Because of my PCOS my body needs help to conceive a child. Because of my incompetent cervix, my body needs help to carry a baby to term. My body is broken in terms of baby-making and baby-carrying.
When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I was devastated. I hadn’t considered the possibility that I would have difficulty conceiving a child, that the process would be anything other than a natural, enjoyable experience for me. I remember asking my doctor point-blank: Will I ever be able to experience trying to have a child without medical intervention? Her answer was no. We developed a conception plan during that visit, even though it would be years before my husband and I would reach a point in our lives where we wanted to start a family. It was comforting for me to know every step in the “try-to-have-a-baby-process.” I knew our best case and worst case scenario and every possible scenario in between.
When I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, I was again devastated. I was already reeling from the loss of Claire and the knowledge that all of my future pregnancies would be affected by the same condition was difficult. Again, the question had to be asked: Will I ever be able to experience pregnancy without medical intervention? And again, the answer was no.
Without the help of medications like Metformin or Ovulation Predictor Kits I would not be able to have a baby. The former helps to regulate the androgens in my body so I can ovulate and the latter helps ensure I know when. Without the help of surgical procedures like a cerclage, I would not be able to keep that baby inside of me.
I feel broken because I am. I’ve lost elements of my femininity that are engrained inside the experience of being able to conceive a child and be pregnant with that child. I’ve lost pieces of my heart. I believe that when we conceive a child, parts of our heart literally give life to the tiny embryo that begins to form inside of us. It is impossible to separate our children’s lives from ours- even in death, Claire belongs to the deepest parts of me.
I am thankful for the fact that with medical intervention, I should be able to conceive another child. I am grateful for the fact that with more medical intervention, I should be able to carry that baby to term so Claire can be a big sister someday. But there is no medical intervention that can heal the broken parts of me that miss my daughter and the life she should have had if I did not have a broken body.