Shutting the door.
It is one thing to know you don’t want to do something. It is another to know that you can never do that something.
Much of this spring, I was feeling somewhat defeated as I continued to discover how my anatomy and physiology was far from perfect, that I would never know what it is like to carry a child or give it nourishment, that I would not know the joy of being a mother.
Women with diabetes have babies. Women with an uterine anomaly like mine have babies. But both? Handling both of those enormous risks all at once? Not to mention managing blood pressure and the thyroid condition. If I could even become pregnant. If I could even stay pregnant.
Knowing that I could lose, and lose, and lose, and never win, I just couldn’t let it happen. I was simply not strong enough. I didn’t want a child enough.
After all, motherhood was well below “visiting London”, “living closer to the mountains with a bigger yard”, and even “scooping litter boxes” on life’s priority list before I knew I was broken.
Why the sudden sadness over not having a child? If infertility was happening to the right woman, why did it bother me so? Did my prior lack of desire to be a mother mean I knew deep down that something inside me was broken? Or was I a glutton for punishment wanting to prove the odds wrong? Or is it true that all women have some degree of biological desire to be maternal, that the biological clock is far from a myth, thanks to all the estrogen and progesterone guiding our monthly cycles?
Whatever it was, I knew there was a decision to be made. Truth be told, we had been on the brink of shutting the door on having children before I got sick last December. Even as I was rushed into emergency surgery due to the abscess of unknown origins, it was all about saving the ovaries first and uterus second. And now, here, the perfect opportunity to do a minor procedure while I was already opened up for a second pelvic surgery.
That is how “tubal ligation” came to be added to the surgical consent form.
Shutting the door turned out to be for the best. Not only did my right fallopian tube need to be entirely removed thanks to recent abuse from the abscess, but the pathology on the snipped-off ends of my left tube showed older damage. Of course. (Remember that part about “if I could even become pregnant”?)
Just as the physical scar continues to heal, so does the emotional one. Sometimes those hormones, the ones that run the biological clock, send me into a tailspin of “what the fuck did I do?”. Most of the time, though, knowing that I shut the door allows me an incredible sense of peace.