By Tessa Easton
Infertility is something no one ever thinks will be a part of their life…until it is. At least that is how it was for me.
Maybe it really was unlucky 13, the age I got my first period. It wasn’t anything like what they had taught us at school. The bleeding started and it didn’t stop. Little did I know, this was the start of a journey I never wanted to be on.
My teenage years were spent trying every different hormone treatment there was: seeing multiple doctors, having symptom after symptom brushed off and being told it was all in my head. It was five years before anyone decided to run a simple blood test. A blood test that revealed it wasn’t my fault… I was 1 in 10.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome often referred to as PCOS is a hormone disorder affecting 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. That is 10% of the population who menstruate, and for all those years, no one ever thought to check…
Fast forward another two years and I would find myself lying on the stone cold operating table while the anaesthetist gently put me off to sleep and the surgeon stood over me, ready to cut. When I woke up I wasn’t just the girl with PCOS, I was the girl with PCOS and Endometriosis. Both just as devastating as the other.
I had years to come to terms with the idea that infertility was likely going to play a part in my life, but no amount of time could prepare me for how horrible it really was. I had built my career as a nurse caring for children and neonates – it was my dream job! But how do you stand by and watch parents meet their baby for the first time when less than an hour ago you found out you had failed yet another round of fertility treatments, and won’t be getting to hold your own baby anytime soon? How do you watch all of your friends become pregnant after only a month of trying and see their children grow up while you’re still struggling to get those two pink lines?
With hope, hope that one day you will welcome a child into your arms and together you will become a family. Hope that one day when you are old and grey, you will be surrounded by your children, watching the grandkids play in the yard while you sit on the front porch and smile. Smile because one day, it will all be worth it.
Throughout this journey. something we have always talked about is adoption. While it is not very common in New Zealand, we are grateful to currently be in the process of applying to become adoptive parents. We dream of one day being chosen to adopt a beloved child and welcome their family into our lives forever… one of the most precious gifts there ever could be.
While infertility has created so much heartache and pain in our lives, it has also given us time… time to build our dream home, raise some animals, start a business, and create a space to one day raise our family.
It’s the little things like collecting the eggs in the morning, checking the sheep, bottle feeding the lambs, taking the dogs for a walk, planting seeds in the garden and learning how to grow them that we both would have loved to be able to experience growing up. This inspired us to create a space where we can do all of that and more. But, without time, we wouldn’t have been able to. We want to be able to teach our children all the little things in life and watch them chase the chickens around the property or ride the sheep across the paddock, learn how to fish with grandpa and build sandcastles down the beach. Something we hope will one day become our reality.