You would think I would have been hit with the gut wrenching reality of being sterile, at least once since my surgery. But nope, I keep living in some sort of ignorant bliss, and have not cried once about my lack of womb. I have noticed, though, my use of humor as a way to protect myself. I have said on more than one occasion, and to more than one person, “Well, it’s not like I can ever have kids” or “Well, there’s nothing inside of here that can give life” or “I am as barren as they come!” I keep wondering, when is this protective dam I built going to break?
My husband and I did go through fertility treatment and countless years of tears when my period would start. Am I just all cried out? Have I truly come to peace with the fact that I will never conceive or give birth? I hope so. And I should, right? Because how lucky am I to have two INCREDIBLE (yes, INCREDIBLE) step-kids who love and accept me as their Mol-Mol. Two amazing step-kids who I have been a part of their worlds since almost 4 and 1.5 years old. I am so beyond lucky to be in their lives.
When deciding to have a hysterectomy and some chance of a normal life, it was the most challenging of decisions. A hysterectomy is not a cure for Endo, please know that. But the pain for me was so intense during my period and during ovulation, that I had hope it would be life changing for me to remove my uterus and my right, cyst filled ovary. And it has been (so far!), regardless of the ovulation pain I had been feeling and these crazy hormonal changes. But what really sealed the deal for my decision, was having an honest conversation with my husband about where we are in our lives. He is 13.5 years older, almost 50, and he clearly stated he did not want to be a bad dad nor an old dad. I committed my life to this man, to my step-kids, to our family, and I could see how that dynamic would not be fair to anyone in our family, including myself. Our kids will be off to college in 4 and 7 years! Did I really want to wastefully invest thousands of dollars on fertility treatment that more than likely would not work? And if it did work, did I want to start over? In the end, I feel like I am content with the decision due to my family dynamic that I am fortunate to be a part of.
I am not naïve to the fact that grief takes on many forms, and can hit me like a tidal wave when I least expect it. And the fact I keep protecting myself with humor, I am sure it is in there, just waiting for the most inopportune time to take me down. I will stay open to this fact and gentle with myself when the time comes. But deep down, I know that making the choice of “sterilization” has so far been a good decision for me, for my family, and for the life I want to live.