I don't really understand the stigma of hysterectomies. It's just a surgery to correct problems women are having with their reproductive equipment. Not having a uterus won't change who I am as a person, as a woman. It just means I will no longer be able to have children. I may reach menopause at an earlier age, but at age 42, the numerous tests I have undergone suggest I am premenopausal anyway.
I have slight melancholy over the fact my baby-making days are over, but I would have these if I kept my uterus or not. I am blessed with three gorgeous, amazing children and a stepson who I love beyond words. I've had enough babies. I can always use any baby want I have towards doing volunteer work with children. I'm not sad about not being able to get pregnant, but I am scared about having the surgery.
When you are reading this, I won't be scared because I won't be conscious. I'll be under anesthesia while my doctor, her assistant, and the hysterectomy robot are doing their job. But as I write this, a mere few days before I have the surgery, I'm scared senseless. The rational part of me understands that hysterectomies are safe, the type of hysterectomy I'm getting will be minimally invasive, that my recovery will be shorter and less painful than what women a decade ago underwent when having the operation. I'm told I'll be in the hospital for just a few days, that I'll feel tired and sore for about a week, that I may not feel like doing much other than sleeping for a few weeks.
I can't drive for six weeks. I can't lift things, or clean my house, or take a bath for a while. I'm ready and rational and able to cope with all of this. The irrational part of me panics that I won't wake up from the surgery, that I'll die, that I'll never have my stomach hurt with laughter when my middle son says something absurd and irreverent, I'll never stay up late with my oldest discussing movies or music, that I'll never again smell my daughter's skin, feel her warm breath on my face as she falls asleep next to me, her tiny body burrowed into the crook of my arm.
I know that having these thoughts are normal, even if I hate having them. I'm not a very religious person, but feel free to cross your fingers that nothing terrible happens and that I'll wake up in recovery so I can continue loving the people I love so deeply for many more years.
There are practical concerns with this surgery.
I'm the boss of the house. My husband, of course, thinks he's the boss of it all because as a man he thinks he has to be the boss of it. But deep down, we all know I'm the boss. I have children who need to be fed and clothed and policed and yelled at and who still need me to sit next to them while they study their spelling words. I won't be able to be the boss of things for a while. And we have no outside help.