My Dreams Came True - by Emily Rawls
Hi there! My name is Emily Rawls and I wanted to take this opportunity to share my Turner syndrome story in hopes of inspiring others with TS and their loved ones. Life for me now is pretty great, and I am very lucky, even despite the rough patches along the way. I am 43 years old, live in the small Oregon town where I grew up with my husband, Matt, my son, Crosby, my mom, Sandi, and our family dog, Rosie.
I work close by in another small town as an elementary educator. When I found out I had TS, I was either 14 or 15. I don’t really remember because it was a tumultuous time in my life. My best guess is that I had just turned 15. My parents were divorcing, I was starting high school, and going through the difficult teenage years anyway.
What I can put together about finding out I had TS is that I first had a hip injury. For about a month I thought it was a pulled muscle from playing soccer. When I finally went to the doctor and got x-rays, it showed hip dysplasia - a dislocated left hip. My mom and doctors tried to add it all up, the injury, the short stature, and delayed puberty. While during surgery for my hip, they ran more tests and diagnosed me with classic TS. It was pretty devastating. I remember I got a book called, “Good Things Come in Small Packages.” Back then doctors were even less knowledgeable. Over the years I went through many tests to make sure I did not have any other health issues.
How having TS has affected me most is shortness, different bone structure, infertility, mild hearing loss, and nearsightedness. I have been prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since the beginning, but never growth hormones because the doctors thought it was too late and the other was more important.
I do regular checkups but, so far, my heart and kidneys have been good and no diabetes. I feel blessed because I know having TS can be much worse. I almost forgot to mention that I am a towering 5’1, which is great for a woman with TS.
Fast forwarding, it wasn’t easy, but I worked hard and earned a BA in Elementary Education, M. Ed., Master in School Counseling, preliminary teaching license, and a school counseling license.
In 2013 I married my super supportive husband. He has stood by me through a lot. Matt was understanding when I told him I couldn’t have children biologically. Years later we looked into adoption, which didn’t work out. As time was ticking, I suggested the idea of in vitro fertilization (IVF). We started working with a fertility clinic. It took about a year and a half of appointments to make sure my body could handle pregnancy. With the assistance of the wonderful clinic, doctors, and donor on May 18th, 2020 we had our beautiful miracle baby.
Early on, I never thought I would graduate college, get married, or have children. I am so glad I stayed the course and followed my dreams because they came true.