I gained some confidence after starting my cycle. I began caring more about my appearance and started dating. I could finally put the worries of my pseudo-womanhood behind me. Or at least, I could shove the fears and anxieties of my teenage years to the back of my mind and act like they weren’t there, which is exactly what I did.
This pretending lasted about six years. Then several years into my marriage, my husband and I started trying to have kids. I went off the pill, and that’s when, for the first time as an adult, everything went awry. I started having hot flashes. Intimacy became difficult. I couldn’t think clearly. Remember in the Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo Baggins said he felt like “butter stretched over too much bread?” That was me. Every month would come and go without a period, and every month would come and go without a pregnancy.
When almost a year had passed, I couldn’t deny it. My body was unable to function properly on its own. If I was ever going to have a chance at being healthy and getting pregnant, I needed to see more doctors. I called my gynecologist’s office and made an appointment with a man who had been practicing gynecology for 30 years. At my first appointment, he said in all that time, he had only met one other woman like me. (There I was again, being “one in a million.”) He diagnosed my condition as early-onset menopause but said he wasn’t quite sure, so he referred me to a fertility specialist. This doctor was one of the best in the state, he claimed.
During my first consultation, that fertility doctor called my situation a “slam dunk.” He said I had zero eggs. Apparently, I had only been given a handful of eggs at birth, and I had used them all up in the early stages of puberty. This is why when I was a teenager, my pubescence had abruptly stopped.
I barely had time to process this information when he declared not to worry! I could buy eggs from a woman who had the same hair color, eye color, height, IQ, and other features as me. He would mix her eggs with my husband’s sperm to make me the baby I wanted. As you can imagine, this was all a bit much for me to swallow. So I told the doctor thanks but no thanks and left his office alone. (Since I wasn’t expecting to hear any of this at my first consultation, my husband wasn’t even with me.)
Since that time, I’ve seen a holistic health practitioner, integrative medicine doctor, and IVF specialist to determine if that fertility doctor was correct. Turns out, as best as anyone can tell, he was. Here’s the final verdict: I’ll need to continue taking estrogen and progesterone supplements the rest of my life, and I will never have biological children.
So that feeling of “something is wrong with me” I felt when I was 16? It turned out to be true. And that confidence I had gained when the pill started “working” for me at 19? It fell by the wayside. At 27, I was confronted with the truth about my body, and there was no turning back.
This is the beginning of my story. Yours is quite different, I am sure. But remember, the point is not to compare our griefs but instead ask, “What meaning can be gained from suffering?” and “How can we grow through this?” I say, let’s grow through this together. Let’s walk in the way of meekness, submitting to God’s will that this is our story, trusting that He loves us – every single part of us – and believing that He wants to do something with us “one in a million” type women.