Today’s confession is written by Jenna Clements. Jenna’s husband, Ryan Clements, was just a featured Rad Dad on Modern Day Dads, however, it was pure coincidence that we started chatting. I had no idea about that connection until a few days later when my husband mentioned that he thinks Jenna is Ryan’s wife. After reading Jenna’s story, it gives me hope! I hope it’s inspiring to you as well. Thanks for sharing your story, Jenna.
In my teens, I started to randomly get my period. It seemed to come every 2 weeks. The simple solution, according to my Gynecologist was to just put me on the pill. I was only 16, so I did not think to argue or ask why they thought it was happening. I went off the pill a few times but it seemed I always went back to the annoying 2 week cycle so I was pretty much on the pill into my adult life.
When Ryan and I were getting closer to our wedding date we started to talk about when we were going to start a family. We were both in our mid 30’s and knew it was what we both wanted. We decided that right before the wedding (May 29, 2010) that I would go off the pill and see what happened. The first year nothing happened and we did not think all that much of it. My periods came when they felt like it and I just took it as my body adjusting to not being on the pill anymore. Even at my OB/GYN appointment they seemed to think all was ok. It wasn’t until I was having abdominal cramps and had become extremely bloated with a cyst that weighed 4 lbs that I was officially diagnosed with P.C.O.S. All these years I did not have the typical signs or symptoms so it went under the radar.
The next year we got a little more aggressive. I started seeing my OB as a fertility patient. Ryan (my husband) had to travel to Copenhagen and Amsterdam for work so I went with him. There is nothing more romantic that peeing on an ovulation stick every day while on a European Vacation. Did I mention we did not have our own room in Amsterdam? When nothing happened from that, the Dr. gave me Clomid and a few other drugs that would control when I would get my period so it could all be timed. All that seemed to do was make me a raving lunatic! I was mad one second and crying the next. I felt like I had completely lost control of my moods. We tried that a few rounds but I felt like I needed more.
I had a few friends suggest I go the Reproductive Medical Group here in Tampa. I did not want to. I did not want to believe that I could truly be having issues getting pregnant. I mean, that happens to other people and not me. Reluctantly, I made an appointment. It was an eye-opener. It became very apparent that P.C.O.S. was going to get the best of me. I remember them being so amazing, patient, and kind explaining everything to me. They explained how I was going to need surgery to remove the incredible amount of cysts from my ‘parts’. I tried to stay positive. I had the surgery. It was not bad at all. I felt like maybe we had figured out how to tackle P.C.O.S. and get back on track. I took the Clomid again. Ryan and I had 3 unsuccessful rounds of I.U.I.’s (artificial insemination). When you have that done you automatically have to live like you are pregnant. It takes over your mind. I remember the day I discovered the third one did not take. A few days later that ratchet chick from the television show Jersey Shore, Snookie had gotten pregnant. I cried. I was mad that I was sad but seriously? SHE could get pregnant and I couldn’t? Not long after Kim Karsdashian had the nerve to say she was having infertility issues on Keeping Up With The Kardashians because she had never been pregnant by accident. At that point, angry does not even describe the demons I had inside. After a few days of self pity I knew that I had to start thinking of other option and to not let it consume me like I had been.
I had a follow up appointment with my fertility specialist. She out of nowhere asked to see some x-rays that had been done from my previous Dr. I got them for her and she looked a little deeper only to notice a cyst deeper than they had gone. This cyst was stopping blood flow and it would explain why the 3 previous procedures would not have worked. So we scheduled surgery #2. After that we had to decide if we wanted to try another I.U.I. Here is another fun (insert extreme sarcasm here) fact about P.C.O.S. Our eggs lay kind of dormant and lazy. The fertility drugs can effect 1 of them OR 15 of them at the same time. Had I chosen to start taking the shots I could possibly have a circus car full of happy eggs ready to be fertilized. If that happened, ethically my Dr was not comfortable going forward with the I.U.I. We could have taken that risk or gone forward with the I.V.F. treatment. At this time, I was 38 and was starting to feel that it maybe was not in our cards. Ryan and I had a deep heart to heart about giving I.V.F. one shot and if it did not work that it was not going to make us any less if we could not biologically become parents. From that moment on, we lived like we were not having the struggle. We laughed, enjoyed each other and our friends, and just embraced our wonderful life. We did all this while at the same time every night I was a pin cushion for a plethora of drugs. our refrigerator looked like a pharmacy. It came time to take the trigger shot that would make the embryos drop. I was supposed to take the shot at 8:30 P.M. Ryan and I were at a concert that night in Orlando. I had a great spot on the floor and realized at 8:30 the band I was dying to see was coming on. I pulled the shot out of my purse, injected it, and the band came on stage. I should have known right there it was meant to be.
I went in to have the eggs extracted. No one can prepare your for how invasive that is. About 10 days later I had to go in to have the fertilized embryos implanted. I wore the sweats my friend, Erin had given me. She swore they would get me pregnant. That day I laid on the couch while we ate Pinkberry and watched T.V. I thought, if this is what pregnancy is about I can handle this! I kept my promise to myself and did not obsess about the results. Ryan was a champ and never asked any prying questions. I was in a closing when I got the call (Jenna is a realtor). I got up, went outside and took the call. I heard the word ‘positive’ and broke down. It happened… it happened! Screw you statistics for ‘my age’! Screw you P.C.O.S.! I was pregnant! I got myself together and walked back into the closing. Ryan and I kept it quiet for over 4 months because we were so scared to jinx it. Here is kicker. I had a cyst act up at about 8 weeks into my pregnancy. It was a good thing because it help the embryo stay in tact. Who would have thought that those little bastards would have been helpful?
I went into labor on my due date and on March 12, 2013 our amazing girl, Sloane River Clements came and joined our crazy life. She is 18 months old and is truly the sunshine. Her laugh makes every cramp, cyst, shot, pill, tear, and surgery 110% worth it.
PCOS Confessions is a new series on Modern Day Moms that is wildly honest, full of a little too much info and a whole lot of personal experiences. Recently diagnosed with PCOS, I’m on a mission to learn more about it and share my experiences with others. Read all of the confessions here. Stay tuned for more. Make sure to follow us on facebook, twitter & instagram.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. PCOS has many signs — things you or your doctor can see or measure — and symptoms — things that you notice or feel. Every woman with PCOS may be affected a little differently. (s)
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