The end of an era

large_5394134125I am challenged this week by the Daily Post to go into my mental storage and examine some things that I’ve been holding onto though I do not use them. It’s like a good old fashioned changing of the closets, donation drive, and yard sale preparation post! There are so many things I’ve held onto over the years that I keep in boxes or curios just collecting dust, literally or figuratively,and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I need my Cabbage Patch Kid, my Pound Puppy, my third grade report card, the tiara purchased for the wedding I never got around to having, my uterus…..



Yeah, I said it.

There were many things in life I thought I’d have. A hysterectomy at 33 wasn’t one of them. Sure, the doctors were always clear with me that it would be a miracle if I made it to thirty without a hysterectomy, but I always held out hope that I’d beat the odds. I did beat the odds. I beat the odds by a lot. I made it to 33. I made it ten years longer than we thought I’d make it. I had the baby that doctors didn’t think I’d be able to carry. I delivered him naturally, which (most) doctors said I wouldn’t be able to do. Shouldn’t that be enough for me? Why isn’t that enough for me?

Because I wanted more. My son is soon to be eight years old, and I just gave away his cloth diapers over the winter, because I figured that if I ever did have another, well, it wasn’t going to be soon, and I was running out of storage space. I’ve been holding onto hope for so long that I would find the right man, get married, and have more babies. I don’t want to give that up.

I want my girl. I want to have a baby girl of my very own and name her after my late sister and my baby sister. Lisa Brigid.

I want to share a pregnancy and a child with a husband who loves us, not live in fear of a man who seems to think that the only thing less worthy of survival than the growing life in my belly is the woman who carries him.

Instead, I have dysfunction. I’ve had dysfunction since I’ve had, well, function. I’ll spare you the gory medical details, but I’ll say that this will be my fourteenth surgery in that area, with the last being a total reconstruction of the “working parts,” as it were, that enabled me to have my son. I’ve spent years finding and trying every option and treatment available to put off the inevitable hysterectomy, until they finally stopped working and the quality of my life has become too far reduced. I know this is the right decision. I really do. Please don’t misunderstand.

I love my life. I love my son. I love what we’ve carved out for ourselves in our little house with our dogs and our autonomy. I just always pictured something so different for us. I pictured a big family. While I know it’s still a possibility, it’s something different. It’s changed.

When I came out of the scheduler’s office at the OB/GYN, and was checking out, surrounded by pregnant women, I met the sweetest couple. They were older, and this was their first child. The father was in a state of shock, but through his shock, what came through so overpoweringly was this abundance of love and pride and happiness. Mom was all giggles, and Dad could only say “wow” over and over. It was the greatest thing. It hit me shortly after that I will never experience this in my life. 

I think I’ve always harbored some hope that that sort of experience would help me heal from the abuse during my own pregnancy.

But I have more dysfunction.

Physical and emotional dysfunction, I suppose.

I will have to heal another way.

So while I cannot go through the boxes in my mental closet, pack this item away, and give it to charity, it is time to say goodbye. My hysterectomy is twenty days from now. My childbearing years are over. There will be no more pregnancies. There will be no more babies borne from this body. I cannot give this away.

All I can do is lay this at the feet of my Creator, and ask my Physician to heal me.

photo credit: ninacoco via photopin cc


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3 thoughts on “The end of an era

  1. Oh Katherine! What a moving post. Prayers indeed for you. I’ll be asking St. Anne for intercession for you. Our situations are *not* the same but I feel such a connection. I still want my boy. I still want my *healthy* twins but my child bearing days are coming to an end and my health is not great. May God have Mercy on us both and grant us healing of body and soul.


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