And I will keep it next to the bed

by Shauna on September 13, 2009

My girlie parts are starting to fail.

Not in a serious way, but bad enough that things need to be done about it.

Like, removed.

And I’m struggling with this.

Because after I have this *procedure* I will no longer be able to have children.

And I know what you’re thinking. You have four. Isn’t that enough?

Yes. It is enough. I knew the minute Ethan was born my family was complete–that I was finished birthing children.

But it was on my terms. It was my decision.

There’s something about being in control of it and knowing that at any moment, for any reason, if you wanted to, you could change your mind. You could decide you wanted another baby.

But now, the rules of the game have changed. My body has decided that’s not how it is anymore. And that has left me a little sad. A lot sad.

I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, or complaining, or being ungrateful. I know women, I’m friends with women, who struggle to have even ONE child because their bodies have changed the rules of the game. And I’m sure that sometimes those friends who struggle look at me and my passel of children or read when I’m griping about being too busy and think I wish I were you, I wish I had your problems. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I take all of this for granted. Because I do. I know that. I’m not always happy being a mother to four children. I bitch, I complain, I spew the not-so-good parts of being a mother.

I guess that’s how you know for sure that I am human.

But I know this much for sure: I’m happy being the mother to three awesome girls and one sweet little boy. I have my family and most days I am grateful for them. Even when it sounds like I’m not. I’m nothing if not inconsistent.

And now, with this latest development–my ailing vagina–it will be made final that no more children will pass through the halls of the mother ship. And you know, it should be OK. It should be. But for some reason I have it in my mind that it’s not.

I keep asking myself, why is this such a big deal?

And the only answer I can come up with is that it feels like a part of me will be taken away too.

So my question is: Do you think my gynecologist will think it’s weird if I ask her to put my uterus in a jar so that I may keep it?

Seriously.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna September 13, 2009 at 7:33 am

Why am I laughing? It seems inappropriate to laugh at you, but I am. Sorry about your uterus.

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Tanya September 13, 2009 at 7:35 am

I had the same procedure last year and I felt the same way. I didn't think to ask my doctor if I could keep the parts. Dammit!

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Cheryl September 13, 2009 at 7:51 am

I can so relate to you. It is much easier when it's your decision.

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Murray September 13, 2009 at 7:58 am

I hear ya, sista. I was never granted the blessing of baring a child, and now I'm at the stage of life where my little "playground" is erecting a fence with a big, fat CLOSED sign attached to it.

Not that I'm complaining about not supporting the abberated lifestyles of the CEO fat-cats at Tampax through my abnormally large need for their product anymore. I'm not. But it still saddens me to close the door on that chapter of my life.

Uterus in a Jar? Juuuuuust a little creepy, but somehow appropriate. :)

to quote a Kevin Costner flick: "Go for it, Roy!"

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Jennifer September 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

I know how you feel! I had to have an emergency C-Section with my last one and they asked me last minute the whole "While we are in there, you aren't getting any younger" bit and I stupidly said yes. So much was going on at the time and now I regret that decision. It is mainly because I can never make that decision for myself. I feel as if the reason I was put here is now gone and what am I going to do with myself now that I can't have any more kids.

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Jennifer September 13, 2009 at 8:37 am

Mother Ship?! *cries laughing* – Honestly, though, I'd ask to keep it, too. Great visual aid to avoid teen pregnancy in those other uteri in your home :) (This is your ute, this is your ute IN A JAR!!)

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Christine September 13, 2009 at 8:38 am

I've always agreed 100 percent with that statement that is why I'm freaking out about having surgery this week. It has messed with my mind something awlful but unfortunately cancer doesn't ask permission about anything!

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shauna September 13, 2009 at 8:41 am

Christine~

I think I speak for the group when I say you are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope the surgery is successful and the cancer is removed. So sorry you're going through this. Be well.

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MelRoXx September 13, 2009 at 9:08 am

good post!

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James T. September 13, 2009 at 9:12 am

Uterus in a jar would be a good addition to your mantel piece. Just think about the conversations you can have about it….and you can also use it to scare off door-to-door religion salesmen. [While holding and shaking jar of girlie parts at offending parties...] "I've squeezed four children out of this thing, don't think I won't squeeze one irritating little door-to-door bible thumper up into it!" You will be PERMANENTLY scratched from their list, sort of like I was when I invited one of them in to take a bath with me.

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MommaKiss September 13, 2009 at 9:24 am

Totally random, I love the name Ethan.

Sorry you're losing your girlie bits. Here, have some Pinot.

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The Commish September 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

Shauna,

I'm not a lady, but I've been through this with several of the important ladies in my life. No fun.

You (the collective "you," i.e., the mommas) are the reason we can continue as a species. So, I'm sure letting go of that awesome honor is anything but easy.

On the bright side, you are in care of four. And, many ladies could not as much as conceive one, or worse do horrible things with children they do have. I see that dark side of humanity.

I'm sorry.

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Rachel September 13, 2009 at 9:36 am

The dr told me I had to have my girl parts removed when I was 28. I couldn't do it. I felt like I still needed them! 2 years later our miracle baby girl was conceived, naturally against all science. When I was 35 I did have the parts removed. I get what you're saying….. it does feel wrong for lack of a better word but at the same time, to not deal with the monthly problems anymore and to have a healthy family around you, well that's pretty ok too

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Shnerfle September 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

You should totally keep the jar on your desk as writing "inspiration" just like Stephen King does with the "mind of a child".

Seriously, I hope all goes well with the procedure and you get lots of sympathy Pinot and your kids become proper little minions while you recover.

