Tick, Tock – Do You Hear Your Biological Clock?

Yesterday I was browsing Twitter when somebody posted a link to a website.  Being the nosey kind of person I am I decided to take a look and, although the website is simple and brief, the content of it was enough to hit me hard.
I’m not here to name and shame, so I won’t be linking to the website (I don’t think it’s necessary), but the message it conveyed made me rage inside.
Basically, a lady has created a website showing a countdown clock – years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds.  It sounds harmless enough until you read the text that accompanies it.  The lady in question has created a website showing a countdown for her biological clock.
The write-up states that as time goes on the ticking of her ‘clock’ is getting louder and she feels she is failing, wondering if she will reach a point where she is no longer able to have her own children. She created this clock to face her fears and open a dialogue with other women about fertility.
I appreciate that having found out just 15-days ago that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to have children, this probably wasn’t the best time for me to discover this website.  In fact, it was probably the worst possible time.  However, as I read it, I felt the anger building up inside my chest and every part of me wanted to send her an email telling her that, yes, she is female, but having a child DOESN’T define her as a woman.
I appreciate, as the female of the species it is our ‘job’ to carry a child, keep it safe for 9-months and then pop it out, but it isn’t a necessity.  I mean, as a female of the species who probably can’t drop a sprog, does it make me a failure?  Am I less of a woman because my womb is broken?
WHY is it considered such a major flaw if a woman doesn’t have a child?
I’ve reached an age now (26) where my friend’s are all starting to have children.  I seem to be surrounded with growing bellies, morning sickness and stories about cravings. I’ve given more baby shower presents than I care to remember and my Facebook feed is a nearly constant stream of pictures of offspring and updates telling me their child has eaten/drunk/pooped/spoken/walked.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking these people. I have two cats that I love and I load photos of them on Facebook – I’d say it’s pretty normal to want to show off something/someone you’re proud of (yeh, I’m a crazy cat lady).  But, what I do ask is, why is there such a pressure on women to have children?
I was brought up by my parent’s being told that everybody is different, you should never judge anybody on their life decisions and we’re all equal as human beings.  As a result of this, all my life I’ve believed that women have a choice whether or not to have children.  In fact, I know several women who CHOSE not to have children and have happy, fully functioning relationships and don’t feel they’re missing out.
There’s so much stigma around the choice of a woman to have a family.  Women who decide not to have children are often questioned about why they don’t want them, considered strange and told “You’ll change your mind one day”.  But, why would they change their mind?  You don’t ever see someone showing off their baby and being told “Ooh you’ll regret that!”  It’s rude, heartless and totally unnecessary, so what makes it ok when the situation is reversed?
Please don’t think I’m writing this post as a knee-jerk reaction to my diagnosis – I’ll admit, it’s been made worse because of that, but I’ve always felt the same way.  Some women have a career, some don’t.  Some women have children, some don’t.  By not having a child, does a woman somehow become useless?  Does their existence on the planet become less important because they aren’t going to be continuing the blood-line?  I certainly don’t think so.
I’d be interested to hear from others what their opinions are on this.
Do you think producing a variety of little’uns is important for a woman to do, or do you believe every woman has a choice?
Do you, or have you ever, felt pressure to have a child or have you made a life choice not to have them?
And, for my male readers, if you were dating someone and they told you they couldn’t/wouldn’t have children, would it make you reconsider your relationship?




Enough Tears, From Now On I’m Smiling

So, this past week or so has been a little rough and I won’t lie, there have been quite a few tears.
I’m not really that open with showing my emotions (I’ve been the same for years) and I almost feel guilty when I’m upset over something.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that what’s happened to me is a pretty hefty thing, but still, I don’t like to make a fuss!
So, this is just to say, I know I’m going to have down days and this is always going to be something that hurts, but I’m not allowing myself to dwell on it.
I have two arms, two legs and I’m lucky enough to have good health (aside from the dodgy womb, obvs!)
I have a great family, brilliant friends, and a boyfriend who makes me smile every single day.
So, from here on in, I’m smiling all the way, because as much as this breaks my heart, I don’t want to be sad.
LilliesandLove xx

So Here Is Where I’m At

So Here Is Where I’m At

** Firstly, apologies for the poor formatting or any mistakes – I wrote this on my phone as I don’t have an Internet connection at home at the moment **

Ok, so, here it is. The update I promised earlier in the week.

As you know, I went for my scan on Tuesday. I was massively nervous and spent the whole day at work with my heart in my throat and a serious case of nervous butterflies.

