The Resource Doula

My Own Journey With Endometriosis, and Looking Back 1 Year Post Laparoscopic Excision Surgery!

October 18, 2022 Natalie Headdings Season 1 Episode 17
The Resource Doula
My Own Journey With Endometriosis, and Looking Back 1 Year Post Laparoscopic Excision Surgery!
Show Notes Transcript

Show Notes

Resources I mentioned:

My surgeon:

Dr. Nicholas Fogelson at Northwest Endometriosis and Pelvic Surgery


Bellies Inc Ab Wrap - Affiliate Link

Want to chat more with me?

Email me at or message me on social channels at @trainernatalieh

Lessons Learned

  • Listen to your body and don’t justify your pain because it isn’t as bad as someone else’s pain
  • Take the stool softener before surgery!
  • Heating pad and recliner or mountain of pillows on the bed for referred shoulder pain
  • Rest when your body needs it
  • Scar pain can happen randomly weeks after surgery, keep up with scar tissue massage!

Check out The Mental Push Plan at

Please remember that that what you hear on this podcast is not medical advice. but remember to always do your own research and talk to a trusted provider before making important decisions about your healthcare. If you found this podcast helpful, please consider leaving a 5-star review in your favorite podcast app, it helps other people find the show. Thanks so much for listening!

Come say hey on social media:

Instagram: @trainernatalieh

Facebook: @trainernatalieh

Twitter: @trainernatalieh

Sign up for my newsletter here:

Sign up for my weekly newsletter and gain access to my most up-to-date resource list here:

 Get a month free of Informed Pregnancy+ with the code TNFREEMONTH 

Support the show

The Resource Doula Podcast Social Channels:

