It was 1969 when I was 17 years old and became pregnant for the only time. I didn't know it, but I was RH negative and had a miscarriage at 6-1/2 months. It was a little boy. I never told my mother I was pregnant until I went into labor and ended up in the Emergency Room. Forty years ago, it was a devastating and humiliating experience to be an unwed mother. I remember I was put in a room with a mother and her healthy baby. My Doctor treated me with disgust and disdain as if I had leprosy. The little boy was buried in the cemetery.
Later, when I was 21 years old, I wanted to get on birth control and my mother told me to go down to the Planned Parenthood clinic. I didn't really know anything about it, but I was afraid to get pregnant again. When I got to the clinic, the clerk at the registration desk handed me a paper to sign to get an IUD and to change in a gown. Then barefooted with only the gown on, I joined a group of other young women standing against the wall in the waiting room. I felt petrified and alone. Finally it was my turn and the doctor inserted the Dalken Shield IUD. Later this turned out to be one of the largest lawsuits in history, as thousands of women were injured by the IUD, became sterile or had difficulty becoming pregnant after removal. I never knew about the lawsuit until many years after it was all over.
I left the clinic alone and drove home. On the way I became faint and passed out. Just before I fainted I pulled my car over into a parking lot, threw the gearshift into park and slumped over the steering wheel. When I came too, my car was still running. I don't know how long I was unconscious. But that was just the beginning of my troubles.
I began having abdominal pain from time to time. I thought it was just my monthly cycle. Since I worked, I remembered many times silently going to the restroom and doubled over in pain. When it passed, I would go back to my desk. I never told anyone about the pain. It got worse over the years but I just endured it the best I could. I remember it was the most excruciating pain I had ever gone through.
Later after several failed marriages, I married again and wanted to try to have a child. I had the IUD removed but I couldn't get pregnant. Finally I went to a Fertility Clinic for testing and they did a dye test to see if the fallopian tubes were blocked. As I was laying on the exam table the Doctor said to look at the monitor and I could watch. As I looked at the screen I could see the dye moving toward the fallopian tubes and then spilling out into my abdomen. At that moment I felt a horrible burning pain and passed out on the table. I can still remember the Doctor screaming for help.
When I revived, the Doctor told me my fallopian tubes were scarred and totally blocked. It was then I knew it was from the IUD. That was the pain I experienced all those years. My hopes faded away to have children of my own.
Over the years I began to accept my situation, although it was hard. The first thing other women ask you is if you have any children. If you don't, you feel socially unacceptable. But now, after all this time I can find joy in a laughing child and embrace my nephews with love. I thank God for his patience with me and for his son Jesus Christ who became my all in all.