When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was a child pondering this question in the 80’s. This was a time when little girls were encouraged to pursue professions traditionally held by men. Most of my girlfriends proudly boasted their plans to be doctors, attorneys, research scientists and even pilots. Our mothers were starting to work outside of the home which expanded our ideas.
What did I want to be when I grew up? I had a clear answer to this question from the time I was five years old; I wanted to be a mother. Some of my best friends were surprised by my desire for motherhood partly because it was not fashionable and partly because my demeanor was not sensitive or sentimental. I was happy for my friends who were going to pursue their glamorous professions, but my desire never changed. I wanted to be a mother a 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 21 and even today at the ripe old age of 41. I think my desire to mother a child has been the only constant in my life. Continue reading
Sheol, a barren womb,
land that never gets its fill of water,
and fire, which never says, “Enough!”
Yesterday I was at the Doctor’s office. I’m now a mature woman in my EARLY 40’s, but when I was a young girl I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It was the aggressive stuff that less than 2% of woman with endometriosis experience. I was stubborn and despite 3 nerve blocks and weekly visits to the pain management clinic, I would not have a hysterectomy. Over the course of the next 11 years I would have 13 surgeries. In my 20’s & early 30’s I just refused to accept that I would not give birth to my own children. It was not until I was 36 that I realized I was out of options and consented to a total abdominal hysterectomy. Uterus, ovaries and cervix are all gone. Immediately post operative, my physical pain was relieved and I was able to stop all pain management. In the years since my hysterectomy, I have been diagnosed with a general autoimmune disorder resulting in multiple bouts of pleurisy and other inappropriate immune responses. My Doctor’s believe that my autoimmune issues may have been what caused my endometriosis to be so aggressive; conversely, my endometriosis treatments (such has chemotherapy) may be what have angered my immune system. It’s a ‘what came first’ scenario.
Anyhoo, back to my Doctor’s appointment yesterday. I was meeting with an endocrinologist regarding my thyroid. He asked the same question as my internist and gynecologist before him, “Do you work?” I responded with the same answer I gave the other doctors and told him that I do work. He then gave me a familiar response, “Can you work less?” And there it was. The question my husband and I have been pondering for the past four years.
There were two predominant issues that kept me working full-time. One was my desire to adopt a child. Prior to my hysterectomy I was obsessed with preserving my fertility. Post hysterectomy I became obsessed with adoption. The second issue was that my step-sons were in chaos. I feel the need to define their chaos: their mother had a child with a married man, this man and his two-year old son were often spending overnights in their home, threats to be moved out-of-state, a cousin who is transitioning gender from female to male, depressive episodes, and everything else that comes with disorder in the home. I don’t have to tell any reader with children that when they are in chaos, it can be a financial strain that you will gladly carry to remove them from a state of disorder and place them back into a state of order. Both of these issues have since resolved (though not in the way I desired). Continue reading