A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with fibroids—non cancerous tumors growing on my uterus wall. The ER doctor determined that an ablation would probably be done—a procedure removing the fibroids. But a follow up appointment with my OB/GYN determined that the fibroids were too large, there were too many, and my uterus was also enlarged, so the only (viable) option is a hysterectomy.
“You’ll feel so much better when it’s over.” “Best decision of my life!” “Oh, is that all? That’s so common. Most women go through that.” “I had one. It’s not that big of a deal.”
That’s all I’ve been hearing since I announced the results. Were those supposed to be words of encouragement? Because they felt like harsh slaps to my face.
If this is so “common” why I don’t I feel relieved, or excited? Why does it feel so uncommon to me? So unnatural? So unreal…
I’ve had a lot of time to think about these things, since my surgery isn’t for another month and I’ve been pretty much couch-ridden for three weeks. This is not my choosing. I will no longer have children, or the ability to do so. I didn’t get to make that decision; the decision was made for me.
When I had Tavin, he was an opportunity for me to redeem myself for the mess I created with my first son. It was a chance for me to be the kind of mother I had always wanted to be, and with the man I had waited my whole life to share that bond with.
But Tavin wasn’t the “joy” we had expected. We didn’t get much of an opportunity to enjoy being parents of this small little life we had created. No. Tavin had troubles from the day he was born and they never really have ended. We spent the majority of his first 18 months listening to him cry continuously. He very rarely slept, and we were ragged. We couldn’t take him anywhere because he cried excessively in the car, in the buggy, in the stroller, in the store, at someone’s house… So we stopped going places, stopped doing things, and our lives revolved around this excessive, nagging cry and the need to make it stop somehow.
Once the crying stopped, a new ailment afflicted Tavin. A stomach issue that not only had him crying, but screaming and writhing in constant pain for another year and a half. Then we spent most of our time in the ER, at the doctor, seeing specialists, having extensive tests done, and in the end never finding out what was wrong. We just lived on edge as Tavin sat immobile, unable to move, screaming in pain…as if crying wasn’t bad enough. We sat helplessly, hopelessly by, watching him suffer. And while our hearts broke, our nerves were destroyed by the constant groaning, crying, screaming, and never ending agony.
Once that seemed to subside, it seemed that Tavin was sick with a cold continuously. He is always sick. He’ll finally get well, and a week or so later, he has another cold.
And Tavin is not an easy child. He is strong willed, inquisitive, talkative, and still a restless sleeper who is up before the crack of dawn. There isn’t much down time for us, since Tavin is always running around, jumping from one thought, idea or plan to the next.
So you see, I lost another childhood. I didn’t get to relish in his infancy, or his toddler years (in fact, I don’t remember one thing from when he was two!). And next month he’ll be six already, and I feel as if I lost those six years. I have no idea who this child is half the time. It’s as if he just one day appeared and replaced the baby we once had that left us frazzled, and we’re still a bit shell shocked by this small boy.
And yet, Tavin is also one of the most thoughtful, loving, sensitive boys I’ve ever known. He is kind and generous to a fault! He has the power to make people smile and feel beautiful. And the other day as I explained what a hysterectomy was (because he asked, as he does about everything), he began to cry as he complained that he wanted a sister. He doesn’t want me to have my uterus taken out because he wants a sibling.
“You can always adopt…” Is the next thing people like to say now. Sure, if you have thousands upon thousands of dollars to spend. We’re lucky to pay the rent each month. And now with all of our medical bills, most of our extra money (ha ha!!) will be spent trying to pay that off.
I feel ripped off. I feel gipped. I feel like my life has been stolen from me. I feel like all the joy has been taken from me. I feel like I never had a chance with Tavin. I feel like I missed so much of what most mother’s get to feel with their newborn or toddler. I didn’t get the joy. I didn’t get the fuzzy feeling of being a new mom. I got thrown into the lion’s den with a child that roars from before sunrise to sunset. I’m an exhausted, worn out momma. I don’t smile much. I don’t do much, because my body and mind is so tired. I try so hard to just enjoy the little moments with Tavin, but they usually—most always—turn into a battle and an argument. So I stopped trying. I don’t have the energy…
So I messed up one child because I was reckless and out of control in my younger years, and now I’m messing up another child simply because I’ve exhausted all my resources in trying to make it right. The second chance at being a mommy was taken from me from the day he was born, and now I have no more chances. I just have to live with the fact that I’m just not very good at this.
And that just about destroys me…