Obviously, it’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you guys. I knew that I wanted to take a small break after the wedding, but if you’ve been following my Instagram or Facebook account, then I’m sure you’re pretty much up-to-speed on how drastically my life has changed since then. If you haven’t been keeping up, then here goes! Today, marks my sixth month of pregnancy with my first child! This isn’t something that was planned at all, but I feel so blessed that my life’s events have happened the way that it has. Honestly, I’ve been very reluctant to blog during this experience, because I didn’t want this to be all that I am now. I guess you can say I was going through a period of wondering who I am at this point in my life. Am I just a wife and mother? How do I tie in my new life roles into who I was before? I know that my life has changed in some major ways, and the biggest change hasn’t even happened yet, but I was still trying to figure out how this whole thing works. I guess you can say that I’m still figuring it out, but I definitely don’t want to lose this part of me or be ashamed of the new aspects of my life, because it’s a beautiful experience. When I mention shame, I mean that sometimes people can look at marriage and motherhood as something that holds you back in life or some people may consider your new life “boring” because of what you are now, but I look at it as your life’s best moments, and there’s nothing boring about that! So, how exactly did I get here? Well, let me share my journey with you!
Did you know that 30% of women will be affected by fibroids by the time they are 35 years old? Did you know that 80-90% of black women will be affected by fibroids by the time they are 50 years old? In fact, black women are three times more likely to experience this than women of other races. Well, I’m one of those black women. For those of you who don’t know, fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterine wall. Fibroids can cause painful menstrual cramps, frequent urination, low back pain, or even worse, miscarriages and infertility. My cycles have always brought in horrible cramping. During that time, I would often find myself in a ball in the corner and/or throwing up. I’d often have to call into work or miss school because of it, but because this was always something that I’ve experienced, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. I thought this was normal. It wasn’t until two years ago that it had gotten so bad, even when I wasn’t on my cycle, that I decided that I needed to see a doctor about this. Well, it turns out that I had three fibroids; one large 9cm and two that were around 4cm and 6cm. Sometimes people go their entire lives without even knowing that they have fibroids, but in worst cases, you’ll definitely know because of the pain and issues that come along with it. I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to have children because of this. I had been with my now husband for over three years, and I don’t want to be too personal, but we weren’t being careful at all. You can probably say we were being very stupid and irresponsible, because we should’ve had a kid a long time ago if everything was working properly, but there was not one scare or missed period. I gone through a few doctors and specialists at that point and I asked them straight up, “Will I ever be able to get pregnant?” They would all give the same answer, “I’m not sure. We can’t say that you will, but we can’t say that you won’t, however, infertility is a possibility with your fibroids.” This was not necessarily the most comforting news.
Will I ever be a mother?
Once we became engaged, it really hurt me that I would possibly never be able to have kids with my husband and I wondered how this would affect our relationship. After discussing my options with my doctor, I decided in December 2017 to have the Uterine Fibroid Embolization surgery. I just couldn’t fathom the idea of being put to sleep and cut open, so I decided that this was the best option for me. This is a less-invasive procedure that involves shrinking the fibroids through radiation. Many doctors claim that this is the best option, but since there’s no research that has been conducted to prove that it’s possible to have children after this surgery, they will not recommend it to women who are still trying to conceive. After my surgery, my large fibroid reduced to 7 cm, one small one went down to 4cm, and the third one disappeared. I later decided to try a vegan diet, and after I stopped that I went mostly meatless. My smaller fibroid then disappeared and the large one went down to 4cm, but still I was experiencing some pain almost every week since I had the surgery. I remember my last trip to the emergency room two weeks before our wedding. The doctor had explained to me that they only saw one of my ovaries, and they were still unsure if I would ever be able to conceive. At this point, I broke down and told my fiancé that I don’t think we will ever have kids. He told me that that’s okay and when we’re ready, we can look into other options such as adopting. He also told me that no matter what, he’s always going to be there. I love that man! I still wasn’t trying to hear it, because I just thought it couldn’t compare to having your own children, but I decided to put it out of my mind and enjoy the next month as our wedding and honeymoon were fast approaching. I didn’t want to spoil this time with thoughts of things that were beyond my control, so for the next month, I decided to let it go.
Our Little Surprise
Three and a half weeks later, here we are somewhere in Mexico enjoying our time as newly-weds and for some reason I was just exhausted. I thought it was from all of the wedding shenanigans, so I paid no attention to it. Then I realized that wasn’t able to sleep in my most comfortable position, on my stomach, because of how my breasts were hurting. I immediately thought, “Could this be breast cancer?!” Don’t judge me! Yes, I tend to be a tad-bit too dramatic, but what else could it possibly be? Then I missed my cycle, but I paid no attention to this, because my cycles weren’t exactly the most regular. My husband then says, “I think you’re pregnant.” I’m so convinced that this isn’t even possible that I just ignore him. As the days passed, he’s really convinced that I’m pregnant and I’m just sure that he’s overreacting. How could I be pregnant? We were just at the ER earlier this month, and not only do I have fibroids but they also only saw one ovary so I couldn’t be. As soon as we had gotten back to Houston, he bought two pregnancy tests, and so to ease his mind, I took them. When the first test said positive, I thought something was wrong with it, so I took the other. It said positive as well. I still wasn’t convinced so we immediately went back to the store to buy four more tests. Do I need to even mention that they were all positive? Yet, I still needed more convincing, so the next day on my lunch break, I bought two more tests. Positive again. Needless to say, I was definitely pregnant. After the initial shock, we were filled with the emotion of just being so blessed. Although we weren’t being that responsible earlier in the relationship, God wasn’t ready for us to be parents then, but he does things on his own time. I’m learning to stop doubting His power.
So here I am; six months pregnant with a baby I was sure I would never have. Pregnancy really is the most beautiful thing. Through all the annoying symptoms and changes, there’s the most rewarding gift in the end. It’s weird that the most basic things such as bending down to tie your shoes or going up a flight of stairs is now difficult, but through it all, I’m learning to enjoy it. Now, no woman enjoys gaining weight, but you have to even see the beauty in this, because some women will never be able to experience pregnancy, and I believed I was one of them. I’m still reluctant to take pictures now that both my face and feet both look like medium-sized balloons, but I’m getting there.
Do Your Research
There are so many women out there who are struggling with fibroids, and may not even know it, but don’t get discouraged if you haven’t had any luck conceiving. There are plenty of options out there for you. Unfortunately, many doctors try to recommend that you just cut the fibroid out, but they often don’t tell you that the fibroids can grow right back or that this sugary in itself can cause infertility. It’s also been proven that many black women do not get the right medical advice or treatment when going to the hospital, so many doctors will try to suggest a myomectomy for these women. One doctor tried to suggest this to me, but I decided to do my research on other options. If I had gone through with that surgery, I would not be expecting my little Aiden today (It’s a boy!!)! If you or someone you know may be suffering from Uterine Fibroids, I strongly encourage you to see multiple doctors and do your research. Plenty of doctors try to tell you that this is because of your race or genetics that you have fibroids, but I don’t believe this. I believe it’s directly related to your diet and lifestyle, which is why I transitioned to a vegan diet to help get rid of my fibroids. Don’t ask me what I’m eating now, chile! My pregnancy diet is CRAZY! I mean, I’ve been eating foods that I wouldn’t dare take a second look at before, but that’s for another day and another post. For more information on the natural fibroid diet, watch the interview on the Breakfast Club here. I hope I was able to help at least one woman who may be going through what I was going through. Are you or anyone that you know experiencing this? What has your journey been like? I would love to hear from you all!