...since my last post. I'm a little disappointed in myself in terms of blogging. I didn't initially intend for this to be an "infertility blog," and I was annoyed that I found myself mostly writing about that. Part of the reason I didn't want this to be an infertility blog is that I didn't really expect to be here, a year later, still childless. But here I am. I intend to start posting a little more regularly, if only because I feel a need to write and discuss these issues in a somewhat neutral forum, not because the internet is ever neutral, but because the few people who might read this blog are not my real-life friends that I have to not annoy by talking only about this all the time.
I suspected for a long time that I had PCOS, but for some reason I didn't feel very motivated to seek a diagnosis, change my habits, or really do anything at all about it. I sort of took the attitude that if God wanted to send us children, he would. I also wasn't too worried because I've always had fairly regular cycles. Things couldn't be too bad, right?
Well, my body started behaving weirdly (I'll spare you the details) late last summer and continued for several weeks, so I finally went to the doctor. After hearing my sad story, she immediately told me that she suspected PCOS, and confirmed her diagnosis with ultrasound and blood work. The regular cycles are in some ways not as hopeful a sign as I thought, but the good news is that it does lesson my uterine cancer risk relative to women with PCOS who do not have periods.
We haven't investigated my husband's fertility. There are morally acceptable ways of doing that, but frankly, it's yucky and at this point we'd rather not.
Please don't ask about the NaPro Technology center. Yes, I know all about the Pope Paul VI Institute. Yes, they could probably help. Unfortunately, it costs money. I live in Alaska, which is a very long way away from Nebraska, and we don't have the funds for even one trip there, let alone the money to pursue treatment that our insurance wouldn't cover.
Please don't ask about adoption right now. We would love to, but we couldn't afford a normal adoption. We could afford to foster-adopt, but my heart couldn't handle it. The thought that I could have a child in my home, calling me Mommy, and that the child could be so easily taken away to live somewhere else, with someone else he would learn to call Mommy too, is too much to bear. I have friends who are foster parents and I commend them for providing this much-needed service, but I'm too emotionally fragile for that.
Where does that leave us? Treating PCOS with the normal means that conventional medicine offers--diet, exercise, and possibly medications like Metformin and Clomid. I'm going to try diet and exercise first, even though it's super difficult for me. I am the laziest person on the planet and I have no self-control. Modern American food is literally made to be addictive, and I am totally addicted to sugar, grains, and all the things someone with my hormonal problems shouldn't be consuming. I teach at a school where parents leave donuts and brownies and freshly-baked bread in the teacher's lounge right next to the copy machine all the time, and that's a little bit like putting a big plate of crack in front of a drug addict and saying, "you shouldn't touch that, it's not good for you." Even though a little corner of my brain is saying, "Don't you want a baby a lot more than you want those brownies?" the rest of my brain is screaming, "EAT ALL THE SUGAR!"
My other mission right now is trying to learn to be ok with the fact that I don't have children. God could still bless us--I'm 29, and theoretically have at least 10 more years to work on this. But barring actual miracles, we will never have the big family we dreamed of (we're already an average of three kids behind, based on friends married at the same time +/- 1 year), and there's a possibility that we will never have any children at all. I need to learn to be content with God's will, and to examine what it means to live out a vocation as a wife who is not a mother. I've always equated wifehood with motherhood, but now I find that they are quite different things, and one does not always lead to the other. My next post will be about my evolving understanding of theology and the vocation of wife-not-mother.