Farewell, Baby Maker

I’m on the other side of one of the hardest medical decisions I’ve ever had to make, and yet as I snuggled with my two kids and husband in the early morning hours, I surprised myself by how content I felt with my family of four. 

I’ve struggled with endometriosis as long as I’ve had a period, but was not diagnosed until I was 18. I still remember that first pelvic exam and the giant speculum the doctor held up for me to see. That’s huge! I marveled. She laughed and then showed me the one used on women who’d already given birth. Oh. 

Surgery #1 was quite successful, as was the second. But the pain kept coming back and when I told my current doctor how much medicine I was taking to control the pain, she said it was time to find a better solution. More shots, different birth control, or a hysterectomy. 

As much as it pained me to go with the hysterectomy, it was the right decision. I didn’t have a party, celebrating the end of periods and hopefully the end of pain. In fact, I cried as I said goodbye to my husband as they wheeled me away to the operating room. I cried because I was nervous. I cried because my baby making days are officially over. 

But it was my choice. I made the decision. No one chose for me. As a woman, this takes pro-choice to a whole new personal level. I made the choice. Just me. 

In the operating room, before the anesthesia took me away to dreamland, my doctor admired my pink cast. I chose pink, I said, because while I couldn’t go to the women’s march and wear a pussy hat, I got a pussy cast instead. Everyone in the room – the two doctors, the nurse anesthetist, the nurse and tech – they were all women. 

You’re my pussy posse! I said. They laughed and said that’s right! And then I drifted off to dreamland. 

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Folding the 2T Clothes

I scheduled my hysterectomy today. 

Those are not words I ever thought I would say, at least not in my late 30s, and yet here I am, in extreme pain daily, fighting to hold it together at work and at home and taking more OTC pain medicine than is probably healthy. 

In two months I will no longer be able to have children, which has been our decision for a while, but the thought that this decision is being taken away from me permanently makes me ache in a way I never thought possible. 

No more babies. My head knows it’s the right decision but my heart is breaking in two. 

Tonight as I was folding clothes, I added the 2T pajamas to the baby’s stack, realizing that the next time he wears those particular pjs would likely be the last. His little belly hangs out a little and the arms are too short. They belong in the giveaway pile already but the finality of the 2T pajamas going to another baby, a baby that isn’t mine, is too much to bear right now.