In keeping with the Endometriosis theme from a fortnight ago, I asked a friend named Emilia, who I used to do dance classes with, a few questions based around her unique experiences with Endo. I knew she was pregnant (isn’t she glowing?!) and I wanted to provide some insights for the women out there who are too pregnant and battling or are hoping to be in the short term and need some hope right now.
Share five things about yourself.
My name is Emilia, I’m 26 years old from Sydney, Australia and I am 1 in 10 women who suffer from Endometriosis. I’m engaged to my beautiful fiancé Blake and we are currently expecting our first miracle baby, we are so incredibly excited.
What has your own endo journey looked like so far?
After years of having a “painful period” I was finally diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 24, via laparoscopy and excision surgery. After 11 years of pain and horrible symptoms to finally have a diagnosis and answers was a huge relief. The Endometriosis was pretty much everywhere, even in some of my ligaments. Endometriosis is physically and mentally one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to deal with. The debilitating pain, fatigue, bloating, fertility issues, bowel issues, heavy bleeding and the effects it can have on other organs of the body. There are days my uterus cancels plans, not me. Not being able to go to school or work, hang out with friends, attend events and normal day to day activities are not even possible.
What did your TTC journey look like?
My excision surgery was definitely the first step, having all my Endo removed was like a big clean out for my uterus and reproductive organs. The next step was making sure I released good eggs when I ovulate, once we determined that it was time to start tracking ovulation, I also started taking a folic acid supplement my Endo specialist recommended.
How does pregnancy differ from a woman with and without endo?
Pregnancy and Endo – something I feel maybe isn’t spoken about enough. Many people seem to think that when you’re pregnant you’re “cured” from Endo, all the pain goes away just because you don’t get a period anymore … wrong answer! Endo Mumma’s need help and support, whilst for some women it does ease their symptoms, for others including myself it doesn’t. As magical, beautiful and exciting the pregnancy process is, for someone with Endometriosis it can painful and symptoms can be more extreme. For example, when the uterus stretches over scar tissue from my surgeries, ouch! There can also be some added complications for pregnant women with Endo, which put us in a higher risk category.
What advice would you give women who have endo or are struggling with different fertility issues who are wanting to start a family?
It’s a process and can be a very slow process sometimes, don’t give up hope. As stressful and disheartening as it can be, try and enjoy the process with your loved one. I stressed so much about being able to conceive, every month when I would get a negative pregnancy test it was gut wrenching. It became emotionally and mentally difficult. Finally, my partner and I decided it was time to start looking into IVF until then we stressed less, we didn’t track my ovulation and just let fate take its place. That month we fell pregnant naturally, no stress, no planning, no tracking.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, enjoy the process, practice self-love and self-care, and always keep your options open, there are so many out there.
I have loved learning about Emilia’s walk through womanhood and hope it provides some hope and inspiration for those of you who are on the same journey. Go and follow Emilia’s personal Instagram page and get excited for some newborn spam coming soon at @emiliavictoria, and be sure to also follow her secondary Instagram @livingwithendometriosis_ for tips, tricks and encouragement for dealing with Endo. Thanks Emilia!