I had been struggling for years with thoughts about getting a hysterectomy, especially after I became a mother to my boys. The part I struggled with the hardest was the spiritual side of the matter. I didn’t want to completely extinguish the possibility of having children, but emotionally and physically I was so tired of the monthly roller coaster ride of getting my hopes up that I MAY be pregnant, only to have them dashed. I wanted to focus on the blessings in my life and stop worrying about having my “own” child. My boys are my OWN and I wanted to focus on them. I think my husband summed it up best after I had the miscarriage. He told me he didn’t want to have any biological children because “the boys are our children and I don’t want to feel any different about them, and I don’t want them to think we weren’t happy so we kept trying to have biologic children.”
So after four laparoscopic surgeries, years of infertility and pain caused from the endometriosis, I was ready to be done. In the fall of 2003, I started getting things ready to go in and have the surgery done. I hadn’t spoken with Ruth since before her baby girl was born. I didn’t want to interfere; besides, ignorance was bliss at that point. I had received a few e-mails here and there from Valorie, but like I always do, I tried to keep myself so busy that I didn’t even have time to think about it (too bad that didn’t work).
I knew that there MAY be the possibility of our adopting the baby sometime in the future, but I didn’t want to dwell on that, I couldn’t dwell on the “what if” or else I would just make myself crazy! In the fall of 2003, Ruth and Valorie were going back East to attend a family event (I think it was a wedding) and Valorie asked me if we could watch the baby (I am sure I probably offered as well, I couldn’t pass it up!), so for a few days we were able to have “Skye” come and stay with us. I wasn’t sure how the boys would take it, especially when she had to go back, but they were excited to see their baby sister.
They were old enough to understand that they had a sister and that she lived with Ruth. After Ruth gave birth and the baby didn’t end up coming to live with us we had to answer a lot of their questions….. “Why didn’t she live with us? Why did Ruth keep her and not them? When is she going to come and live with us?”
A picture of "Skye" during her visit with us.
For a few short days we just enjoyed having her in our home. The boys couldn’t get enough of her and they fought about who got to hold her, who got to push her in the swing, and who got to feed her, etc. I was actually happy that Ruth was able to keep her and take care of her, because I knew she wanted to be a mother as well. I didn’t want to keep “taking” her children away from her. That was never my intent.
Bryan wanted to go with me when we took “Skye” back. He also wanted to see Ruth and Valorie and I knew they wanted to see him, so he came with me. I think in his young mind he thought he was going to convince Ruth to let us keep her. He even said to Ruth, “but you promised she would be our sister!” I explained to him that she was still his sister, but she would be living with Ruth.
A few weeks after that visit and two days before Thanksgiving, I was scheduled to have my hysterectomy. My doctor was actually doing a fairly new procedure at the time called a Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy, which was less invasive than a regular hysterectomy.
The surgery went well and I felt great when I woke up. I even called my parents to tell them I would be home for Thanksgiving. I went to my room for recovery and I fell asleep for a while. During that time Mykel went to pick up the boys to come and visit me. I woke up before he got back and as I lay there thinking about what I had just done I had an overwhelming feeling of complete and utter sadness envelope me... After all these years wanting to KNOW if I could have children, I now KNEW that I would never have the possibility of carrying a child and giving birth. The pain and knowledge of the finality of my decision was devastating and my heart ached. I was glad I was alone during that time. I didn’t want my boys to see me cry, but I also longed for someone to hold me and tell me “everything would be alright.”
A little while later Mykel and all the boys arrived. They were so cute and caring. They wanted to hold my hand and lay by me and make sure I was alright. I loved having them there, their presence helped dispel my sadness and grief. They were such a comfort to me when I needed to feel comfort and peace! I love my boys!
“One’s life….cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free….Therefore, how can you
and I really expect to guide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me
experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal,
and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences
which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully
share Thy joy!’ Real faith….is required to endure this necessary but painful
developmental process.” Neal A. Maxwell