Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Loosing my Fertility and Looking Beyond Babies

A few months back I wrote a post (here) about fertility and the possibility that I may be loosing mine. It was mostly a rambling post to process the possibility that I may be done with my childbearing years.  Today I am re-reading that post and ministering to myself as I come to terms with that possibility being a reality.  Turns out the specialist I saw has found the sources (three!) of my problems and they are all able to be remedied by a hysterectomy and some other surgical stuff at that same time.

The hysterectomy is the big think though - that is where they remove your uterus.  Your womb.  The home were my 5 babies grew and one baby's heart stopped beating. Ugh.

They are going to take the uterus and leave the ovaries so that I will hormonally still be mostly the same, I just obviously won't have a menstrual cycle or the possibility of having kids naturally.  I will still go through menopause (and get those lovely hot flashes) at the normal time, but I won't obviously loose any cycle then because I am loosing it with the surgery.

Cognitively... I am okay with all this.  I have four beautiful children to wake up to every morning. I have had 5 pregnancies and 4 C-sections. I have a medical solution to my pain and soon I will be pain free and able to really live again like a healthy person. It will mean 2-5 nights in the hospital and 4-6 weeks to heal so that isn't so bad.

Emotionally I am still not OK.  Not at all.  I keep asking myself why do I have such a heavy heart?

Emotionally I am filled with such sadness. The slow down in my blogging is a reflection of the darkness that is settling over me. I just don't want to do anything anymore. I want to escape. I don't want to think about it and I don't want to write about it. I really just want to sit in my room with a good book and forget about everything around me.  Cheerful right? This blog post itself has taken over a month to write.

Accepting the reality that I won't have any more kids is a shock to my system and I can't help but think of those women who DON'T have a full house already.  So first and foremost I am sad for others.  Just having a little glimmer of what it must be like, makes my heart feel like it is breaking - not for me but for them.  I can't possibly know what that feels like to have empty arms and to know that your body isn't working in accordance with your will.  I feel a bit betrayed by my body and really, in all honesty, that uterus has served me very well.  It was quite irritable during pregnancies but it didn't fail me.

There is a larger part for me however, that sees my sadness is tied up with a sort of confusion.  As a Catholic woman being open to life is part of who I am.  Even though my husband and I weren't planning on more kids, we certainly weren't closing any doors if you know what I mean.  We have had our own struggles with NFP (which I wrote about here), but have generally embraced it since my conversion. For us, "being open to life" has always been inextricably linked to having kids and practicing NFP. And now it isn't.

What does being open to life mean outside of the fruitfulness of a marriage? Scores of post-menapausal women and their husbands have wrestled with this question of course.  Many single women have reflected on this too I am sure.  I just didn't think I would be ruminating on it in my 30s.  I know we could adopt, but with so many infertile couples out there seeking babies to adopt, it just doesn't seem right for my husband and I to ask for another baby.  For a while now, we have been considering fostering babies and that is something we will probably pursue in the next year or so. But beyond the whole baby thing, there are ways that we can still be open to and supportive of life, and I (we) now need to explore those.

I will have lots of time to think on that I am sure while I heal. Hopefully the writing will come with that and I can get back to you all. We will see.  For now I am just coping. If you have questions or comments you can always leave them of course and I will be keeping you up to date in the coming months as to how everything goes.

So I close with just a prayer request. If you could say a prayer for us as we approach surgery and healing and adjustment it would be much appreciated!  Thanks for stopping by.

For more about Natural Family Planning click here. 

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