I’ve had itchy fingers recently… and it has nothing to do with the mosquitoes buzzing about that we have become very weary off (since there’s been so many malaria cases in Hoedspruit). I actually can’t say if it is itchy fingers or an exploding head which means I need to get the billions of thoughts on my mind out on paper… or PC in this case.
Its been busy, it always is, all mothers can attest to this. It’s difficult to just find a moment of peace to yourself – some free time – you know, to do really important stuff that you have been meaning to get to for the longest time – you know what I’m talking about… like 15 minutes to just be able to scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed without having to answer a barrage of questions from a 3 year old about why Mufasa isn’t waking up after the stampede. Yeah – social media time- that’s a basic human right I think! (Note to self: start a petition to have social media time added as a basic human right).
Free time…. Something I used to have loads of before I had the kids…. And this made me think back to when I actually didn’t have any children. Sure I complain a little…ok a lot. But I think that just comes with the territory. I love them to death, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost myself in them… I still need me- and yeah sometimes I wish I could put myself into ‘time out’ where no one can talk or interact with me, and I’m forced to sit in a corner all by myself to think. As an adult, time out really doesn’t seem like punishment at all.
But there they are… all three of them… needing ….needing to watch The Lion King repeatedly… needing help with homework and projects…needing to eat Every. Single. Day… and needing me… And then I remember how much I needed them. Wait… how much I wanted them.
Having a child did not come easy to us… in fact – it was anything but easy. We enjoyed our time as a young couple and then made the decision that it was time. It was time to start trying for baby. And it was exciting. I mean how difficult could it be to get pregnant – right? Well it turns out it actually wasn’t as easy. I recall giving up my contraceptive pill and waiting for the month to pass. And guess what? My period never came! Wow, that was really quick I thought to myself. I dashed of the pharmacy to purchase a pregnancy test and followed the instructions precisely, eagerly awaiting the 2 line confirmation. But it never came… and my heart dipped. This began a series of monthly tests that all resulted in the same situation… there never were 2 lines. I was ok for a while. I mean, these things take time. And although I wasn’t the most patient person in the world, I just assumed it would happen next month- but it didn’t.
Months went by and eventually a year passed and I had already started to feel something was wrong. I mean women were falling pregnant all around me. EVERY SINGLE couple that was married after me, already had a baby. I had to attend baby showers and weddings and events where the very first question I was asked was the dreaded question – ‘When are you going to have a baby?’ For some reason people, and other women in particular seemed so careless about asking such a personal question. A question that was a deep source of pain for what seemed like forever in my journey of trying to conceive. I always wondered why – why couldn’t they see the pain in my eyes- and if they did- why would the very same question be posed to me the next time they saw me.
I started to become ‘not ok’. I became somewhat of a recluse. Avoiding people. Avoiding family functions. Isolating myself which is totally against who I actually am. I would only talk to my sisters and my husband’s sisters about the pain. I found myself scouring the internet until odd parts of the morning, searching for answers. I joined infertility forums where I could anonymously air my frustrations without fear of judgment. It was unfair. Each month ended in tears. Eventually my sister convinced me to see a doctor. It was in Ramadan that I was diagnosed with Pcos. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. A condition that was absolutely foreign to me. I went crazy googling it and trying to get as much information as possible on the condition. I then saw a second doctor, who told me that by taking the pill I had actually protected my reproductive system and it controlled the cysts, but when I stopped, they basically went crazy. This was why my cycle was so irregular (which I thought was normal), that was why my hair growth increased, and I gained some weight. All the signs were there, but I couldn’t see it because I didn’t know what to look for. She also said I was the most atypical patient she’s seen with pcos, as most were overweight, but I wasn’t.
And then the medicating began. And boy was there loads of medication!! I had to have regular blood tests, and my fear of needles was conquered as I was poked and prodded multiple times a month. It was decided I should try an ovulating inducing medication. This was very popular and many had conceived on this alone. So I tried it. For a full 3 months. The positive was that my cycle regulated to what would be considered normal. The negatives were the unimaginable side effects! Nothing can prepare you for hot flushes at such a young age, in the middle of a Hoedspruit summer. The excessive mood swings. The anger management issues. I had morphed into someone I could barely recognize.
Part two to follow…