This was the statement that was to change the course of my reproductive health forever.
I had met my dear friend and gynecologist of 8 years now a few months before this statement was made. The reason being I was planning to get married and needed reproductive health advice. Like many millennial couples my soon to be husband and I wanted to delay getting children until maybe a year into the marriage (This statement/idea/way of thinking makes me see the presumptuousness of human beings! You would think we were in charge, in control and able to give ourselves children!).
The year was 2009.
So she advised us on all the available options and we chose the one we though best for us. However, she requested that before we embarked on our chosen method I should go for a routine check up just to certify the status of my reproductive organs. But noooooooooooo, we thought to delay the pelvic ultra sound appointment and just begin on the chosen option [some of these family planning methods have to started on before one gets married aka becomes sexually active, for the body to acclimatize]. So one month just after my regular red sea visitors, I am sitted in the office and I start to get ‘Nearer my God to thee’ kind of cramps. I was in so much pain, intense pain. I tried to sit back, put my head on my desk, squeeze my stomach to no avail. I was in a lot of pain.
Immediately I could gather myself together, I called my doctor and after explaining the situation she asked me the obvious question: “Did you go for the pelvic ultra sound appointment?” I said no. she advised I do so immediately then we move on from there. I called my fiancée and we booked an appointment which we definitely intended to keep. It was during this appointment that the above statement was made.
I froze, I began to shake as tear flowed from my eyes.
I was lying down on that table/bed and thoughts were flying through my head at the speed of light. Two specific people and their stories were being replayed in my head simultaneously over and over again. My stomach was in knots, my throat was patched and I continued to cry.
The first time I heard the name ‘fibroids’ was around the year 2002, my memory fails me with the exact date. My neighbor was expectant with twins. She went to hospital for delivery but only came back with one child. The reason given: you guessed right, fibroids. The second time I heard about them was from a dear friend I made in undergraduate. She only had one child. As we got to know each other better she let me know that the reason she only had one child was because of fibroids.
So you see, fibroids to me meant an unhealthy reproductive system. And I wasn’t far from the truth!
I got up from the table/bed and we walked outside with my fiancée. I was heartbroken, he was sad. In between sobs, I repeatedly told him that I have fibroids: my uterus is full of fibroids. He tried to assure me that it is ok, he would still marry me even I had fibroids. In hindsight this makes me laugh ???: then it was no laughing matter. I tried to narrate to him the two experiences I had of people with fibroids and what that meant for us. We might never have children or our children might die before birth. He still very calmly assured me of his unending love and let me know that he was not marrying me for children: even if we never got any children, he would still love me.
His vows have been thoroughly tested for the last 8 years and they have come through unbroken: I have great respect for my husband.
We went back to the gynecologist who of course advised us to immediately get off the family planning method we were on.
On 7th November 2009 we got married.
On 3rd March 2010 we had our first miscarried at around 10-12 weeks; I am convinced it was a girl ??? .
On 15th February 2011 we had our second miscarriage at around 20 weeks: it was a boy, I gave birth to him.
All these misfortunes were attributed to fibroids!
So later that year 2011 on 28th November I went under the knife to try and salvage any hopes I had of carrying life to full term or thereabout: I had a myomectomy.
To be continued . . .