Instagram: @resourcedoulapodcast

TikTok: @resourcedoula

Resource Doula Podcast Youtube: @resourcedoula


hello and welcome back to the Resource Doula Podcast. I'm Natalie, and today I'm actually going to be sharing my own journey and story with you as it relates to endometriosis and having surgery. Last fall, Living with years and years of pelvic pain and having a background in the field of pelvic floor and really wanting better for myself, I feel qualifies me to share my story with you and give you resources in case this echoes maybe some of what you're dealing with yourself. I really designed this podcast to be a place where I provide lots of information and expert interviews so that you can make informed healthcare decisions for yourself and your family. And I don't say that lightly. I. Have been there and I have taken it upon myself to use my background to do research and advocate for myself in my own healthcare and my own wellness with my journey with endometriosis, and I think a lot of my desire to help other people be advocates for themselves is coming from this experience. And so I pulled my Instagram followers, um, maybe a couple weeks ago now, and asked if you guys would like to hear more of my Endo story, and it was unanimous. So here I am and. There's so much I wanna share, and I really want my overarching theme to be awareness of endometriosis and. Hope for those of you who are struggling with symptoms that are similar to mine, or for those of you who know people who are struggling with symptoms similar to mine, I won't drag you through the weeds of every single detail of my life, obviously. Um, but I do wanna share. Quite a few details that will really paint the picture of what it's like to have endometriosis, which is really kind of like a mystery disease. It's getting a lot more press lately and a lot more research is, is heading its way, but there's still a lot of unknowns about it. I am going to give you a synopsis, what it was like prior to surgery. What surgery was like and then what it's been like since I recovered from surgery. So let's get started. When I started my period at 14 years old, I was really, really excited about it, which is quite funny looking back at it now, but every single month that it came around and I, it was really, really regular for my entire life. It has been like clockwork. It progressively got more and more painful. I remember when I first. The, the cramp, the first cramp ever that I felt in my uterus, and it was incredibly mild. Looking back on it now, I remember where I was, how it felt, and what I was thinking. It's one of those times in your life when you remember every single detail as if it's frozen in time. I then went on to call out of school a lot of times or call out of work because of the cramps, the sheer pain of the cramps. I would have heavy bleeding for a full five to six, sometimes seven days. Um, which led to extreme fatigue. Obviously my body was doing a lot of work and putting me through a lot of. I then had lab work and it revealed low farin, and so I was put on bottles and bottles and bottles of iron supplements, which didn't really seem to help. I even had a series of three IV bags of iron go into my bloodstream, and I noticed absolutely zero energy lift from it. My farin went up some points. Barely into the normal range. I had chronic stomach aches for my entire childhood. That's like what I remember when I got hurt or when I was down and out on the couch. It was because of a stomach ache. It wasn't a headache, it wasn't things like that. It was always a stomach ache. I also had chronic constipation from the time that I was really little and no matter what, I tried all of the remedies, drinking more water, having more magnesium, eating more fiber, getting more movement in the day, um, doing belly massages, all of those things. They maybe helped like 10%, but never solved the issue and up until I had my surgery. That was still the case, and I'll tell you why in a little bit. I also was diagnosed with cbo, if you're familiar with that, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and you can Google it, you can read all about it. Um, and then I also was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, so hypothyroidism as an autoimmune disorder. I was also put on natural thyroid medication. Okay, Fast forward to when I was about 21, so this has been seven years since I started my period. I went to one of my providers and. Again, explained how heavy my periods were, how painful they were, and she was a midwife at the time that I had as my, my main provider, and she said, It sounds like endometriosis, so you can try some birth control, because that's really the only thing that we can. Do as far as diagnostically right now, it will. If it helps your cramps, then it will probably tell us, Yes, you had endo, and if it doesn't, then maybe it's something else. And I declined. I really didn't want any extra hormones in my body because I had heard a lot of horror stories from friends about what hormonal birth control had had done to their bodies. With the Hashimotos as well, I didn't want to interrupt what I was doing with my thyroid medication. About seven to 10 days prior to the start of my period is when I would get cramps. Um, they wouldn't be as significant as the day I started. That day, I would have to take the max amount of ibuprofen recommended for a 24 hour period, and that would take the edge off. I would also live under a heating pad and just basically lay on the couch too exhausted to do anything else, and. Call outta work or not go to school. And thankfully, looking back, it was most of the days that I was off work or off of school. And I think really, our bodies are smart and I think my body knew, Oh, okay, this is a day that I can rest and I know I'm gonna be home. And so it allowed my period to start that day and have my most significant cramps on that day. That might sound a little woo woo, but I think it. As often as it happened on my days off, then I, I think it's true for at least my body. There was one time I went to the er, the emergency room, because of the most severe cramps I've ever had in my entire life, and I don't know necessarily how to describe them to you. A lot of people have really vivid imagery for what they think is going on