I was a normal twelve year old girl, until I became a woman. My first couple hours of womanhood were not normal. I was in the emergency room. My mom didn’t know what to do when I was heavily bleeding and blood clots the size of my fist were falling out of my little body. I was confused. I was numb. I was scared. This is not what I learned in health class…is this what a period is?

The emergency room doctor was a male, and I had my first pelvic exam on the very first day of my period. This is where my story starts and in time, how it ends. The very last period I ever had was on a surgical table waiting to fall asleep before the male doctor took my uterus out of my body.

After 18 long years of becoming immune to heavy, long, painful periods, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, adenomyosis, and uterine fibroids. I don’t believe my uterus was ever normal and my uterus did not want to be in my body. I was told I could manage my periods and pain, but nobody ever gave me an explanation, reason, or an answer for why this was happening to me. When I was trying to build a family and become pregnant, my worst fear was confirmed. My uterus wasn’t normal and I couldn’t have a biological child. I made the choice to have my reproductive system removed so I could try and live without chronic pain due to my diagnosis. Am I still a woman even though I don’t have a reproductive system or biological children? Yes, I am.

How would I move on? How would I survive? I am a stepmom and a dog mom, but my personal dream and hopes were to be a biological mom. This wasn’t a part of the plan anymore. I took my grief and my personal struggles and co-wrote a book.

Before I knew the full picture, my husband and I spent years trying to get pregnant. I joined my local RESOLVE support group. This is where I met Daniella. Years later, she agreed to be my co-author and also share her personal journey in writing. Our book was published in June of 2021 – a friendly guide for when it’s hard to get pregnant. I wanted to write something to help with my sadness, loss, and grief. We don’t bring enough awareness to infertility and we don’t speak enough about it, so I knew the path to take to help myself and others. Writing.

#WeCanALL take the struggle in our stories and use them to help others, and even to help ourselves. We need to speak up about infertility. We need awareness. We need to come together and support each other. I have had an amazing support system over the years, which includes my co-author, Daniella and my husband, Jamie. My stepdaughter, friends, and family have helped me get the word out about our book, and some have even shared their own personal stories by contributing to the book.

I am one in eight. This is National Infertility Awareness Week, and you are not alone.

Tara C., MN

These personal stories have been vetted by RESOLVE to ensure that specific products or service providers are not mentioned. RESOLVE does not edit any details provided by the author in regards to their personal choices or belief.