Death Of Womanhood Or A New Beginning?
Being a woman is a gift. Our bodies are designed to bear children and all that goes with it. From the time we are young, this inherent right begins with a series of milestones that we anticipate on our way to becoming a woman. The begging is getting our first period. This is a milestone that is celebrated secretly between ourselves and our mothers. A right of passage that begins our journey into motherhood.
Once this journey begins, we find ourselves on a roller coaster of emotions and conditions that only come with being a woman. From the dreaded PMS to menopause and everything in between. The biggest gift being a woman gives to us is having a child. Of course, this journey may not always be smooth sailing, and we find ourselves dealing with some complication that comes with being a woman. Some of these changes can be life-changing.
The most dramatic change a woman may find herself in is needing to have a hysterectomy. This, of course, can be life altering for those women who still want to have children but can affect all women in this situation. Having already given birth to four children of my own, I knew more than twenty years ago that I was done having babies. The idea of never having to have another period was something that always appealed to me, but what I recently discovered was that there was more to having a hysterectomy than just not having your period.
I was recently told by my OBGYN that a medically necessary hysterectomy was in my near future. My reaction wasn’t what I always thought it would be. Of course, my initial thoughts were, of course, being put under general anesthesia and surgery, but once that passed, I began to wonder how this was going to change my life. Of course, I am happy not to have to have monthly visits from Auntie Flow, but I was concerned how this would change me.
Having already begun perimenopause, I had experience with the changes my body would face, but what kept coming to my mind was how this was going to change me as a woman. Having a uterus is what makes us unique as women. It is a large part of our identity, well it has been for me anyway.
Logically I know that it does not define me as a woman, there are hormones and chromosomes to prove that, but as a woman, our identity is and has been our womb. For the men out there who are reading this who may not understand the big deal, just imagine losing a part of your manhood. How would that make you feel?
There are a lot of things going through my mind. If I end up needing a radical hysterectomy, the slow crawl through premenopause will become a sprint to the end. My body will go through major changes instantly and will definitely put a curve ball in my life. What about the physical changes I am going to experience? I have been told that some women experience a change in their sex life. Some lose the appetite for it all together, and some can’t get enough.
The emotional effects that come with having a hysterectomy are what I fear the most. As a writer, I use my emotions as the biggest tool in my writing. Each word I write is based on my emotions, so what if this changes that? I know it sounds a bit ridiculous, but it is something that worries me. Writing means everything to me and is second only to my family. As weird, hyper, and neurotic as I may be, I like who I am and all that I stand for. I don’t want any of this to change.
What I am going to try to do is embrace these changes and look at the positive. First and foremost, no more cancer. I will be rid of my monthly period and will have freedom and peace in knowing I will never have to face the worry of cancer again. Who knows, maybe the emotional changes may make me a better writer!
I guess in this neurotic rant of mine, my point is to share my own experience with another woman in hopes of being able to provide understanding and support for those who may be facing the same thing. I think there is nothing more important than being able for us to share our worries and fears with others, no matter what they may be.