Wes and I originally planned to wait until his 4th year of medical school before we started having kids. It seemed like the responsible thing to do at the time. But then I started developing this incurable longing to become a mother, so we started trying in May 2014. I thought I was pregnant the first month. We were so sure I was pregnant that we even bought pregnancy announcements for our families. I was shocked when my period started. We tried again. And again.....Still not pregnant.
Let me back up a bit. Growing up I had excruciating periods. Doctors kept telling me it was normal to have painful periods and the only thing that would help was birth control. So I felt that was my only option to function. After stopping the birth control my periods started getting progressively worse each month, and the pain started showing up other times of the month too. We started seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist and did rounds of tests to check hormone levels, to make sure my tubes were clear, and to confirm that I was ovulating. Besides some low hormone levels everything looked pretty normal. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery. There are no tests for it and it is invisible on an ultrasound. We weren't ready to do surgery yet.
We tried various fertility treatments for the rest of the year. In October 2015 I had the laparoscopy done and I was officially diagnosed with moderate stage 3 endometriosis. At the time of my first surgery I was not educated on endometriosis yet. I had a regular RE to my surgery and he was not specialized in endometriosis. The technique he used was a very common one called ablation where they burn or cauterize the endometriosis tissue. This technique is outdated because it isn’t very effective. He told me I had about 12-18 months before the endo would grow back but I was actually in more pain than ever before after that surgery. After a few months of more aggressive fertility treatments we decided to adopt.
Fast forward to when our new son was a month old, I decided to work with a NaPro doctor who specialized in endometriosis excisions. It’s done robotically and they actually cut deep into the tissue to remove ALL of the endometriosis. NaPro surgeons have about a 10% recurrence rate of the endometriosis ever coming back!! I had the excision done in February 2017 and I felt immediate relief from pain. My first period was so manageable I only needed a few ibuprofin and I went about my day. Life changing!!! Then to our greatest surprise three months later we found out we conceived naturally! Our sweet daughter Linnea was born February 2018 just 13 months after our son Charlie.