Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poked, Prodded, and Violated

Someone I follow on twitter was talking about a procedure she needed to have done in order for her doctor to sign off on her homestudy physical and she said, "...feeling violated, but you gotta do what you gotta do." That really hit home with me because that's what I have been living for 7 years. First with fertility treatments and now with the adoption process.

Trying to get pregnant was one disaster after another for me. It started with going off of birth control a few months before we got married. My body decided to revolt by growing polyps and abnormal cells and bleeding for two months straight. That was just the beginning.

I was always really shy about being examined. I remember when my gynecologist sent me to a fertility specialist I was upset that I would have to have "that" exam by another person. Little did I know within the next couple years I would be seen by so many different doctors I would lose count. Ten? Twenty? I really don't even remember. I also lost count of how many procedures I have had done. Biopsies, internal ultrasounds...it all became common.

I had to have three surgeries to remove polyps and abnormal cells. When I woke up from the first one, my bed was shaking and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Someone came running over and put a bunch of warm blankets on me and that's when I realized it was *me* shaking. The next surgery I woke up to someone yelling at me to breathe. I was tired and just wanted them to go away. I was apparently too tired to breathe. They needed to wake me up enough for me to start breathing again. I think they gave me too much anesthesia that time.

You know what really creeps me out about the surgeries? The fact that there were so many people there. As I would go to sleep, I would look around and see more and more people coming in. So there I am half naked on a table with a crowd watching and I am completely out so I have no idea what they're doing or saying. Talk about feeling violated.

I actually did not spend very much time on fertility treatments. Most of the time was spent dealing with my body reacting badly to every hormone I took. The fertility specialist sent me to an oncologist because the abnormal cells got bigger and badder over time. Before the fertility specialist would do anything, she would need to check with the oncologist each time. I was a mess. The hormones made me gain weight. A lot of weight. And I was sick and pale all the time. I finally got cleared to do injectables and I ended up being allergic to the medication. My injection sites were red, swollen, and hot to the touch. I never complained though because "you gotta do what you gotta do." It was working and that was all I cared about. Turns out, it's not okay to ignore it. I started running a fever and that's when they realized I was allergic to it and it gave me a systemic blood infection. I had to stop immediately. Yet another freak reaction keeping me from moving forward. (There were lots of jokes about writing a case study about me. I think they were only half kidding.)

Unfortunately, stopping the fertility meds so suddenly caused an even bigger reaction. A couple weeks later I started bleeding. The bleeding quickly turned into hemorrhaging. I was very pale and completely out of it, so my husband and mom took me to the hospital. Good thing since it turns out, I had lost half of all the blood in my entire body. That 3 day hospital stay was full of poking, prodding, and me feeling completely violated. In so many ways. Including being violated by the health care system in general.

Due to my near death experience, my husband and I chose to stop trying. For the next two years, I had bleeding and cramping every single day. All while taking large amounts of hormones to keep me from bleeding to death. We eventually decided to do some research on adoption. We went to an orientation and we knew this was right for us. It was a light bulb over our head kind of moment. Adoption. Of course. Duh.

The adoption process is a whole other version of poked, prodded, and violated. It has not been an easy road. But at least now I know we are on the right road.

I still do hold out hope that someday we can try again to get pregnant. I was allergic to that one kind of injectable medication, but there are plenty of others to try. I don't know if we ever will, but I think I still need to keep that hope. For now, I couldn't be happier about our choice in adoption. I know this is right for us. That's why I am willing to let them do as much poking, prodding, and violating as they need to do.


  1. Ouch, that all sounds so awful, I hope you are feeling physically better now...

  2. Wow, you have gone through so much! I pray that you get your child soon <3

  3. The kiddo that finds you for a Mom will be without a doubt one of the luckiest. Hands down.

  4. i too have been in a 7 year battle... I am so sorry you have gone through what you are going thru... keep us posted on the adoption process... I will subscribe for sure :)