For those of you that don’t know, when you have an ultrasound scan you have to have a full bladder, so they ask you to drink a pint of water an hour before your appointment, which I did. Now, this is modern science and I understand that, but I can’t help but think there must be a better way of doing this – I was nervous, sat in the waiting room shaking like a leaf, and a full bladder which was desperate to empty itself. Not a great combination.

After spending a good 20-minutes staring at the toilet across the waiting room and pleading with myself inside my head not to wet myself in public, the nurse called me in. I hopped on the bed, told her I was desperate for the toilet and asked her not to press too hard with the scanner as there was a risk it would make me pee all over the bed.

As you can probably tell, although I was nervous, I had absolutely no expectation of being told there was anything wrong with me. Although I’d sat there thinking of loads of different things that could be wrong, in my heart of hearts I thought I’d go in there, have a scan and be told there was nothing wrong and the weirdness of my body was just “one of those things”.

The nurse rubbed the gel on my stomach and started running her scanner over me. She was a lovely lady, probably in her late 30s or early 40s and she was laughing and joking with me. Then it all changed. She looked up from my stomach and at the screen and the only way I can describe it was to say the smile literally dropped off her face. Suddenly the cheery nurse had gone and instead there was one frowning, staring at the screen and asking me to stop talking as she needed to concentrate.

At this point I thought maybe she could see my coil was in the wrong place, or there had been some damage caused by the Endometrosis that the specialist last week told me she thought I had. A short while more of silence and then the nurse said “Sorry, sorry I’m not talking to you, but I need to concentrate on this as it’s not that common.”

I looked up to the ceiling and said “Ok, no worries!” when in fact, inside my head I was screaming “What? What’s wrong with me?”

It probably wasn’t even 30-seconds, but after what felt like a long time the nurse explained I have a Bicornuate Uterus. I asked to look at the screen and she showed me what she meant. The best way to describe it is to say that when I was a foetus, my womb didn’t form as it should and it’s split in half down the middle, so I have two separate womb areas, each with ovaries coming off of them. (My ovaries are fine though).

I told her I couldn’t understand what I was seeing on the screen (I can never see babies in those ultrasound images – it’s all just a lot of fuzziness to me) so she went and got a book for me.

Being me and awkward as I like to be, I haven’t got the most common kind of Bicornuate womb. Oh no, I have the uncommon version and the version that causes the most issues.

The most common kind of Bicornuate means the womb has a split at the top making the womb into a heart shape. This affects the ability to have children but it’s still possible.

The kind I have is known as a ‘complete split’ which basically means what it says – the split is complete rather than just slight, meaning the womb is split in half all the way down.

With my ovaries being fine, I shouldn’t have any issue actually falling pregnant, it’s do-able. The issue I will have is keeping any baby alive long enough to give birth to it. With the womb being split in half, the baby won’t have the amount of room it normally has to grow, therefore, it will get to as big as it can in the half it’s locked in to and then it’ll decide to come out – making it premature. There’s a higher risk of any baby I do conceive having something wrong with it. And miscarrying is very likely. Any pregnancy I had would be considered high risk and would have to be monitored closely by doctors.

So, although it’s not completely IMPOSSIBLE for me to have a child, it is UNLIKELY. As I said, getting pregnant shouldn’t be too hard, but it’s quite likely that I won’t be able to keep it alive.

All my life, even when I was a little girl, I said I didn’t think I’d be able to have children. I had a feeling that I wasn’t able to – which sounds weird now and I sort of feeling guilty, like I deserve it for saying those things, but it’s just how I’ve always felt in my heart of hearts. However, hearing those words and now knowing for a fact that it’s unlikely has torn me apart. I’m absolutely devastated. I can’t explain the pain I’m feeling, I can’t get the words out. I don’t like showing emotion at the best of times, but to be dealing with a grief that I can’t even comprehend makes it all the more impossible to talk about it. People have told me to talk to them – my family, Kris, my best friends – but even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. I don’t have the words to describe how I feel. There are no words.

I’ve sat down a few times to write down what’s happening in my head, but without the words to describe it, it’s impossible, so instead of trying to form a cohesive, understandable document, I’ve just been writing down the thoughts in my head as I’ve had them. It’s been pretty therapeutic. Writing has always been my escape and my vent, it’s always been easier for me to write what I feel rather than say it out loud, but even that isn’t enough now.

So, I think the only way I can explain it is to write my thoughts as bullet points. I know some of them probably look crazy and melodramatic from the outside, but this blog has always been open, honest and transparent and as this is one of the most major things that has ever and will ever happen to me, it’s important (for me) that I cover it here.

