Does your uterus define you?
The dreaded day is almost here. With each passing day I see it moving slowly closer and closer like a wave rolling in from out at sea. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, my annual trip to the doctor’s office eventually arrives. I have to keep telling myself no more excuses, this is just a necessary evil all women have to experience . Oh but wait, I did have another great (actually pathetic) excuse today when the doctor’s office called asking if I wanted to come in tomorrow instead of in a couple of days. “NO!! I can’t.” were the words that I practically screamed into the phone at the poor receptionist who was only doing her job–wait why could I not come in two days early?
Here I am perfectly healthy and not yet at a point in my life where going to the doctor inevitably means leaving with bad news. Yet the thought of seeing the doctor and discussing all of the things that go along with getting older (older meaning 35 which I know is young for many of you) terrifies me. No I do not think I am going to leave with news that I am deathly ill and my life will forever change, but still the possibilities haunt me.
I do know there is one issue that needs to be dealt with and the it is one that I would rather ignore. To be more specific without getting too personal, my monthly cramps have gone from bad to extreme. Honestly I could say that they are worse than the labor I experienced when I gave birth to my children and that is saying a lot since I went without having an epidural or drugs.
Maybe the solution will be simple and not involve invasive procedures. However, at previous doctors visits there has been talk of a hysterectomy being performed prior to me reaching the age of 40 if my issues continued. Although I know there was also talk of other possible solutions, quite frankly he lost me at the word “hysterectomy” and I have no clue what the other possibilities were. He might as well have said “you may need a hysterectomy, blah blah blah” because that is what I remember.
Hysterectomies are incredibly common but for some reason the thought of having one really upsets me. The fact that I am upset by the prospect bothers me even more because it is not like I am planning on having more children. In fact, I have absolutely no desire to have another baby even with the constant bombardment from friends and children asking my husband and I when we will have a baby. However, for some crazy reason, the thought of not being able to have a baby if I were to change my mind is a little hard to swallow.
Honestly it is a rather ridiculous feeling. I am not unfulfilled as a mother, between my husband and myself we have four beautiful children and I feel so incredibly blessed to have them all in my life. Plus I make a dreadful pregnant woman–I am high risk and have to be monitored my entire pregnancy and I puke almost the entire nine months. So seriously why would I care if my baby-making and carrying parts were removed and I was pain-free?
As women, does our uterus define us? Outside of their function of having a baby, is there some sort of mental attachment that we have to body parts that we can’t even see? While I am not making light of it in any way, it is not like having cancer and having to have a mastectomy. On the outside, women who have had hysterectomies look exactly the same as those who still have all of their pieces. No one other than the people she wants to know would ever know she is missing anything.
Prior to becoming pregnant with my first son I had a ectopic pregnancy which had to be surgically removed. In the process, the doctor ended up removing that tube. At the time it happened I was unaware that anything other than the pregnancy had been removed (terrible doctor but that is a story for another day) and as sad as I was, I was still under the impression I had all of the necessary pieces to get pregnant again. It wasn’t until after I became pregnant again and I switched doctors that I learned of the loss. I was completely devastated which was ironic because my issue stemmed from the fear of having trouble getting pregnant and here I was already pregnant.
So here I am now, 35, not wanting to ever have another baby and yet thinking about losing the ability gets to me. What is it with our ovaries and uterus–do we really let our body parts define us?
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