I Want My Uterus Back

…and the ovaries and cervix too.

This is my daughter and I as we attended our first BlogHer conference in 2006. She’s on my hip, and there is nothing quite like the feeling of a baby on your hip.

Nose picking at BlogHer

I want a baby on my hip forever.

That’s really what this boils down to.

I had a moment this week, looking at a baby on tv, and I ached.

I ached so hard and so bad I had to get up and walk around the house for a minute. I stood up from the couch and took a few steps into my hallway where all I could see were the kid’s toys scattered across the playroom. So I averted my eyes, looked up, and found them glaring at our fireplace mantle, riddled with photos from over the years. One with me, holding my son, who couldn’t have been more than two. All chubby cheeked and round.

I could feel his diaper under his clothes as I patted him on his butt. That pat, pat, pat, hallow sound only a diaper under clothes makes.

So I turn the corner, walk up the few stairs into the dining room and glance at the cabinet holding the photo of my husband and daughter. She can’t be more than two and still showing the plumpness of having been breastfed.

She’s got her tiny, tiny fingers gripped around Aaron’s shirt- holding on to her Daddy with that baby vice grip. The one that would also entrap my hair and her brother’s toys. The cat’s tail. Those tiny, STRONG fingers that hold so so tight as only a baby’s can.

The kitchen. I will walk into the kitchen, it must be safe there.

The ‘kid’ cabinet is open. Plastic plates and cups are strewn about as if one of my spawn was just inside said cabinet…rummaging for God-knows what. This leaves the forgotten items in the back exposed for me to see. Old sippy cups. The ones I should have thrown away years ago. The ones we used while transitioning the kids from the breast. That white and pink one with the butterfly. The green and navy blue one with the stars. A thousand warm and fuzzy memories fill my brain just from those two cups. From cups. Simple cups.

I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.

It all seemed to happen so fast. Was it really Lupus that took my uterus? I had pain, yes. I had horrible inflammation, yes. But did we really do everything we could have to save my reproductive organs? It’s all such a blur. Was this my choice? To rid myself of the pain and trouble? Was it entirely necessary? Sure my uterus took a beating, and sure it had been through hell…but what if I could have carried just one more baby. Just one more pregnancy.

Just one more.

I had a chance to do just that. It didn’t happen. It would have been beyond hard for many reasons, but my body did have a chance. And it’s the chances that leave me wondering endlessly.

The decision was made long before my uterus left though. There were to be no more babies in this house. My husband and I knew this. But the hope…the off chance.. the idea… reversals do happen, they have been done.

Now. Now this can’t be undone. You can’t put organs back in, you can’t give me back my periods or all those eggs. You can’t reverse a hysterectomy like you could have a vasectomy.

Nevermind I  was terrible at being pregnant. I forget all of that each time I see my kids. Was Lupus the reason I barely carried my children to term? I spent months on bedrest? I had so so so many problems and was high risk? Could that beaten and battered uterus have done it just one more time? Was there any chance of convincing my husband to undergo another procedure?

I may know the answers to all of these, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering. Not when I feel that tug in my gut when I see baby, hear someone is pregnant, or look at the children we did create. It doesn’t matter that the answer to all of the above is no. It just doesn’t matter. I still wonder and it still hurts and I will wonder forever.

I will wonder each time the kids ask me for a new brother or sister and I delicately remind them their Mom has no uterus.

I will wonder as my mother-in-law and I drive past a garage sale and she notes the baby crib on the sidewalk, and I almost open my mouth to apologize for not giving her more grandchildren…and stop, and turn my head, and pretend not to hear.

I will wonder forever if that total hysterectomy was necessary and if I could have gotten pregnant just one more time and if I could have had just one more baby to hold and to coo over and to raise.

Maybe if my life were different I wouldn’t sit here and wonder so damn much. Maybe if I didn’t have that husband who’s like UBERSUPERDAD, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound…and maybe if I didn’t have the most amazing, kind-hearted kids, who truly want nothing more than to cuddle with me. They just make it so damn easy. They make it only natural to wonder, because who wouldn’t want more more more more of this life? You’d be crazy not to.

But the truth is, I do not want to wonder for the rest of my life. It’s a torture of sorts to wonder forever.

So I’m choosing to stop wondering and moving on to just demanding the impossible:

I want my uterus back.

Comments

  1. #fucklupusinthearsewithnolube

    ((hugs))

    I want you to have your uterus back, too.

  2. Awww.

    Love you.

    (hugs)

  3. Logic has nothing to do with it, and I wish you had your uterus. It’s mourning the possibilities that sucks so bad.

  4. You breeders. I’ll never understand.

  5. But if there were uterus transplants, and if my uterus wasn’t a dried up shriveled prune, I would totally let you have mine.

