Bec's journey with endo would have been very different had it not been for the support of her husband Ash.
Hi, I'm Bec, I'm 33 years old, and I'm here to talk about my journey with endometriosis.
From high school, I do remember having extremely heavy periods, which then lead into having back pain each month when my period was coming. I always thought that was normal, I just thought that's how the female body works, and it wasn't until 2013 that I actually decided I need to see a doctor because the pain was getting that bad that I was taking time off work to just cope with the first few days of having a period each month.
I just thought everyone's different and I just happen to experience the pain in my back and my legs, rather than the stomach cramping that everyone else seems to have.
When I was talking to the GP and telling him about the pains that I had, he said to me that sounds like endometriosis and I said, I've never heard of that word before, I don't know what that means, and in a nutshell he just said it could mean that you're infertile.
When I had the ultrasound, mum ended up coming back to the doctor with me because I was inconsolable. We got in to see the specialist within about I think about a fortnight, and in less than a week after that, I was having my first laparoscopy. So specialists had told me after surgery that it was actually showing as moderate to severe endometriosis, and then he had explained that it doesn't always show up on an ultrasound as severe as what it can be for the person.
My name's Ash, I'm Rebecca's husband. I'm 31, about to turn 32, and yeah, I'm just here to talk about my experience with supporting Bec and through her journey, which then turned into our journey with her endo.
If I ever found that Bec was having a bad day with her endo and her pains and you know, you could normally tell if she'd wake up in the morning, and it would be a different kind of pain to a normal period pain or something like that, so the best thing I could do, you know, you offer heat packs and that sort of stuff, but at the end of the day, for a partner, you feel a little bit useless in some regard because there's not a great deal that you can actually do more than, just it's more emotional support that you can give more than anything else. There's not particularly anything, like you can give all the massages in the world and all that sort of stuff, but sometimes, you know, nothing's gonna make a great deal of difference other than just, you know, letting her relax and not having to feel the requirement to get up off her feet and all that sort of stuff, yeah.
I think previously, in the past, if I was having a bad day with endo, my go-to was to become a recluse and maybe just, you know, lie in bed and be sooky.
I think the big thing for Bec, and it wasn't necessarily difficult or anything like that, but it was more just her having the realisation that she could just talk to me, and that I wasn't gonna judge in any way or anything like that. It's more necessarily the fact that she could just talk.
Even though, as Ash had said, he'd always said to me that, you know, having kids would be a bonus, as long as we're together, knowing that it was something that I always wanted, we had talked about it and said we will try. I was very reluctant to go ahead with any form of medical intervention. I felt that I was in a strong and stable enough relationship to be able to voice that. We tried for about 12 months and I fell pregnant naturally, which then resulted in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. So, after the miscarriage, yeah, obviously I was a bit of an emotional wreck for maybe six months, give or take.
Yeah, minimum, yeah. And it really did, it took a lot of, I guess, persuading from Ash as well that, you know, I can seek other medical advice, there are other options out there. I actually started seeing a naturopath, and she helped me curb my diet. I learned that I had gluten and dairy intolerance, and that, you know, at this point in time, we're more focusing on the miscarriage, but also noting certain things that, like, that the endometriosis could've attributed to with the miscarriage as well.
One of the contributing factors to it was and it was all still connected with the endo, but because there was always that thought process in the back of Bec's mind about the endo, she was constantly, it was a stress factor for her. Everything has to align perfectly for a pregnancy to be successful, and there was that thought process there for Bec of still being, you know, highly, highly stressed about having endo, it may possibly come back. Yeah, so I think, another thing from a partner's perspective is trying to get that stress level to lower. It made it a lot easier for her if she, you know, paddleboarding, things that she used to do that she'd probably stopped doing to the same level. So, getting her to relax back a little bit.
12 months ago tomorrow, I found out that I was pregnant. One thing I had been told previously by a specialist was that you may be able to fall pregnant with endometriosis, but you may not be able to carry a baby full term. So, I do think it was when we got to around the 24 or 25 week mark when I knew that he was at a stage where if I was to go into early labor or something was to be wrong with him, that that's when the doctors and whatnot would actually try to actively save him and keep him alive.
[Interviewer] So now you have a boy and he's perfect, so...
He's pretty perfect.
I think the only thing I'd say would be, from the partner's point of view, like listen. It's incredibly important for something like that, whether it be endo or anything else that you're partner's going through, obviously. But don't just, you know, not just the standard yes or hey, you're okay kinda stuff. Like, invest yourself in it as much as what your partner is, because, you know, they're your partner, so you're both going through it, whether only one of you is physically going through it or not is not, you know, shouldn't have an effect on how invested you are in the actual situation itself. So, just talk with your partner about it, because they're the one that's actually got the symptoms and everything that goes with it.