I was so careful, or so I thought. You let me think that everything was great, that everything was perfect, you let me get attached, make plans and hopes and dreams for the future of our family- you let me believe that every thing was okay between us- everything was forgiven. You had me lulled into a false sense of security, I let my guard down- until that horrible day. It started out normal, I was feeling good except for the nausea that was becoming my normal daily routine, we were out shopping, had gone out for breakfast- then the spotting started, but it was light brown, not bright red, so I thought that everything was still okay- I tried not to panic- I wasn't cramping after all, it must be okay, after all this one was different, this one was special. No, you took this one away too later that day on the drive home the cramping started, and by that evening, that Sunday evening, February 11th, the cramping was bringing me to tears and I began to pass large clots- at just over 4 weeks you ended my last dream of being a Mother.

For whatever reason the 'Clomid Protocol' was attempted 2 more times in June 2007 and again in July 2007. You made me very very ill in July, tricked my body into thinking that it was pregnant with the July cycle but every test that was taken, every single one was always a BFN- yet my cycle was over a week late, the nausea continued, did we test too early, only you know the answer to the strange cycle that I had the very end of July beginning of August the intense cramping with the passage of large clots that lasted for only 2 days then suddenly stopped. Did I miss a miracle? Was that your cruel joke, your way of getting back at me for the torture I put you through over the years- you tortured me with the possibility of a pregnancy but no way of knowing for sure? That would be the ultimate joke- okay you win- no more torture, no meds, I quit.

That is it, with a broken heart and empty arms- dates to remember my angels by, statues to light candles for, fleeting memories of the many hopes and dreams that were made for each special life. You, my body, win- I can't do it any more- I give in- my heart and my soul can't take the pain any longer. I am truly sorry for everything that I have done to hurt you- all I ask of you now is to stop causing me pain- I get it, I hear you loud and clear, and all I do ask for your forgiveness- let me live my life as a childless woman, my life as a barren and broken wife- let me live my life in peace.

Brightest Blessings-


Irish Girl said...

Sara, oh my gosh you've been though so much heartache. I am so sorry for your losses and all you've had to endure. It isn't fair and it isn't right. I hope you are granted the peace you seek and very much deserve.

The Town Criers said...

Sara, I'm so so sorry. You really have been through so much. I'm just sending peace, sweetie.

Sepha said...

A very brave letter - sometimes things in this world make no sense. No one ever said life was fair; but I wish you could have had your wish.
I send good thoughts your way,