There's A Difference

So, right. I had a hysterectomy. My uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and my right ovary were removed during surgery. And while I will always identify as infertile, and always always align with the infertility community, I feel that I am not infertile anymore. I am sterile.

(Sounds really fucking harsh, right? Well. It is.)

Right before they wheel you into the OR for surgery, a nurse brings over some papers to sign. A final round of consent forms. I have found consent forms to be overwhelmingly traumatic throughout my years as a patient, but this one takes the cake. This is a New York State form that states that I need to acknowledge that by having a hysterectomy I will never be able to conceive, gestate, or birth a child. In simple, legal, unavoidable language. Please sign here.

There is no infertility treatment for that shit. Game over. 

The finality of it is much starker than I thought it would be, much harder to feel through or accept. Obviously before I decided to have the surgery I knew that I had no plans, no desire, and frankly no real ability to try to have a biological child. Between the endo and the adeno, it’s just not going to happen without a heroic effort and thousands of dollars and multiple procedures. I have a beautiful daughter, and we feel our family is complete. Yet, I have found myself soothing myself with thoughts that “we could get a couple eggs out of my one good ovary and then use a surrogate. If we really wanted to.” Of course, that seems fucking insane and I can’t even describe the ways in which I don’t want to do that. 

But, I think it points to the loss of hope. The loss of “maybe.” The loss of options. The loss of being the one with the surprise pregnancy that does miraculously happen to some infertiles. The loss of that little tiny dream that flickers in the heart of every infertile who has a pee stick hidden in the back of bathroom cabinet, just in case. 

This is different.