I was recently told that I may need a hysterectomy. Not that I DID need one, but that if my little surgery this week didn't resolve things, that a hysterectomy was the next step.
I am not freaking out. I am contemplative. I think if I was just told "you need a hysterectomy" I would bypass the contemplative state and move into placation-mode. If you are told that you must have some procedure, or you receive a diagnosis of some sort, you don't have the luxury of mulling over the idea. You have to act. You are removed from the philosophical into the reality that you are experiencing. So here I am with some time to really think about how I feel about all of this. Writing is how I do that and since I am a blogger you get to come along on this journey of the mind.
A while back I wrote a piece about my body falling apart. It happens. Five pregnancies in 8 years, 4 live births via c-section, and one miscarriage, takes its toll. I wrote
And the answer is we fix what is broken, not because we don't like the way it looks
but rather because it doesn't work any more
Part of my body isn't working any more and sadly it concerns my reproductive organs. So we are fixing what is broken and that may entail just removing it all.
I know in NFP circles we often joke about wanting to go through early menopause, but it really isn't such a great time. It isn't a horrible time either, but it can be kind of rough. Menopause following a hysterectomy comes on suddenly and can be a bit more rough. Instead of your body slowing down product of hormones it just stops. Hormone replacement can be helpful but now we are getting into the medical part of it all and that isn't my area of expertise. Early menopause eliminates the need for NFP obviously because you aren't fertile any more so I have mixed feelings about that too (read more).
I think with much in life we can look at things as good or bad, but sometimes they are neither.Is it bad that I may not be able to have more kids naturally? Is it good since we already have 4? Is this God's way of saying we should continue to look at fostering?
Maybe in situations like this what is good or bad is how we respond to it all.
Fertility is a gift. It is not a right. It is not something to be taken advantage of nor is it something to be manipulated for our own selfish desires and measures. I know families with lots of kids (by Catholic standards even) who have as many or even more babies in heaven. Most people don't even know that although their arm are full, they have shed many tears for those babies who they never met. I have friends how have carried babies to term, only to bury those babies. They think about those little souls every day. I have friends who have adopted babies after struggling with fertility or miscarriages and those babies are every bit as much theirs as their biological babies. Was it their plan? No, it was God's plan and He always has a better plan than ours!
When we look at a couple or a family we never know their story, their struggles, their private prayers, the suffering they have endured. Life is a gift. The ability to cooperate with God the Almighty in His plan for life in this world is an honor.
I guess as it all comes around and my pontificating comes to an end... I surrender my fertility to God just as I always have. If I need to be done with stage of my life so be it. There are many ways to be generative and life-giving and I have these little faces to remind myself of that ongoing assignment from the Lord.
Thanks for stopping by to think with me!
Post-script: My surgery went well! Thanks for your prayers. They think they found the source of my pain but weren't able to resolve it. I need another specialist to do that, but like this procedure it is simple and should have a quick recovery.