As a little back story, I'm 24 years old, about 18 months ago I started to have my first lupus symptoms.
I went through one heck of a diagnostic battle, which I think anyone who has Lupus can relate to.
I was very sick, I had to give up working, my independence, social life etc.
I became very depressed, I felt my life was crumbling around me.
It took me a very long time, I've sacrificed and compromised but I'm now in a place where I am at peace with having lupus.
My day-to-day life is still harder than it is for most people, there are things I can't do and things I have to worry about that other people don't, and I do feel ripped off in life, but I try and be the best version of myself that I can be.
When I was diagnosed with Lupus, a lot of doctors warned me about the risks associated with Lupus and pregnancy; every Lupus pregnancy is considered high risk. I have a very rich family history of Lupus and auto-immune diseases, so I made a conscious decision not to bare children naturally. I didn't want my child to inherit Lupus or for to have a high risk pregnancy or for my child to have complications, I knew I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I saw them go through what I went/am going through.
That isn't to bash mothers with Lupus, it's every woman's decision if they want to bare children or not and all respect to you, you know your self the best and I completely respect a woman making those judgement calls, but I decided not to.
Because of this, I always thought I would adopt. I've always wanted to, even before being diagnosed with Lupus, but having Lupus really pushed me to decide to adopt; or at least try to.
I researched current Australian and international adoption laws and agencies etc. and no country and adoption agency will allow someone with a chronic illness, including Lupus or any other strand of auto-immune disease to adopt; I am considered 'unfit' and a liability.
Since finding this out I have been devastated, my one shot at ever having a family has been taken from me, because of a disease I have which is no fault of my own.
I've gone to sexual health clinics, spoken to doctors, nurses, my rheumatologist and even spoke to someone about the possibility of surrogacy (which I'm also not allowed as technically I am able to bare children and my reproductive organs still work, even if the pregnancy is high risk, surrogacy is reserved for women with reproductive issues) and all responses have told me that being a mother probably won't ever happen for me.
I feel so shattered, I've never felt sadness like this before.
I feel like I could do great things in my life, have an amazing career, be of good character etc. but under the eyes of adoptions laws that means nothing, I am defined by my disease.
I've worked really hard to triumph and get where I am now, I had Lupus attacks and flares every day, it caused inflammation around my heart, and I worked so hard to try and maintain my life and not let my sickness define me as a person or stop me from having a fulfilling life.
I feel like I will never be able to experience being a mother, something so special, unique and magical to a woman. I feel like I won't ever be able to have a family of my own, like Lupus has dictated how I spend my life.
I've already given up so much and compromised and accepted so many things because of Lupus, there are so many things I can't do in life because of Lupus which I have had to sacrifice and accept. I don't want to have to accept not ever having a family, I want to make that decision for myself, not Lupus.
I'm tired of giving up on parts of my life, I'm 24 years old, this should be the best years of my life.
I'm trying to remain as positive as I can and trust I can get through this, but being told I won't ever have a family is a hard pill to swallow and I feel like there's going to be a huge hole in my life.
I'm at this age now where all of my friends are becoming pregnant and having babies etc. and I will have to watch them reach these milestones in their life and have this happiness which I can never have, and be known as the poor girl with Lupus who can never have a family.
I also don't know how I will ever explain this to a future partner, how can I explain to this a future partner, I can't bare children, I can't adopt and I can't try surrogacy or other alternative methods, they'll have to live with that also.
I'm very lost, I'm very sad, I don't know what to do, I don't know how I will ever be able to accept this type of existence.
I try hard to excel despite having Lupus, I love travelling so I make sure I do that, I love my career so I work hard to be good at it and not let Lupus hold me back, and I'm proud of everything I have overcome and done.
But this scenario seems hopeless, I don't know how to overcome this or how to make this better.
I know no one can offer me answers, only condolences, I just don't know what else to feel other than just pure sadness.