“All the doctors looked at my report and said that there was no chance for me to have children,” says Sama, who was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition that can influence the fertility of women in many ways.
Sama and her first husband opted for IVF since they were having difficulty trying to conceive. The doctor wanted to do additional tests to see if Sama’s ovaries were in a viable condition. This is when they discovered that the cyst was stuck to her ovary and had grown 8cm. The doctor recommended they remove the ovary.
She got her right ovary removed with the tube in 2017, however, after six months, a cyst formed in her left ovary. So, in 2018, she had to undergo another operation which made her very weak.
“This was the point in my life I considered suicide,” Sama explained how she did not get emotional support from her first husband, and how she went into depression twice through her first marriage.
It was the barrage of verbal abuse from different people that pushed her over the edge. Comments akin to, “you’ve become fat now,” “it’s your fault you can’t have a baby,” and “you are not a complete woman” made her situation worse.
“I was numb. It felt like many people were talking to me, whispering in my ear telling me I am worthless because I was unable to get pregnant.”
“I was lying on the bed and all I could see was the fan. I still don’t know how I got to the point of suicide. I had the sheets around my neck, and that’s when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I realised what I was doing was wrong. I stopped immediately, performed wudu, and prayed.” Sama described what stopped her suicide attempt and credited this as her wake-up call.
In 2019, they started considering IVF to have a baby and she went to a hospital overseas and they informed her that her egg count was very low and that there was a very slim chance of IVF working. Doctors asked her to come back in July 2019. Sama came back to Maldives with three months’ worth of medication.
“After three months of medication, my husband said that he did not want a baby and that he does not love me anymore. He divorced me through a text.”
“My egg count was that of a 60-year-old. They said there were no treatments they could recommend from their side and they said they were sorry.”
Sama re-married in July 2020, “I missed my period in August, and took the pregnancy test and it was positive. When we consulted with a doctor, the doctor informed us that I was four weeks pregnant. I was in shock. My baby is about to be one year now.”
In January 2022, Sama is pregnant again. “I am three months pregnant now there was hope. This is again a miracle.”
“My now-husband has been by my side with every decision we made. He doesn’t mind even if we couldn’t get a baby. He is okay with us trying IVF or adoption as well. He said he just wanted to be with me,” Sama explains the overwhelming support she has received from her husband.
Sama explained that there were a lot of misapprehensions about endometriosis. She explained that women are less understanding than men when it comes to this.
“They said it was my fault the cysts were forming, and it was unnecessary for me to remove my ovaries. They said not to try for children until my weight is at 40kg.”
Sama agrees that societal expectations of women are very toxic. We measure a woman’s worth with her ability to have children, which is emotionally destroying a lot of women who are struggling to conceive.
Sama is now pregnant with her second child. She is now with someone who understands the emotional and physical turmoil she has been through.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis can affect women of any age. It’s a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life.
– Photostories in partnership with Endometriosis Association of Maldives