I was completely clueless.
As a teenager, two to four months at a time would go by with no sign of “Aunt Flo,” and I thought nothing of it. I read it was normal to have irregular cycles as a teen until they normalized, and I secretly loved not having to deal with all of the inconveniences and discomforts that came along with that time of the month.
The years went by, and I was now in my 20s, still dealing with the same symptoms — only now I was a newlywed with visions of cute babies running around within a year or two. While at an OB/GYN appointment for my annual exam, my doctor asked a barrage of questions then explained she would run some tests to see if I had something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
As my legs dangled from the examination table, I thought, that is probably not what I have but, okay. A few days later, my phone rang, and it was my doctor confirming I did in fact have PCOS. I was told to take Metformin to help with my elevated blood sugar. And when I was ready to start trying for a baby, fertility meds might help (heavy on the ‘might’) because getting pregnant and staying pregnant was not going to be easy. When I hung up, panic immediately set in.
Did she just tell me I might not ever be able to have a baby?
What is PCOS?
According to WomensHealth.gov, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance affecting 1 in 10 women during their childbearing years, ages 15 to 44.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
Irregular or missed periods
Cysts in the ovaries
High levels of male hormones
Unwanted body hair
I felt betrayed by my body and, if I am honest, by God. The deal was I would go to college, graduate, get married, have little babies to love and kiss on, and live happily ever after. You know, do all the things the “right” way, and then all my wishes would come true. This was not a part of the plan.
Well, that marriage ended, and although relieved, I was a wreck dealing with the aftermath and wrestling with thoughts of the future.
Will I ever get married again?
Will my future husband understand when I tell him I might not be able to have kids?
A Change is Coming
I knew there had to be a solution other than popping pills every day. During one of my midnight internet sessions, I came across a few articles suggesting cutting out chicken and dairy could help normalize hormone levels in women. Saying good-bye to cheese and ice cream was incredibly challenging, but my energy was improving, and your girl could see an ab or two peeking out from time to time!
I went against my introverted ways and started a blog where I could share everything I was learning. I wrote about all of the natural foods, herbs, and supplements that were working and ranted when I felt defeated and completely overwhelmed.
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The positive changes I witnessed were cool, but, after getting engaged and preparing to walk down the aisle (God is good, y’all!), I wondered how long it would take to get the answer to the prayers I had been saying for over ten years. As I type this, I can look over at the beautiful, perfectly healthy little boy God blessed my husband and me with three years ago. It could not be any clearer. He was using this situation to mold me and become an inspiration for other women.
When I shared the surreal news of my pregnancy on my blog, so many emotions took over as emails, direct messages, and texts flooded in from women asking me about my journey and saying I gave them hope. It was then I realized my entire experience was much bigger than me. My journey was to help other women see that there is hope on the other side of the storm.
Although it was a real struggle at times, I learned to have faith. I gave up my timeline of how it would happen, and did all of the other work in the meantime, by changing my diet, lifestyle, and mindset. As I was being pushed to my limits over the years, huge blessings were waiting for me and I owe it all to God and PCOS.