Carpool Goddess » Adventures From Carpool To Empty Nest

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Farewell, My Uterus

If only mine had been this cuddly. Amazon.com

If only mine had been this cuddly. Amazon.com

They say you never really appreciate something until it’s gone, and well…I miss you. Sort of. It’s complicated.

It’s been almost three years, and I never gave you the proper goodbye you deserved. Yes, we had our disagreements. Clearly we had our struggles. But we also had history. And, twice, yes twice, we made beautiful music together.

But, it’s time for some closure.

I first came to “know” you about thirty-six years ago. You introduced yourself to me right before my first boy/girl party – and showed me who’s boss ever since. You were rough on me in a sucker-punch kind of way. Ah, the tricks you played. And in exchange I cursed you and medicated you unmercifully. I thought you had it coming. I am ashamed.

Of course, at the time, I was just thinking about myself and what a royal pain you were (literally), and not the amazing vessel of life that you were going to prove to be. I took for granted how you would change my life forever. For the better. Helping to carry, nurture, and bring my two beautiful children into this world.

And then…you seriously kicked my butt. You went wild and unpredictable on me. Like an annoying neighbor who shows up unannounced and then never leaves.

So we had to have an intervention. I didn’t really want to do it, but you were no longer good for me, and everyone who saw you said it was time. I was scared to let you go, but part of me knew it was time to go our separate ways. It got ugly. Knives were involved…that’s all I’m gonna say.

uterus, hysterectomyI cried for days when I realized the finality and significance of what I was doing. I thought we were to be together for all eternity. I could literally hear a door slam on one of the most beautiful and fulfilling periods of my life – my childbearing years. That part of my life was over. Kaput. And I was sad.

I had no idea how much my identity was tied to you or the wave of emotion I would feel after you were gone. I felt empty beyond measure (no pun intended). It was as if that primal part of me that made me a woman and whole was gone. I wondered, did all women feel that way?

After asking around, I learned many women are thrilled to be rid of “Aunt Flo” and her “friends,” but not me. I don’t like parting with anything. (Which reminds me of a closet that needs cleaning, but that’s a different story.) My mother had her lady organs removed at 39 (yes, that’s what they did in those days!) and never looked back. Looking back was all I was doing.

As my dear mother always said, “This too shall pass,” and she was right. Thankfully, after several months, my body healing, my surging hormones stabilizing (I finally stopped crying during commercials with babies and puppies!), and going back into living life full-swing, I began feeling like myself again. Without any missing parts. Without U.

So I say goodbye, adios, adieu. Thank you for all you’ve given me. Your memory will always be a blessing.

Are you missing a few parts too? Please share, I would love to hear your story.

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  • Elaine - CG, this was a beautifully written post; both funny and bittersweet (how I like my chocolate.) I’m going to give my uterus a hug, and stop myself from complaining next time I feel bloated or crampy. BTW – I hope I’m not the annoying neighbor you were referring to!ReplyCancel

  • Raquel @ Organized I - I said good bye to mine a few years ago – was the best thing ever! Don’t get me wrong, great when I needed it, and thankfully I was done using it when it left!ReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Oh how I LOVE this post!!! I could have written it myself… except a little over three years ago, I had to say goodbye to all my lady parts. (Got a ‘couple’ news ones tho) and it was life changing… but someone told me in such loving wise words that I said goodbye to those that made me a mom, so I could continue to be a mom for years to come. Now- your story of why you had to say goodbye may be different, but the recovery is quite the same. After the long-suffering adjustmant (physically and emotionally) I never looked back again. No need. I’m too busy being a mother!! :) Glad you were behind me at sharefest my new friend!!!ReplyCancel

    • Carpool Goddess - Chris, so glad you found me and stopped by to say hello! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy you’re well now and enjoying motherhood to it’s fullest!ReplyCancel

  • BH Mom - CG, you have a great attitude about U and I’m glad that you are feeling better…of course, you never let anyone know that you were feeling anything but awesome. That means, what?, you are one strong mama.ReplyCancel

