It is 11pm the night before my surgery and I am up, crying, feeling uneasy but firm in my decision for tomorrow. My fertility does not define me, I keep telling myself, though it has for a very long time. I have been infertile for 8 years now, the only hope of fertility for me would be through IVF. So why, when I had to sign the consent for my doctor to sterilize me on Wednesday, did it feel like a gut punch?
After my doctor’s appointment, before my pre-surgery Covid test, I stopped by the ocean. I walked, bare feet against the cold sand, and stared into the grey ocean. The waves were calm but strong, the sky filled with a soft cloud cover. I took a deep breath in, welcoming the salty air, and released all that I could from inside. Goodbye, Uterus, I said to the brisk air. The cool water washed over my feet, almost as if washing all over me, taking away my pain and sadness from my Endometriosis. This is a new chapter in my journey, a chapter without debilitating cramps that leave my curled into a ball at 1am, while I pray for the pain to go away. A new chapter in which I don’t have a false hope that one month will be the miracle month and my period won’t show up. A new chapter in which I can live a more normal life, a life that doesn’t revolve around my cycles, my diet, my doctor’s appointments.
Tonight my Dad called me to make sure I was confident in my decision. My Mom had told him I seemed to be wavering and all he wanted to do was to make sure I was ok. My parents are incredible humans and I am so lucky to be their daughter, their love for their children is overwhelming. Just take the one ovary, he said, and see how you feel. I reassured him I was ok and thought to myself, haven’t I been playing that game for five years now? This my fourth surgery, I know a fifth will be eventually here, but I want to prolong it as much as possible. Let’s be honest- I live in survival mode every day. How can I make it through these last two hours of work? How can I clean the bathroom, do the dishes, make dinner with this stabbing feeling inside? Because it isn’t an option for me not too. So why do I need my uterus to be gone? I want to live a life with less pain. I want to live my life and not be laid up on the couch, clinging to my heating pad for dear life, waiting for my next dose of advil. I know a hysterectomy is not a cure for Endo and I know I will need another surgery, but I am hoping for relief of at least a few years.
I know I will have grief. I already have it, a sense of loss deep in my belly where the emptiness will be. I know there will be days of regret. But my hope will be that all of the other days are filled with joy, with me living my life to the fullest, and enjoying my beautiful family I am so lucky to be a part of.
Tomorrow, at 9:45am, I will say goodbye to my uterus forever. And that is ok.