inside of their body or for describing that to other people. Basically it feels like a knife is digging into your lower abdomen and twisting it itself around and not stopping no matter what you do. That time that I went to the er, I later on decided and realized it was probably an ovarian cyst bursting, which if you've ever had that experience, then I am sorry, and I hope you never have to experience that again. I wish that upon no one. The md, the medical doctor who came in, I had the emergency room, came in, barely pressed on my stomach and said, Oh, you're feeling fine now? And I said, Yeah, because I took loads of ibuprofen and the pain is down. And that was several hours ago that it happened. And she kind of looked at me like she didn't really believe. She said it's important to be hydrated. She also told me we don't have to deal with this anymore because we have birth control, and she also recommended This cracks me up and it makes me so angry. At the same time, she recommended I eat potato chips and drink lemonade to help my cramps, and she sent me home. So that was really disappointing and kind of, uh, Very illustrative of what it's like to have endometriosis in the medical system and not be taken seriously by doctors and have them have no experience or specialty in the field, and so they can't point to and say, Oh, you probably have endometriosis. Let's look into that a little bit further. For more of my symptoms, I'll tell you, I had a lot of additional PMs symptoms for at least a week prior to my period, so I would start cramps at least a week or 10 days prior to my period. I would have a lot of other PMs symptoms, all of them, all of the classic ones. If you look on a, a Web MD and look at the PMs symptoms, I probably had every single one. Um, I had extremely heavy bleeding and lots of clotting as well, and I would leak through my pads or my tampons every single period. And a lot of times I would pair a super tampon with a full pad. and worry that I had to be in class for at least an hour or between appointments, you know, by half an hour, and I would worry that I would leak out of that. And it happens sometimes that is heavy bleeding and if you have heavy bleeding like that, that is not normal. Also, painful periods are not normal. So if you are dealing with these things and you're just accepting them, then let me give you permission to explore them further and seek out a provider who will actually listen to you. So oftentimes when I was experiencing 10 out of 10 pain, because that ibuprofen wouldn't really do much for my pain, I could put on a face. Be brave and smile, but I was really experiencing a lot of significant pain. What's interesting too, is when I had decided I had to have surgery, I looked at this, I looked at my calendar and my symptom chart that I kept track of in a period tracking app, and I realized that I had pain or discomfort in my pelvis. More than half the. Consistently every single month. And I took two steps back and I, I said, I have pelvic pain more than half my life as I'm living right now. And that was extremely validating to just look at and realize that not everybody deals with that much pain, and especially if there's something that can be done about that pain. And so I. Over the few years that after I had that encounter with the provider who said, It sounds like you probably have endometriosis, but we can't really do anything unless you wanna have surgery. I did some more research. I watched the endo, what film, The first one that they released, and I just watched their most recent one below the belt couple weeks. And I really felt like I have endometriosis. I saw several pelvic PTs because you know, that's what I preach. And a lot of times with chronic pelvic pain and constipation and holding back our pain to be seen as a normal person in the world and having to work and do school and do life and. We hold a lot of tension in our pelvis, and I have all of those classic signs. When I went to the PTs, your pelvic floor is too tight. You have chronic constipation, you have pelvic pain, and so a lot of pelvic PT work, a lot of exercise. It did work, some it, a lot of strategies were helpful. Um, Didn't solve the full problem. Obviously, it wasn't the full picture that we were looking at. I also am very, very hyper mobile, so things that I've mentioned, thyroid issues, cbo, hyper mobility, chronic constipation. Endometriosis, all of these I'm learning are going hand in hand. And so I mention them because it's important to know that if you have a combination of a lot of those issues or a lot of those symptoms, then it might be worth looking into. My husband is the best and has always really been the biggest supporter of me and my advocating for myself in health situations. He watched me deal with all of this pain and he was the first firsthand witness of just how much pain I was in, and he really encouraged me to seek out additional opinions. Do more research. And so I did a heck of a ton of a lot of research, and my provider is really, really supportive of basically anything that I want to do. So if your provider doesn't listen to you and doesn't say, Okay, what do you wanna do about that? What research have you done? And what do you think is the best answer to this? Then find a new provider. So I took in all this information. I watched the Endo film. I did research. I knew that I was in a lot of pain, but I still felt like I don't know if I wanna have surgery because really my pain isn't as bad as other people's experiences because I've heard a lot of. Stories of people with Endo who have seen 1530 doctors and have been dismissed by every single one. Been put on a lot of different types of birth control and have had multiple surgeries, ablation, mind you, and had pain still and had issues. And I thought to myself like, My situation isn't that bad, but I decided I was done with suffering and I was done having pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. So much of my life and. Really dictated a lot of what I did and activities that I engaged in. And so I looked at several resources and I will listen in these show notes for this episode so you have full access to them, but Nancy's nook, Is a beautiful resource library of everything endometriosis related, and I did a ton of my reading and