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Health | My PCOS Story

polycystic_ovary_syndrome

I recently attended an evening with Giovanna Fletcher where she spoke about her new book, Happy Mum, Happy Baby. It was here I learned of her struggle with PCOS and I couldn't relate more to what she was saying. It was such a relief to hear of another person who had gone through the same thing I had. So what is PCOS? PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome and despite the name, you do not actually have cysts on your ovaries. PCOS is actually a hormone imbalance whereby the body produces too much insulin and testosterone. That's my understanding of it anyway! After hearing of Giovanna's experience I wanted to share my PCOS Story:

I've always known I wanted to become a mum and if I could, I would have liked to have been younger than 24 when I did. However, age doesn't really matter because it is when you're in the right position to start a family that's important. I digress. Pete and I had been together for 2 years when we made the decision to become parents, so in January 2013, I came off the pill. That's when my problems started and my PCOS story begins. 

After coming off the pill, I put on a bit of weight and my periods were really heavy and irregular. On the day of our engagement party, Mother Nature paid me a visit and after 2 months of no periods, she was back with a vengeance. Typical! I told my mum and she said my symptoms weren't normal and she expected I could have endometriosis so with that I went to see a doctor. 

The doctor I saw was a bit uncertain but suggested PCOS to which my mum challenged as I wasn't displaying any of the typical symptoms such as, excessive weight gain, hair growth on my face, chest and bum and acne. He then went for a second opinion from a doctor who had specialised in that area who then backed him up. I was informed I would need blood tests to confirm this and they had to be done on certain days of my menstrual cycle. Therefore, I had to wait for another period to make an appearance which of course, one never. A second trip to the doctors resulted in me being given a pill to induce a period so the tests could be done.

By this time 9 months had passed, I still had no baby and no diagnosis. I felt defeated and betrayed by my own body. I would see baby announcements almost every day (or so it seemed) and would see newborn babies everywhere I looked. I was miserable. I so desperately wanted to become a mum and it was devastating. Eventually scans and blood tests confirmed I had PCOS and I was referred to a consultant who prescribed a horrible drug, Metformin. It's actually a drug given to diabetics as it controls insulin but it also helps balance hormones (I think, again that's my understanding of it). The side effects were horrendous, I was nauseous all the time and had no appetite but I kept at it. I started taking Metformin early November time and must have fallen pregnant instantly! 

I remember on Christmas Eve, Pete had made himself a curry and the smell turned my stomach. I just put the nausea down to the medication and didn't give it a second though. It wasn't until I complained of having sore boobs to my mum that I then took a pregnancy test. Even then I still didn't think I could be pregnant. Due to it being late in the evening (around 10pm) the test was taking ages for anything to show up. I didn't even tell Pete I was taking a test! I went to bed with the pregnancy test on my bedside table, so the first thing I did when I woke up was check it. I almost died of shock when I saw two lines. I woke Pete up saying "I need another pregnancy test, I think I'm pregnant!" It was so exciting but I was so scared the test was a false positive. After all, how could I be pregnant when I hadn't had a period for months? Luckily, it only took us less than a year to get pregnant and there was talks of me going on another drug later on if the Metformin wasn't working for us. 

My story has a happy ending and I even got pregnant with Henry naturally. Infertility is a bitch but there is light at the end of the tunnel if you do have PCOS. There was a time when I was so consumed with self-hatred and now I am blessed with 2 beautiful boys. PCOS isn't something you hear of very often as it doesn't seem to be talked about but it affects 1 in 10 women! It can be really distressing to hear you may not be able to conceive but there are so many success stories out there and I'm one of them. Modern science is a truly wonderful thing. If you are struggling, just know, there are others out there just like you. Find someone to talk to and don't suffer through it alone. 

Rachael xo

Comments

  1. I had absolutely no idea what you went through to become pregnant with George, what a hard and frustrating time that must have been for you but you handled it so well.

    Your story was very inspiring and more than likely super helpful to a lot of people who don't fully understand PCOS. I'm definitely enlightened!

    I'm so ecstatic for yourself & Pete that you have 2 wonderful and healthy boys :)

    Sam xo
    Alright Sunshine | Fashion Lifestyle Travel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were really lucky that we didn't have to wait longer for him, but he was definitely worth the wait!

      I'd never heard of PCOS before but it seems a lot of people suffer from it, so it definitely needs to be talked about more xx

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  3. Hi,
    Can I message you privately about this blog. Your blog is awesome X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Megan :)

      You can contact me on rachael@totsandtantrums.co.uk x

      Delete
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