  6. OH Erin.

    </3

  7. I love Suebob. That is all.

  8. (((hugs))) I’m sorry.

  9. Oh honey.
    xoxoxoxo

  10. I too have craved feeling another baby in my belly so hard that it felt like I was mourning.

    I hope “you’re not alone” & “I understand that” is a helpful addition, because it’s all I have. <3

    When people joke about us having more kids (we can't), I say "But I have two perfect kids already, we fear the 3rd one would be the little monster we actually deserve."

  11. I never had children and was fairly certain I would never have them, but when they took my uterus, I had to grieve it, too. What if? I was overwhelmed at times with could-have-beens. Seeing babies meant heartbreak, and I avoided them for a long time.

    I just want you to know that it does get better. It doesn’t get fixed, but it does get better.

  12. If I tell you about my sore nipples and bags under my eyes, will that help? ;-)

    You have amazing kids. You’re a great mama. If suebob provides the uterus, I will give the mik.

    Love to you, my friend!

  13. I did not have a hysterectomy (sp?) but went into early menopause – and hated being pregnant w/my daughter who btw is 20 now and oh my God the love of my life!

    But I waited another 10 years to try again and it didn’t happen and I ached and missed that my “window” had closed.

    Feel good about yourself girl! You’ve got 2 kids that you love – when I started down the road to have another one the husband and I (we’ve divorced since) realized we were already lucky – we had a child.

    Everything happens for a reason – that’s my mantra….

  14. This made me tear up. I’m sorry the choice was taken from you. The what-ifs are cruel and unfair and just one more thing you shouldn’t have to worry about. xo

    *stupid cute, pudgy little infants making us want what we can’t have. Grumble*

  15. When my daughter was born I remember thinking “that was cool, I want to do that two more times.” I really thought at that point, weeks before my 38th birthday, that I could have two more pregnancies, two more little babies.

    It wasn’t to be.

    For lots of reasons which tangled together in complicated ways, there never seemed to be a good time for a second pregnancy. And then there was something growing in one of my ovaries, and I was 43, and my husband and I looked at each other and sadly said, we’re done. So when my ovary was removed my other fallopian tube was severed, and that was that. But no matter how good the reasons were, and are, there is still a part of me that wants to make another baby to have on my hip, and there is a deep ache when I think of how close my brother and I were growing up, and how my daughter will never know that sibling relationship in her life.

    I’m so sorry for the lost opportunities — mine, and yours. We grow up believing we can have everything we want in life, and it turns out not to be true, and it hurts and it’s hard to accept.

    I’m sorry, Erin. (((hugs)))

  16. If you want, you can have mine. It’s not like I’m using it at the moment. (As a matter of fact, I got a lecture from a pharmacist about how I should be sleeping in a separate bedroom from my significant other while I’m on these meds.) You can have it for 10 or 12 years until I need it.

    Joking aside, I want to give you a hug.

  17. I have a bum uterus. I still have it, but it’s like having a flat tire. The wall of my uterus blew out during that last one and while it’s “healed over” – not unlike a balloon with a weak spot – if it ever tried to expand again it would blow out there again long before it could carry a baby to term.
    Yeah, no hysterectomy doesn’t mean there’s a nagging hope… it means a rational fear of anything resembling the possibility of a pregnancy. 7 months after I had my tubes seared and cauterized, I still had a week where my body decided to act like I was in the early stages of pregnancy… My husband had to remind me that there was no chance.

    I saw a baby tonight at the “meet the 3rd grade teachers” event. Everyone in the room, even those long “done” with babies craned and strained to get a look. It’s human nature.

    But I turned to a fellow mom of an only child and said “I love other peoples’ babies now – all of the cuteness, none of the 3 a.m. feedings. I get looking forward to grandparenthood – but I’m so not really ready for 3rd grade yet.” She agreed emphatically.

    Your kids are gorgeous and wonderful. So is your husband. So are you. But screw the uterus – it’s just the wrapping paper the really awesome presents came in. ((hug))

  18. This broke my heart.

    Hugs and more hugs.

  19. Teresda (@PDXsays) Boze says:

    It’s not *really* about kids> children, new-born infants can be adopted, placed on hip, repeat< it's really about your uterus.

  20. I had a hysterectomy at 29 – I know EXACTLY how you feel! *hugs*

  21. Oh, hon, I do get this.

    At 49, perimenopause is well under way, menopause is just around the corner and I STILL crave another of my own. And I spend my days surrounded with babies, toddlers and pregnant moms and it makes me feel bereft.

    What’s happened to you is a far crueler thing, I know that. But know that its an ache many of us share, one way or another.

