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Infertility, Endometriosis, update and journey

Aaron and I desire to have kids

While we were in town May 2021 I had Laparoscopic surgery looking for Endometriosis. I’ve had dysmenorrhea most of my life, Irritable bowel syndrome and in the last 5 years, Lactose intolerance. We’ve been trying to conceive for the past 3 years and after a year were referred by my primary physician to a woman’s clinic in Anchorage. I’ve been told about Endometriosis by a few different people in my life and they suggested I ask my doctor about it. So I had brought it up with the doctors and since the only way to diagnose it is through surgery and the main way to treat it is birth control, or it usually goes dormant during pregnancy, we decided on a plan to try getting pregnant first.

We tried for another 6 months using hormone influencing pills and ovulation tracking and getting discouraged. Then the doctor made a referral to see someone else in their clinic for Endometriosis. But my appointment was scheduled for a week after we ended up moving to Grayling. We were unsure of our travel dates at first since our friend, coworker, and pilot was borrowing a plane from his part time cargo flying job, and had to fly when the plane was available. We found out just a few days before that we would be flying a week earlier than had been originally talked about. So I missed my referred appointment.

Travel to and from Graying at the time was extremely restricted, because of covid. Travel only being approved for emergency medical and requiring a 2 week quarantine on return.

Aaron needs regular doctor appointments with his specialist to help manage his diabetes well, so we were allowed to travel out in December for his appointment. We were able to see family and some ministry partners while out and I was able to get an appointment with the Woman’s doctor to discuss Endo.

She had all my files from the other doctor and notes about my symptoms, she asked a couple questions and said the next step would be surgery if we were willing to do that.

Endometriosis is where the cells that should only grow inside the uterus somehow get into the pelvic cavity and sometimes other parts of the body but continue to do their thing of growing and shedding but with nowhere for the blood to go they just bleed into your pelvic cavity. They can end up forming scar tissue and start fusing different organs and parts of the body together, sometimes attaching to nerves which can cause a lot of pain. How much of the Endo growing outside of the uterus does not correlate with the pain it can cause. Someone with only a little could be in a lot of pain, whereas someone with a lot going on may not even notice it.

Depending on where it is at and how much there is, it can be behind infertility issues. Laparoscopy is the only way to diagnose it since it often can’t be seen in imaging options. Laparoscopy is also how they treat it, by removing any endometriosis cells they do happen to find. Having the Laparoscopy done and removing endometriosis can give those struggling with infertility a better chance at getting pregnant IF endometriosis is the cause of their infertility.

So for us there was a hope in going through with the surgery if they found endo and removed it, I may be able to get pregnant, and it may find the cause and improve the symptoms of much of my painful abdomen issues.

So we said yes and were explained more details of what they would do in the surgery. Then we were sent to the scheduler. Because of the two week quarantine whenever we come back we didn’t want to be traveling back and forth a bunch, so it wasn’t till we were already coming out for InterAct Training in May that we ended up getting the surgery done.

We went in May 19 for Pre Opp, and checked in for day surgery at the hospital early the morning of the 20th.

The doctor did find Endometriosis, so I have the official diagnosis, but what she found she said was such a small amount it didn’t seem to make sense that it would be the cause for our infertility, and only maybe could be the cause of my pain.

In some sense, I’m glad she found something and to have the diagnosis instead of going though all that to find nothing. But it is also discouraging to not really have an answer to our infertility or my pain either. We are back to Hormone pills again for a few months and we will see what the Lord does.

We’ve also been talking about the possibility of adoption, and what that would look like. We took an orientation class with Heart Gallery of AK in January 2022, and are looking into foster/adoption training and the other requirements and steps.

Please pray for us to continue to trust the Lord and follow His lead in this. It can be so easy to be discouraged when month after month the reminder and the pain come back.

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