new journal needed; usually i enjoy the beginning of a new journal; the potential, the fresh, new beginning.
today, however, is different.
everything is changed now. as i wrote in a new book today the process was poignant, bittersweet. this is a new book/chapter, for me and my family, in our lives.
i am recovering from having a hysterectomy.
[there, i said it].
wednesday was the day, 5/5/10. 11:11 AM was the time when they came to tell me it was time.
and i began to weep.
i had been so strong going into this; so brave.
in an instant, a moment, everything about that changed. my brave face wore off and i had to discover if i really had courage.
as they wheeled me back, i knew that nothing would soothe the empty ache i was about to face.
i really had done all i could to be prepared for this; prayers, blessings, coming to terms with facts, and acceptence. acceptence in body, mind, and spirit.
i forgot raw emotion.
i was okay until the charge nurse came in to go over everything, the papers, the details. i had asked questions,signed papers, put on the hospital handcuff in a statement that i would stay. i agreed with everything that was asked of me, i felt calm and peaceful
the blow that came next knocked the wind out of me and i have yet to catch my breath.
the nurse handed me one final paper. 'this one' she states 'clarifies that you of your own free will are choosing sterilization.'
i must have looked confused, i didn't take the paper from her like i had the others. she saw my hesitation and further explained, 'it states that you are here by your own account and opting to have a surgery that will leave you unable to bare children.'
i said to her, 'are you serious?' she put the paper on a clipboard in my lap.
i looked at brian. this was a cruel joke.
'what?' i asked.
she simply said, 'in order to have the surgery you need to sign it stating you understand it is elective surgery. it is your choice.'
at this point tears are welling up in my eyes.
i don't get it.
all this time i have been advised to have the surgery, it is not something i picked.
the policy, she continues to explain, is that a woman has the choice no matter her condition and that signing the form makes it clear that i understand i will no longer be able to concieve and carry a child.
inside i feel like i am writhing, i try to look at brian through my tears, i can not bring myself to put my signiture, my name, on that piece of paper.
'WHY', i ask her, i don't get why i have to sign it. i didn't choose this, to suffer pains and growths and other symptoms that make daily life difficult at best. this surgery is to alleviate all that. to make my quality of life, of motherhood, better.
it is not optional, or elective. i came willingly, isn't that enough.
i can't bring myself to sign it. suddenly all the courage i had is used up and i feel completely out of control in pain, agony, confusion.
simply the hospital requires a patient to acknowledge awareness of the choice and the understanding that it would make me sterile. such horrible words, and thoughts, zapping the strength i had stored to endure this peaceably.
NO, my head and heart were screaming, children, unborn, those hoped for, prayed for, pleaded and ached for that place within me. oh, the sorrow that i was feeling.
'Do i really have to sign it?' i hear myself ask her.
suddenly i feel the finality of the decision become mine. Brian says, "no, you dont, we can leave", he sits nearer to me, and i feel myself signing, without even looking. as if in denial. it is done.
a weeping begins, which weeping of heart will never cease.
it becomes blurry to me, suddenly i am no longer crying in brians arms,but weeping on the gurney.
i found interesting metaphore that they put me into a bed, carefully lifting the sides, tucking me in, a warm blanket, under the covers so soothing, brians hand on my head, i feel like an infant in a crib, like the babies i will not have, the bed becomes a womb for me, my only piece of physical security left in that moment, all other stripped away from me as we walk away from the waiting room where brian was left behind.
one kiss, one caress of my forehead, a look of love, concern and sorrow as our eyes met, the last time we are together while i am whole.
the further we go the more it feels like a suicide to my motherhood, i can't get it out of my mind that i chose this. the confusion, my heart wont hear what my head can't make sense of.
i weep harder the closer we get the more sterile the environment.
sterile, like i will be.
people are walking like robots. going through the motions. i become a number, a room number, a patient number. no longer a being, heart and soul. i look like everyone else, in my cap and gown, yet so different, i am still weeping.
the orderly parks me in patient parking. it is quiet. it strikes me that now i really am a stranger in a territory whose customs are unfamiliar to me. their ways don't align with mine today.
then i don't feel with me anymore. people are asking this poor weeping woman if she is okay, i feel so seperated from who i am. and then i hear it, the lullaby; a sound i will dread hearing over the next few days. each time a new baby is born in the hospital they will play it.
now people are asking me if i am sure i want this surgery. did i sign the paper?
'this paper' they say as they show it to me. i see my signature. i do not respond right away.
a woman asks, 'are you sure you don't want any more children?'
all the wrong questions. she explains if i am feeling apprehensive maybe i should reconsider, it can not be reversed.
i feel so helpless, i know they don't mean harm but i feel like they are bullies on the playground. they have found my weakness and keep taunting me.
i could be ninety,would they ask me the same things. i know i can't have more children, it has been 9 long years of wishing, of praying, of hoping....that somehow it would just happen because that was God's will for me. i know it is not, i know that nothing would change if i said no today, we still would not have more children. i recognize my blessings, all four of them. i want to live for them, for me. not just alive, but LIVE with quality and patience, healthy and pain free.
i look at the anesthesiologist and beg him. 'i am ready, please just get me to sleep.' i don't want to feel what i am feeling anymore, please. from the darkness of this moment will come light, i need it to move forward.
i wake up, sort of. i hear someone crying, wailing really. people are trying to soothe her. she is inconsolable. she is writhing in pain, truly wailing. oh, how i want to comfort her. to tell her it will all be okay. she sounds so desperate, if loss were a sound she is making it. the crying is so disturbing and it is hard for me to relax. i hear people saying that she needs to be taken to a room. i think no, bring her to me. i will hold her. and then i see brian, and he is telling her it will all be okay...then i realize the sounds of anquish are coming from me. from my emptyness, a pit of despair.
there goes that song again, why do they have to keep playing it. i continue to cry, calming each time to be reawakened in grief by a lullaby.
i find comfort in Brians voice, his hand, the look of desperation on his face for me to be okay. i find peace in his patience. allowing me to feel the grief, and caring about where it came from. i am made whole because he loves me...even when pieces of me are missing, even when i am broken. even when i lack courage, lose a brave face, always when i cry, when i cry at night.