And sure, crazy and melodramatic may be what you think when you read this, you may think I’m making a huge fuss and that there are people worse off in the world than me – I know there are, I’m lucky to have the life I have, I know that – but, my heart hurts at the moment, my brain can’t cope with the information and emotion it’s got to take on board, and so those thoughts aren’t perhaps understandable, but I’m just being honest.

Inside the mind of a woman with a broken womb and a broken heart…

• The sole purpose of a female in any species on this planet is to make a baby, keep it safe and give birth to it. • The fact that I may not be able to do that makes me feel like a failure.
• Kris told me once that he would love to have twins. Sure, twins are rare and never a ‘given’, but now I know that if I did fall pregnant with twins then it would certainly be impossible for me to bring them into this world alive.
• How can I expect any man to want to be with me when I may not be able to give him children? How can Kris want to be with me? It’s not the man’s fault that I’m broken, but they’ll be ‘punished’ by possibly not having children because of my fault.
• I understand there are options for women that can’t have children, surrogacy for example, but how can I watch another woman carry my child? • A couple should go through the pregnancy experience together – I’ll be taking that opportunity away from any man I’m with.
• I may never have a baby bump to look down at or mad cravings I can tell everybody about. I may never feel a baby move or kick inside me.
• I feel like I’m not a proper woman. I feel unfeminine, unsexy.
• I feel useless – my womb is broken.
• I may not be able to give my parent’s the gift of grandchildren. After all they’ve done for me through my life and grandchildren would be the ultimate gift.
• I had a sister, Katy, who died when she was 2½ years old. She died, but I’m alive and I’m broken inside. It seems so unfair.
• The whole point of life is to procreate – without that ability, I’m pointless.
• Why do I have stomach pains? I know my womb isn’t formed properly, but why does it hurt me?
• Every twinge I have is a reminder that I’m not right.
• All of my friends are at an age now where they’re having children. I’m seeing announcements on Facebook of new pregnancies, photos of babies being uploaded. Of course I’ll be happy for them all, it’s a fantastic thing, but will I always feel jealousy and sadness when I see another person doing what I possibly can’t?
• How will any man I’m with feel when his friends are taking their children down the park or to a football game and he’s without a child?
• Kris’ brother and sister-in-law found out the sex of their baby yesterday. There’s so much excitement and happiness – what if I can never give Kris that joy?
• I’m ashamed and embarrassed.
• I’m being totally selfish and unreasonable – I’m annoyed at the people who haven’t contacted me to see if I’m ok but when people ask if I’m ok I just say “Yes” rather than admitting that I’m really not ok.
• I want to talk about it constantly to anyone that will listen, but I also don’t want to talk about it to anybody, I don’t want to acknowledge it.
• I want to run and run and run to somewhere where I don’t know anybody, but that won’t change what’s wrong inside me.
• I want to sleep all the time. When I’m asleep, if I dream of this then it’s a nightmare – it’s when I wake up I have to accept this is my reality.
• Why me?

So, there you go, that’s just some of the thoughts flying around my brain. Dis-jointed, un-related, confusing and perhaps (some of you may feel) completely ridiculous. But, that’s what’s happening. That’s how I feel.

LilliesandLove xx


It’s Scan Day – Eeeeeeek!

In 15 minutes I’m going to be leaving my office to drive to the doctor’s surgery for an ultrasound scan to see what’s happening inside me.
Obviously I hope there’s nothing wrong with me, but if they do the scan and can’t find anything wrong, I’m still going to be left wondering why I get the pains in my stomach.
Tomorrow I get the results from the other tests I had last week, including the diabetes test.
To say I’m feeling delicate today is a bit of an understatement.  I’ve had butterflies in my stomach all day and my heart seems to have taken up residence in my throat.
Oh, and on top of all that, I may have accidentally said ‘those three little words’ to Kris and got nothing in return.
Stupid emotions making me look like a fool!
I’ll update you when I have my results… fingers crossed we get to the bottom of the issue and it’s nothing too sinister.
LilliesandLove xx

The Only Way Is Up… Hopefully!

When times are tough you have to remember that things will always improve, so that’s what I’m trying to do – the only way is up, Penny, the only way is up.
I’m writing this blog post not to encourage any sort of pity-party or people feeling sorry for me, but simply to update you as to where my life is at the moment. My blog has always been an extension of myself, never focussed on one subject, but as the tag-line says “a little piece of my world”, so I want to be honest with you all.

Ok, here goes…


Basically, this past week hasn’t been great. Here’s the story (I’ll try and keep it short).


Warning: Contains some reference to ‘ladies issues’
I started getting severe stomach pains and soon after began bleeding. Not being ‘lady days’ I thought it was a bit odd and ignored it for a little while. It would come and go – I’d have 12 hours of nothing, then I’d get the pain and bleeding again. The pain was in the right hand side of my stomach and could be so strong that I’d end up doubled-over in pain.


