This topic contains 22 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #20101
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    My latest column this week is titled, “When I Say I can’t get pregnant, Hearing ‘You Never Know’ , Hurts.” This is something that has been said to me by medical professionals as they are waiting for my blood test results to come back before surgeries and procedures. The whole time I am thinking in my head “this pregnancy test is absolutely pointless because there is no possible way I could ever be pregnant”

    I know people may say these things to try to give me some type of hope, but giving false hope is worse than just hearing the facts.

    Here is an excerpt from my post:
    “Hearing “You never know” truly upsets me. The fact is, I do know. I know that I had both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed before I was 26. I know that the medications I would need to take if I were to go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) would potentially kill me. I know my body wouldn’t be able to handle the level of hormone necessary to even start the process of implantation.

    I am also aware of the fact that with pulmonary hypertension and underlying heart and breathing conditions, my body would be unable to carry a child for nine months. I know that I barely have the oxygen and circulation to support my own body during a day, never mind that of a growing child. Even with the help of infertility treatments and IVF, my physical health would suffer. I have been told by doctors that if I were pregnant, I would need to medically terminate.”

    Can you relate? Have you ever had someone comment on your pregnancy or possibility of pregnancy even though you know it is not going to happen? Have your doctors discussed pregnancy with you? Do you struggle with infertility?

  • #20115
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Brittany, when you mentioned days ago about writing this column I have been anxious to read it. I was telling my son about your emotional struggle with this loss. It might sound weird that I thought to discuss it with my son but he has great empathy and strong feeling about this topic. Pregnancy of course isn’t a concern for him but he feels strongly about not having children because of the risk of passing on PH and because of his own mortality concerns. I knew he would be touched by this column. He sighed and shook his head at the comment, “You never know”.

    I can’t put into words how deeply what you shared touched me. The thought of you having to take pregnancy tests is unbearable to think about! I’m so sorry!

    • #20144
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Hi Colleen,
      Thank you so much for your word and for sharing this column with you son too. I know that guys and girls must feel differently about things like this, but in a way we really all connected in our feelings of grief, whatever thay may look like. It always scared me in relationships too to think that someone would leave me over this and it still is such a fear for me even though my boyfriend has assured me time and time again. It’s like every argument that happens my mind just jumps to the insecurities I feel thinking “he COULD have a lot more than this.” It’s hard.

  • #20130
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    Brittany, my heart crushed as I just read your column. I knew you mentioned you were struggling while writing it. I cannot even imagine how very hard this was and is for you.

    I cannot even attempt to imagine how you must feel when these comments come at you. I know that just mentioning a pregnancy test probably causes a ton of emotions.

    Your words although heartbreaking will help so many others who may struggle with this same issue. Because of YOU and your sharing this column, will help so many and touch others. It certainly touches my heart…..Love you …

    • #20145
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Love you lots, Jen. Thank you so much. You’re too kind! It really did take a lot of emotional effort to write this and gave me a lot of feelings to process and think about. This is also one of those columns that at the end of it was really therapeutic for me to write. It made a lot of men also think about what we as females have to go through before surgeries that they may be unaware of. Hence having to take pregnancy tests and bloodwork just to be given the “green light” for something as simple as CT scans. It’s just a brutal reminder that we can’t seem to escape from.

      • #20161
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        I love you bunches, Brittany! I am glad that at the end this was therapeutic for you. I also can relate to you and the insecurities with your boyfriend. I often say things like, “ you should just leave and have a “normal” life”, to my husband when we argue. He constantly reassures me. It is so hard to keep that from popping up in my mind.

        The things that you have been through certainly can tear you apart mentally and physically. I appreciate your vulnerability with us as this helps others speak on tough matters as well.

      • #20179
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Thank you so much, Jen. It’s good to know that others on here get it an can understand how hard it can be in the midst of arguments when insecurities come to the surface. I struggle with self blame a lot and it can lead to some pretty intense feelings. Which is why I see a therapist either once or twice a week. It helps.

      • #20190
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        I hate that you have such insecurities. I am working on some myself. Therapy does help. Some days I feel like I need mine most of the day. Do you ever feel like that?

        I do agree with Colleen that you are one beautiful and amazing young woman and I am sure Jay is more appreciative and loves you more than you know.