spent a lot of my time there. I also use That is an excellent resource as well. And then there is a site called iCare, a website that is dedicated to vetting endometriosis specialist practitioners. So everyone on there is the cream of the crop, and that's where I went when I searched for a surgeon. I found Dr. Fogelson at Northwest Endometriosis and Pelvic Surgery and did a phone consult with him and on the phone he talked to my husband and I, and calmed our fears, answered our questions, and seemed like a really downed earth kind of guy who was really looking out for patient's best interests and his clients, and didn't seem like someone who just wanted to charge a bunch of money to do a specialist surgery. He really. Cared about people feeling better and getting better. And so I decided to have him do my laparoscopy, which is a big decision, and it would be my first surgery ever in my entire life. And so, um, when I decided to do this, it was scheduled for the fall in October. And when I started to tell people, it was interesting because I hadn't. So vocal about the pain that I was in until this point, and I told people I had endometriosis and I was gonna have surgery for it. And most of the time the answer or the response that I got was, Oh, are you trained to have a baby? And so I think one of the biggest misconceptions is don't get surgery for your endo unless you're trying to get pregnant. And so I did a lot of educating and I did a lot of information providing because it's seen as. A non-issue potentially. And a lot of people, a lot of people were empathetic to me and, um, didn't assume that I was just trying to have a child, but a large majority of people responded that way, which was eye opening for me because that's not what I expected. I clearly. Was having a lot of pelvic pain and wanted to be out of pain. And so if you are having pain, it's worth it to have surgery and get it fixed. Women deserve to not be in pain 80% of their lives. That's enough of a reason to have surgery. You don't have to want to have a baby. Now or in the future or whenever you can have surgery without that. And that's just okay. And that's a worthy reason to have surgery. Um, and this is something I think that it was hard for me to grapple with because I didn't have the significant issues a hundred percent of the time. I only had pain 80% of the time. And so I thought that it maybe, you know, it was, it was worth it for other people to have surgery, but not me. But that's wrong. That's faulty thinking. And so from July when I did my phone consult and made that decision to have surgery to October when my surgery would be, I actually did spend time as if I were nesting and pregnant My mom and I cooked a bunch of freezer meals. I cleaned the house. I was really consistent with my supplements, exercise and routines. Um, if you are looking to have surgery of any kind, Spending a couple days on meal prep and freezer meals is probably hands on. The best decision I made aside from picking an expert surgeon, that saved us and we didn't have to make food for over a month or even two, I think, after having surgery. So we just had to defrost things and heat them up, and a lot of people were really kind and brought us food as. That those first few weeks when we were home, so October came around and we flew to Oregon, my husband and I, and did a pre-op appointment with Dr. Fogelson. He did a pelvic exam, a manual pelvic exam during that pre-op appointment. After he had asked me all of my symptoms and verbally validated what I was feeling, and then during the pelvic exam, he said, Oh yeah, I can feel a nodule of endo right here. And. I think that was probably like one of the most validating things about the experience besides getting the histology report after surgery and Dr. Fog Wilson saying how much endo I did have. Um, it gave me hope that I could be better after surgery. This is still definitely emotional for me to talk about and think about. So we were still in the time of covid and um, I had to get a covid test, uh, day prior. We also had to wear masks and my husband could not go into the hospital with me beyond the lobby. So there are a lot of nerve-wracking factors about this besides being in a different state for surgery. And, um, just feeling a lot of, a lot of unease. That was my first time going under ever in my life. And, Then the day before I started my period, which was really difficult, but I will say it was extremely validating again, because I couldn't take any ibuprofen right before surgery. You can't, and I realized, That the ibuprofen hadn't really been doing very much at all, even though I took the max amount. And so it was like, Oh my gosh. Of course the day before I have surgery for my period pain, I start my period without the ability to take medication. Um, but it just was another confirmation that I was in the right spot at the right. I went in for, my surgery, took about two-ish hours, two and a half hours I think, and it went extremely well. So I had seven different spots where Endo was found and um, one of the most significant things that I tell everybody when I tell about my surgery. Is that my sigmoid colon? So the bottom part of my large intestine was literally adhered. It was stuck to my pelvic side wall. And if you think about my history with chronic constipation as a child and all the way up into my adult years, Maybe it was more mechanical and that's why eating more fiber and drinking more water and having more magnesium didn't fully take away the problem. It was cuz my colon was stuck to my pelvis and things couldn't move as easily. And so a lot of times I think about that and, and realize, And wonder how many people are having issues like this, and it's due to endometriosis or another underlying disease process that we don't know yet. That's just a side thought that I always have I have a video of my surgery and I show it to anyone who wants to see it. I have it on my phone. That shouldn't surprise any of you. As nerdy as I am post-surgery, I wanna tell you what it's been like. So it took about three to four periods to actually feel better. The first few after surgery, typically, and I was warned of this, I read about this, it's. Even more intense than what you had prior, because everything inside is inflamed. Everything has