At the age of 17 years old you don’t expect to be diagnosed with a syndrome that changes you in ways that you nobody else understands unless diagnosed with the same condition or has infertility issues.
I was born with a syndrome called MRKH.
MRKH (Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser) syndrome is a congenital (born with) abnormality, characterised by the absence of the cervix and the uterus (womb), which affects one in every 5,000 women. It is also associated with kidney, bone and hearing difficulties. The ovaries are usually present and function in the same way as any other women by producing eggs and female hormones that keep you healthy.
As you can imagine it was devastating to learn at that young age I wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally and carry my own children. My consultant at the time gave me a leaflet explaining the basics of my syndrome and said to contact them in the future when I was ready to start a family with my partner.
Initially, after diagnosis, I was so upset, thoughts running through my head with such things as ‘who is going to want me now I can’t have children’, ‘what’s my purpose in life if it’s not to be a mum something I had always wanted.
I went into a depression for the months following the diagnosis, one day I decided to push those thoughts and feelings to the back of my mind and start to live my life and enjoy it as I should be.
I met my now husband in 2004 when I was 21 and knew after a few months I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so thought it only right that I tell him my situation quite early on in the relationship so it gave the choice to leave if he wanted. Luckily he said that we would work our options out together when the time arose as it was me he wanted to be with and we have been married 10 years next year.
It’s not been without its highs and lows, lows been that we tried the adoption process back in 2007/2008. We were due to marry in 2010 but the social workers advised that it would be better for us at the panel if we brought the wedding forward by a year. Let me just say to you as much as I loved getting married a year earlier, it also nearly broke us and after been married a year and a few months close to going to panel we were on the verge of divorce, just through the sheer pressure of the process. After nearly 2 years of emotional stress, we both decided that it would be best to stop the adoption process and concentrate on us as a couple.
Don’t get me wrong throughout the last 8 years we have often talked about what it would be like to have a child/children and if we could go through the adoption process again…..but then we think back to how it made us and we think it is not worth it as it is not as easy to do as so many people think.
After 18 years of stress, recurrent depression and anxiety. After hearing friend after friend and family members telling us they are pregnant and be happy for them but sad for me. So sad that I haven’t been able to attend baby showers or had to make my excuses early before I break down and sob. I think I am coming out the other side.
I think I have realised that there is a life that can be enjoyed without having children, something I never thought I would say. But being childless not by choice has opened up opportunities that we might not have been able to do if we had got children. It has also introduced me to so many lovely and inspiring ladies and opened new friendships that I would never have had.
As I get older I am trying to focus on the positives and maybe my purpose is to help other ladies/couples in the same situation to get into a positive place and accept the life we have been given.
The grief never goes away it is there and comes and goes in waves but life goes on and we only have one so we need to make the most of it, I have just realised this 18 years after diagnosis.