Meet our newest Great Expectations blogger, Heather, who is almost 12 weeks pregnant with her first child. Welcome her to the blog and follow along with her journey to motherhood after dealing with a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Hello, there. My name is Heather, I am 26 years old and almost 12 weeks pregnant with my first child.
Yes, it is exciting. How am I feeling? Better. Oh, don’t worry, I try to get plenty of sleep. Ha ha.
I have always wanted to be a mother. I watched my own mom, and adored her. I am the oldest of six, so I had plenty of chances to mimic and fuss and babysit. Most of my work experience has been in childcare. My career aspirations have been primarily home and family, and I’ve been blessed enough to be achieving them.
My adventure began in earnest when I married Preston in December of 2011 after a delightful four-month relationship. Life was a whirlwind, and I assumed it would just keep carrying our family along. But then, post-wedding stress detox turned to persistent lethargy and physical adjustment to abdominal pain. UTIs were my new constant company. My hormones were crazy, my period kept being late, and every time I got my hopes up…nothing happened. What the heck was this? Pseudocyesis? Cancer? Ectopic pregnancy? I can laugh about it now. Something was definitely off, though.
So I did the sensible thing. I went to the doctor. I answered random questions, took blood tests, and left with a pat on the back and the
assurance that the first year can be kind of rough. Or sometimes we don’t know why these things happen, but it’s nothing serious. Are you kidding me? I didn’t know what this was, but I knew it was something!
I was so mad. But I woke up. It was my fault for expecting a quick fix. If I wanted to feel better I would have to find my own way. So I
decided to change my environment. I learned about natural living and healing, experimented with yoga and exercise and recipes from vegan, raw, or grain/dairy/soy free sources. I tried to listen to my body and follow my intuition in choosing simple remedies. That year of confusion turned out to be a huge blessing.
Certainly, I was making progress. Though, the setbacks just kept coming. Finally, my last week on insurance, I made one last visit to a
different doctor. By this time, the cause and solution seemed pretty obvious to us both.
The diagnosis: polycystic ovarian syndrome. At least I had an answer. I was hesitant to take the Metformin, but too worn out to fight it. I knew I still had a long road ahead of me, but maybe, if I was good, that baby would come soon. I decided if the wait meant better health for me and my children, it was worth it.
Two weeks later I was up at 4:00 am, making pickle dip. And I got very… flirtatious. Hmm.
Now, before we continue, let me say: my case is not typical. My condition is borderline, with significant symptoms for only the year
before I got pregnant. Experiences vary; my doctor acted like it was no problem, while a friend of mine was told a few weeks later not to hold out much hope for children. I don’t want to stand here in my ignorant good fortune and act as if I understand what others have been through. I do want you to know that if we share this struggle I’m hoping and praying for your happiness and success.
So, what does PCOS mean for me at this point? I’m told I have a somewhat higher risk of, well, just about everything, it feels like.
Miscarriage. Gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, endometrial dysfunction, a small baby, a big baby, etc. Add to this the fact that
my mother had severe complications with every pregnancy, such diabetes and I think even full-on eclampsia, as well as an incompetent cervix. I will not feel doomed, I will not feel doomed, I will not feel doomed. I don’t know yet what role these will play in my experience. I will be careful, and hope.
Another problem my condition has presented is a hesitancy to grow emotionally attached to my baby. It even sounds weird saying “my baby.” The past year has left me feeling easily betrayed by my body. We’re still really getting to know each other for the first time, and how to work together. Life and health are so fragile, I’ve learned. I admit this because I think it’s rather common, especially so early on. And it’s fine. I am still totally committed to this growing life, to nurture it in every way. I’m working in that direction and I’ll get there. It’s just easier now to trust that things will turn out how they need to, to focus on the common sense of being pregnant and taking the first steps that will guide the rest of my journey. The less I worry, the greater my chances of success.