Mom guilt. If you are a mom or even if you are trying to become a mom, then you know what I am talking about. For me, my mom guilt started way before my daughter was even born. Every month that I couldn’t get pregnant, I felt like my body was failing me.
When I did get pregnant, I struggled with a variety of health issues throughout my pregnancy and I found myself crippled with anxiety before every appointment, praying that my body would keep it together so I wouldn’t let my unborn child down.
I joked for a lot of my pregnancy that my labor and delivery should go very smoothly since my body had already failed me so many times throughout my pregnancy. When my water broke 7 weeks early on Labor Day, the joke was on me.
After my preterm delivery and 17 days in the NICU, we finally were able to bring our daughter home. We didn’t have any answers as to why my body decided to go into preterm labor and if it would happen with any future pregnancies. In fact, we didn’t even know if preterm labor was the correct description since I ended up having to be induced.
After a few short weeks of being home, my body started failing me again. After months of spotting, my doctor finally agreed to see me. Three months after my delivery, a quick ultrasound revealed that I had leftover tissue in my uterus. I was scheduled for a D & C the following week to remove it. I was so frustrated and angry with my body and with the situation I was in. None of the parenting books I read prepared me for a NICU stay, a 3 month postpartum surgery and endless amounts of mom guilt.
After I woke up from my surgery, my doctor showed me a few pictures. Although we hadn’t been looking for answers anymore, we found them. During the surgery, they discovered that I had a uterine septum, basically a wall in my uterus. Uterine septums are very hard to diagnose, but can cause difficulty getting pregnant, miscarriages, preterm labor and breech babies. I was immediately referred to a fertility doctor to undergo further testing.
Although I was relieved to finally have answers, I felt like my journey was only beginning when I thought it was finally getting ready to end.
Obviously my story of infertility looks very different then most women. We didn’t find out about my septum until after my first child was born. I may not understand many of your very deserved feelings, but I do understand the guilt, frustration and uncertainty that come with fertility problems. I know the discomfort and financial burden of undergoing painful testing procedures. I know what it feels like to dislike your own body in a completely different way than you did as a teenage girl. I know that no matter how many children you end up having, biologically or not, the instant you start those painful tests and procedures, you already are a mom. You are already sacrificing yourself for another person and you are already so brave.
If you would like more information about my journey of removing my septum, you can read my original post here.