The F-word No One Talks About

Thanks for letting me be so vulnerable as I share this with you. 🙂
Oh…and excuse my language…
 
DISCLAIMER: Don’t take this post wrong.  You don’t need to walk around on egg shells around me.  You don’t have to hide your joy of family, pregnancy and kids around me.  You don’t have to keep good news about your family from me.  You don’t need to feel sorry for me.  And you don’t have to act like…whatever you’re probably thinking.
 
(In)fertility. 
 
It’s a word I’ve never wanted to use.  I’ve read plenty about but never anticipated I’d be using it in my own life. But it’s now a word that we use in the Ready house.  It’s a new word. 
 
So is PCOS. That’s what I’ve officially been diagnosed with.  PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Basically it’s a disease that impacts many things including fertility, metabolism and mental health. After several months of tests, dozens of blood draws and tracking I’ve officially been given some answers.  But those answers are hard to process.  Because what they mean is that I’ve got some health issues to address.  My focus has shifted from getting pregnant to getting my body right. And that’s the most important thing. 
 
I’m not writing this post to ask for sympathy.  In fact, PLEASE don’t feel sorry for me.  Like, really…don’t.  
 
I am writing this post because I feel like no one talks about this shit.  And everyone sees mostly good things on social media.  We rarely share in our suffering because it’s not the kind of thing that gets “likes” or cheers people up. I feel like suffering is a part of “adulting” that no one talks about.  Truth is, we all suffer. In one way or another.  Nothing is as perfect as it appears through the filters on Instagram and the pictures, check-ins and stories we share on Facebook. 
 
For several years now, Scott and I have been trying to start a family.  It started long before I left my job in TV news.  But we didn’t really pay much attention to it.  I wasn’t seriously tracking days or weeks or months.  We were just living life and hoping we’d eventually get pregnant. 
 
Then, just before our 5 year anniversary and we decided it was time to visit a doctor.  As easy as it would have been to test Scott and rule that out, we decided to start with me because I’ve been all out of sorts.  Irregular periods, mood swings, weight gain, low energy and several other symptoms gave us reason to believe that there could be something wrong with my body. 
 
All the while, there was this linger pressure from the world. No one in particular was pressing us to start a family but seemingly a large portion of our peers were starting a family. I assumed they were looking at us like “it’s been 5 years, I wonder when they’re going to start a family?” 
 
If we’re going to talk about that, let me explain that I’ve never been the kind of person to like babies or children (don’t be mad or judge me).  I was always super career focused and believed that God was calling me to live out a life that didn’t mean marriage or kids.  
 
And then I met Scott at the young age of 22 years old.  He was cool and all but I was still pretty focused on my career.  Except he was supportive of that. And that was even more empowering.  Eventually…I feel in love.  And then, I realized that perhaps I may have changed my tune about having a family.  No, not about kids, about having a family with the man who I loved with all my heart.
 
We got married with the idea that kids would happen eventually.  We didn’t try to start a family for several years because we were still so career focused. And honestly, because we didn’t want kids yet.  We were enjoying being married, learning about each other, moving around for jobs and traveling; there’s nothing selfish about that. It’s just the way we saw life and that goals we had set. I’m a firm believer that EVERYONE does what’s best for them as a couple and it’s not up to anyone else to decide if that’s right.
 
As I neared the end of my 20’s I started to feel this sense of a bigger purpose.  I find a ton of fulfillment in my life from the work that I do professionally.  And I now get to share that with my husband as we build a business together.  But that desire to also grow into a family had been placed on my heart. Scott and I have so much fun together, we think we’d also have so much fun with kids.  It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever desired.  
 
We are certainly not a traditional marriage.  And never will be.  Scott does most the cooking (and cleaning…if we’re being honest).  We are a team always.  There are not husband and wife roles, except to love and respect each other.  We push each other to grow and we take on challenges as they come. 
 
And that’s exactly what we’re doing with our latest challenge.  PCOS is a hard diagnosis. It makes it very difficult to get pregnant.  The day we found out, I went from “I got this!” to “my body is fucked up and broken” and back around.  You see, I only ever read infertility blogs about women who have always longed to be a mother. They talk about the pain and heart ache of trying to get pregnant, the drugs they take, the tears they cried and the way they feel incomplete without a baby. 
 
I don’t feel most of those things.  And when I read them, I feel like something is wrong with me.  
 
Instead, I feel this:
 
Sad.
Hopeful.
Inspired.
A great sense of purpose in the NOW.
Family in the people around us. 
Trust in God’s will for our lives. 
 
I share all of this because I feel like I’m not alone.  There’s got to be someone out there that’s going through this who feels similar to me.  It’s not that life has stopped or that life is incomplete without kids.  I’ve never felt that way…ever.  It’s more that life doesn’t always go as we planned.  Recently, someone told me that the ability to have kids is the great equalizer in life.  You know, no matter where you come, what you do, who you know or how much money you make, everyone can have kids.  Except when you can’t…which isn’t easy to understand. 
 
We aren’t there yet, by any means.  We’re really only at the beginning of our discovery phase.  I’ll begin taking some supplements to attempt to level out my massive hormone imbalance and hopefully also build up my metabolism.  And then in a few months we will explore our next steps.  We’re open to family, in whatever form that takes.  And we’ll continue to pray and discern what’s next for us.  
In the meantime, we embrace what we’ve got now.  Our family is full of the people in our lives.  Our kids are, in many ways, our god children and the relationships with mentees formed in the last few years.  We’ve got this.  And God’s got our back.
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7 thoughts on “The F-word No One Talks About

  1. Lauren, Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing when you open this communication door what you’ll learn of other people’s journeys. You’re definitely not alone, but you are brave to share! I’m going to be praying for you. It’s so hard to trust God’s timing, but I hope you can feel His grace even through the struggles.

  2. To both of you,
    I totally believe that we are where we are supposed to be. Too bad there’s no roadmap to tomorrow . Pace e bene
    Peace and all good is my prayer for you two.

  3. Lauren, you are such a wonderful storyteller, and I hope someone has been positively impacted by this post. You are amazing, and you DEFINITELY got this!! Love y’all, The Thorntons.

  4. You continually amaze me, Lauren…thank you for your reflection and the way you and Scott live (& LOVE) so deeply. Love you lots+

  5. Pingback: Waiting… | Live. {Laugh} Look Around.

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