This is my love story. It’s hard to describe the feeling of wanting something you can’t have. How the longing and desire burn you from the inside out. How it feels to have every ounce of you want something, but you think that it is 100 percent unobtainable. The immense feeling of pressure that surrounds your body when you see someone else, completely happy and oblivious to your pain. The feeling of appearing strong even though you are breaking and fragile on the inside. Dealing with the invisible black storm cloud that lingers over your head day in and day out. Your internal glass spider webs when you speak about your desire. Those who pay attention can see the cracks of your glass through your skin, although they say nothing. At least nothing that will help, because no one can help, only I can, only my body can help. If you’ve ever been in a room with 100 people and still feel alone, then you know what I am speaking about. If you’ve ever smiled at someone but on the inside you were screaming. The depression sets in and sometimes it is unmanageable. This is how I felt before I had my children.
When I was 17 years old, I was told that the possibility of me having children was 1 out of 10, and if that pregnancy managed to happen then I’d have an even lower chance of carrying full-term. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS for short) just before I turned 18. For years I had tried, I didn’t use protective measures because I was in (what I thought to be at the time) a stable 5 year relationship. Well nothing happened with that, no pregnancy, and we didn’t last much after 5 years. I stopped trying for a while since I wasnt with anyone.
I slowly came to the unbearable conclusion that it was obvious that I wasnt meant to have children. I watched my nieces and nephews grow up, but the entire time my desire to have my own children grew as well. I wanted to know what it was like to have someone love you unconditionally, through thick and thin. I wanted someone to teach and help and care for and just love. I wanted that feeling with my own child. I needed that feeling.
As time went on I met Milton, who is now my husband. I met him online playing a corny Mobster Cartel game. I attacked him and he practically made fun of my strategy. However, the banter grew eventually to love. He lived just outside of Cleveland and I lived in Coldwater, MI. Just a few days after we had started online dating, he wanted to come and meet me. He drove to my house, a 3 1/2 hour trip in the snow at night on his birthday after he got off work just to come see me. I knew at that moment, I loved him. I’ve never had anyone make a simple sacrifice for me, let alone go completely out of their way just to meet me. I was nervous as all hell. I was spot cleaning like a banshee until the very moment he slid into my driveway. I was so nervous but the second that I seen him, that I touched him, that I felt his hands and his arms wrap around me in what I would consider the biggest hug of my life, all of the nervousness fled from me. I was engulfed with the overwhelming feel of intensity, with love and passion. We spent the entire weekend together. The shortest weekend of my life. I didn’t want it to end, but inevitably it did. We continued talking, texting and missing each other. He returned again a few weeks later and we spent another weekend together. After he left the second time, it kind of dawned on the both of us that a long distance relationship wasn’t going to work. I thought it was the end of the best feeling I’ve ever come to know. Instead of ending it, he asked me to move in with him.
He asked me to move to Ohio with him and with little to no hesitation, I said yes. To really grasp the full level of timeline here, we started dating online on January 4th, 2011, we met for the first time January 10th, 2011, and then he asked me to move in with him on February 9th, 2011, I moved in with him 2 weeks later. Everything happened very quickly. But before I knew it, here I was living with him in his 1 bedroom apartment. As with most things that happen quickly, there were complications. Figuring out feelings for each other, learning each other’s habits and ways of life and how to respond to one another. It took us a while to figure this out. However, we made it work. Just a few months after moving in with him, he got a job offer at an Air Force base in New Mexico. This was the deciding factor of our relationship at this point. It was either give up and go our separate ways, or make it work one way or the other and move across the country with him.
On June 24th, 2011 we moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico. During this time we were still really getting to know each other in and out through ups and downs. Eventually we had broken up due to my inability to have children. We made this a mutual decision. He wanted children of his own and I couldn’t blame him, nor could I be the reason he wouldn’t have any. So we decided it was best to not be together. It was civil and it was calm. There was no arguing or rage that happened. This was a conversation that turned into a decision on both of our ends. A few days went by and I had brought up my options of either finding my own place, or moving back home to Michigan. I had decided that I’d rather go home to friends and family. I told him and his response was very somber. I had never seen him have this instantaneous look of sadness before. It hurt to see it on his face. He is a man of few emotions, so this hit me kind of hard. His response was simple and he only spoke a few words, he said, “I don’t want you to go”. I sat there and just let it resonate in my mind. A few hours went by and then we had the conversation of not actually wanting to split up but we had thought it was the best option for each other at that time. We had talked about different options for having children, we talked about adoption, surrogates and IVF. We said we’d make it work regardless.
