For some, it’s the secret addiction to ice cream at 10 PM—others, it’s much darker.
Some cover secrets with sugar and spice, to make them seem less painful(which for me is like rolling brussel sprouts in powdered sugar to make them taste better—it doesn’t work!).
The truth remains: we all have secrets.
10 years ago this week, my life changed forever when I gave up my uterus, and her playmates: ovaries and cervix.
I cannot fathom that it’s been 10 years.
It seemed like the right decision. I was sick. Really sick. The endometriosis, on top of recurrent rupturing cysts, had made my body weak. Pieces of endo were grabbing my lungs. This was kind of a bleak situation.
I learned the words: Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy. The surgery was scheduled.
So, what did I do? The night before surgery, I drove my happy hide to Winn Dixie and bought a cake. I had to spell “h-y-s-t-e-r-e-c-t-o-m-y” to the lady in the bakery, so she could write “Happy Hysterectomy” on my cake.
As if *I* wouldn’t do something like that!
Upon admission to the hospital, we were told that they were going to try to save my uterus, and maybe an ovary. I did, however, have to sign for a full, radical hysterectomy, if what they found was worse than they anticipated.
I woke up with 37 staples across my abdomen.I counted them every time I woke up from my pain killer haze. The gravity of the situation hit me hard: I had no internal woman parts. I literally felt hollow.
For months, I avoided all situations where there could possibly be a baby. Even though Janson was just a wee babe herself. I didn’t want to see pregnant women. I didn’t want to see cute little baby clothes, and blankets, and all the things I could never look forward to having again.
It became “the excuse.” Family claimed my hysterectomy was the reason I was “acting out.” Friends avoided me, knowing they were going to make me sad with their rapidly swelling bellies.
But no one ever took the time to ask me how I really felt.
Yes, I was sad. I was moody. I felt out of place, as the only 23 year old on the planet (so I thought) who had no Ute. But I was also angry. Really, really angry.
I listened to people tell me all the time: “This was for the best.”
“Some people aren’t meant to have children.”
For awhile, that was enough. Enough to keep me sad, depressed, and hiding my true emotions. But, I was getting more and more angry.
My anger was seeded in a society that looks at women who are barren/infertile as lesser citizens. Having a uterus and procreating is clearly the only thing worth doing in this life (did you hear my eyes roll?). Many people are against women attempting in-vitro because it’s “not natural”—women are just supposed to accept their fate and move on. I disagree…there is a reason that such a thing was discovered, and I think it has a lot to do with Divine Intervention!
Then, we adopted Jack. He threw us for a completely different loop. Our adoption is definitely not a lesson in the perfect adoption triad…or anything remotely close to that!
I still, and will probably always, long to hold a baby. My baby.
I may be envious of all my friends having babies.
I may daydream about tiny diapers and newborn reflexes.
Yet, I wouldn’t change a thing.
That’s right, you heard me!
I wouldn’t change a thing.
All the physical and emotional pain has been totally worth it. I would never be the person I am today, had life been easy. I would be just like You, or You, or even You. I might be the person that says ugly things to women that can’t bear children. I might be the woman that can’t look Jack in the face at the mall. I could be so involved in my career that I don’t listen to my children. I would miss milestones. I could put so much stock in life and not enough stock in my marriage. I would have never known the joy that comes from heartache.
That, my friends, is my secret.
I think I may be healing….