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I would like to share my story, as I feel that I have been silent for way too long. It is not a shame, it is reality. Infertility is a medical condition and should be treated as such. My name Anneeda Pekeur, Stage 4 Endometriosis survivor,and I struggle everyday. Everyday. It is a challenge somedays just to get out of bed and get dressed.

I am estrogen-dominant, painful periods is a monthly struggle, like clockwork, every 32 days. I get bloated, have painful bowel movements, my skin gets blotchy and my hair and nails is brittle. Pain medication, a warm beanbag and socks, downed with a cup of rooibos tea keeps semi-sane when my endo starts to flare up. Extreme moodswings is the order of the day. Too much surgeries to mention:2 Hysteroscopies/Colonoscopy/Hysteroscopy/Laparoscopies and a Colon-resection later-the struggle still continues.

After 2 IVF/ICSI cycles in 2015 and 2016 at *** clinic, I am left with only one fallopian tube as I lost my left tube and baby due to an ectopic pregnancy in April 2016. Totally devasted. No Hope.Went to see a psychologist who helped me through some of the worst days of my life. On the brink of emotional and financial bankruptcy, I am just glad my marriage is still going strong, after almost 6years of marriage and no baby insight. Although we grieve differently, we are always there for one another. I left my job a few years back when we started trying, now,I wonder why because I have nothing to show for it. Just a housewife, childless with only my precious fur-baby being spoiled rotten. Her name is Pinky, she is my sunshine, on a cloudy day.

Then in 2014, chronic shoulder pain kicked in with a vengance, it gets unbearable each month I menstruate, but no doctor can explain why. They say it’s all in my head even after a shoulder atroscopy,intense physio, private equipment-Pilates sessions and seeing a biokintecist, who developed a personal exercise regime for me. Saw a Chiropractitioner aswell-did the whole nine-yards-And the pain is still there….and no Rainbow baby insight. I have read Endo-sufferes often struggle with fibromyalgia aswell, but with so much uninformed medical professionals, knowing very little about endo, the struggle continues.

Chronic fatigue is another hell of this disease. It hits you any time of the day, with no warning. So…there goes my Early Child Development studies as well. I function best early mornings and then it is time for a nap. Since the age of 10 I started spotting,but when I hit high-school, at 14years old, the pain and extreme bleeding started. My mom had to make lots of trips to school to bring me clean underwear and school uniform as I bleed profusely. It was so embarrassing everywhere she took me doctors would just suggest oral contraceptives and pain medication. Thats it. OR,tell me it’s all in my head, lots of woman deal with it monthly almost 10 years I struggled to get a diagnosis and find out what was wrong with me-till the dreaded day a doctor told me non-challant-You have Endometriosis.

But now I at least knew it wasn’t all in my head. I wasn’t nuts. Then it was time to hear all the myths ,that people and even some medical professionals tell infertility sufferers,especially endo-sufferers:Fall pregnant, it will heal your endo, and take away the pain. Put a pillow under your bum and lay with your legs elevated after intercourse. Pray. Have Faith. Go on a vacation. Take prenatals. Take folic acid. Drink herbs. This gimic and that gimic. Go for accupuncture. Go for this,go for that. People constantly sending me into a rage by asking:When are you having kids?Not pregnant yet? Your sick again? Tired again? Still at home? Cant you conceive? Are you infertile? Pray harder. Adopt. Maybe it is God’s will. Why don’t you do IVF? And when you do Ivf? Why are you doing? Dont play God and force things? After an failed cycle-isnt that even working for you? The list goes on and on. People saying ,oh you can babysit mine! NO NO NO! I don’t want to answer your stupid questions or babysit your kids. I will have my own, on my Own-terms, in my own time, in my own way.

Fast forwarding to medicated fertility cycles (ART). Oh heaven (or hell), depending on how you look at-IT is an Insane ride of hormonal-driven insanity. When Clomid and time-cycle doesn’t work, throw in lots of wand-sonars(I hate that) you on to injectables. This is where all the fun start. I get really teary, very hungry and bloated and I need a 4 Seasons pizza from Debonair everytime I come from another appointment at the fertility clinic. I choose to inject myself. I just jab the needle in and get it over with. Luckily, I have never been scared of needles. Follistim is ok,but when adding Cetrotide to the mix, I become Cruellla De Ville. Praying for an amazing follicle count. Downing bottles of electrolyte drinks and water. Praying not to over-stimulate. Then it is egg-retrieval day and praying husband gives and amazing sperm sample. Then the dreaded daily phone calls for an update on our maybe-babies(embryos) developing to lovely day5 blastocysts. Deciding how many to transfer back. Then the lovely ride home and praying some more that some will make it to the freezing stage. Mine never does, just the last cycles….we only had 1 to freeze-from 19eggies!!! Disappointing!!!! But one is better than none. Lets hope and pray that is the one that will be our take home baby someday soon. When I recover from my emotional and financial bankruptcy and pain, for I don’t know many more disappointments I can take. Seeing those beautiful 2 pink lines on a pregnancy is just the most wonderful feeling, and then for it just to get taken away in a blink of an eye…it’s unimaginable to explain. The pain and emptiness is so deep. Your soul bleeds and no amount of blood transfusions can heal that. I hope by sharing my story I can let someone know that they are not alone in this struggle.

I am that 1in6. Take your time to heal and whatever you decide to do-do what is best for you. Be kind to yourself and know that you are exceptional!

UPDATE 2018:

Since last year’s campaign I have also been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Had major thoracic surgery 28 Aug 2017,in hopes to feel better and get relieve from chronic pain so I can pursue options to become a Mommy. Did a natural frozen embryo transfer cycle a few months later, with our last remaining embryo. Unfortunately it failed and on this cycle  we also discovered that my endometriosis is back with a vengeance and a huge endometrioma is present on my left ovary, the side where I lost my tube. Seeing my specialist soon to discuss options. Either another surgery or hormones to surpress endometriosis growth. The struggle continues but I have made peace. Now, its focusing on on being healthy, happy and balanced. The rest is in God’s hands.
 I continue to smile and warrior through. Endometriosis and fertility has also driven me to start #AnneedasEndoOutreachProject in my community. I give talks about endometriosis, spoke at an endo event  and shared my story, feed the hungry and love those who need it. Endo made me, it didnt break me.