‘Doctors told me I was ‘lying.’ I hadn’t started my period. Before I took the birth control, I took a pregnancy test. It was POSITIVE!? We bought 5 more tests. All of them were positive!’

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“I have struggled with weight my entire life, since I was a toddler. At 12-years-old I started my period. It was never normal and never regular; however, I was told by doctors it was normal. At around 20 years old,  I stopped getting my period all together. I asked doctors and they said, ‘it’s your weight’ and blew it off.

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

I became a truck driver at 21-years-old and didn’t mind not having my period while being in a truck on the road 24/7. In fact, it was kind of a blessing.

When I finally stopped driving and went back home, I went to more doctors to find out what was going on. I’ve always wanted a big family so I figured I should fix it. The doctors decided to put me on birth control. This was the first time I was ever on it. They finally diagnosed me with PCOS. I went to the doctors with my symptoms and what I thought it was, and they sent me to an endocrinologist. He confirmed PCOS.

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

Around the same time, I was dating a guy. He was cool, but when the birth control took effect, a switch flipped in me and I became crazy emotional. It was just horrible. Well, he didn’t stick around, and 3 months into being on birth control, I woke up screaming. My mom was there and called 911. When they arrived I cussed them out. I was in pain and I didn’t know what was going on. My mind wasn’t working. My mom drove me to the ER and on the way, I got sick a few times and she had to pull over. At the ER I waited hours just to have a doctors tell me I was basically lying. I was given pain meds and sent home. I tried the meds but they just made me tired. Still, I couldn’t sleep because of the pain in my head. I was having daydreams about drilling a hole in my head or cutting it off. I couldn’t stand the pain.

I went to the ER almost daily for the next 2 weeks, each time being given more pills and sent home. The last time I told the doctors I didn’t want the pills anymore. He said, ‘Well that’s why you’re here, aren’t you?’ He accused me of being a pill popper. I had not even taken more than 10 of the 100 some pills I was given. I didn’t even fill all the prescriptions for the pain meds. Finally, a med student asked if they could do a spinal tap and wow, what a relief. I had an extreme amount of spinal fluid and that is what was causing my head to hurt so bad. I was told it was due to an antibiotic I was on along with the birth control. Needless to say, I’ve never taken birth control again.I had pseudotumor cerebri, a condition that occurs when pressure inside the skull increases for no obvious reason. From that point on, my periods were normal. Never skipped, never late.

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

A few years later when I was 29, I got married and my husband and I wanted to start a family. Nothing happened… nothing happened… I went to doctor after doctor and they all said it was because of my weight. ‘Lose weight and come back.’ I lost a lot on my own, but it wasn’t enough. So, I had the gastric bypass surgery in 2010. I lost 120 lbs, so we tried again, and again and again, still nothing – not even a scare.

Finally, at 32, I met Dr. Ardalan. She ran test after test, never finding a reason for me not to conceive. My husband at the time did sperm tests and he was fine. At 33, my doctor gave me clomid to help me conceive. I took it, and still nothing. My body didn’t like it at all. I lost hope. I was done. I would even break down and cry each time someone asked when I was going to have a baby. If I was sick, they would say, ‘Oh, you’re pregnant.’ I took test after test and was never pregnant. I cried so much and felt so bad. I felt like I was a failure as a woman. What’s my purpose if I can’t have a baby? That’s what women do. That’s the point of life, right?

After the last round of clomid the doctor did an ultrasound. I was used to these by now, yet they were still so uncomfortable and embarrassing. She saw what she thought was a tumor on one of my ovaries. I was sent for a cat-scan. They said it was a solid mass and not a cyst. My world crumbled. Surgery was scheduled. I had to sign a form saying if they needed to do a hysterectomy, they could. All my dreams of being a mother were gone.

My last appointment before the surgery, my doctor did one more ultrasound. ‘It’s gone!,’ she said. We were both confused. She said we should still continue on with the surgery. When I came out of surgery, I was told the cyst had ruptured and the fluid was in my pelvis, so they took that out and they removed the other ovary that showed normal, because it was swollen over 2x its size, and covered in endometriosis. GREAT. Only one ovary now, and a new diagnosis. I was devastated.

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

12 days after surgery I was cleared to begin normal life. We made love only once, and it was just not on my mind anymore. 2 weeks after that I started becoming so very tired. I couldn’t get up, so I just slept on the couch. I was having very vivid, strange dreams. A neighbor saw me and said, ‘Are you pregnant?’ I said ‘no’ and again, I cried.

I went to the doctor that day and she wanted me to start birth control again. I was hesitant. But that Sunday, I hadn’t started my period, so before I took the birth control, I took a pregnancy test… It was POSITIVE!?!?!?!  We went to the store and bought five more tests. All of them were positive! I called my doctor’s office and went in for a test. Positive! My doctor ordered a blood test, and again, positive! She had me come in a couple days later for an ultrasound and there he was… a little seed-looking thing. I was pregnant!!! I was so scared, shocked, worried. I had just had surgery. Would the baby survive really survive? We only did it one time.

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

I had a normal pregnancy with no issues to speak of. On February 7th, 2014, at the age of 34, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy – 7.15 oz and 21.5 inches long. I still didn’t believe it. It hit me when we came home from the hospital. The birth was hard. I was induced and in labor for 46 hours before they realized he wasn’t going to fit and gave me a C-section.  He was suck in my birth canal.

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

Now, I have a perfect 5-year-old. He’s my one and only. I have never since been pregnant. He was my one shot. I’m 39 years old and have had many issues with the endometriosis since having him and had to have a uterine thermal ablation done in 2017 due to excessive bleeding. I wanted a big family and instead I was blessed with my one perfect baby, and I couldn’t be happier. He’s my joy and my world. I have since divorced and am engaged to a wonderful man and along with him comes a preteen boy and girl. They are perfect. All five of us will soon become one big family. Life doesn’t always happen how we want or when we want it to.”

Courtesy of Sheila Statti

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sheila Statti of Arizona. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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