The Fit Fix Blog
Posted January 16th, 2020 @ 07:01pm by: Jessica Olson
As I sit here, I know this will be the most difficult blog I've ever written. I've never been comfortable sharing the raw, real experiences of my life. I tend to share more of the cute pictures of my kids, and the healthy meal I've prepared, but God has been pressing this on my heart for a while, so here goes.
When my husband and I found out in 2016 that we were having a boy, we started to discuss the idea of that being the completion of our family. Now, I will say, I don't think this should be a decision made while you're pregnant. Your hormones are out of control, you feel sick and bloated all the time, and the idea of not having to be in this place again, can sound like a pretty reasonable direction forward.
We had our girl and boy, we felt incredibly blessed, and at that point, I had the very real urge that I just couldn't go through another pregnancy. So, we brought this up to our OB. She said that a tubal ligation would be a very easy procedure as we were planning to have a cesarean birth. The tubal wouldn't even extend the time of the surgery, so we thought that given those circumstances this was probably the time to do it. This conversation took place when I was about 22 weeks. There was no discussion, nor counseling, the decision was simply noted in my chart.
Moving forward to a few weeks before our scheduled due date, there was one last mention of this tubal ligation, "are we still planning to do the tubal ligation during the cesarean procedure?" We confirmed, and that was it, a small box checked that would forever alter my body and its ability to grow child.
I'm certainly not here to place blame, or cast aside my role in this decision to make myself feel better; however, as I sit here four years later, and look at what we've been through, I can't help but think there should've been more to it than that.more than simply checking a box.
A few weeks later we welcomed our beautiful baby boy, and our family was complete! However; after we had our son, and I started to regain a sense of self back, this tiny ache started within me as I faced the fact that I wouldn't have any more children. At first, there was NO way I was going to acknowledge this as anything other than nostalgia and baby fever brought on by hormones. For a while that was ok, but after a year had passed this ache was only growing.?
I started to google.I know bad idea.but I needed to know. I needed to validate what I was feeling in some way because I couldn't shake it. As I've grown in my faith throughout the last few years, there have been a lot of changes in who I am. My goals have evolved, my sense of purpose has taken shape, and the thought of having another child started to became all I could think about. I tried to shake it, I kept telling myself, "it's not going to happen, you'll get over this in time, JUST LET IT GO!!"
After a year of living inside my own head about this, I decided I needed to talk to somebody about it, but it would be a difficult thing to discuss. The idea that I had made this decision, such a FINAL decision, at 29 years old that I would no longer want the opportunity to have another child, what was I thinking! How could I go to my husband and say, "I want another child, oh right that's 99.9 % impossible?"?
So back into my head in went, but this time I continued to google, I couldn't help myself, I also started talking with a good friend about how I was feeling, which helped immensely! She assured me there was importance in these feelings, and that I should keep researching what my options were.
I'll be honest, my experience over the next 6 months, is why I'm feeling so called to write this, and share this incredibly vulnerable story of mine.
My first step (after all the googling of course) was to call the clinic where I had my son, and underwent the tubal ligation procedure. This didn't go well.when I did receive a call back, which took a few days, the nurse said to me, "this is really something you should have thought about before you made the decision to tie your tubes."
I hung up the phone feeling defeated. On the surface I was frustrated, I wanted to yell, "I know that, don't you think I already know that" I'd been beating myself up for over a year. I had finally mustered up the courage to make a call, and to own my indecision. I had hoped to seek counsel on how to move forward, but was greeted with a simple statement that cut deep, and on a very real level I was destroyed. My first step forward had merely confirmed the negative thoughts I'd been experiencing for the last year and a half.I almost stopped the journey right there. Thankfully god intervened, he wasn't content with this ending.
I pushed forward, I continued to call the clinic, and research all the options that were available. I called fertility clinics, I called the Mayo, I called all over the place.dead end after dead end. After months of messages, calls and web research I finally came to the realization that if I was going to have this procedure, it wasn't going to be in Minnesota. We'd need to travel, and there was going to be some large costs associated with this. I was also finding it so difficult to get real answers from any of the places I looked into. Many were based online so they wanted clinic records submitted prior to even providing a quote, and you couldn't get a hold of anyone.all I wanted to do was talk to someone, for months I had been getting nurses who had no idea what procedure I was even talking about, followed up with, "ummm, I'll just have so and so call you back".yeah, that call never came.?
I was emotionally exhausted. Tired of feeling completely isolated in this journey, so tired of hitting dead ends, and tired of feeling like I couldn't make progress forward. I began to feel like I had misinterpreted gods will, maybe I was supposed to leave this alone, was I was fighting too hard for something that wasn't the right path for us?
