Hi, my name is Becky and I’d like to have a baby.
Oh, sorry. Was that too much?
Let me paint you this picture instead.
I’m walking along a bridge. Behind me are newlywed-type couples, still in their honeymoon phase where everything the other person says is hilarious and they never argue about who will do the dishes. To my left are the traveling couples, career-driven, who believe in working hard, but playing harder – soaking up the culture of all the beautiful places they visit.
To my right are the singles – single or dating, they’re enjoying where they are in their lives –the bar scene, taking spontaneous trips, maybe looking for something more serious in a relationship, but not too worried about it just yet. In front of me are the parents – new or experienced, old and young, they’ve battled diapers, sickness, school projects, and teenage attitudes.
I realize not everyone falls into these four categories, but there’s a common theme in each of them:
I don’t belong.
I’ve always been a do-gooder. A rule-follower. A play-it-safer. I’ve done what I’ve been told. I did everything “right.”
But I’ve realized it’s time to be my own game-changer.
I have finally allowed myself to dream big and then start taking steps to make those dreams come true (even when it takes longer than I want). I found blogging, re-discovered my writing roots, and managed to leave jobs where the people were great but the work wasn’t challenging. I am pushing myself and following the advice I give to others – that the only person stopping me from having it all…is me.
Then late last year I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and it’s been slowly shattering my world ever since.
This syndrome has started to define who I am and I’m stuck between accepting it, and fighting it with all I have. There is a chance it could lead to bigger health issues.
There is a chance I won’t be able to bear children.
I used to be a black and white thinker but PCOS has pushed me into the gray area, into this un-knowing, not-able-to-plan transition. Sometimes I’m okay with that, and sometimes it gives my type-A self a panic attack.
I’m learning this is more than the possibility of not being able to have kids. It’s about trusting in a plan I did not create and how that might re-define who I am. It’s exploring feelings I didn’t know existed, while re-learning to trust my instincts after they’ve failed me time and time again. It’s wondering if doing things “right” was the right decision after all.
I’d love to say I’ll tell you about my struggles with PCOS for a few months and then I'll announce I’m pregnant, or how I’m at peace with this curve ball life threw my way and open to all possibilities. No really. I would love to tell you that. But I can’t. I have no idea how long this transition I’m in will last.
I can tell you there will be times I’ll share funny stories (like the time I had a dream my husband wanted to name our child after a weapon), things I’ve discovered about myself (supporting my dreams and the dreams of my husband is worth it whether or not children are involved), or how being in tune with myself through healthy living can make a world of difference (yoga, a sugar detox, even healthier recipes).
But there will also be times when I cry and rail at the world – days that are raw and miserable, when I doubt myself and my choices, feel betrayed by my body, and wonder why my road to happiness seems to be littered with minefields.
Yet I can’t guarantee how things will turn out. My learning that, and even more accepting that will be a huge part of this transition.
So I’m here to share my journey. To take the stigma out of this transition and dare I say, possibly embrace it. To come out the other side a little calmer, a little wiser, and hopefully with a whole lot more perspective – even if there’s no end in sight.
Final note: I was telling my mother-in-law about this essay when I first submitted it and when I got the part about how I don't belong she stopped what she was doing, took my face in her hands and said, "but you do belong. You belong to us because you're you." Any wonder why I love this woman?