  • Betty - Beautifully written. I’m sorry you had to go through this but so glad you are feeling better! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Paulin - You know when I saw the title of your post in the SITS Saturday line up I laughed out loud and clicked on it to just see what this was all about. I am pleasantly surprised. You are an amazingly good writer! And this post is awesome :)ReplyCancel

  • Jennice - My mother had a hysterectomy five years ago and I felt sad for her because she never got the chance to experience childbirth(she adopted my brother and I). She accepted it very well and never expressed any regret about losing her inside lady parts and for that I’m proud of her. I’m Jennice visiting from #SITSsharefestReplyCancel

  • Kerrie @ Family Food - What a fantastic post. So funny and thoughtful about such a poignant and life changing experience.

    Visiting from SITSReplyCancel

  • Kita - I loved this post funny and bittersweet but real. We as women go through so much but to finally be able to put it behind us and move forward is truly saying hello.ReplyCancel

  • Pam from Two Loons - Oh, this was so beautiful. I wasn’t sure what the tone of the post would be like at first and you drew me in and truly tugged at my heart.
    Visiting from #UBP13ReplyCancel

  • Anne @GenFab - I’m missing a gall bladder, but I only mind when I need to digest barbeque.

    My grandmother had a full hysterectomy in her 20s and as you may guess, it didn’t work out really well for her.

    I’ve rather jealously guarded my uterus because of that, but I realize I may have to say goodbye someday. You have written yours a fitting tribute!ReplyCancel

  • Beverly Diehl - Loved this. Mine’s still intact, but literally scarred. Had a procedure done to scald the lining so as to reduce outrageous menstrual bleeding. And being warned at the time it was a one-way trip – that once I had it done I could never safely carry babies again was saddening. I didn’t WANT to have more babies – but I wanted to be ABLE to. Yes, there was weeping.

    In retrospect, I might’ve opted to have the whole thing taken out, as I ended up still needing to have my tubes blocked down the road, as I could still get pregnant, just the life-threatening, ectopic way. And now, like many women of a certain age, fibroids, bless ‘em.ReplyCancel

    • Carpool Goddess - I had the same procedure Beverly, but the benefits didn’t last long. TMI ALERT! —And well, as for fibroids, lets just say I had something resembling a small Thanksgiving Turkey removed. Okay, maybe a quail, but you get the idea.ReplyCancel

  • Christina Simon - Its always commendable when writers like you share personal stories that other women can benefit from. I know it can’t be any easy decision, but your write with honesty and humor.ReplyCancel

    • Carpool Goddess - Thanks, Christina. I hope it helps for women to know they’re not alone in how they feel. And, as always, I like to shed a little humor on situations, even something that is traumatic, because really we have no choice but to make peace with what we’re dealt with.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - Awww…I’ll bet it was healing to write this goodbye letter. So very beautifully said. I’m glad to hear you are moving on and feeling better!ReplyCancel

  • Connie McLeod - I have a great friend who made a scapbook “Ode to my Uterus” when she had her hysterectomy. She proudly showed it to everyone who came to visit her while she recovered. It was funny and healing.ReplyCancel

    • Carpool Goddess - I had to laugh at this one. I had a photo that I proudly showed to who ever came to visit me that was willing to look. I still have my trophy photo in the archives on my iphone! Not for the squeamish.ReplyCancel

  • Hayley - Beautifully written! Clearly I’ve been taking my poor uterus for granted all this time. Glad you opened my eyes. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jane Gassner - Part of me wants to continue the dialogue with U–has she answered? what does she say? Most of me wants to tell you how wonderfully you expressed what it felt like afterwards.ReplyCancel

    • Carpool Goddess - Thank you for your kind words, Jane! I imagine if I had a dialogue with U, she wouldn’t be very happy right now.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Coleman - Great Post! When I had my hysterectomy about 10 years ago, I, of course came home and researched the topic. I couldn’t believe the dissension that existed over a hysterectomy! Even in the medical community! I encountered the same controversy when I was trying to find a doctor to tie my tubes. I was 24, already had two kids and the medical community didn’t think I should be allowed to make this decision.
    I had no trouble saying goodbye to the corrupted bleeding organ! It seems my relationship with my uterus was mainly trying to prevent it from doing what it wanted to do….create a baby….to say goodbye to pills, IUDs and diagrams…ruined vacations because of spontaneous periods…and the week(s) leading up to it almost seemed worse. So good riddance uterus, you gave me two great children who are now parents themselves. It’s time for you to go and I will not miss you.ReplyCancel

