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.
Posted on June 11, 2010, in Domestic Life, Health. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
I admire the strength you have in sharing something so personal. Although your experience is unique, know that you are not alone. Wishing you the best!
You are very brave! Thank you for sharing this.
You do what you have to do. You’ve shown such wonderful thoughtfulness with your decision. I wish you peace and happiness.
I’m also sure you guys are going to be THE favorite aunt and uncle in your families!
I think this shows about the power of choice. Having a choice between two options is so much more empowering than being forced into one, even if it was the one you’d have chosen.
I’m happy you’re feeling the peace.
I don’t envy you having to make that decision. but are glad you are coming to peace with it.
This has been so difficult for you. I’m glad you’re coming to terms with it. We love you.
Why are you sad? I think perhaps before, there was always a little window cracked open for “if” … if you change your mind, if it happened by accident/miracle, etc. Even a friend who is in her mid-40s who actively chose not to become a mother told me she still mourned her choice when she made it, finally and concretely.
Before Steve and I got married, we talked about having his vasectomy reversed. It would be wonderful to make a child with him. Then, we got beyond the emotion and romance and thought about what it would be like to have an infant, and we realized that’s not what we want. For about a week, then for about a week when my niece was born, I felt sad about our decision. I didn’t want to change it, but I felt sad–an opportunity lost.
It’s normal to feel sad about saying no to something you weren’t sure you wanted in the first place. I admire your strength, and your ability to choose the life you want for yourself. Many women are unable (for many reasons) to do that.
It takes a strong person to make the choice that you made. Someone with incredible insight into themselves and a sense of real maturity. I’m proud of you. You are an inspiration
You are so strong, smart and brave for going through all this. I know it must have been super hard but also know it was the best decision for you. Stand tall!