This is one of those posts that I’ve avoided writing. There are certain subjects that I’ve considered off limits. They include my sex life, my job (although I blur that line a bit) and most of my childhood. Ironic that I write about my child’s childhood huh? Anyway, I also tend to avoid writing anything that may be considered TMI. However, this particular subject deals with fertility, parenthood and just plain being me. I have written so many posts over the years about my fertility journey it is difficult to link them all. I’ve also written about having a second child. Again, too many to link. I doubt there are many new readers here anyway.
For the past 8 1/2 years my husband and I have not done any extraordinary measures to not become pregnant. 8 1/2 years without birth control and not a single pregnancy is impressive if you ask me. The first month many many years ago I thought, “this is it! Here we go.” I had optimism and hope. After the first year that hope started to wane. It gave rise to doubt, then fear, then depression.
Maybe this time.
Each month I said it… Maybe this time.
We started an international adoption. We finished the adoption. We have a beautiful little boy. The whole 2 years, maybe this time.
A year after our son came home we actively started trying to get pregnant again. I took my temperature, I visited my accupuncturist on a weekly basis, I used a digital fertility monitor. Surely this time. It was purely get down to business and make this happen.
There was no baby. There was hurt, sadness and pain. Physical pain. I’ve lived with a level of physical pain most of my life. It’s a pain that most women can’t even imagine. It is who I am and a part of who I had to be. Even though I knew what the pain was from I still thought, maybe this time.
I was holding onto this hairline rope and each month I slipped further and further down. Every month, maybe this time. 8 1/2 years, maybe this time.
In October I reached the last few inches of the rope. The pain was more than I could bare. There were other factors. The bleeding. The bleeding that nothing could slow down. The two of them were in the way of me living life. It was who I was. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to suffer.
Years and years ago I drove by a church reader board. It said, “If you’re already in a hole stop digging.” It changed my life that day. I dig a hole and the hairline rope was dropping me into the hole. In December I was at the very end of the rope. I had a choice. I could let go and fall into the hole or I could grab hold and pull myself out. I made a phone call and scheduled an appointment with my OB/Gyn (known as Dr. Awesome).
I had to wait 2 weeks for the appointment. I knew what he was going to say. The 23rd of December I went to the appointment and sure enough, he said he wanted me to schedule another ultrasound. My uterus felt enlarged and the pain and bleeding I was experiencing was certainly not normal. I went for the ultrasound on December 28th. I’m grateful for the chatty ultrasound tech. She told me (and showed me) that I had a 1″ fibroid. This time it was submucosal (the last ones were intramural). This was what was most certainly causing the excessive bleeding. I had a week and a half to discuss all of this with Derek. We talked and talked. I knew what my options would come down to. Have the fibroid removed and try, yet again, to get pregnant right away or end my fertility for good.
Last Friday we met with Dr. Awesome again. Yes, there is a 1″ fibroid that is most certainly preventing me from remaining pregnant. In addition I have a hemmoragic cyst in my left ovary. Both of them are contributing to the excessive pain and bleeding. I had 3 options. 1) have the fibroid removed. It would maybe lessen the bleeding and be the only option to preserve my “fertility.” 2) Endometrial ablation. It would remove the fibroid, probably cut down on the bleeding, maybe some pain, but totally end my fertility. 3) a hysterectomy. It would remove the fibroid, end the bleeding and because of my previous surgery would have to be done abdominally and he could also fix scar tissue and clean up the endometriosis. It would also end my fertility. He told us to think about it.
We left the office and I sat in the car and cried. There was no easy answer. If I have just the fibroid removed I still had the cyst and the endometriosis. Given my track record of being able to get pregnant neither of us were confident that it would work this time. If I had the ablation the bleeding might get better, but I’d likely have to have it done again and I would probably still have the pain. The hysterectomy is major abdominal surgery where they remove an organ. He was unsure if I would be able to keep my ovaries. We know 1 will have to go. We aren’t sure about the other. If there is any endo on the right ovary it will have to go. That would leave me with hormone replacement. It wasn’t an easy decision.
We’ve never needed to have a biological child. In the weeks leading up to the appointment we had been researching adoption again. We needed to know that there was an international adoption option out there that was attainable. We think we’ve found one and we’re filing the information away in the “future plans” section of our life. The final decision came down to quality of life. For the past year I have not been the best person to be around. Much of that is dealing with the loss of my mother-in-law. However, I am only a half functioning human being these days. I want to fall asleep on the couch around 7:30 each night. I can barely walk up the hill to the bus stop each day because of the pain. I take more pain killers than I’ve ever taken before. I am miserable. I’m tired of feeling miserable. I am too young to watch my life go by just because I want to keep an organ that I’m not really using anyway.
I’m opting for they hysterectomy.
It means 6 weeks of no work and recovery. It means adoption is option #1. It means I’ll have my life back. Sure, I’m scared as hell, but I’m doing this for the right reasons. Because THIS time it will work.