After I qualified for the Boston Marathon at the Chicago Marathon in 2019, I couldn’t believe my dream would come true. I’d be running the Boston marathon in April 2021!
Life had other plans.
The 2020 Boston Marathon canceled its in-person race due to a global pandemic. I had no idea what to expect for April 2021.
Life continued and after getting married on November 7, 2020, I was so excited at the prospect of fulfilling another lifelong dream of finally starting a family. I came off of my contraceptive pill and was content with seeing what would happen. Months passed, but my body wasn’t working as it should. As the months came and went with no cycle, I got nervous. I remember meeting with my doctor for my first “trying to conceive” appointment feeling lost and scared.
We discussed our options, and they prescribed some medication to help me “return to normal”. When it didn’t work, they performed some tests. I will never forget the OB proudly entering the tiny exam room and stating, “Well, we figured it out. You have PCOS.” I sat in denial of what I had heard and couldn’t hold back the tears. I didn’t know what this meant or what to expect. She talked about more medication to try and told me to call back in three months.
I felt so alone.
We talked about the diagnosis. She shared that this didn’t mean I couldn’t start a family, but it would be more difficult and I’d need to be patient. I had heard people tell me in the past that the problems with my cycle must have somehow been my fault with “all the running I was doing.” I was ashamed. I didn’t know what to expect.
After I started the medication I was prescribed, I felt awful at first but slowly adapted. I took it upon myself to contact a fertility clinic but was told the first available appointment wouldn’t be until September (it was currently May). I was added to a waitlist.
I called constantly asking for updates. I slowly moved up in the queue. At the beginning of July, I had my first appointment. I was so overwhelmed hearing the next steps and all the blood tests, procedures, and additional testing that would take place.
A month before the race, I had started fertility injections. I cried daily. I wasn’t myself and I couldn’t come to terms with this reality. But somehow, with the support of my husband, family, friends, and believing in myself, I got through it. I proved to myself that I was so much stronger than I thought. By some miracle, and with the help of science and IUI, I ran my first-ever Boston Marathon almost five weeks pregnant with my baby boy – who is due in June of 2022.
#WeCanAll change the stigma around talking about infertility. It absolutely sucks and nobody should have to go through it alone. Continue to open up and share your story.
Lisa R., NH
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