I never thought at 35, I would be writing about both of my fallopian tubes being removed. I can already feel the judgemental eye rolls and the "I could have cured you a different way" messages brewing. But save it though. Please. (and thank youuuuuuuuuuuuu).
If you've been in my space for a while, you know my up and down journey with my health and endometriosis. It's been a whirlwind. Surgeries, doctors appointments, tests, diets, therapy, everything you can possibly think of to find some sort of relief. (ya boo, even meditation, yoga and practicing daily gratitude, don't get your panties in a twist).
But relief just hasn't found me. My mental health has suffered. My love for my body and who I am, has suffered. Relationships have suffered. Life.. has suffered. I've had dark moments. Moments where I wonder how much easier life would be, not being here. Moments wondering why I even bother to live.
And then I have moments where I remind myself that I ALWAYS make it through those hard thoughts. That I have so many people in my life that I love deeply, that I could never leave behind. And I keep going.
But that doesn't make this journey easy.
January of this new year, I had my 4th surgery for endometriosis. During that surgery, some endometriosis and adhesions were found, along with my second hernia. But the big take away from that surgery, BOTH of my fallopian tubes were damaged beyond repair.
I carried that news heavily on my shoulders over these last few months.
In March of this year, I had my 5th surgery, to remove my hernia and inject my first hernia repair with a steroid to help with some pain it was causing me. More adhesions and endometriosis were removed, too. Along with this surgery, I continued going to therapy to work on my mental health and also tried Pelvic Floor Therapy for a few months to help with the pain I was experiencing.
I tried everything I could to find relief, to not need another surgery again. To hang on to my tubes (even though they were useless by this point). But no matter what I tried, the pain continued to get worse. Back in January, my doctor made it perfectly clear, natural pregnancy was not an option. Before you at me with...'well what about getting second opinions?', I believed and trusted this doctor with my whole heart. Every surgery I had before that, I had problems with my tubes. My gut knew deep inside that it was only a matter of time before the adhesions and endometriosis took the tubes over completely.
Looking at the pictures he had taken during surgery, it showed both of my tubes knuckled over. And there was no breaking through them. Knowing all of this, I went back to my GYN in May, begging him to take my tubes out because the pain they were causing was horrific. He didn't push surgery. He asked me over and over was I sure this was what I wanted. I wasn't talked into it. It was 100% my decision and he was willing to respect that, so he agreed.
Last Wednesday, June 28th, I had my 6th surgery. We took out both of my fallopian tubes. No matter the situation, it was still a hard decision. And one I will grieve for a while. Of course, I couldn't be promised pain relief, but our hope is for it to provide at least 30% relief. I am still healing, so can't tell you yet if it did indeed help. ( I do want to shout out my doctor because I am SO grateful for him. Probably the first caring doctor I've had on this long journey).
What made this the easiest for me was my husband. He was onboard from day 1. He knew they were damaged. He knew the chances of ever becoming naturally pregnant. And he knew how much pain I was in. And I thank God for him and his love and care for me, especially with something hard like this. But I know he is probably grieving in his own way, too.
Today marks one week since surgery. I've lost a part of myself . I am grieving something I never had. I feel less than. I feel broken. I feel sad. Ashamed. Guilty. Embarrassed. A part of me is missing.
I was never one to openly say..I want to get pregnant. I was never one that felt they had to go with what society expected women to do, become a mom as soon as humanly possible. I've always been different in that sense. Maybe it's because deep down I've always known my body was broken. But it doesn't mean I have never thought about becoming a mom.
And it certainly doesn't make this situation easier or less than. It's easy to push becoming a mom when you know, it's still possible. That possibility is gone for me. So many have already said, 'well at least you have IVF'. And honestly, I wish I could sucker punch them in the face. IVF is a journey my husband and I both decided is NOT a journey for us. And sometimes that makes me feel guilty. Almost like I am the one making this situation harder for us. That we do still 'have a chance' to become naturally pregnant but I refuse to do it that way. And I start to think, I have no right to be upset and grieve.
And then there are the people who say, 'you can always adopt'. Oh. I can? I didn't know. (pure bitchy tone). Adoption is something I have thought about. But here's the thing. My husband and I lost the chance to ever see the human we could have created. Adoption is a beautiful thing. But I am grieving the fact I will never know what little miracle we could have created together. I could only imagine he or she would have my husbands blue eyes, my dark curly hair, and hopefully his height.
I feel silly grieving because of the fact I never openly talked about wanting to get pregnant or become a mom. I feel like a fraud. Like I shouldn't be upset. But here's the thing, I am. I am so sad.
But yet, through all of this sadness, healing, anger towards others thoughts and opinions and worthless advice, I have hope and faith. Beautiful faith. I know God has a plan for me. He has had a plan for me all along. And He knows I can do so much with it. I haven't understood a lot of the things He has put me through, but He does. He chose this journey. He knew and knows, I am strong enough to endure everything I have already gone through and everything else that is to still come. I don't know what the future holds. That is the hardest part of endometriosis.
But I know I will rise again. I always do. If I had learned anything through these ups and downs, it's that I am one strong ass human. But for right now, I need to be weak. I need to let myself grieve. To be gentle with myself. Lean on those who love me most and support me no matter what. I will rise again.
I don't share my story for sympathy. I share because if YOU are reading this right now and you are struggling with infertility, health, surgeries, whatever it may be, I want you to know none of it is your fault. You are not alone. You are not less than. You WILL rise again too. And I hope you know, just how beautifully strong and amazing you are. I love you. (if you need to talk to someone, please, reach out to me. I am here for you.)