CrystaCrysta is a step-mother to a beautiful seven-and-a-half-year-old girl. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with endometriosis at the young and vulnerable age of 16. Back then, it was not a common diagnosis. She struggled every month and was in pain for 4 years before she was even diagnosed.

Because of her illness, Crysta knew then that it would be a struggle to conceive when the time came and when she wanted to build her family. She and her husband started to try to conceive 15 months ago. Once 3 months had gone through their initial attempts, she knew that something was wrong.

Based on her hunch, Crysta saw a fertility specialist and was told on her 30th birthday that the illness she has had since she was 16 had done extensive damage to her ovaries and caused diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Happy 30th birthday, Crysta thought, burdened that she has the ovaries of a 50-year-old woman.

Crysta has a 1% chance of conceiving naturally, and only up to 5% chance on fertility medication. She and her husband have tried 3 rounds of medication, with no results other than multiple cysts and many heartbreaks. She now faces another surgery to know for sure if she can ever have a child of to call her own.

I am blessed to have an amazing step daughter in my life, but it doesn’t lesson the pain of being a childless step mom. It breaks my heart even more to hear my step daughter ask for a little sister, all the while knowing I may never be able to give her what she asks for.

Crysta C., NY