I’m scared. That’s all I can think as I sit across from my doctor’s desk. She is describing exactly what she will be doing as she performs the ablation and tubal ligation (in mom terms – tubes tied). I’m scared because of those normal reasons: being put to sleep, having someone tinker with your insides, and of course, just the sheer word of “surgery.”
But, that’s not the reason my stomach is in a knot and my anxiety level is through the roof.
It’s what those two procedures represent that have me upset.
No more children.
Even as I type this, my stomach starts to turn. I stare at the picture on my desk of my two beautiful children and wonder, am I doing the right thing? You see, in the big scheme of things, I truly know that I am making the right decision. I have always said I wanted two children. My husband has always said he wanted two children. As a little girl, I always imagined being a mommy with my two children. And frankly, at the age of 39, I can’t imagine having another child right now, much less being able to keep up with three kids. I have two beautiful daughters that are loved and cherished everyday. I am content. I know that I am done.
So, why does all this have me this upset?
Why? Because it’s permanent. Because it means that this stage of life is finished. It means that the first half of my life and the exciting events that I dreamed about as a child are done. It means that no matter how much I say I don’t want any more children, the thought of holding a sweet little infant in my arms still makes me smile. It means that no matter how much I don’t miss changing diapers, the idea that I will never have someone be that dependent on me again is over. It simply means that maybe I’m not really scared. I’m sad.
Our identities as women are so precious. We are the only ones that have this privilege – this privilege of bringing another human being into the world. For me to remove that privilege seems so foreign, yet I know it’s what I need to do. I have to take care of myself and ensure I remain as healthy as possible. I have to do this because I do have two beautiful children that need and deserve their mommy to be in good health.
So I’ve come to the realization that my special role as a woman may not include bearing children anymore, but it will still include the one thing that being a woman allowed me to be in the first place – a mom. I will still be able to provide warm hugs the way only a mother can do. I will still give special kisses on scrapes and bruises. I will still read storybooks to my kids as they fall asleep in my lap. I will be no less of a woman tomorrow than I am right now