"You will wish you did it years ago."
"You will not regret making this decision."
"You will never miss having a period."
All phrases that I have heard from people about hysterectomies.
And I actually believe they are true. I am certain that never having a period will be amazing. I have always had issues with my menstrual cycle and have had more then one doctor suggest I get a hysterectomy. But I just couldn't do it...
Because of damn Oprah.
Years ago I saw an episode where a mom talked about all of her children being killed in a car accident and how horrible it was. (It really was one of the saddest episodes ever.) She said there was a moment that she didn't know who she was anymore. She was no longer a Mother.
I bawled my eyes out listening to her story. Knowing the title Mother is my favorite title. For me, it is better than Sister, Daughter, Friend, Woman, or any of the job titles I have ever had. It is special because of the children who call me Mom. My three unique kids are the reason I answer to that awe inspiring name.
The woman on Oprah continued to say how she was later able to get pregnant and have more children. I don't believe the children were a replacement for the ones that died, or could possibly ever fill that hole. But they were a gift, a second chance at love and family, and to continue to be a Mom.
I know it is irrational to worry that this will happen to me. I know it sounds creepy and insensitive when people think of replacing one lost child with another. But sometimes I have irrational fears. Sometimes I am afraid of the things I can't control.
I have always had at least some control over my uterus. Sure, it has caused quite a bit of discomfort and pain for the past few years. But for as disruptive and painful as it has been, I always knew that it was there. Just in case my crazy irrational fears came true.
But the problem with many of my irrational fears, they seem to be something else entirely.
I absolutely LOVE my kids. More than I ever imagined I could. Way past the limits that I thought were possible. I could write a whole post dedicated to how amazing and brilliant they each are. And for the individual happiness and joy they bring to my life. I could fill books and libraries with the love I have for them. They are absolutely irreplaceable.
If something happened, I couldn't replace them. I wouldn't even want to try.
My irrational fear, that forces me to keep a uterus "just in case" (that clearly hates me and is trying to self destruct at this very moment) isn't about replacing them. It is about the fear of replacing me. Who would I become without my family?
For some ridiculous reason, I think holding on to my uterus is the security blanket protection against the loss of my family. And ultimately, the loss of who I am.
My doctor recommends I get a hysterectomy. He knows that it is ruining my quality of life. He knows that after any given period the horrible cramps will come back, and each time they have gotten much worse, and can land my back in the ER. He knows I shouldn't have to spend a week out of the month on pain meds, missing soccer games, and snuggles because I can't stand up. He knows it is time to let go.
And I can finally agree with him.
In order to let go, and have the hysterectomy, I have to let go of those fears. I have to trust that everything will be alright, that my kids will be safe with me forever, that I won't have to face what the woman on Oprah had to face. And I have to accept that even if tragedy happens, I will always be able to find myself. And I will always carry the titles that have meant something to me. As much as I love being a mom, I am also more than a mom. I am so many things, and I have so much more to become.
I am honestly very grateful for my uterus, that was healthy enough to carry and protect my 3 babies when they were in utero, but I am ready to be done with it.
And now it is off to the surgeon to say my final good byes to "Aunt Flo".