Our first guest post of the New Year comes from Dr. Bad Ass, a Wyoming-based professor who is a long-distance hiker, a secret Harry Potter fanatic, and “mother” to one (aged) cat and one (young) dog. She includes in her email signature this Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence, by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
The week before Christmas, I had a hysteroscopy. Fun times, right? So, the good news is that there was no evidence of any cancer or other big scary bugaboos. THAT makes me happy.
The doctor (and I really love him, he’s a sweet man, who takes the time to answer my questions) did come out while I was still under anesthesia and show a picture of a uterine polyp the size of my pinky finger to Slogger, my husband. It was apparently a very slow-growing polyp, one that could have been growing there for years. Do you see where this is heading?
I’m 47 now, and I gave up trying to have children years ago, after my first marriage imploded. Back then, when I was in my early 30s, I wanted desperately to have a child. My ex-husband and I went through fertility treatments, the whole deal, and no success. We divorced not much later, and went our separate ways.
I’m guessing, of course, but it is quite possible that the whole time we were trying our best to get pregnant, that polyp was slowly growing in my uterus, acting like a naturally-born IUD, and frustrating all of our attempts.
Through two more years of high school teaching, four years of graduate school, eight years as a professor, that thing kept growing. I’m guessing it was about fourteen years of polyp growth.
Since the surgery, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that polyp and what it entails for me. I could, of course, become angry and bitter that no doctor in all those years considered the possibility of a uterine polyp as a cause for my infertility and thus determined for me that I would not have children. I could choose to blame myself for not pushing for more and more diagnostic procedures to find out exactly what the cause of my own infertility was.
I came close to heading over both of those cliffs, believe me.
But I’m a firm believer in choices. I’m choosing, now, to live the rest of my life with the same level of equanimity and calm about my infertility as I did before I became fairly sure that I knew what caused it. I’m free to spoil my nephews and nieces, treat my animals as children, spend way too much time working, and go on adventurous vacations every summer. I can spend Christmas quietly at home with my husband, bake loaf after loaf of Christmas bread to send to family members, and spoil my dog and cat. I can rejoice in my grown step-children’s successes and look forward to one day having some step-grandchildren.
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If you have a story about starting a new life after infertility, please email me at ptsigdinos (@) yahoo dot com.
2 thoughts on “The Power of Choice”
Hi, Dr. Bad Ass. I never had a laparoscopy or hysteroscopy, & I sometimes wonder if the drs missed something significant too, like maybe endometriosis.
But then, I also wonder whether it would have ultimately made a difference anyway. At any rate, at almost 49, it is way too late to be second-guessing myself. Water under the bridge…
It has to be heartbreaking to come to the end of your journey to find that a mere polyp might have caused you to not have a child. Someone needs to put out a flowchart to infertility diagnoses that includes hysteroscopy and other investigatory methods.
I just found your site and your book. Thank you so much for giving those of us who cannot conceive a voice.