just been cut out, that endometriosis has been cut out. I wanna take a a moment to say I had a laparoscopic excision surgery. And so excision is where they go in and they actually cut out from the root, the endometriosis tissue, tissue ablation. A lot of times, even laparoscopic ablation, where they go in and they burn off the top of the endo, they may and oftentimes do, don't get it from the root. And so with ablation, you have 50 to 80% chance of it coming back very soon and having similar, same issues if they don't actually get to the root of the problem. Which is a lesson for all of us in every other single area of our life, then it's not gonna go away. So excision is the gold standard for endometriosis, and if you are looking for a surgeon and they do a combination or they only do ablation, walk out of their office and choose somebody else you will be able to find someone who is a specialist. Don't just settle for someone who is a gynecologist and spends some of their time catching babies and some of their time in surgery. Choose someone who spends a hundred percent of their time investment and energy in endometriosis, and I say that with all the emphasis in the world. Please, please, for your sake and the amount of surgeries you will end up having. Choose excision first because hopefully you just have to have one that. Okay. Going back to my recovery time So I was very intentional and the way that I set up my recovery was similar to how I recommend people set it up for postpartum. Um, I took it extremely slowly for three months I didn't work. I prioritized, napping, and resting. I only ate warm. At least for the first month about, um, I didn't eat anything cold. I spent a lot of time with my heating pad on my shoulders. Okay? This was the most unexpected. But expected symptom of surgery. I read about it but didn't expect it to be so significant. The worst pain that I felt after surgery was in my shoulders, and it was because of the referred pain from gas trapped under my diaphragm. When they go in laparoscopically, they fill you up with air, and then they try to get most of it out, but they don't get all of it out, and so those bubbles get trapped into your diaphragm and it translates to pain in your shoulders. And so it felt like 10 out of 10 pain someone. Gripping my shoulders a hundred percent of the time. After surgery for about three weeks, it took me to get rid of that pain. Walking around is the best way to do it, and I am a pro burber now, since surgery. I just walked and burped and walked and burped and walked and burped very, very, very slowly because it was hard to walk from the bathroom to the couch for the first week at least. So walking through the airport to go home four days after surgery was pretty challenging. Um, but I did it. I took breaks and I did it and my husband carried all of the suitcases and backpacks and everything. Um, so something to consider if you are flying somewhere else for surgery. If you can stay at an Airbnb longer rather than just flying back a couple days after surgery, highly recommend that. I used the belly zinc ab wrap several times. I anticipated feeling really, really bloated because I had read about that. Um, but what I didn't anticipate is the numbness I would feel in my belly from the nerve block that they put in, and then the sensitivity of the incisions. And so I expected to feel like I wanted something. Comforting and squeezing and holding me together. But I actually wanted very loose things and really low and loose pants. And so nothing with a waistband is recommended. Um, it was more so maybe a month or two post surgery that I would use the ab wrap sometimes if I was doing exercises or going all longer walk just for additional support through my ab. But I didn't use it immediately, which I thought I would. So slowly and surely I've been increasing my activity and weights and intensity, and I feel stronger and more stable than I was before surgery. And I think that's partially due to. Being really intentional with scaling my activity, but I also think it's because I'm not in pain more than half the month and I can do more activity throughout my life, which leads to being stronger and not having to sit out on life for half the month really makes a difference. Going back to my symptoms and how they are since surgery. This, it will be exactly one year post off when this podcast is published. And I did that on purpose. I was intentionally wanting to do an update for you all a year, um, Postsurgery. And so here it is, My periods have been so much lighter and don't worry about. It's maybe four to five days of bleeding and it's very much normal to light. I have way less cramping leading up to sometimes I don't even have a cramp until the day that it starts, which is just wild to me after living with 10 days prior of cramping. Um, I also have fewer other symptoms of estrogen dominance, and that's something I didn't mention at the beginning, but. Endometriosis is an estrogen driven disease. And I'll link a couple podcasts in the show notes as well talking about this. Um, and so it's natural and follows that I do have estrogen dominance, um, but I'm working on it and it seems to be getting better. I have a lot less pain in general. My digestion, my constipation is fixed. It's crazy. It's so much better. Um, I'm taking beef liver daily. I'm eating dairy. I'm eating sour dough. And I prioritize my rest. Still. There are days that I need a two hour nap instead of going on a hike, and I'm okay with that. I'm a lot more okay with the rest than I used to be. I used to push through everything and just say, Oh, I'm in pain, but what of it? And if I didn't call outta work, I would just go to work in pain and now I I really take seriously how I'm feeling in my body and I think that's definitely one of the best things that's come out of surgery is I've realized. The necessity of rest and listening to my body more so than I used to, because I just used to ignore it because it would just be painful all the time. But it was really trying to tell me something and I'm so, so happy that I had surgery. I don't regret it one bit is one of the best decisions that I've made. I can go places and do things and enjoy my time without feeling like I have to put on a. Of enjoyment while still feeling the significant 