How to Dad: Dealing with Miscarriages and PCOS
I usually try to show the lighter side of being a dad, but I'd like to focus on something a little bit more serious. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a reproductive disorder that affects around 1-in-10 women worldwide. However, many people don't know of this disorder or how it affects the woman’s partner.PCOS causes hormone levels to be off, resulting in women having facial hair, severe acne or an irregular menstrual cycle due to cysts on the ovaries. It can be a very difficult disorder for women who are trying to have children because their body makes it very hard to conceive. My wife and I had been dating a short time when she expressed how much she wanted to be a mother. She felt that being a mother was what she was put on Earth to do. We were married in July of 2012 and she pushed to have children right away. I, on the other hand, did not want to have children right away as I wanted to finish school before we had kids. One day while walking across campus, I realized she was right and that we should have children. We had only been married for two months, so some of our family said we were too young and just needed to enjoy being newlyweds. We didn’t care. My wife's dream was to be a mother, and I was going to make it happen for her. We tried unsuccessfully for about six months before we decided to see doctors about what we could do. This is where we first learned that my wife had PCOS. My wife had cysts on her ovaries that prevented her from having regular menstrual cycles. After learning all of this, our doctor told us that we didn’t need to do anything, that my wife was “young enough” and that we didn’t need to try any hormone treatments. As one can imagine, that did not sit well with her and we sought a second opinion. Our next doctor was a dream to work with. He told us that he would get us the result we desired. After a few more unsuccessful months, the doctor prescribed Clomid for us to try. Clomid is a very popular fertility treatment that has been known to lead to twins for the user. Our time on Clomid was not a very pleasant experience for both of us. My wife felt sick the entire time and was always tired, and a bit moody. After five unsuccessful treatments, we were still no better off than we were at the beginning. We lost all hope of ever having a baby. The doctor offered another treatment for us after the Clomid failed. He gave us a big dose of progesterone cream to help with the hormones in my wife’s body. We tried that for a bit, but felt like we were still walking in circles the whole time. It hurt me to see my wife feel like she was a failure. I really wanted to help her feel happy and fulfill the one goal she always had. She didn’t necessarily grow up in the same loving home I had, and had always been told she was not good enough to do certain things. However, she wanted this more than anything. She knew that she would be a great mother, always providing the care those children would need. Yet, we were unsuccessful at something that seemed so easy for others and it devastated my wife. Before taking each pregnancy test, we would have so much hope this would be the one. With each failed pregnancy test, we would mope around for a few days and then try again. Neither of us could really take any more of this. One night, after feeling that we should just be done, ya know, move on for a few years and save up to buy a house...it happened. That day, in October 2013, I was the first to see the test turn positive. I have never seen so much joy and relief on anyone’s face than on my wife’s face that day. We still had a ways to go for our baby, but for a moment, the pain was over. Our beautiful baby boy was born in July of 2014, almost two years to the day we got married. It was, by far, the best day of our lives.
Although we have a beautiful boy, the battle with PCOS is not over. We suffered two miscarriages in 2015 before our second son was able to come to us in June of this year. Obviously, there will still be challenges as we try for more children, but at least we know we can take them on as a team.
Featured Image Photo Credit: @avistoddard