…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?
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.
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.