Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Controlling my Uterus

I haven't blogged in a few days and have more than a few thoughts on my mind, but a very limited amount of time to express them. I have a stack of papers to grade already, only the third week of the semester and already I feel behind the 8-ball, and some class prep to do still, and cramps on top of it all. I have horrible cramps, and more than one ob/gyn I have seen has expressed concern that they are caused by endometriosis. The last ob/gyn I saw (for the first and last time) wanted to cut me open the very next week. I told I'd think about it and never called her back. She never called me to follow up either.

The ob/gyn I saw for the longest expressed her concern that I had endometriosis because she felt I had a retroverted uterus. Apparently most women are born with the uterus tipped backward, and as we mature, the uterus naturally goes forward. My understanding is that for 20% of women, this doesn't happen. This isn't naturally an abnormal position-- it's just like being right handed or left handed. The problem only starts when the uterus is tipped because of some other "problem." The ob/gyn who told me my uterus was tipped backwards thought perhaps it was because endometrial scarring had caused the uterus to attach to my intestine. This would also explain the painful sex I sometimes had as well.

Of course all of this maybe effects fertility. And only maybe do I have endometriosis. My understanding is that no one can tell me that for sure unless I have a laparoscopy. I can only be maybe expectant until I am. Expectant. (I love that word by the way: Expectant. It expresses so much.)

Have you divined yet my fears surrounding this issue of fertility?

But you wonder about it, maybe? After all, I am constantly talking about Partner as the one who gets preggo? Yes, it's true. Partner gets to go first since she's older-- thirty-six-- and I am a mere thirty-two, a virtual babe in the woods, and I'll go second. That's our grand plan. I'll have at least one, and at that point we'll discuss whether or not we want another. And the other idea is that our donor will be the common biological link between all kids. Hm.

I am very excited to have babies myself. As an undergraduate psych major, I was required to take a developmental psych class, and in this course, we watched a great documentary following the lives of (I think) five different pregnant women and their subsequent births. It didn't try to hide anything, and in one of the birth scenes, as I sat in this huge lecture hall with tears streaming down my face, the boys behind me were gasping and groaning, "Eugh, gross" or "Oh God, that is so disgusting." I remember the mortification from my friends as I turned to the boys and said, quite audibly so the entire lecture hall could hear me, "You just shut up. Just shut up because this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life." They shut up alright. I think I stupefied them. It makes me laugh now-- my younger eager self-- but I still feel the same about childbirth. Beautiful. Amazing. Incredible. Something I desperately want to experience. I have no ambivalence about it all. No doubts. I want to be be pregnant.

So, back to the retroverted uterus. Back to the endometriosis. The ob/gyn who wanted to cut me up couldn't tell me for sure whether or not the endometriosis would influence fertility. She said it was maybe or maybe not, but why not just get rid of the maybe not quotient early on, so in case I had problems with fertility, then we'd know it wasn't the endometriosis that was causing it, since she would have burned off the rogue tissue. But who was to say that by the time I was ready to have the baby, the tissue wouldn't be back? Well, no one. And who was to say whether the retroverted uterus or endometriosis would really cause infertility? Well, no one I have seen will say that definitively either. Pft. Square one. (Just fyi, it's not surgery that particularly scares me here-- I just think it's something that ones doesn't do lightly, and that's been impressed upon me by my father, the surgeon.)

I have stupid reasons for being concerned about infertility really-- other than perhaps the endometriosis and uterus situation-- and one stupid WannaBeMom reason is that in all the sex I had with men, much of it (gasp) unprotected, I never got pregnant. Maybe I am just lucky. And I actually do think of myself as a lucky person. My mother told me it was important to think of yourself as lucky, and I think she's right about that. And I am lucky that I never "caught" anything in all that time, including, but not limited to, an unwanted pregnancy.

The thing is, that I won't know a thing until I start trying in earnest, and truthfully, it's years down the line. (Will I still be blogging then? Will you ever know if I manage to get pregnant? Are there any you's out there reading this blog? I hope the answer is yes to all questions.) And I think I just need to go back to my mother's advice, and quit worrying about what's not even a legitimate worry at this point (although that is one of my fortes). I am a firm believer in how your mindset creates the desired (re)action.

The thing is that the world seems to thrive on unknowns, and so clearly I need to get used to that and stop worrying so much about everything. Instead of worrying about my potential to conceive years down the line, I should probably start worrying about this pile of papers, waiting for grades, and my unfinished dissertation: two things I really do have control over.


Blogger Firefly said...

I am reading, I am feeling, and I am hoping.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

Thanks, Firefly! (By the way, I read your blog today and totally appreciate the wedding planning madness. Partner and I just did a "wedding" in August. We spent a solid year, maybe a little more, with the plans. My advice: getting the details nailed down ahead of time makes for a very easy day. And when the day comes, just have fun. And dance-- dancing relieves all wedding related stress.)

4:10 PM  

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