There is no “I” in Uterus…

…and there is no more uterus in I.

Yes, loyal readers, after a hiatus of over a month, I am back to share a deeply personal story.

Prior to adopting our son, my husband and I went to one of the most well respected fertility doctors in our state.  She told me that there is no reason that I should not be able to carry a pregnancy to term, but I did have some annoying fibroid cysts (the size of softballs) in my uterus that could cause some problems.  After a myriad of horrendously uncomfortable tests, we were told that if I had a surgery to remove the cysts, then we could immediately begin the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and could potentially have a healthy biological child.  She did also state that I would be incredibly high-risk because of my advanced age (apparently, pushing 40 is not the new 20 when it comes to baby making).

So we sat on that news for about a year.

What should we do?  Could we psychologically go through another pregnancy after three have already failed?  What if it just does not work?  Should we explore surrogacy? Adoption?  When do we just admit that maybe having children is not for us?  Should I start watching Game of Thrones?  Why is everyone so into that show?  Isn’t it just incest and dragons?

Anywho…

Clearly, we decided that adoption was the choice that made the most sense for us and our family.  However, it did not mean that these fibroid cysts magically went away.  In fact, they were getting larger by the day.  So, after a lot of discussion with several doctors, my husband and our entire extended family, we decided that I should have a hysterectomy.

A hysterectomy.  At 37.

Of course, we have a son.  We are lucky.  I don’t need to give birth.  But, not having the option to have a biological child scared me.

I cried a lot.  A lot.  Too much.  I almost went into mourning.
I wrote an epitaph:
Here lies A. Uterus.  Not so much full of life, but full of fibroids… and disappointment.

Too soon?

The day of surgery is now a blur.  I just remember feeling terrible and mentally exhausted.  I was not confident that I was making the right decision.  There is a finality with the operation that made me uncomfortable.

When I woke up, I was in a lot of pain.  But it was not physical.  It was that deep heart pain.  The pain that is difficult to express and awkward to discuss.  To help ease my mental anguish, my doctor told me that my uterus was the size of my head and there is no way I could have had biological children.

That I will feel so much better…

Maybe I will.  One day.
Because now, three weeks later, the nagging misery is still there.  It did not go away simply because the procedure is over.

I just cannot let it monopolize my thoughts.

And whenever I start traveling down the shame spiral, I hug my son and remember that family is not merely a biological connection, but a love that makes life better.

 

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3 thoughts on “There is no “I” in Uterus…

  1. Andrea, I read that and I feel your pain. Yeah you might think we were the lucky ones to carry her two children a term but caring a baby is not make your mother. My mother is someone who gets up at 3 o’clock in the morning because your babies hungry, A mothers someone who rocks the baby when they are crying , Holds them when thief temperatures 103 and if they need a cold bath to bring the temperature down. A Mother someone who takes the baby to the doctor for their shots even though they know what shots are going to hurt ,a mother is someone who loves her kids unconditionally through the good the bad and the ugly A mom knows her job does not stop until their child is 100 yes old. I would say your Son is one lucky little dude because he has you for a mom no one else could look at his face see his smiles and love him more than you and Jim.

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  2. Andrea, You are the most incredible woman. I am so proud of you and your journey. You really should publish your thoughts, experiences and feelings into a book. I think you would help so many women. Hugs too you and as you stated, keep hugging your guys. xo

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  3. Andrea,

    As you may already know, i do not have a vagina. I didn’t have a hysterectomy -I’m just a man. Therefore, I can’t possibly understand how trying this has been for you. I do have some second-hand experience with these issues though as my wife, and nearly every woman in her family, has had severe issues with their lady bits. That includes fibroid cysts across the board and several pre-40 hysterectomies. It all sucks. So armed with the knowledge that I don’t know anything, I can simply say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to be burdened with this. It’s not fair.

    Here’s the bright side…you’re still a mom and, whilst I’ve never seen you in action, I can only assume you approach motherhood similarly to the way you approach life. That means you have one lucky kid at home and that makes me happy. So…with or without a uterus…you’ve still got a friend in me and you’re winning at life. Talk about a silver lining.

    I really do miss our talks.

    Sincerely,

    Your long-lost former drinking partner, Mizzle

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