Same for Christine.

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HalfAsstic.com September 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Heh! I refuse to NOT take you at least somewhat seriously! I was 43 when I decided to have a thermal ablation procedure. I remember thinking, oh, my gosh, no more kids anyway, (my husband had had a vasectomy years before, but it was still a strange feeling that I was ending it, for sure, right then. But you know what? I told myself, "No more periods!" and got the hell over that!
The best thing I ever did for myself. And simple, outpatient, fast recovery, etc. Don't know if it's an option for you, but you can look into it at Novasure.com.
Oh, and I totally think if you go with the traditional hysterectomy, you should ask to keep your uterus in a jar! ;-)

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Katie Mae September 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm

A friend pointed me in the direction of your blog, and I love it! I can so completely relate to this post. I recently had to face a similar situation due to defective "plumbing". Huge hugs to you, but at the same time, LOL

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Becky Mochaface September 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm

So sorry to hear about your ailing vagina. I suspect I would feel the same way in your shoes. I have a secret fear that I won't be able to have children when I'm actually ready to have them. Completely irrational but whoever said fears have to be rational?

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Jane September 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Sending hugs at this sad and difficult time for you. And to calm your fears about offending any women out there who can't have children – I'm one (diagnosed infertile but had one baby late in life and now can't have anymore) – and I wasn't the least bit offended. If fact, while I was reading your post you brought up the "defective" feelings I had during the 15 years I spent trying to get pregnant. In a small way, I know a little of how you're feeling and I know how it hurts. Wishing you peace.

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Mama Kat September 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Your so right…it's hard not being in control and making the calls.

I felt the same way when I had my last c-section and the dr. was all "is this your last?" and I was all "Oh for SURE!" and then he was all "cause I can tie your tubes right now." and I was all "GASP!! NO DON'T DO THAT!!"

And let's not make light of this whole procedure you're going through!

SOMEONE GET THIS LADY A DRINK!

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Badass Geek September 14, 2009 at 7:03 am

I would think that'd it be a little… traumatizing to wake up and see one's recently removed uterus in a jar on the nightstand. But that's just me.

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mayopie September 14, 2009 at 8:26 am

I don't think that's weird at all. Do you think it's weird that I would like to keep your uterus in a jar?

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Lil Liami September 14, 2009 at 8:47 am

First, I would like to say that I am so, SO sorry to hear of your ailing vagina, Sweetie. I have compassion, because I too, at one time, had an ailing vagina.

Second, I would like to thank you for "making it ok" to talk about my vagina today. I must now go blog about vaginas. =)

PS…Good luck getting out of that hospital with your uterus. They wouldn't let me keep my gall bladder. Doctors are kinda dickish nowadays.

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Leisa Hammett September 14, 2009 at 10:04 am

Hey, why not?! I like your zappy writing. Found u this a.m. when Moms Who Blog retweeted a post of mine, which led me to her site, which had an interview with you. (You're gorgeous!) I used to be a recovering Baptist. I got over it and…a lot more. I can relate, however. I went to a Baptist school, too, and grew up steeped in the mighty convention. Cheerio!

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Pamela September 14, 2009 at 10:24 am

Well done!! I'm two weeks out from having my mother ship removed and I have struggled with this decision too, and even more so with communicating my distress. Thank you for putting it into words. Now I can just direct people to your post so I don't have to talk about it!

I don't think I want it in a jar though….something about feeling like living in a biology lab….. ick.

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bernthis September 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Hey, it's a big deal to lose a part of you you were born with. Here is to a quick recovery

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Amy September 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Happened to me too, though in a different non-surgical kind of way. I struggled with it and still do, and I have 3 awesome kids. It will not be fun. (sorry!)

Uterus in a jar. heh.

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Anonymous September 14, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Hey Shauna – I found your blog a few weeks ago and have really enjoyed your smart-alec sense of humor (I can relate). Anyway, I had a hysterectomy at the end of July – I could have written your post today because it's exactly how I felt – except for wanting to keep my uterus in a jar – (mom of 3, probably done having kids, but had a hard time letting go of the whole I control my fertility, wasn't I really supposed to have four kids, etc.). One piece of assvice – I had spinal anesthesia versus general and it was SO worth it. They gave me enough Versed that I didn't remember a thing, but also didn't have to go through the post-surgery nausea, etc. If you'd want to chat further, feel free to e-mail me – kmappes at yahoo.com. Take care!

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nikkimohamed September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I had it done after my 5th baby. Of course, the baby factory parts were bleeding non-stop and full of fibroids…one the size of Rhode Island, in fact. But weighing the options of forever on birth control pills or possibly bleeding to death after they cut out all those fibroids, we opted to have that sucker ripped out and bronzed. It did more than it's fair share of work. It should be honored. We keep it on the mantle above the fire place…next to my bowling trophy and my MOTY award for only allowing my son to have swollen nads due to accidents TWICE before he turned 10.

Take it out. Then you don't have to do the happy dance every month when you're "Oh Thank God" reminder comes and you and Tommy can do the Mattress Mambo whenever you like with no repercussions. It's the best thing I ever did!

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RobbieLee at Chickiedee September 18, 2009 at 9:23 am

I just came across your blog today and you're quite funny! I am terribly sorry to hear about your *procedure* because that is a big part of being a woman. I can see what you mean about having it on you own terms and this not fitting into that category, but the bright side it that you will not have that monthly visitor anymore. I'm not sure if your gynecologist will actually let you take your uterus home in a jar, but it's totally worth asking! Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised! Best of luck my Dear!

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