    • Carpool Goddess - I researched too and there was some pretty scary and depressing stuff out there. It’s so important to have a good doctor, get second opinions, and ask a lot of questions, especially when surgery is recommended. I was the first and only of my friends to have this surgery, so I had to learn a lot on my own.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - Lovely post, Linda! I still have mine, but it’s gone into retirement…even so, I’d be sorry to see it go.ReplyCancel

  • Lori Lavender Luz - How bittersweet. Love the way you included both but capitalized on the sweet.ReplyCancel

  • Grown and Flown - Ahhh you are right it is such a long long long complicated relationship. It gives us the very best of our lives and then tortures us for a few decades in exchange. You captured it all here!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - Today was a tough day with the passing of Annette, Margaret and Lily. Then The Carpool Goddess comes knocking and BAM! I am laughing on the floor.

    You write so wonderfully that you caught my tickle bone at the same time as the compassionate bone. Great job, once again.

    CathyReplyCancel

  • Kate - What a great post! The loss of “lady parts” is indeed a confusing time in a woman’s life. On the one hand, we are stoic when told we must relinquish them due to medical necessity. On the other hand, sadness overtakes us at having to say goodbye to a very important part of our body. I too experienced this emotional conflict last year when I was separated from my “lady parts”. Your post totally described how I felt. Thank you for saying it so eloquently.ReplyCancel

  • Vicki Tolliver - What a great and funny post!! Now I feel so ashamed for not feeling bad some 20 years ago when I said “adios” to the whole “factory”! I celebrated!! Have not had one “miss you” moment. A little HRT and I was good to go! I say…never look back!ReplyCancel

  • Annette Moody Bridges - Really enjoyed your post. As you say, it’s complicated. I said good-bye 9 months ago and still struggling a bit with my feelings. There are things of course I don’t miss at all! And I wasn’t wanting babies any more at my age and stage in life. But still…there are some things you don’t miss until they’re gone. And some things in my life are not the same as they were promised they would be. But some things can’t be changed so….Thanks for your post. You made me smile. Sharing….ReplyCancel

  • Pam Lampson - Wow. I had no problems medically, emotionally or any otherwise letting go. I had (have) 3 beautiful, wonderful kids and was totally done with the plumbing!ReplyCancel

  • Carla from ShesAllWrite.com - Well this hit home. I too had a turbulent relationship with my uterus from day one. Last August, my new OBGYN flatly and coolly advised me to have a hysterectomy. “You could never get pregnant in this condition anyway, and if you did, it would never implant and go to term” she said. “You’re done with it.” This condition was endometriosis and several large fibroid tumors.

    I was stunned. I cried like you did. Endlessly. I looked everywhere for the best doctor to give me a second opinion. My husband and I stopped using birth control–I felt like it mocked me. Less than 8 weeks later, I conceived a child. At 40.

    I found a new OBGYN to care for me during my pregnanccy. She told me there were no guarantees–it would be touch-and-go all the way for so many reasons. There were complications and threats of loss, but every genetic test came back with stellar results and I am going to be induced tomorrow–at 39.5 weeks. Yep, I went all the way.

    After my daughter is born, though, I have to face the whole uterus issue again. I’m 41 now, and it is not likely I’ll have any more kids (this pregnancy was so scary for me). But I don’t want to part with any of my parts–especially that one. I do have elements of my identity attached to it. Very important elements of my identity.

    I’ll probably come back to read your post again…a few times. It makes me feel less alone, and less absurd for being so sentimental about what one doctor lacking in bedside manner called ‘just an organ.’

    Thank you.
    Carla from ShesAllWrite.com recently posted..We’ll Induce Labor Monday? Reconciling My Expectations With My RealityMy ProfileReplyCancel

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