I’ve already said that endometriosis has cost me a relationship. In reality, it was one of the factors, though I don’t think the primary one (at least, I hope not).
Here’s the facts: I want to live pain-free, I am willing and able to have a hysterectomy, but I also have a stubborn streak the size of Guam and refuse to accept that being pregnant — something that comes so easily and unexpectedly for so many people I know, and to people who should never have the right to be parents — could not be for me. Someone says I can’t do something, I stick out my chin and say, “Watch me.” Already deemed a high-risk pregnancy candidate, it is this attitude that my mother fears will kill me if I fall into a worst-case gestation.
And above all else, I refuse to wait forever to be a parent. I always assumed I’d be a young mom — not 19 young, but not 35 young either. That’s my choice, to not wait ’til my mid-30s to be a parent. Part of it is fueled by how I feel about myself and my daily life. I am tired, always tired. I’m ready for this ridiculous uterine adventure to be through, even though I’m feeling better than I used to. And at the time of the aforementioned discussion, I was against having a surrogate, though I have changed my mind since then.
But for sure, the possibility — probability — of having a family sooner rather than later that helped to change his mind about me.
“You need kids sooner rather than later,” he said, “and if it were up to me, I’d have kids at 40.”
OK … 40 is out of the question, even if I didn’t have endo. But who said I was ready for kids right now? Give me a break. And my thoughts aren’t sorted on this issue, either: Half of me feels it’s my right to be a natural parent, goddamn it, and why should everyone else get to have it even when they don’t want it, while the more rational half has valid moral qualms with passing this disorder to my children when I know better than to continue the cycle that has brought me so much frustration.
In my serious relationships, I have found endo and difficult conception were not make-or-break issues; the first because we didn’t know that much about it (I hadn’t been officially diagnosed yet, though we figured it could be a problem because of family history), and the second just didn’t have an issue with it. At all.
So what I have seen is that his attitude is the exception, not the rule. But I also have to recognize that the endometriosis and PCOS pose a bigger threat to me than just IVF issues and a rough pregnancy: the possibility that I might not get it at all, because nobody’s willing to deal with it. And while I continue to be overjoyed for my friends who get married and start their families, I’m not ashamed to say that I am a little envious and wish it could come that easily for me.
My fear is that talking openly about endo and PCOS and all the unsavory details and the brutal, unflattering honesty of living with it will turn potential suitors off and scare them away. But I should have thought of that before I started Endo Sucks!, right?