10, outta 10 pain in my pelvis the whole time. Um, so if you are suspecting that you have endo or suspicious that someone you know might have it, have them talk to me. I'm happy to talk to anyone about this all day long. Obviously, I did an entire podcast episode on it and I talk about pelvic health every single day. So reach out to. I'll put a link in the show notes for a contact form. You can also just email me. Um, you can also reach out on social media as well. Um, but yeah, if you have any questions about my experience or what I would recommend or anything like that, then feel free. I'm happy, happy to talk. I will tell you my greatest lessons learned from this whole entire experience is, number one, listen to your body and don't justify your pain because it isn't as bad as someone else's. Two. Take the stool softener. Prior to having surgery, there was no. Cleanse, There is no bowel cleanse prior to this surgery and so I di and I didn't take stool softener prior to, cuz I thought it would be just fine. The narcotics, the anesthesia, all of that backs you up and sitting on the couch and or the recliner doing nothing for a lot of hours. Also will contribute to constipation and so that was a doozy. Take the stool softener prior to Gas pain was the worst of the worst of the symptoms that I had after. So having a heating pad for my shoulders, and I didn't mention this, but I couldn't lay down flat. I couldn't lie down flat for two and a half weeks, almost three weeks, because the pain was so intense in my shoulders every time I went beyond like a recliner, incline. And so having a bunch of extra pillows, Having a recliner at the Airbnb was life saving, honestly, and then having a bunch of pillows I could stack up in the bed. It was like a mountain that I had, um, in the bed. It was one of the most helpful things. So I slept with a heating pad and a mountain of pillows and dealt with the pain, tried to burp it out, rest when your body needs it. That is my other takeaway. Scar pain. That is something that, um, I experienced more so weeks after surgery. So after that nerve block wore off, there would be. Pain in my scars just randomly, like once I started driving again and doing normal activities, wearing more normal clothes rather than sweatpants, then sometimes there would be significant like stabbing pain in my scars most significantly in the one in my belly button. So I have four little laparoscopic scars and the most painful one has been my belly button. And so something that I did from early, early on is scar tissue massage. And that's something that is just mobilizing your scars, making sure they're moving well. And so you don't create a ton of adhesions, which can cause movement restrictions and organ restrictions and other things like that. And so that's something I highly recommend as well from the time that they're healed and the bandages are are off and you're cleared to do so, that's something that is non-negotiable for. I am still building up my strength and. Taking my time to rest and emphasizing the fact that I dealt with this pain for 12 years without a diagnosis and. So it takes time to heal and that's okay. and this is what I tell every single client who's postpartum or pregnant about to be postpartum. It takes the research shows, it takes a year to recover from childbirth. And I liken a lot of other pelvic issues to the postpartum period because it takes time to heal. And your pelvis is where we hold a lot of tension, a lot of importance, so I'm still increasing my strength. I'm still working on it. I still do scar massage. I still. Emphasize and prioritize my rest and my naps because those are some of my favorite things. I'm a pro napper and pro burber since surgery, so if you need me, that's probably where I'll be So this month, as I reflect on a year ago, I think. What it took to get me to this place that I am. And I am so incredibly thankful for my husband because he is the one who encouraged me to actually seek a solution and work towards healing. I'm really, really thankful for all of my mentors in the, in the public floor space, because without that knowledge, I think I would've been lost. And I'm also really thankful for my doula background because that gave. The information I needed and the, and the confidence I needed to advocate for myself in the medical system. I also am really thankful that I listened to my body because without doing that, I would still be in significant amounts of pain, ignoring it and having issues later on down the road. And so all of those things together have brought me to where I am. I'm just thankful and I'm thankful to you guys for listening to this and breading the word on endometriosis and really taking it seriously when a woman says she has painful cramps or painful periods or constipation or low energy or stomach aches all the time, or infertility. And so something to think about and be aware of is endometriosis doesn't always present in the way that we expect it to. With the period pain and the cramping and everything else that I've described during this episode. It can just present as. Inability to get pregnant or inability to carry a pregnancy to term. And that is something to know because a lot of times we blame ourselves if things aren't working in our body. And it's the emotional aspect of why does my body not work how it's supposed to and why are. Not happening how I want them to. And so if that's you, I just wanna say that I see you and infertility is a incredibly difficult, painful, and, and challenging road and burden to bear. And I'm sorry. and I wanted to bring awareness to that. For those of you who may have silent endo and not know it, but also those of you who don't have endometriosis at all, and maybe communicating and talking with those who may. Be experiencing infertility issues and to be sensitive and mindful that endometriosis is a whole body disease and it affects a lot more than just our pelvis. And so as you go out from this episode, keep in mind that what you say has impact, and with October being pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, we'll hear from our friends at the mental push plan who also authored the Mental Grief Plan, How to support somebody when they're grieving, and I think that's the perfect way to wrap up this episode.


