Congrats on your little girl, and yay that your symptoms haven`t come back!!
I have endo too, stage 4, pain started very suddenly when I was 20 and I got a tentative dx from a fabulous nurse practitioner I used to see as a GP, but then went through 3 gyns and an RE, being told repeatedly that it wasn`t endo, I was too young, etc. until at 24, after 2 years ttc, I had surgery to remove an ovarian cyst ("it`s probably not cancer, but we need to operate to be sure" - where is the eye rolling smiley? what, me, bitter?) that turned out to be a chocolate cyst. Dh and I have tried on and off for over 8 years now, though never going beyond clomid and recently, progesterone, because the RE didn`t think IUI would do much for us (though he was quite willing to try, but without any confidence in it, we so far haven`t been willing to go through it).
A few months after getting the endo dx, and after several unsuccessful rounds of clomid, we decided to move on to adoption, and before doing that, to make a permanant (-ish, one never knows) move to Japan, which is my DHs home. We adopted our 4 year old dd 2 years ago, and are keeping our foster-adopt license open, but as relatively few children are placed in our city, we are also back to TTC. We would love for dd to have siblings, either through adoption or through me, so hopefully ....
Sorry, "short and concise" is obviously not my specialty!!
As to living with the endo - my symptoms come and go - for months on end I will have some kind of pain almost every day, and have to spend the first few days of my cycles either in bed or on prescription painkillers, and then for months, practically nothing. I got a lot of help from a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacist guy a few years ago (sorry, I forget the proper word for that in English - I saw him in Japan).
The thing that has made the biggest difference for me has been going gluten free. This is a tricky one to unravel - I think I probably have celiac disease, as opposed to a gluten intolerance (my reasoning - strong family history of gluten problems and personal and family history of autoimmune diseases), and my nearest guess is that when I was eating the gluten my overall health was disintegrating, and this in turn allowed the endo to flourish. Now that I have been mostly GF for just over a year now, the effect of eating gluten is very pronounced - immediately on my general health and digestion, and over the course of months as it seems to wake up the endo. I accidentally had gluten at my IL`s last August and the following 4 periods were aweful - in fact, it was this last bout that sent me to the dr for prescription painkillers. Thankfully, this phase seems to have passed, but I am stuck in some other part of unwellness, and I think the gluten may also be triggering thyroid problems. Still puzzling it out, though.
Since you are heading into nursing, have you been doing research on endo at all? I read studies in the online medical journals about endo and autoimmune diseases - from an intellectual standpoint it is a fascinating field, as there is so much not yet known, but from a person-who-is-unwell point of view, I find it a tad frustrating, as there is so much not yet known.
Anyway, you now have one reply, and what I lack in strength of numbers, being but a single person, I make up for in verbosity!! Other endo mamas, join up!