When The specialist said to me, “Your uterus is falling out!”, or words to that affect as translated by my anxious mind, my immediate response was…GET IT OUT! I suddenly had flashbacks of the movie The Blob, but in this case not a green blob form chasing myself and the whole terrified city down the street, but a red one. It’s a strange and scary feeling to not control the toll gates at your private exit highway, so I was rather taken back!
We proceeded to talk about hitching it up with a few crotchet chains that nanna taught me as a child. No that wouldn’t work. We talked about life with a half protruding uterus that could perhaps pop out unexpectedly at a dinner party. Not too appealing. We talked about the fact I was OLD…What OLD? I’m only actually, as a colleague would say, in my extreme thirties (That makes me 54). I guess in the gyno world 54 is old, as ovaries are losing their ping, and muscles lose their zing!
So, there was the fact. I have a Prolapsed Uterus. Time to decide. Did I run the risk of a dinner party embarrassing blow out, not to mention possibly missing out on a nice red shiraz and eye fillet as I ran out the door with my husband attempting to catch the thing falling out , or did I….drum roll….have it removed by some young man not much older than my oldest son?
There was no hesitation in my response. GET IT OUT!
At first, I thought it was no different than pulling a wisdom tooth. ARRRCH, I said in my best German accent, it’s only a body part. Plenty of people lose body parts and survive. In fact, my husband Chris, who tried to be a butcher in his youth, band sawed off his finger as a young man working at IGA. Oh, did I mention he was eyeing off the Deli girl at the time? He’s coped alright without a body part…well his finger….so surely I will?
Maybe that’s apples comparing with oranges, but at any rate, who cares? Only me will know that I have released the Cracken from the cave! Oh, and the readers of this blog.
So now let’s jump forward in time as that decision was made months ago, when like one of my conference presentations, on mental health education, I booked myself in for my hospital presentation. A presentation of a lifetime but without the applause at the end. Strangely I am having this done on the 11th of the 11th. In Australia that means a complete standstill on the 11th hour. Maybe I should be worried that in the 11am salute to honoring soldiers, my surgeon will keep me alive. Now that’s an anxious mind catastrophizing. Back to the uterus journey.
Now that my uterine exit is now tomorrow, things in my mind and heart have taken a turn. You see, with the impending loss I sense my mind and heart are changing. I suddenly have realized it’s no longer just a body part, but a precious jewel box which carried 3 of my prize gems. My children, Tal, Poppy and Yawan.
You see, this was for each, their home, their private pad, their dens, where no one put the pressure on them to pay rent and find a job and do something with their lives. It was their nurturer and protector that kept them safe from everything in the world.
It was our time. No one else’s, but me and my babies. For 9 months they had my undivided attention, a moment of time that would never happen again.
What a huge revelation this has been to me now. I am feeling a little grief. I am feeling a little frightened of my impending loss. And why shouldn’t I? I even wonder where the uterus will go. Down some recycled hospital shoot perhaps? I like to think that everything has wings for a new life and perhaps this is where the concept of balloons first came. A blown-up recycled uterus!
But in all this sorry and regret, I am ok about losing this special part of me, as without having to make this decision, I would have probably always have taken for granted the pure majesty of this divine vessel of life. As my Chinese proverb tattoo says (Not 4 dimsims that my Chinese friend told me it was, after I glowingly showed her and was instantly deflated by her comment!), but a proverb that reads, “Out of crisis comes opportunity”. Well the obvious crisis is the loss of the uterus and the inevitable pain to follow, but the opportunity outweighs all of this. The opportunity in my impending uterine exit, has been the impact of how much I had taken for granted this part of my body. This gift of life. My uterus, a vessel that amplifies connection and protection. A state we all mentally want to feel. A place of glow and warmth and comfort. A place many of us wish to go back to or find in the real, outside world. A mentally safe place.
So, encouraged by my girlfriends on a recent boy we need each other weekend, I spotted the most beautiful spinning garden sculpture, aptly named by Rita, The Uterus.
When I return from hospital, minus my vessel, I can gaze into the garden as the uterus spins amongst the trees, knowing something special. That no matter how special and clever my specialist was in removing my uterus, thus how he probably got his title as a Specialist, he will never be able to remove the incredibly amazing special, sensation and memory of carrying and birthing 3 of the most beautiful special children on earth. My babies, all from my special uterus.
But most of all, thankyou God for this special gift you give to women.
So I dedicate the uterus to you, Tal, Poppy and Yawan ( I know you will laugh at this with some line like Mum you’re gross!), but I will also know that in your laughter, and the way you look at life with shits and giggles, I will know, mine was the first laugh you ever heard. Mine , while you were safely tucked in our space. Our uterus. My uterus.
Alas goodbye uterus and thanks for the memories. May you float above some child’s birthday party …hopefully never to pop.