The bully organ
I recently wrote about receiving an alarming voicemail from my doctor – the one my husband and I are seeing because we want to have a baby, and apparently I have a useless sack of rocks where my uterus should be – saying my tubes and uterus didn’t “look normal” and would I mind coming in for another consultation when he’s back in the office in a couple weeks.
It was a stretch of time that seemed so interminable I feared I would lose my mind. I’ve since had the appointment and since we’re all in this together, I feel as if I should give you an update, even though I’d rather tell you about the other monumental happenings in my life, namely, I got into a stupid argument with co-workers about the superiority of freezer-on-the-bottom versus side-by-side refrigerators and I learned my husband hates cashews.
You think you know someone! Anyway, turns out my joke about having a sack of rocks where my uterus should be isn’t that far off. I have a uterus full of rocks. Not a grapefruit filled with gravel or a balloon full of marbles, as I tend to envision it, but the inside of my uterus, where a baby would theoretically grow, is all chock-a-block with fibroids.
It’s as if a fibroid hoarder’s been living in there and now someone else wants to move in but they can’t because there are old sandwiches and stacks of newspapers and four cats making the place inhospitable.
But not sandwiches and cats, fibroids. In case that wasn’t clear. Fibroids are pretty common. Not only can they make conception difficult for reasons that aren’t all that understood, they can cause really heavy periods, which I’ve been complaining about for far too long.
In retrospect, when the notion of an hour-long car ride during that time of the month fills me with panic -how could I possibly be away from a bathroom for that long – I probably should have realized something other than just “heavy periods” was happening.
It seems my lady business is only clear in hindsight. I’ve had the same symptoms for 800 years, but only now, when I’m trying to get pregnant and can’t, are they telling me these things I’ve been mentioning in passing for years actually mean anything.
So the plan is for me to have minimally invasive surgery where they send in a team of archeologists to go in and excavate the rocks – I only hope they’ll one day be displayed in a tiny, super boring, vaguely disgusting museum – and then I try to get pregnant for a few months. If I can’t, then we’ll do IVF, a round of which is only as expensive as one of Donald Trump’s lesser wristwatches.
I mean, it’s all relative. What’s 15K when you’re talking about the gift of life?
For that matter, what’s 30K? Or 45K? I think I read that in a pamphlet called, “Yachting For Reproductive Endocrinologists.”
The thing is, more and more I feel as if my body is betraying me. As if all the complications are a result of having waited to have kids, as if the sole intention of my reproductive system was to reproduce at a young age regardless of what I deemed best for me personally. And so I’m at cross-purposes with my insides. I’m experiencing a weird sort of identity crisis. Am I my brain? The one who decided to wait to have kids until her career and love life were sorted out? Or am I my uterus? The bully organ who exists for one reason only – to replicate and at present, house a bunch of rocks.I’m struck by just how much I don’t matter here. I am like a millennial expecting special treatment, and my uterus is like a crotchety old boss who doesn’t give a flying flamingo. (Or some other word that starts with F.)
Thankfully science can intervene – and can correct or circumvent the complications waiting so many years seems to have caused – and I don’t regret waiting, really, but I just never expected it to go like this.