Welcome to the push corner with Carolyn and Lauren of mental push plan,


bringing you mental tools to empower you through pregnancy birth and. Today's push corner, discusses grief related to pregnancy and infant lofts. If this is triggering for you or not something you're in a place to learn about, please pause here. We welcome you to return to listen when it's right for you. First, can we just say that grief sucks? It is such a hard, complex, lingering emotion. There is no right way to grieve. There is no timeline to grief and it can be experienced in so many different ways.


grief related to pregnancy and infant loss is particularly challenging because it's, what's known as disenfranchised grief. This means that the grief or loss felt by an individual isn't shared or acknowledged by others. This often happens with pregnancy and infant loss because the person lost was not yet known to others. There often aren't formal occasions for communal grieving and support like funerals or family gatherings. Instead women, birthing people and their partners can be left to grieve alone, making their experience all the more trying because of the lack of support.


So if someone, you know, is going through pregnancy or infant loss, here are a few things to help you help them. One do not ignore it. You may feel like it's kinder not to bring it up, but they know. And you know, so offer words of comfort, saying nothing can make them feel unloved and unsupported. two offer some tangible support. Food is always a good option. Cooking and eating are hard to do when grieving, if you're close enough, you may even come over to clean, do laundry, watch other children, or just sit with them. Three language matters. You don't have to have the perfect thing to say simply saying, I'm sorry for your loss. It's so unfair is enough. However, be aware of language that tries to justify or solve the problem. Things like it wasn't meant to be, or at least you can try again, are not helpful because they minimize or try to sweep under the rug. A very painful experience instead, just try to listen and acknowledge their feelings.


Keep in mind too, that about one in four pregnancies end in loss. So chances are, this has happened to you or someone, you know, While we don't want anyone to experience the grief of pregnancy or infant loss, knowing tips like these now can help you or others close to you. As always, you already have all the mental strength you need. These


are just the tools to help you tap into it. Check out mental push or find us on Instagram to learn more.


I hope you gained a greater understanding of what endometriosis is, how it can affect someone, and what to do if you or someone else is experiencing those symptoms. just a reminder that what you hear on this podcast is not medical advice, but please do your own research. Advocate for yourself and talk to a trusted provider and other people before making important decisions about your healthcare, like surgery for endometriosis. If you found this episode helpful. The greatest compliment you can give me is by sharing it with a friend. Thank you so much for listening.