At 16 years old, I would find myself in bed for two days when my period came. It was painful. My stomach felt like I was being stabbed with 22 knives and it just wouldn’t stop. I kept this up every month for years. I just thought it was normal.
There was a day that I was laying in bed downstairs at my “sisters” house. She knew something was wrong and had asked. I told her that I started my period and my stomach was absolutely killing me. She went upstairs and grabbed some Midol from her Moms bathroom. I took it and went to sleep for hours. I remember waking up to her Mom coming home from her shift, she was a City of Cincinnati Police Officer, telling us we had to clean the house! I got up and did our chores and went back to sleep.
My sister told me this wasn’t normal that she had never had cramps like I was having. I kinda felt at that moment that something was wrong with me. I went through the next year of high school and just sucked it up. I dreaded putting on my white softball pants when it was that time of the month!
Fast forward, I graduated high school. I was 17 and moved out into my own apartment. The cramps got worse. There were times I had to call into work because I was bleeding entirely way too much and I simply couldn’t get up of my but to use the bathroom.
I had pretty damn good insurance at the time. I made myself my first Gyno appointment and explained to her the pain I was experiencing. She dismissed it and said it’s normal to have cramps with periods. I felt like a baby and was pretty embarrassed.
I dealt with the pain every month, I was off and on birth control trying to help with the cramps and nothing seemed to help. This went on for years.
I’ve never been really close with my parents. They had moved down to Florida, I had custody of my brother and we had gone to go visit them. I mentioned something to my Mom as I had started my period and my Dad was making fun of me because I was laying in bed and didn’t want to go to the beach. Ya’ll, this isn’t normal because the beach and the race track are my happy places. That’s when she had told me that she had Endometriosis in between having two of my brothers.
I started doing all the research I could. There wasn’t much out there at the time, but the information I did find online was the exact symptoms I was experiencing. So, I came home and made another appointment with a different doctor.
I was told “it’s all in your head”. You’re 19 and we don’t see very many cases of endometriosis in women your age. Again, I made another appointment to see another doctor. This time I went in, told him that I needed a laparoscopy procedure and was told “you don’t have endometriosis! Simply take Tylenol and that should help.”
I felt crazy. I began to think that I was making this shit up because that’s what I was being told.
I was so desperate for answers, I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood. Their answer was birth control! I tried to explain I was already on a variety of birth controls and nothing helped. So I simply walked out of that appointment miserable.
I finally researched a specialist in Cincinnati that was aware of Endometriosis. It was a “Center” and felt like I did when I walked into Planned Parenthood. Like I was fucking crazy! A male doctor walked in. He asked why I was there. I held nothing back. I told him he was my 8th doctor in a year and that I needed a laparoscopy procedure that I had Endometriosis. Within minutes of me talking, he simply agreed! I was so relieved at that moment sitting on that table, I actually started crying because a doctor finally listened to 24 year old me.
It was two weeks later and I had my procedure. My Mom and Dad had since gotten divorced, my Mom moved back and took me. I remember waking up in recovery and I kept asking what they found. I had tissue EVERYWHERE: my bowels, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus. He told me that if I ever wanted to have children, this would be my only chance. He had burned all the tissue out that he could. He told me I had probably 6 months I was DEVASTATED. All I had ever wanted to be my entire life was a Mom.
The problem was that my “boyfriend” (who became my Husband) and I were off and on. I had moved back in with my Mom for a short period of time after we split up. I was also helping to clean my Brother up from heroin. He had found out about my procedure and we ended up getting back together. I don’t know if he ever truly wanted to be a Father, but, we had the conversations that if we wanted children, this was the time.
We sat down with both of our Moms and explained the situation. We were going to purchase a home and with their blessing wanted to try to have a child first and then get married. They agreed and I was in tears.
That’s when shit got real.
I found a house. We had been trying for 9 months to get pregnant, so we actually bought and moved into our house, which was a lengthy process as we did a short sale on a home that I had found. I had pretty much given up on the idea that I would never have children. I was pretty upset, was running a successful business out of our new home, we were going racing and life was good.
Then I got pregnant with our first child! She is now 15, will be getting her temps in July and everyone says Beanies is a spitting image of myself with the looks. However, thankfully, she has her Fathers temperament, which is chill.
And then….The Two Hardest Moments of My Life That Lead to the Greatest Moment of All.