I remember the first time I was told that I may have Endometriosis so clearly. Actually, that’s not quite true. I don’t remember what my GP told me or even being at the GP surgery at all. What I do remember, is what happened afterwards.
I was working in a nursery at the time. I’d had this job for 2 years and I loved it. To this day, I have never found a role I enjoyed as much as this one. I had seen my GP the evening before and had spent some time thinking about what such a diagnosis could mean for my life.
I arrived at work and began my day as normal, not even thinking about the night before. That is, until one of the parents came in. We hadn’t seen her for a while as she’d had a baby. She walked into the room beaming with pride; she looked the most worn down yet simultaneously the most beautiful I had ever seen her. She told us all the usual stuff: the details of the birth, the babies weight, whether she was sleeping through the night. But it was the next bit that got me.
She walked up to me and gave me her newborn to hold. This was nothing unusual. I worked in a nursery. I held babies and toddlers all the time. I’d looked after her first child when he was just 3 months old. Suddenly it was as if someone had punched me in the gut. I felt breathless. I could feel my heart pounding and became aware of my quick breathing. I felt as if everything around me had stopped; someone had blurred out the sound and all I could hear was a ringing in my ears. I tried to swallow but my mouth felt dry. I stood glued to the spot staring at this tiny being in my arms. The only thing coming in clear was my thoughts.. What if I never get to have a baby… What if I never get to hold my own newborn in my arms one day… What if I never get to gaze into my babies eyes… The mother was talking to me but I couldn’t comprehend what she was telling me; I still don’t remember that little girls name.
I handed the baby back to her mum and spent the rest of the day busying myself with unnecessary tasks. I couldn’t wait to get home. That night when I finally went to bed I cried. And cried. And cried. Not because of my suspected diagnosis, not even because of the potential infertility, but because from that point onwards I knew that I would not be able to continue to do the job I loved. I knew that if I had felt that overwhelmed from a suspicion of infertility, then there was no way I could cope with actual infertility whilst having to hold other people’s babies in my arms.
I had been planning to go to university so this gave me the final push of motivation to make it happen. This also wasn’t the end of my days spent working in a nursery. I returned to work in that same nursery in my holidays, the difference being that I’d had more time to come to terms with my suspected diagnosis. I tended to gravitate towards working with the older children. I found that there’s nothing like potty training and cleaning up the faeces of other people’s children to stop you pining for the children you may never have!