More time went on and we eventually moved to Panama City, where we have now lived for the past 5 years. While he was on deployment, I had made an appointment with my OBGYN. During this appointment he discussed options of medication to help with the PCOS and potentially having a child. He instructed that I lose at least 10 pounds and take the medication twice daily. I did this for about a year and then I sort of gave up. It started proving pointless. Well Milton had returned home and we purchased a house in October of 2015. In the letter to the seller, I had explained to them that the house they were selling, I wanted as my home to raise my future family in. Not knowing if those words would truly happen or not, but that’s how I felt. Anyways, we closed on our house and moved in. Just a few months after we bought the house, I lost my job. I got to spend Valentines day with Milton, if I were working this would have been impossible. We went out and had an amazing evening.
About 4 weeks after Valentine’s Day, I had been invited to go out with some friends. Since I hadn’t had a period (which was nothing but normal), I decided to take a pregnancy test, just in case a miracle decided to happen. I had used so many of these damn pregnancy tests in the past, just on a glimmer of hope, that I had actually started hating them. I only kept using them because with PCOS your periods are few and far in between. Every time they read negative, I would cry, and start hating myself. I eventually even thought of myself as less of a woman due to my body’s inability to produce a child. But this test, it was different. I put it down on the counter and watched the clock, knowing in my head that it would read a negative result. The timer I had set went off and I had checked the display screen, it was flashing the hour-glass indicating it was still processing the test. I grew more and more impatient and just stared at it for what seemed like an eternity. It finally came up with a result. POSITIVE. IT SAID PREGNANT 3-4. I cried but I was in absolute shock. I didn’t believe it. I went to the kitchen and drank as much as I could possibly stand to gulp down. I waited and waited until I had to use the bathroom again. Finally, I took another test. POSITIVE. PREGNANT 3-4. I was flooded with every emotion I never thought I’d feel. I was flooded with good thoughts and bad thoughts, disbelief and shock. I cried on the bathroom floor for at least 30 minutes, just holding my pregnancy tests. I finally was able to get up. I immediately called Milton and told him I was pregnant. He as well didn’t believe it to be true. So I went to the doctor that very same day. They said I was about 4 weeks along but it’s too soon to really say I was in the clear, but I was in-fact pregnant. I brought home the results and showed Milton when he got home. We were so excited, we talked about everything under the sun for our future child.
He wanted me to take the Harmony blood test to find out the gender as soon as possible. I took it at 10 weeks and we found out we were having a boy at 12 weeks when the results came in. We had both wanted a boy first. We deliberated on names until we came up with the name Chase Justin. Chase was to stand for the fact that we had to chase the dream of being parents, and Justin is after my brother. Time went on in the pregnancy with the only complication being Gestational Diabetes. I managed it properly and gave birth to a full term healthy baby boy at 39 weeks and 4 days gestation.
Every emotion I’ve ever wanted to feel, every emotion that I never knew even existed, hit me like a ton of bricks when they placed him on my chest in the delivery room. I stared at him in complete disbelief that he was real. He was so tiny to me, but he was oh so perfect. I couldn’t get over the feeling that I was finally a mother. A mother at 28 years old. Milton was a father at 30. My love for him continued to grow exponentially, but I was scared to hold him. He was brand new, I was so big and he was so little. I’ve always been scared to hold newborn babies, but even my own?
While in the hospital after the delivery I didn’t sleep for over 48 hours. I couldn’t, I was scared that if I went to sleep and woke up, it was over, the dream would end. So instead of sleeping, I laid in bed just looking at my tiny human while he peacefully slept. I’d check to make sure he was breathing and just listen to his little noises. I examined every inch of him, making sure he was healthy and everything was normal. I had so many thoughts running through my head that I couldn’t even process them all. He was healthy, adorable and the literal light in my life that saved me.
We went home from the hospital after 2 days. I held him, fed him, loved him. I would silently cry and my tears would drop from my cheek to his hairy odd-shaped head. It felt like my heart had exploded. Milton was so kind and heartwarming and thoughtful. He was showing me affection that he had never shown before. It was like when he looked at me, I could actually see his pride and his love. When he held his son, I could see every happy thought and every insecurity of his wash over his face all at once. He was a father. I can’t explain what his heart felt, but I can imagine.
Days grew to weeks, months and eventually a year. This time passed by so quickly, in the blink of an eye the time was gone. It was Chase’s first birthday. We had a small party with 3 adults, Chase and our dog. He enjoyed cake, and we took pictures. We laughed and had a wonderful time. It was a time that I once believed I would never know. I soaked up every second of this time that I could. I listened to his giggles and baby noises and his words. They melted me.
