Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Vagina (Uterine, Actually) Monologues

Am I still a woman without all the parts that biologically make me a woman?

This is the question that has been plaguing me since last week when I left my gynecologist's office, right after she said the word "hysterectomy" to me. I'm only 37 and she was so quick to snatch my uterus out of my life.

Let me backtrack.

A few years ago I was told I had three very small non-cancerous fibroids growing in my uterus. No big deal, it happens to a lot of women and we just needed to keep an eye on them. This year's exam made my doctor say, "You uterus seems enlarged," words I did not want to hear. I knew those words would end in surgery and a loss of my reproductive abilities, something I'm too young to deal with.

I guess what made it worse- besides the self-deprecating thoughts of being useless and possibly undesirable because of a missing part that signifies ones mortality and old age- is the cold and callous way in which the doctor, excuse me, RN, delivered the news (plus the fact that there's a cyst on my ovary, "But those come and go so no need to worry about that just yet"), as if she had better things to do and I was in the way of those better things. As if my uterus and all the psychological repercussions attached to losing said uterus didn't matter.

Well it does matter, to me. Maybe I don't really want more kids or maybe I do. What if I'm with someone who has never had kids? What future family can I offer him? What if I don't want to lay on a table and put my life in a surgeon's hands? I've had surgery before and it didn't go so well.

And then thinking of that messy ordeal reminded me of all (well, the two) pregnancies I had that I so cavalierly discarded and walked away from without remorse. My latent Catholic tendencies couldn't help but think this was my punishment.

I don't know, I'm rambling at this point. All I know is that for a week now I've been walking around rubbing the area on my tummy where the fibroid is growing out of control, making me look three months pregnant, and feeling sad. K is going off to college next year and N is following in her footsteps faster than I care to think about. Maybe I didn't want any more babies but maybe I do. And I suppose I was prepared to lose my uterus to menopause but this...this just doesn't seem fair.

You'll excuse me if I tend to be a bit more attitudinal these days than usual. I'm trying my best not to fall apart.

*smooches...still pondering what to do next*
but shout out to Cathi who really talked me down off the ledge about this whole thing and gave me some really good and practical and loving advice; it helps to have a friend who has studied medicine. love you girl!