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Making It Through

Endometriosis and Me

I've decided to try this in hoping it might help other women struggling with it... or even men trying to understand what their loved ones go through.

It's the doubt and the fear that affect us the most—not the pain.

The pain we're used to. The throbbing, the stabbing, the aching is nothing after all these years... at least for me.

I'd been struggling with the pain since I was about 12, begging every doctor I could to do a laparoscopy, telling them that it's what my sister has and it seems too close to my symptoms to ignore. Finally, three years later, I found one that believed me; he said that it was his belief that one in four women had it, but not all of them actually felt its symptoms.

I remember waking up after the procedure and having my mother tell me how he walked over to her shaking his head: He sighed deeply and said it was EVERYWHERE. There was so much scarring that the little bit he was able to burn off barely made a dent.

I cried.

I thought to myself: What if they'd caught it sooner? Started treating it sooner? Would I be able to have kids? Or would I suffer from miscarriage after miscarriage like others in my family had?

For those of us who want so bad to have a child, this fear, this worry that we'd never be able to experience what it's like to carry a life inside us, it's almost crippling.

I remember telling my mom once that I didn't care if I got anything I wanted in life as long as I could be someone's mom.

She said what everyone says, what everyone thinks of first to make you feel better: "You can adopt, there are tons of children out there that need moms and you will love them just as much." Logically, I understand this. In my soul, I understand this. But my heart still breaks.

Yes, I want to adopt one day. Yes, I could consider surrogacy. But I want to feel what it's like to create a life. To see my belly grow and feel the kicks. To wake up nauseas because my little one is making me hate the smell of coffee. To see ultrasounds and find out the gender.

Not all women want this. But this woman does.

So currently I sit here, trying to find a new doctor that works for me after the one, who I'd been seeing since he diagnosed me, moved away. Now, after years of having Oxycodone for the pain so that I can function, I'm told they can only give me ibuprofen. HA!! That's like putting a band aid on a stab wound. Thank you opioid crisis for that one.

But I digress.

The point is I know I'm not the only one. I know there are other women out there who might feel as alone in this as I do sometimes. I know there are men out there who, like mine, wish they could make everything better and don't know what else to say other than, "Even if we can't, I still want to be with you, we have options, I love you anyways... etc." Maybe, just maybe... my writing this could help... even just a little.

Here's my tip for those men trying to help: We know you can't make it better, that's not your job. Just hold us if we're that type or give us space if we aren't. Show us you understand and never show signs of exasperation that we are, yet again, having this conversation. Because we will have this conversation a million times—when we see a baby, when we see someone pregnant, when our stomachs throb, and when our periods are late and we hope beyond hope that it means what we hope it means.

Let us know that it's okay, that we can come to you and cry this out as many times as we need to until maybe our hearts can heal.

—Gabi Milagro

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Making It Through
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