Eudora, or My great gift
How pregnancy cured my chronic pain.
When I married my husband, I made it clear to him that I didn’t want to have kids. How naïve. I really thought I was sure of that. For some reason, I believed that a woman could only be successful by not wasting time growing a family. I had never thought one minute how much stronger and more successful a woman could instead be if she had also taken the time to make another human, to challenge herself further by fitting that new human into her waistline, and into her life.
Then, a medical doctor came to tell me that I might not be able to conceive naturally should I want to do so. Of course, my immediate answer was that I wasn't interested in motherhood. I had always known that something wasn’t right with my uterus, and I was now super excited to get a name for my condition. Finally, I didn’t need to explain how much pain I had every single time my period would come. Finally, I didn’t have to wonder if it was just in my mind. It wasn’t in my mind only anymore. It clearly was in my uterus, and in multiple other spots of my abdomen. Endometriosis it was, and it could be treated.
Could it really be treated though? I started questioning the treatment plan my doctor had suggested. Getting a shot and messing with my already messed hormones didn’t sound very appealing. Getting into a forced menopause at 27 didn’t seem like a great idea to me. I sought a second opinion. Then a third, and even a fourth one. All the doctors I had seen offered a variety of options, although none of those options seemed like a real cure to me. They just wouldn’t make my life any better.
One day, I attended a thesis defense. The work being presented was about the shot I was supposed to get. I had no idea that Lupron had been used as a chemotherapeutic drug for prostate cancer patients. And in fertility treatments. And for endometriosis, although this very use was much more recent. Was is a good drug? Was it a bad drug? Was I going to lose my hair? All that didn’t really matter. What did matter to me was that I wanted to feel better, not worse. Fifteen years of pain had already made my life miserable enough.
I could always try to get pregnant in the end, assuming I could. Supposedly, pregnancy would give my system a break, and maybe reset it, or maybe not, but at least I would get a break. I tried to imagine how my life would change if I were to get a premature menopause, though ideally reversible, and how it would change if I were to get pregnant. Well, that wouldn’t be reversible, at least not after a certain point. Both scenarios shocked me. None options were cure, really. I had never felt as confused.
“Alright, I think I am ready” I told my husband, who of course couldn’t believe his ears. He had always had that awkward thing — parenting instinct. I wanted to try to conceive, now. Technically, I had nothing to lose. If I could get pregnant, fine: my story would end up with a baby, and I would adjust to that just as I would adjust to getting some questionable treatment. At least, it wouldn’t be any worse, ideally. If I couldn’t get pregnant instead, that would also be fine: no kids to fit into my already busy life. Either ways, I would at least have fun having unprotected sex.
One month — one month! — of exciting attempts, and I was pregnant. It took me a while to decide I should get a pregnancy test. I just couldn’t believe that was even possible. Apparently, I was very fertile. And very pregnant. And very much in denial. Yet, I had just started to thrive.
Addendum: To my greatest surprise, by labor pain was just equal to the pain I had to get along with at any given periods of mine.