Dear Husband,

To my Husband,
It’s not you, it’s me.

I’m struggling. I’m struggling to love you. I’m struggling to even like you. These past five years have been a long road for us. We’ve had four children in 5 years. One of them we had to grieve before we even got to see her beautiful face.  We’ve walked a long road and each of us is no good at looking outside of ourselves. We both have stories that reflect that. Our son’s births were hard, traumatic and emotional. We almost lost them both. It was harder with #2 because we had experienced the raw wounds of loosing a child once already. Our daughter’s birth we could have lost me. Then there was emptiness in my heart because we were so far away from home. Thank God for airplanes.

Next week I am having a hysterectomy. I’ve canceled this surgery once before because I wasn’t ready. I was scared. I was angry. I was devastated.
I never thought I’d be in a position where I couldn’t do anything about what was happening inside my body.
I feel completely out of control over my own body.
Every baby we had I was happy with being done. The pain of delivery and recovery, the weight of a new life breathing in my arms needing me for everything, the agonizing nights of no sleep… that was enough.
Then things would get just a bit better and those first moments would slip away. Each child would start to express their instinct to move towards independence and I instantly knew there would need to be another to fill me again.
That’s where I am at now. The desperation of knowing I want another child. Not just a want.
It’s more than that.
It’s a yearning. I deep seated instinct in my gut that haunts me with every fresh baby face I see, or every pregnant woman that gently pats her tummy knowing the gift she has been given, every time one of our children does something new and every single time they grab onto me needing me.
It pulls at my guts and tears into my soul.
I want to give life.
It is what I was created for.
No man can understand that fully. It’s something desperate inside. I need. I need to nurture.
I know you are thinking of all the times I have yelled at our children.
You think of all the times I fail.
You think of the sleepless nights and the cranky monster that shows up the next morning instead of your wife.
You think of diapers and college funds.

Those things are practical.
What I feel is far from practical, it’s instinctual.
Next week I choose to give up my ability to bring life into the world.
I choose it for our family.
I choose it so that when I look at a calendar filled with school events, church events, family events and fun, I won’t have to cry over the lies I will tell as excuses and then feel the hurt of missing out.
I choose it to be present.
I choose it so one week a month I won’t be found sobbing in the bathroom because of my OCD, anxiety, physical pain and sorrow as I scream and cuss at a pad or underwear that won’t cooperate to appease my highly sensitive personality.

See? I have my logical too you know. The surgery makes sense.

But I’m not Vulcan like you. Logic doesn’t make me tick.
I’m an Empath. I FEEL.
And I’m feeling this.
 I’m feeling the grief of letting go.
I’m mourning children I dreamed so vividly of that we never had.
I’m mourning the excitement of a new life.
I’m grieving the immense honor of being able to grow a PERSON.
It’s sacred. It’s glorious. It sucks being pregnant on so many levels, but the sheer enormity of the process and what my body can do leaves me awestruck with the gift God gave us women.

It’s part of who I am.

Not all, but scientifically it’s what my body was created to do.
Emotionally, It’s what my hormones tell me to do.
Mother.
Now my body has failed me.
I feel like a failure.
Fear has griped my soul and taken hold. I heard and watched as one of my mother’s lay on what nearly became her death bed because of this same situation. I’ve seen the face of death and it’s in my head.
I’m a scared child watching her mother almost slip away.
I’m a scared wife not knowing how this will affect our relationship and feeling so separated from you because you can’t understand and you forget that for this time I need to be the priority.
I’m a scared Mom who fears not waking up and her kids having to grow up without her.
I’m a scared woman whose hand has been forced by the simple biological law of deterioration.

To our husbands,

to our spouses,
our loved ones,
our partners,
our children…
Be kind. Be tender. Be gentle. Be available. Listen.
Let us be the focus of the world for a brief time. We aren’t being selfish; we need support.
Be aware.
Healing doesn’t stop when the organ is removed from our bodies.
Or when the scar on our stomachs close.
Or when we are able to fully function and are glad to not have to worry about that damned Aunt Flo.
Or when we are able to hold a baby without crying about it later.

Or even when we finally adopt as we have been dreaming about.

Even then while my arms are full again, I’ll still be grieving the what ifs and what could have beens.
I got lucky. We got lucky. We went from the prospect of having no children to four. The Lord answered our Hannah’s prayer.
Some don’t get that prayer answered the way they desired. They have to make this choice without the consolation of tiny creatures who will await their return home and still need them in spite.
I’ve only had a taste of that pain. It was bitter and I disliked it.
I know I should focus on what I have been given.
And I will.
Sometimes.
But I also need to grieve.
Let us grieve dear ones.  Let us do it our own way. Don’t force our hands, but just make sure you are there.
Standing behind me when I want to fall.
Standing next to me when I need to lean on someone.
Standing in front of me when I need to be embraced from the enormity or fear.

This isn’t just about a failed organ.
It’s about the souls that dwell deep within us and how greatly they are connected to what that organ can do.

So dear husband, I need you.
Dear loved ones standing with a woman undergoing a hysterectomy, they need you.

Sincerely,

Your Wife, a mother, and a woman.
Uterus or not.

 

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