So back to post 1, my mental breakdown. Yes, I had one and that is what I am here to talk about. As a woman, my body is supposed to be designed to create life. To make beautiful babies. To produce a child. Do you have any idea what it does to you when you can’t do that? Mentally. I felt like less of a woman. I felt that I let everyone down. My parents, my husband, my friends. Everyone who was so excited to be part of this new journey we were starting that never even got off the ground. I was a trainwreck. A car crash. A disaster. And then there are the other symptoms of PCOS that no one seems to talk about. Yes, infertility is huge, but while almost all the research and money on PCOS goes to the infertility aspect of it there is so much more. There is alopecia (hair loss), dark, thick facial hair, hair growth on the rest of the body as well, acne, depression, weight gain that seems impossible to get rid of, especially around the belly, insulin resistance and higher risk of type 2 diabetes, fatigue and low energy (which is made worse by the depression), and ovarian cysts.
So on top of not being able to conceive, I am depressed, fat, broken out, and Hairy. Oh, and I have like twenty cysts again on my right ovary. So awesome. Really, really great.
“Between five to 10 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States, or roughly 5 million, have PCOS.”
I have struggled so much in the last five years that we have been trying to conceive and I have decided, for my own health, even as much as I want children, that I won’t be doing hormone therapy or treatments again. This decision took me a while to come to. I still feel like I am letting everyone down because, at this point, I honestly don’t think I will ever get pregnant by myself. I have come to terms with it (mostly).
But it still hurts. Every time someone announces their pregnancy, or I get invited to a baby shower, or I see baby stuff in a store, or a cute commercial on television-it hurts inside. Why can’t I have that? I have prayed about it until I felt numb. What have I done that I can’t have a baby? Is it my fault? Am I being punished by God? These are the things that run through my mind. I thought I would be a good mother, and I know my husband would be an amazing father. So why can’t I give him that? Does he secretly resent me for it? In my conscious, rational mind I know he doesn’t but the negative thoughts always like to seep in like rainwater through a crack in the door. And while yes, I know there is adoption, and we haven’t ruled that out, it still affect me. It still hurts that I cannot make a baby that is part of each of us.
PCOS is so much more than just infertility. I struggle with the symptoms of it every day. I have gained so much weight, I have thick, dark facial hair that I actually have to shave, I get moody and depressed, I have hormonal breakouts and some cystic acne, my hair is thinning, and I can’t seem to lose weight. As soon as eat a piece of bread again I gain back the whole three pounds that I lost. I felt so alone when I was diagnosed. My best friend got diagnosed too and then it was like I finally had someone to talk to about it that understands.
That’s when I realized how important it is to be able to talk to someone about it. I found several PCOS awareness and support groups on Facebook and it helped me so much to see and hear other people’s stories. To know that I am not alone in this. If you are struggling with PCOS and infertility know that you also are not alone. You just have to search for a group and there they are. For trying to conceive or not, PCOS and diet, PCOS and relationships-there are a ton of resources and groups on the internet. You don’t have to do this alone. You don’t have to feel alone. You are not alone. Don’t forget that. Five to ten percent of woman in the USA have PCOS. That’s a large number though it doesn’t seem like it. So next time you feel horrible and defeated, see what everyone else is feeling too. Talk to someone about it that knows what you’re going through. I promise it will take the sting away, at least a little bit.