        I also realize when things are tense, when you are feeling bad, these emotions tend to try and creep in. I am here anytime. God knows you have helped me in so many ways. I am sure you have no idea just how much you inspire us all.

      • #20194
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Thank you so much, Jen. That really does help to hear all of that and to know that I am helping others. It makes a huge difference in my life and my mental state when I come on here and chat with all of you. I totally get what you mean by needing it sometimes all day! I could definitely just talk a therapist’s ear off for the whole entire day and then I’d be like “Well, it all started when I was born…. (24 hours later….) and that’s my story and that’s why I’m the way I am. Sorry, it’s the trauma.” hahahaha! They would probably run for the hills !!! hahahaha!

      • #20236
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        I’m glad that you can see how much you mean to us all. It’s awesome to relate to others and know you make a difference.

        On the therapy, I so agree. I often think my appointment flies by. I’m like, an hour, already? Hehe

        I go tomorrow and it’s been two weeks so I’m sure she’s prepared for me. She may be running for the hills, too. It’s good to know that I’m not alone. I’ve always been a talker, but it tends to get worse. Hehe

      • #20170
         Colleen Steele 
        Keymaster

        Very true Brittany. When my son heard that you have to take pregnancy tests he was surprised and saddened for you.

        Speaking of being sad, it breaks my heart to hear you say, “He could have a lot more than this”. No, just no, I really don’t believe your boyfriend ever thinks this. You are an amazing woman and he’s lucky to have you…and I’m sure he knows this.

      • #20180
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Than you so much, Colleen. Yes, a lot of times the guys don’t realize that part of surgeries and testing for woman. They have to make sure before they go through with anything that could potentially harm a baby if we were pregnant. (which would just not ever be true in my case just biologically speaking) but it is still necessary to “be sure” and “rule it out”

  • #20197
     V.R. Peterson 
    Participant

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with this Brittany. I wish I had some great words of wisdom. I don’t, so I’ll just give you virtual hugs. {{{hugs}}}

    • #20209
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Thank you so much <3 The virtual hugs definitely do mean a lot to me ! I could always use a good hug when I am feeling emotional or upset about something. It helps !

  • #20311
     Valerie 
    Participant

    Brittany,
    since we’re close in age, I know exactly what you’re talking about. This kind of talk is really one of the most painful and unpleasant things that happens to us all the time. Everything you wrote in that article is close to me. That even if there’s a chance of getting pregnant, our bodies can’t handle it. I also understand Colleen’s son, who said that even if there is a chance, there is a fear of passing on the disease to children.
    I don’t get to see a doctor as often as you do, and I don’t have to get tested as often. So to hear such questions from doctors me account for rarely. It’s mostly at the annual medical board I have to go through for my job. There I face unfamiliar doctors and they coolly ask inconvenient questions (gynecologists usually ask about it). I try to anticipate the questions immediately and blurt out all the answers in advance, so as not to suffer from meaningless conversation. Among the well known doctors I got my ultrasound the doctor who sometimes does stupid thing. Perhaps, wanting to me embolden, or remind about than something, he says something like “control the weight, thought positively, ah, and pregnancy, of course, is prohibited.” Thank you, man, you really helped me with this, after your words, I definitely will not think positively.
    I often hear stupid and very tactless questions not from doctors, but from people around me in everyday life. Many people constantly strive to get into my personal life and pour phrases like “You need to get married”, “you need to give birth urgently”. I used to try to laugh it off, but the further I go, the more I react to it. Even those people who know about my hypertension, say such nonsense (perhaps they are too frivolous about it and do not try to understand the essence). Just today, some of my colleagues who know about PH, unanimously stated: “You are 27 years old, you urgently need to give birth!”. I had in mind only such thought as: “and to die?” or “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” and all I could think was that I wanted to throw tea in their faces. It’s completely tactless to pry into people’s PRIVATE lives. I’ve never wished newlyweds “more babies” because I think it’s their own business and no one knows, will be able whether they to continue its species. But the people around are sometimes so insensitive that they can not be tolerated!
    I guess that doctors are often thinking too superficially. Where’s the bedside manner? They shouldn’t ask you questions that might offend you. They should at least first examine your medical records and understand the answers to many of their questions on their own, so that you do not have to repeat the same thing many times. Sometimes I want to put a sign on me that says:”Think a hundred times before you ask”.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  Valerie.
    • #20313
       Colleen Steele 
      Keymaster

      Valerie, I sighed and cringed throughout your comment. Some people just have no filter or understanding of respect. I’m sorry that you have to deal with such inconsiderate questioning. Maybe you can get a shirt made, “Think a hundred times before you ask.” So true! @brittany-foster was looking for good quotes recently. That’s a great one by Valerie.