Eventually I decided to go to the doctors and get it looked at. I have a coil which is due out June 2013, so thought perhaps, with a year left to go, it was playing up a little bit.


The nurse carried out an inspection and said she would do some swab tests (sorry, I did warn you) and that she couldn’t tell if it was the coil causing the issues but due to the blood loss and pain, she would refer to the hospital for an urgent scan. She then gave me a telephone number for a Sexual Health clinic and told me that if it got too bad I should call the number immediately.


I went home wondering exactly what to make of the situation and if Kris had given me some sort of STD. I had myself checked last year and was clean, but he hadn’t been checked for a while, so obviously my mind was running over-time.


Having left the doctors and told my mum what they’d said, she asked if perhaps I could be pregnant. I said I didn’t think so, but decided to do a test. Negative. I was relieved but there was a part of me that thought “Well, at least that would have answered the question.”


I tried not to worry over the weekend and kept myself busy but with the continued pain and bleeding it was hard not to be reminded of it. I phoned the Sexual Health clinic and explained my situation, they booked me in for an appointment (yesterday) and said I could meet a doctor who specialised in coils and would be able to tell me more.


I went to hospital yesterday and spent 3-hours in there having tests. They found that I have an infection (not an STD, just a standard infection, which could have been caused by the coil or from being ‘too clean’ – bit of a back-handed compliment there!) Whilst I was there, I had to give a urine sample (again, sorry!) so they could do a proper pregnancy test. They tested it and came back into the room with a look on their face that told me something wasn’t quite right. Turns out that there was far too much glucose in there, so they think I may be diabetic. Great. As I was there I thought I may as well get everything done in one go, so they took a blood sample and are sending it off to have my sugar levels checked, to see why the anomaly is there.


Having done everything I had to do with the nurse and doctor, I then waited to see the coil specialist. She did what she had to do, told me that the coil is more or less in the right place and nothing to worry about, then dropped the bombshell – she thinks I may have Endometriosis. Again, great. She said that they would use a coil to help treat Endometriosis so she recommends I leave the coil in. Once the infection has cleared up, if the pain gets easier then I should continue as I am, but if the pain is still intense then they will need to investigate more.


So, in 2-weeks or so I should find out where I stand – I guess the one positive to this is that I have had a full MOT check! Might as well get it all sorted in one go, eh?


The other major thing that has happened is that I have to move back in with my Mum.


When I split up with my ex I ended up with loads of debt and over the years it’s spiralled to the point where it’s unmanageable, I can’t afford to eat (literally) and have ended up in a Catch 22 situation – I pay some off my credit card but by doing that don’t have the money to pay a bill, so pay that bill on the credit card thinking“I’ll pay it back next month”. Next month comes and I pay some off the credit card, then I can’t pay another bill so have to pay for that using the credit card. And so it goes on.


So, 7-years after moving out I’m going back to live with my mum. From a gorgeous 2-bedroom flat that I love, from having furniture, my own front door, a place to call my own… back to a tiny bedroom. I’m absolutely gutted but after years of thinking I’ll be able to get out of my situation one day, I’ve realised now that it’s never going to happen while I’m living alone. I can’t afford to pay for the everyday costs that come along with life as well as paying back my debts.


I’m just massively grateful and so, so lucky to be able to move back in with mum.


I think admitting the situation I’d got myself into was the worst bit. Telling my family that all these years I’ve been hiding the truth, trying to get through it on my own. Telling them, basically, that I’m a fuck-up. (Excuse the language).


Last night I got home from the hospital, laid on my bed with the cats and just sobbed. Then I went round Kris’ and cried. Watched some TV, went to bed and cried. (First time he’s ever seen me cry, eek!)


With the pain, the bleeding, the wondering if I’ve got diabetes, wondering if I’ve got Endometriosis and whether it’ll affect my ability to have children, and now having to give up my flat and my adult-life (or so it feels) and move back to mum’s – it just feels like suddenly everything has fallen apart.


I know I sound melodramatic and as I said at the beginning of this, I don’t want pity; there are lots of people in the world much worse off that I am – health issues happen and I have to deal with it, and the debts are something I got myself into (albeit without meaning to).


I’m just so grateful to have family, friends and a boyfriend who all care about me and are supporting me.


I think my new motto for the moment will have to be “the only way is up” and I’ll be repeating it to myself every day… the only way is up, the only way is up, the only way is up. Better times are coming, for sure.

LilliesandLove xx

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