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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Breaking up with my uterus: Hysterectomy here I come

I know that is an attention grabbing header for a blog post but really, what’s the point in being coy? I promise this won’t be overly graphic or inappropriate, though some might argue that even bringing up the topic is wholly inappropriate. Honestly, it is a major milestone in my life and important enough to be recognized.

                                                             Yes, this is a cake!

Next week I am having a hysterectomy. After years of pain and other obnoxious health issues, my doctors have advised me to consider parting ways with my uterus. It seems the benefits of “staying together” are outweighed by the ongoing health issues it is causing me. 

May years ago, women weren’t empowered enough to discuss “female problems” in mixed company. But let’s face it- it’s 2013 and commercials for drugs to treat male erectile dysfunction and prostrate problems are commonplace. So why not talk about a procedure which a huge percentage of women have each year? It’s nothing to be ashamed of or feel uncomfortable about. It is a procedure which saves women’s lives and gives many of them a new lease on life. I am fortunate not to be having a hysterectomy due to cancer. I’ve been putting it off for many years but now the time has come for a change.

I am not going to get into all the medical jargon or the particulars of the surgery. You can look it up on the internet if you really feel compelled to know. I will only speak to my feelings and thoughts on entering a new uterus-free chapter of my life and the mixed emotions that accompany it. 

First and foremost, I would like to thank my uterus for being instrumental in giving me my three wonderful children. I will be forever grateful to my uterus for accepting and nurturing my embryonic children and giving them the opportunity to grow to full term.

                                         The three fruits of my womb

Unfortunately, besides reproductive function, my uterus has been a handful. So we have to break up. It’s time. I have waited patiently, and tried everything I could think of to make it work between us, but nothing has been successful. It’s for the best. Our time has passed, and I just don’t need you anymore. No hard feelings, nothing personal. It’s just the way it has to be.

The other day I was talking to my physician about the procedure and I have to confess, I got a little choked up. That may sound a little hormonal, so I will try to explain what was going through my head at the time.  

My uterus and I began our real partnership 33 years ago, when I had my first child at the age of 17. Many people don’t know that fact about me, and I am certainly not ashamed of it. So you see, I first began my relationship with my uterus when I was pregnant with my first son. I have three children and all of them were delivered by doctors in the same practice, the one I have been going to for the past 33 years. At the time my last child was delivered, there were three male doctors and one female doctor. All three of my children were delivered by the male doctors, which was not planned but just the luck of the draw. Guess who will be performing my hysterectomy? The female doctor. She will be the one who will close out the chapter of my reproductive life. The circle will be complete. The other three doctors delivered my precious children, and the final doctor is the one who will be delivering me from my ongoing issues with my uterus.

                                                            Me, with my uterus, at 17

I hope it doesn’t seem flippant or disrespectful to break up with my uterus, and for that matter, to write about the break up. It has been a long time coming. I honor the time we’ve shared- our ups and downs, and good times and bad. Just like any other relationship that has ceased to be beneficial or productive, our time has come to part.

Farewell, dear uterus. I can’t say I will miss you, but I honor you and the fruits you have given me. I am looking forward to life without you and the start of a new and exciting chapter of my life.