In our latest Farm Wife podcast we talk about a subject that we have discussed at great lengths “off-air,” but never “on-air,” Emily’s exciting news (I am so happy for their family!) and my battle with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I can honestly say without the support of these two, incredible farm moms, I would have lost this battle a long time ago. I am blessed to call them friends.
My battle with PCOS is a topic I struggle to write and talk about because it’s so personal, and it is incredibly hard to describe to someone who has not personally experienced PCOS. You can learn more about it here. According to my doctor, I am a textbook case. My ovaries have been compared to Swiss cheese, and just a couple of weeks ago, the sonogram tech pointed out that I have the classic “PCOS Pearl Necklace.” Needless to say, I don’t eat Swiss cheese anymore and the pearl necklace my mom gave me for college graduation is now in my top dresser drawer.
The side effects of PCOS are super fun to deal with on a regular basis. The unwanted facial hair (seriously, I can grow a better beard than my 19-year old brother), the weight gain that doesn’t always come off with diet and exercise (trust me people, I’ve tried), the acne (without concealer, I look like a 7th grader minus the braces), and then there is the social anxiety/depression, because who wants to be seen with a hairy, fat, pimply person? It honestly is a day-to-day struggle and no, I’m not being dramatic.
PCOS is even more difficult to struggle with when you live in a small town where people ask you, your husband, and your family and friends when you are going to have kids. Church is the worst. In fact, it has gotten to the point where I just go on special occasions (holidays, Braden’s birthday, etc.) because we are always getting asked. In the beginning, it didn’t bother me too much, but when you get asked all the time, it gets to be overwhelming.
I know people mean well, but after you spend week after week at doctors’ appointments getting poked and prodded, you don’t need to be constantly reminded you’re inept. Remember, I am a perfectionist, I perform under pressure, and subsequently, I’m a bit of a control freak, so it really bothers me that I can’t do the one thing God blessed (or cursed) women with, bearing a child.
The pressure to produce progeny is real people, especially when there is a family farm or business involved. While there isn’t any real pressure from our parents (I’m hoping they don’t disown or behead me), I know they would like to be grandparents sooner rather than later. I also know Braden will be a great Dad (hopefully someday) and we have a good, full life we want to share. Also as a side note, I have great names picked out, awesome nursery designs in mind, and I don’t want them to go to waste!
Because I am a planner, we have talked about adoption (we have met with friends who have adopted and a social worker to start the process- I’m hopeful!), and surrogacy (friends have offered, but I would feel horrible if something happened to one of them). We are still so early in figuring out the infertility process, but we both agree at some point a line will have to be drawn when it comes to time, money, and our overall well-being (medication, tests, and procedures are mentally and physically wearing).
Right now I am participating in an online Bible Study through the Good Morning Girls website. It came across my Facebook feed one day and I read the description of their summer study and signed up. You then have the option of joining an online Bible Study group. My group is made up of women across the Midwest of all ages and backgrounds. It’s pretty cool!
Each week, the leader of the group posts a Prayer and Praises message and asks us what can we pray about for you this week? The first week I didn’t post anything. I feel like my struggle with PCOS is so little and insignificant compared to what others are dealing with in their lives. But, last week, I worked up the courage and posted a little background info and that I had a doctor’s appointment and was hoping and praying for good news.
One of the ladies participating immediately messaged me back. She too has experienced infertility issues and ovarian cysts. She shared this verse she has clung to with me.
Psalm 27:13,14 – “I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
Patience is hard for me. If you ask anyone who knows me, once I have something in mind, I can’t let it go. Maybe that is why this journey has been particularly difficult for me. When I read this verse, it was almost as if my heart sighed with relief. Maybe it isn’t God’s plan for us to have children. Maybe He wants us to adopt. What would be really nice is if God would share his Life book with me so I know exactly what the plan is and when it’s going to happen. Not likely. But, what I am hoping and praying for is come what may, we will soon see the goodness of the Lord.