The sight of chubby little cheeks, toes and tummies always stirs up my maternal instinct. I've often thought I'd be fine if I never marry but not if I don't have a baby. Yet, doctors have told me, since my mid-twenties that my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and autoimmune condition may make it impossible for me to give birth to a child.
I almost proved them wrong once. I was pregnant for almost five months right before my twentieth birthday, but my body let go of the child. The devastation of that day still haunts me. In fact, I frequently think about how old my son or daughter would be now. Every time that thought crosses my mind, I sink into a depression and wonder: why can't I do something so basic as have a child? How can I get rid of my yearning for a child so the pain will stop? Thankfully, as the years have gone by, I worry less about the answers to questions and focus more on my desire to be a mother.
I even went to a fertility clinic and went through all of the exams. I was stunned when they showed I possessed the physical parts needed to create life. My PCOS did produce a few cysts on my ovaries, including a hemorrhagic one, but none of them pressed on or were blocking anything essential. And the drugs I'd been taking for years, to address my other medical problems, actually cleared up the inflammation affecting my uterus and regulated my cycle.
Next, I took the blood tests, including genetic testing. They too showed my hormones were at the appropriate levels to conceive. I thought it might reveal my autoimmune condition but it did not. The only anomaly found was that I possibly carry the Tay-Sachs trait.
I was stoked until I sat down with the doctor and he informed that he'd never treated anyone with my autoimmune condition before. He was uncertain whether my illness could be passed to my child, if it would flare up or go in remission, or if it would make sustaining a pregnancy unlikely.
Before I went to the fertility doctor, I asked my rheumatologist whether I'd be subjecting a child, my future child, to a lifetime of suffering like I'd endured due to my autoimmune condition. I certainly didn't want to do that. I was reassured that it's unclear my IgG4-related systemic disease would be passed to my child. And, I was further pacified knowing that the condition can be treated, even sent into remission, so my child's wouldn't be as difficult as mine had been. Still, hearing the fertility doctor's doubts fueled my own.
My entire chest deflated. The smile I had when I entered the office had morphed into a quivering frown. I closed my eyes in an attempt to stop my tears from rolling down my cheek as he explained that I needed a medical clearance from my rheumatologist before he'd even consider the next steps. I'd also have to get a high-risk pregnancy ob/gyn to agree to take me on.
My heart actually hurt as I rose and walked out of the office. I thought, for a moment that perhaps it's not God's will for me to bring a child into this world. Then, I turned the corner onto Columbus Avenue and saw a sea of strollers being pushed by nannies. A baby in a stroller close to me began to giggle; that's when I knew that's the sound of innocence that would one day fill my home. So, I vowed not give up without trying everything.
Read more from Nika Beamon @ www.nikabeamon.com