October 9, 2011

The Big "H"

Things haven't gone according to plan.  

At least not my plan.

Last weekend I spent Saturday in the ER.  Monday my doctor told me it was time for me to have a hysterectomy.  My surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday.

It's all very strange.  For a long time, I didn't even want children.  I never had baby dolls growing up.  To be quite honest, I don't even like babies very much.  I felt like having a child was the right thing to do and so my husband and I did, thankfully.  If it wan't for the influence of my religion I don't think I would have had children at all.  And that would've been a grave mistake on my part.  

"Happy Uterus" by primavera777

I have one child and he is amazing.  Yes, I'm his mother and of course I'm biased.  But seriously, he is the quirkiest, funniest and sweetest being on the planet.  He was born a class clown and lives to make people laugh.  For example, we were outside playing baseball and he was dressed up in a superhero cape and mask. A UPS truck went by and he yelled at the driver, "Stop! STOP!" The driver ignored him and left. He groaned and said, "I wanted him to see that I am beautiful and that I'm a superhero."

He's also extremely smart and a hard worker.  Lately he's been working on speaking well, even though his dad and I think he speaks fine for a four year old.  I'll catch him saying words over and over until he says them right.  This past week his big accomplishments were saying "cinnamon toast" and "octopus" perfectly.  Really.
"Mama's Little Boy" vintage photograph by Ephemera Obscura
The other day he was particularly grumpy and refused to hug me.  That really irked me.  Since he is my only child I felt like he had better hug me!  That incident caused the reality of the surgery sink in.  Even though I knew I hadn't planned on more kids any time soon, it was so strange to think that door is closed.  Shut.  Never to be opened again.  I have a lot of health issues and the majority of my medications wouldn't allow me to carry a baby.  For this reason, we decided to not try for anymore and hopefully adopt in the future.  Yet, somewhere in the back of my mind I think I secretly left that door slightly ajar.  "Maybe I'll get better and have another one."  Even though it was a tiny thought I wasn't completely aware of, it had power.  

For the past two days, every time I see a cute child or a child's outfit I like (specifically a little dress) I just can't help but become sad.  The sight of this on Pinterest nearly brought me to tears.  Seriously.  And to think, I thought I never really wanted a girl!  Last night I had a good long cry after everyone went to bed.  I started to think I didn't even deserve to feel sad since I was so reluctant to be a mom.  In fact, maybe I brought this on myself.  Maybe my endometriosis and upcoming hysterectomy are punishment  for my negative views on having children.  I had similar thoughts when I was pregnant with my son.  I was terrified I would miscarry because I wasn't totally ready to have a child.  These thoughts are insane, I know.  But sometimes crazy thoughts feel real.  I have been overwhelmed by guilt ever since I had my son.  I felt like I didn't deserve to be a mom since I didn't really yearn to be one in the first place.  I honestly believe much of the time that I don't have the ability to be a good mom for the same reason.  Now that I'm having a hysterectomy, I feel I have no right to be upset because I brought it on myself.  

"Guilt . . ." handmade card by cardsbyleslie

All these thoughts were buzzing around in my head last night and suddenly, I broke out of it for just a moment.  It was just enough time to realize I had a choice.  I could wallow in guilt, sadness and of dreams that could never be . . . or I could push forward and find a way to rise above it.  I thought about my husband, the most even-tempered person I know, and what he would say.  He would say that I am a good mom and that what is happening is not a punishment.  I have punished myself enough and I need to stop.  I need to be easy on myself if I can get through this trial.  I immediately felt so much better.  I also prayed a lot last night and felt the comfort I needed.

"Gratitude" archival print by Katie m. Berggren
I don't feel great.  I am still sad.  But I'm not going to allow it to dictate how I react to things or how I see myself.  I am not going to punish myself or feel guilty anymore.  My son is the greatest joy of my life and I love him so much.  I am not a perfect mom but I am a good one.  It was hard for me to type that sentence!  But it is important to remind myself of that.  I work very hard to be a good mom and so I should be able to allow myself to think that.  The surgery will be hard emotionally and it will take time to get past these feelings.  But in the long run I have to remember that it is for the best.  I am doing it so I can be a better mom to my son.  It's a struggle every day to take care of him when I am in so much pain.  I've talked to people who have had the same surgery and they say it made a world of difference.  Over the next two days, I'm going to remind myself of that.  It's about my health and I'm doing it for my son.

Sorry for getting so emotional but hopefully someone in a similar situation can read this and have some sense of comfort.


Christi said...

I am sure that you are an awesome Mom!!!! I am so sad for you, but glad that you will be healthy afterwards! Any child would be lucky to have you as their Mom!!!

Ellis & Leanne plus 3 said...

Autumn, you are awesome. You have perfectly expressed the feelings many women struggle with. Charlie is like five ultra-talented, super-intelligent, perfectly gorgeous children all rolled into one! You are a wonderful mother, and those skills will be used a lot in your life; I just feel that!


Bela said...

I think you already know this, but I know exactly how you feel. The sadness won't go away. It's still had for me. But it will get better and better everyday! There will be days that you'll see a newborn baby and start to cry. But for the most part, you'll be alright. Your son deserves to have a happy, healthy momma! You you ARE a good mom, Autumn. Don't ever think you're not.

Bela said...

And I hope you know that I'm here anytime you need to talk. Seiously.

Em T said...

I all too well know the curse of the guilt and the crazy thoughts. I know I'm being crazy, but I can't quite stop myself. The only thing I can really say is that I don't cry in the middle of the night nearly as often. Using that as my gauge, it must be getting better:)

Basically, I think it's normal to have some variation of those feelings and I really do believe that it's important to mourn it out.

Good luck. I hope surgery goes smoothly.