July 13, 2020

Motherhood at a Glance: Cultivating Hope Through PCOS

I'm so excited to introduce you to this week's feature writer, Meridien Gipson! Meridien grew up in California but recently relocated to Pearland, TX! She has been married to her husband for two-and-a-half years and says that he is the goofiest man she has ever met! Meridien is an office assistant at a law firm and loves her job. In her spare time she enjoys crafting, hanging out with her sweet hubby and their adorable pup, Hagrid, and camping once a month together as a family! 

I'm so grateful for Meridien and her courage as she shares her heart and a little bit of her experiences and challenges in growing her family in today's feature article. I know that what she has written will resonate with and encourage so many other women, especially those going through similar experiences! 

The hardest day of my life so far was the day I found out that I had an ectopic pregnancy. That day started like any other, and I was at work when I got a call from my doctor to come in for an emergency ultrasound. My husband picked me up from work and drove me straight to the doctor’s office, where my doctor sat us down and explained that my HCG levels were not growing as fast as they should be and that my pregnancy was ectopic. Only a few hours later, I was wheeled into an operating room to have a dilation and curettage performed. I was shaking so hard that they asked me if I was cold. I remember staring up at the fluorescent lights and just breathing, nothing else but breathing.

The farthest thing from my mind at that moment was hope. But now that I look back on that experience, I am able to feel hope rather than heartbreaking sorrow. Today I am able to recount and talk through that experience without bursting into tears. Getting to this point was not easy, but no part of the journey to motherhood ever is. Every step of this journey is messy and stressful and scary. 

Later that same year, I was diagnosed with PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. It basically means that my ovaries don’t function as they should, and instead of releasing one egg per month, they essentially get stuck in my ovaries and form cysts. Some side effects that I have personally experienced include extremely irregular periods, weight gain, and issues with getting pregnant naturally. It has been 2 years of trying now and I have not been able to get pregnant on my own. 

It can be a daily struggle to not feel defeated or “broken,” but in these struggles I have learned some ways to work through the hard times. One thing that helps me is reminding myself of the future and what it looks like. I feel that this time that I have- time before I have kids but wanting them and trying to be patient- is time for me to continue to prepare for motherhood. I am trying to use this time to build up traits and attributes that I have seen in other mothers that I want to emulate in my future as a mother. I am learning to cook better, to be more organized, to be more selfless and patient. A lot of the time it feels like a waiting game, but I feel it is my personal responsibility to actively be preparing and bettering myself so that once the time is right for me to have my children, I can be exactly what they need. 

I also have to remind myself that I am not perfect and never will be. Something that I strive for is having perfect hope. Perfect hope includes not giving up on my future. It takes true, constant effort to keep going and to keep having hope in the future. It is not at all easy to be surrounded by great mothers and not feel a twinge of jealousy or bitterness, but I feel that it is of the utmost importance to shape those feelings into something much more productive and to learn from these warrior women. But part of my process is also to take time to simply be sad. The key is not to live there. At times, it feels like it could be easier to live in that negative and toxic mindset. Sometimes the idea of not trying so hard to work through the emotions of loss and pain can seem appealing. But again, this journey is never described as easy.

Since I have gotten married and my husband and I began our journey to start our family, I have had to hold strong to my knowledge of certain things- things that almost cannot be described. I have had to calm myself down from a mountain of sorrow and the aching feeling of not being good enough. I have had to build myself up after mistakenly thinking that there is something wrong with me. It was not until I went through this sea of emotions, seemingly by myself, that I realized that I am not alone, in fact I am far from it. There are so many others going through the same things as I am. I know there are mothers out there who are going through this right now, and I feel for you in every painful step of this process. I know there are mothers out there that have been through this trial and have worked through this, and have come out the other side with scars that cannot be seen. 

I am still on my journey to motherhood. It is a crazy ride with up’s and down’s all around, but I hold fast to my hope and dream of what my future looks like. To every mother out there, I admire you and thank you for paving the way for every one of us and for helping to raise the next generation. I absolutely look forward to adding to the army of little men and women, but until then, I will be on Pinterest learning new recipes to mess up!

Okay, isn't she just amazing?! Meridien is going to be a terrific mom, come the time, and I'm so excited to continue to watch her story unfold. I hope this has helped even just one of you mama's to remember that it is possible to cultivate hope and that you found some inspiration from Meridien's story and words. Just as a recap, her two takeaways for mama's struggling with infertility or on their motherhood journey, are: 

Now is the time to prepare and work on yourself before becoming a mother

The future is bright; remember it takes effort to have hope for the future

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