Then I got a referral! It was a surgical center in Georgia, and there was a number to call. I wasn't feeling overly enthusiastic because of my experience up to this point, but I made the call.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was driving home from work and I figured I would have to leave a message because it was the end of the day, but there it was, the voice of Erica at Lakeshore surgical Center!
She was kind, she spoke to me about what I was going through, and said they specialize in working with women going through this exact same thing! She told me how much the procedure would cost, what it would entail from start to finish, and what I'd need to provide to move forward!
After I got off the phone with her, I broke down, tears welled up as an extreme feelings of relief rushed over me, a weight had been lifted, and for the first time in months I could breath. I could see direction forward, there was a light at the end of this dark tunnel, and it was a light that might mean we could have another baby someday!
I moved forward! I faxed them the information, and impatiently waited for the call from Dr. Greene, who would tell me if I was a candidate for the procedure. That call came in just a few days, he had received my records, and he was happy to inform me that I was a candidate! I was ecstatic!?
Now, the process of figuring out how I was going to make this work. Flying to Georgia and paying for this procedure would not be easy. I have to take a moment here to express extreme gratitude to my husband for being there, supporting me in this decision, all while knowing the risks, and costs that were associated.
Making it work would prove to be difficult, but I was determined. I was going to have this procedure! I didn't know what the outcome would be, or how we were going to make it work, but I needed to.
By God's grace, everything came together. The day after Christmas in 2018, we were on our way to Gainesville, Georgia! Off to an unseen surgical center, in a city we'd never been, to have a major procedure.faith was necessary.?
We arrived and met with Lakeshore Surgical Center. They were wonderful right from the beginning. Their facility was quant and comfortable, and the staff was all caring, and attentive! Dr. Greene explained everything, and was very knowledgeable. Once we had completed day one of prep, we were free to enjoy the rest of the day and be back for surgery in the morning.?
Fast forward to the next day.the procedure went longer than expected. My husband waited patiently, although I can only imagine the concern he felt. There were a few complications that led to the surgery taking longer than expected. When I awoke, I was a little out of it, but at that point in time, we were told that the surgery had been successful! They had removed the clips, and were able to successfully repair any damage there was! Thanks be to god, we had taken this chance, made this journey, and we were finally hearing the words, "the surgery was a success."
I was overwhelmed with happiness! The last two years had been a rollercoaster of emotions, from the start of that dull ache within, to the point of flying to Georgia in hopes of reversing that decision.we had made it.
Looking back, I had yet to realize that the successful surgical results were just the beginning of another road we would have to travel. Its been over a year since our surgery, and I've always known I would need to share this experience. Not to elicit pity, or attention, but because I want anyone who is going through a similar situation to feel support, and I hope my words can provide that for them.
I had hoped to wait, and share this when I could end it with a positive result that we were expecting another child; however, that has not yet happened for us, this road has been equally difficult, but I remain faithful. I realized I can't keep waiting to share this story. I am sharing it now, hoping that it reaches the heart of someone who needs it as much as I did a few years ago.?
I want to say something that I felt went SO unsaid when I was going through this, "you are not alone, and it is OK to change your mind."
I won't even want to attach the word, mistake, to this situation in my life because things changed.
I changed, our life changed, and our mentality changed. We made a decision that I came to later regret, and instead of living with regret for as long as I did, I should have just been able to say, "I changed my mind." I say that not to undermine the weight of our decision to have a tubal ligation or the decision to have the reversal surgery, but I carried the weight of this around for so long. Some days I was sick to my stomach because I felt trapped by the weight of a decision I had made. I felt like I had nowhere to turn and no one to connect with who could understand what I was going through.
I am putting this very real.very vulnerable story of mine out there to be gods voice to someone that is desperately praying for direction, strength and guidance. I know I was!
I want to end this tubal tale in saying that you are justified in your emotions. You are justified in your pain, in your indecision, and in your right to change your mind, and you should feel supported.
As you embark on the journey towards reversing a decision you may have once thought could never be reversed, know that you aren't alone. I felt that way for a long time, and I thank god every day that I weathered the storm, and fought through the roadblocks to follow my heart.
Please hear me when I say, if you are struggling with this decision, you are not alone. Many other women have made the choice to reverse their tubal ligation, and gone on to have beautiful, healthy babies!
Don't ignore that dull ache, and don't lock yourself up in your own head.its lonely there!
In good health,
The Fit Fix