      • #20365
         Valerie 
        Participant

        Colleen, thanks for the kind words, I appreciate your sympathy. People really often don’t show any respect. T-shirt with the inscription-a great idea! Although I have a suspicion that the phrase “do not ask questions” will encourage many people, on the contrary, to ask more questions. But it’s worth a try!

    • #20323
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Valerie,
      I totally get it. It is hard especially around our age when that is such a common topic of conversation. I feel like everyone’s minds just jump to marriage and then children and then “when are you going to have kids of your own?” I babysit 2 kids and people ask me all the time “Do you have your own children?” I know they are unaware of what my situation is but it hurts to say “no, maybe one day” even though I know in my mind there might NOT be a ONE DAY. People assume there is some order to do things in life without realizing the hurdles that people go through just to get there or even just to get married. I know this is something I think about a lot too especially when it comes to marriage and thinking about insurance, the insurance I now have, what benefits might be taken away from me if I do get married one day, etc. It’s a lot to think about and a lot that many people take for granted. I’m with you, you’re definitely not alone in these feelings and frustrations.

      • #20366
         Valerie 
        Participant

        Brittany, what I dislike most about what I have to say is phrases like “no, maybe one day,” and then I get mad at myself for lying. But if a person does not show respect and climbs into someone else’s life, you do not want to be honest with him. Probably, as there are tactless people, so there are tactless doctors (because they are also people). But doctors are even less forgivable for this behavior, because it shows their ignorance and reduces confidence in the level of their professionalism.

    • #20353
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Valerie, Reading this just makes my heartbreak. I am so sorry that you deal with such comments. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain this causes, and these reminders do not help at all.

      I love the quote, and think we need these Tees, “ Think a hundred times before you ask”.

      Again, I am so sorry that people tend to assume these things at your age. I have a daughter in her 20s. She does not have PH, thankfully, just me. But she gets these questions and it frustrates her. So I cannot imagine knowing your situation how these ongoing comments must feel.

      • #20367
         Valerie 
        Participant

        Jen, I believe that tactless questions can upset any person, even the healthiest (not to mention the lucky ones like us). Why something have many in anybody incapable impression, that marriage and children – the main goal in life any women (if we in 17 century). Apparently, doctors also often forget about professionalism and press the button in my head “include stereotypes”. It’s frustrating.

      • #20373
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        So true, Valerie. As Brittany mentions, it seems the world has some timeline that all steps should go at your age. I know, I certainly hear my daughter frustrated at people who assume that now she is a Newlywed, kids should be here soon. My daughter and her hubby actually travel and work a ton. Kids are not really on their agenda at this particular time. I know it hurts her to hear about this constantly. Having PH and other illnesses while dealing with these questions and timeline, I am sure can be hard to deal with. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this.

        Doctors and medical staff are humans, too, but I would think that they would be less judgmental. Sadly, not always the case.

      • #20395
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        So true Valerie,
        It is like we are living in the “old days” sometimes when people just assume that is a women’s ambition in life is to get married and have children. I honestly am so happy in my relationship that if marriage wasn’t a part of the equation I would honestly be okay with that and continuing to move further into our relationship and grow together as a couple without the marriage certificate. Something that DOES complicate that though is the thought of possibly adopting a newborn one day. In this state, to do that we need to be married for at least 2 years in order to be considered for the private adoption process. I can understand WHY agencies prefer marriage, but that in itself is a little stereotypical in my opinion and from questioning certain agencies, they DO DISCRIMINATE against disabilities and will tell you that they do NOT allow a single person that has certain medical conditions to adopt without being married to a partner that will be there for the child if something were to happen to the “sick one” . The whole process honestly can do a number on my mental health and thinking about my health conditions and adoption. The process just is judgmental and a little hurtful to be honest.

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