Shortly after Chases birthday we found out that we were pregnant again. Baby number 2. Boy or girl? Again we did the Harmony Test and found out it was another boy. Slightly disappointed, however just as happy.
I won’t lie, when we found out I was pregnant again, I was angry, I didn’t know if I was ready to deal with another bout of Postpartum Depression. Postpartum had hit me like a Mac truck after I had Chase. I had every insecurity in myself that was imaginable. I doubted my ability to be a mother. I doubted my ability to be able to care for my son. I never thought about hurting him, as I completely loved him, but I had contemplated 2 things. I had contemplated just leaving, I had actually packed a bag one night. I sat in the darkness of my living room and I listened to every noise the house made. I listened to the crickets outside that I could hear from the couch. I thought about every aspect of leaving, the pros and the cons. I didn’t think that I made life easier for Milton. I thought that somehow, if I had left then life for him would be less complicated. But then I thought about every second that I would miss. I thought about Chases milestones, how I needed to see him do things, how I needed to teach him things and show him the world and help form his mind. I decided to stay. But quickly after, I had contemplated suicide. This was a short vulnerable moment in my life. I had never thought of this before. I knew that it would cause more bad than good, and hurt people, not help them. I knew something was wrong, but Postpartum wasn’t something that was openly discussed, so I kept my mouth shut until I had to tell someone what I was feeling. I knew these thoughts weren’t me and I knew they weren’t right.
I explained everything to Milton. I told him about my contemplations. I also told him of my decisions. I explained to him how I felt like I was a burden. Like I didn’t help our family along for the better. I told him I thought I had Postpartum Depression and he agreed. I would have bursts of rage towards him, I would yell at him and say things I didn’t mean. I wouldn’t apologize, I would just let it resonate. Eventually the symptoms subsided after a few months, but it was a rocky and hard road getting back to normal feelings. When I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son, I was scared and upset because I didn’t want to go through those feelings again.
My pregnancy started off rocky with Roman Monroe, our youngest son who is now 3 1/2 months old. I had gotten a Yeast Infection, and then E coli. I was on antibiotics for so long that eventually I couldn’t even keep water down. The antibiotics had stripped my stomach lining of good and bad bacteria. This battle went on for nearly 3 months. I then was told that I had a Urinary Tract Infection, causing me to have to have an Ultrasound which then led to my Doctor telling me I had Placenta Previa. They told me I needed bedrest and to take it easy as much as possible, not to lift anything over 20 pounds. Problem with that was that Chase weighted over 20 pounds.
My husband was set for deployment in January of 2018. We had decided since I had recent complications in pregnancy that I would go and stay with my mother back in Michigan. The time was hard being away from Milton while I was pregnant. Chase would run around saying Dada on repeat and it broke my heart every time I heard it. My mother helped so much with Chase because I was still under doctor orders and restrictions.
Time came and Milton came home in the second week of April, which was great timing because Roman’s due date was April 30th. We stayed in Michigan and I gave birth to Roman Monroe at 38 weeks and 6 days gestation. I was once worried that I wouldn’t be able to love another child the same way that I loved Chase. I was right but I was wrong at the same time. I had the same emotions plus different emotions when I had Roman. I wasn’t as scared of him, I felt more prepared. But the love had been completely instantaneous just like I had for Chase.
Shortly after having Roman we packed up and went back home to Florida. Chase loves his little brother, he tries to feed him and burp him. When we dance he will grab Roman’s arm in a gentle manner and do simple dance steps. He lies on the floor with him when he does tummy time and laughs at him when he makes noises. I never thought I’d have 1 child, let alone 2 children. It seems like the perfect dream. Watching them grow together, and being able to see Chase teach Roman new things. I get to see them grow up together, become best friends and do all things brothers should do. It warms my heart even during the tough times.
I believed those doctors that told me I would never have a child. I listened to them. I prepared myself for it to be truth. Truth that I hated. But in the end, it was just an opinion. If we won after 6 years of battling PCOS, I am a firm believer that anyone can. My heart hurts for those who have PCOS, as it’s uncommonly discussed and rarely an educational topic. Many women have PCOS and are hurting the same way I too hurt once before. But I believe in honest communications and I believe in talking about it and educating people on the subject. Raising awareness at all costs. I’m saying that if you listen to the doctors, just know that it is an educated opinion. Yes, it is hard, but it is not an impossibility. I hope that one day we can all have a PCOS love story.
If you are affected by Depression, PTSD, Postpartum Depression or have Suicidal thoughts or tendencies and you need or want someone to talk to, please use the “contact me” link in the menu of this website. You are worth my time, and I will talk or just listen. Please know that you have someone to talk to.