  22. I’m so sorry to read this. And empathize. Scared that I too will not be able to fulfill my wishes for baby fingers, and baby cupboards, and baby pat, pat, pats.

    I wonder if organs have a certain energetic quality? And when they are removed we feel a that loss– a phantom organ syndrome that is far more emotional and far more complex then a physical itch we can never again scratch. Either way, I hope you choose to be tender with yourself. As it is a real loss and worthy of extra care.

    Sending sweet wishes your way.

    Jodi

  23. Teressa Welch says:

    I’d gladly give you my uterus if I could, since I have no further use for it, but it *is* still functional. At 51, I want no more kids, so I wish someone could use it who really wanted it. Hugs to you.

  24. I understand. I have my uterus, but we were never able to have another child. (We have a 16-year-old son.) It is still an ache, even 14 years after my miscarriage. After I had my son, the first thing I said was, “I can do this again.” Unfortunately, we never got that chance. It still breaks my heart.

  25. Today is my 27th anniversary. In all those years, one of the things that I have regretted the most is that my body wouldn’t carry a baby. Yes, we adopted and I love him. But I still miss the children I could never have.

    I was happy to have my hysterectomy years ago. It ended years of pain and bleeding. It helped my body become more balanced and allowed the docs to find out some of the underlying problems.

    BUT I still envy every woman with a baby on her hip. I still envy the mothers with a stroller. I still immediately fall in love with every infant that sits next to me on a plane. And I still wonder why.

  26. (hugs) I had that one, last, horrible pregnancy that was worse than all the others, and when I had my hysterectomy I really felt like I was more than done. There are days when I wonder if maybe I will ever be in a relationship again, and if I would want children with that person, but the reality is that I’m done. I am lucky to have my amazing, heatlhy, happy children, and hopefully, someday, one of them will give me grandchildren and I can huff fresh baby smell again.

  27. If you really want the baby on your hip, there are lots who need good homes. And your home is one of the best. You can get a baby on your hip without one in your uterus.

    That said, I get that this is mostly about you and the choices that have been taken away from you. The world sucks for taking those choices away. Fortunately, there are many choices you do still have. Like choosing to say, “Fuck off, lupus.” If you make a petition that says that, I will be the first to sign it.

  28. I’m sorry. I’m just so sorry…

  29. francine hardaway says:

    But your mind and your writing ability are intact. You are welcome to my uterus, which I haven’t used in years, because uteri don’t concern me as much as minds these days. But I feel for you…and I love you.

  30. It’s not nearly the same agony, but I felt very similar when I wished for a girl……so much so that I cried at the ultrasound of my second son at hearing it would be another boy. Every now and then it still hurts and I wonder what kind of a Mom I would be to a little girl, but more and more I’m at peace with the fact I was meant to be a Mom to boys and be the only female in my family.
    And OMG if there were a way to give you my uterus I’d do it, but I truly believe there’s a reason this happened. And it sucks and it doesn’t make sense or make the pain and yearning any less, but someday I hope you are *okay* with it because what you already have is just about the most perfect little family ever. (HUGS)

  31. Ironically I’m reading your post from my own hysterectomy post op bed… Located in the maternity ward. My door doesn’t have a set of tiny footprints on it.

    But I did increase my odds of meeting my future grandbabies…

    My uterus never caused me any problems… Not since college anyway. My pregnancies went well, she served me well. My iud kept me from having periods.

    But the sneeky biotch could turn on me… Like her no-longer-perky sisters to the north did. I’m not getting either back… The girls in their original form, my uterus, or the f’n cancer that strolled in like she owned the place.

    I have the BRCA2 genetic mutation- odds of breast cancer 84% ovarian cancer 24%

  32. I felt a need to check in with you and glad I happened to read this blog.

    My one and only son was a year and a half old when I was diagnosed with Lupus. I didn’t lose my uterus, but I did lose my job and all of my money.

    So I have a similar pain to you except I can still have children, I just shouldn’t, unless I happen to win a multi million dollar lottery.

    That doesn’t stop me from hurting every time I hear one of my friends is pregnant again and I have to deal with baby gifts, baby showers or even looking at baby clothes. Or babies.

    The best thing I have ever done with my life was to become a mom and I just wished I could have had the chance to spread the love, because despite the fact that I am chronically ill, I do think I am a good mommy, and my son tells me so too.

    I am so with you.

  33. I was here. I did this. I know, Erin, I know. But we make these sacrifices and do these things, and we are eventually better for them.

    It doesn’t make it any easier, I know.

    I hear you.

  34. Just want to say, You are not alone…lets pray for each other is all I can say…I want to be healed. Yeah I really want a miracle too. sniff!.

  35. I want mine back too! And for you to have yours, as well.

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