Almost a month and a half ago my body must have decided it had a great dislike for my comfort. The pains on my lower left side were reminiscent of pains I had two years ago that caused me to lose my right ovary. I ignored them, berated them, angered over them, and finally accepted them. After a few missed days from work and consult with my doctor I had what seemed to be 3 options in front of Casey and me. None were an easy path.
Option 1: Get pregnant FAST! Now to some this may seem like a no-brainer. Casey and I want to be parents. We have been offered support and love from family members. We have dear friends who have benefited and had blessed results from fertility treatments. What could be the harm? Why wasn't this the logical answer? Well... It just wasn't. It wasn't a good fit for us. The same way surrogacy wasn't a good fit. I had medical concerns about my faulty womb. Spending that amount of money and investing so much hope only to have my body reject a fetus was asking a lot. How do I know it would do that? Well I have a track record. Chemical pregnancies as well as a family line of miscarriage and heartbreak. I truly did not think I could emotionally, physically, or mentally (and right truthfully financially) handle a let down of that proportion. Casey felt the same. We had tried some fertility treatments before and it is a difficult journey. Anyone who has endured the ups and downs of treatments understands. We had to rule that option out. It hurt. So very badly did it hurt to admit that although someday we would HAVE children, I would not BEAR those children. It was through much prayers and soul searching that we determined that although it was painful, there is no easy way to be a parent and the Lord would provide the right path for us if we put our trust in Him. Someday I will post more on how children's movies helped me a lot in learning that families are built in many different ways. To name a few as silly as they may be, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, and Up.
Option 2: Hormonal Therapy: Now doesn't that sound just awesome. To be honest I've been doing HRT since I was about 14. I have always had to be on some kind of hormonal medication in order to function. Either to prevent cysts, or to stop endometriosis from growing, or to keep me sane, I've needed it. I've gone off of it only to try to have children. Only with the hopes that my body would work properly. It is that sense of hope I had that was so dangerous. I know that sounds incredibly dramatic and self indulgent. But it's true. While on drugs I would think to myself, "if I can just be off of them for 6 months or more without a problem, maybe we can pursue pregnancy." I would do that. A problem would arise. I would go back on them. It was a really crappy cycle. To remain on them sounded exhausting. Honestly I was already tired. I didn't like the idea of doing that loop-de-loop any more before everything broke down anyway. Also if I was to graduate my hormones to big girl status to really fight my disease I would get the joys of a "false" menopause. Bone density loss, possible facial hair growth and several other not so fun results. Oh please sign me up. Being on temporary hormones also kept me from committing or admitting that maybe pregnancy wasn't the answer for us. It's hard to focus on adoption paperwork when in the back of your mind you think there may still be a way.
Option 3: Hysterectomy/Oopherectomy: So ominous. So scary. So final. It was the finality of this option that caused me to pause. It required full commitment to something drastic and some consider needless. It also meant I would STILL be on freaking HRT! Only this time it was for real menopause. Menopause?!? At age 30.
What the frak?
When you look up menopause you see things like, weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes... And that is just a few bits of the fun. Is THAT worth it? Given with only one ovary I was more than likely to go into early menopause anyway just as my mother had. In a way I'm envious of her. This sounds awful but at least she didn't have a choice. She didn't have to weigh the options and pick a course of action. No instead her broken and beaten body completely rebelled and she had no choice at 23 but to go under the knife. I'm not saying her way was better or easier. I just wish at times my analytical mind wouldn't have to come into play.
Anyway, with all that fun ahead of me a person might think, then WHY would you consider this surgery?
Doesn't it seem like the worst choice of the three?
To others it would be. For some it may have been the middle choice. For me, it was the best option for my family and myself. Does that make it easy or painless. Absolutely not. Believe me there has been much pain. Less emotional that I originally thought. I only had one or two moment of overwhelming emotion. But for the most part this decision brought about more peace than I had had in years. It closed the door on option one so completely that it felt as if a weight had been lifted. It laughed comically at option two. If I was going to have to be in menopause it would be real dammit.
It made me consider who I really am.
I am not anything more or less than what I was before a surgical knife administered the first cut.
I still have my laugh and sense of humor. My eyes still change color based on what I'm wearing. My heart still hopes to nurture, love, support, and give kindness to others. I am me. With or without my womb.
A week later I am, okay. My incisions still ache. My mobility is limited. I am very tired.
But I am a peace with our decision of surgery. I like that now is the time to move forward and trust myself, my dear husband, and the Lord. I am moved by the sympathy and tenderness others have shown me. I am grateful and incredibly blessed.
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