Diaries Magazine

Happy, Sterilised and Feeling Like a G

Posted on the 03 May 2020 by Monicasaidso @MonicaSaidSo__x
So yesterday I ate chilli heatwave Doritos for the first time since my sterilisation and it made it all flood back. I think I’m finally ready to properly talk about it. I feel like I’m healed enough, both mentally and physically to accurately talk about it. I was so cautious because I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure I approach it with clarity. The overzealous happiness of it all has subsided and the reality of it all has sunk in, I’m finally living as a sterilised person. For me there is closure about the whole situation, the good, the sad and the things I didn’t know would be an issue for me. To me it was really important to wait until then, I realised that when I attempted to write about it just weeks post op; my stitches were raw because I hadn’t rested properly and kept minorities tearing and infecting them. They ached with every disingenuous word I typed. Like they knew that this wasn’t the right way to approach it. So I left it at that. I still have that draft and I may include it as a means of comparison but I stepped away and made a pact with myself that until I was really ready I wouldn’t try to write about it. I’m going to start as far back as I can so you can really understand my decision and why this was right for me. Fertility issues run in my family. It’s like a horrible heirloom and it did not skip me. I’ve almost always had problems with my cycles and due to my weight issue it was always a given that conception and children probably weren’t in my stars. I was resigned to it but I figured if dying in the pursuit of creating another life was the way I was meant to go so be it. I accepted it for what it was. When I got married I told my husband that I may never be able to give him children, he told me that he’d married me to spend the rest of our lives together and that while he’d always seen children in his future he couldn’t imagine one without me. It did not assuage my concerns but it was a comfort to know he had made his choice and that choice was me. I would feel pangs of guilt when I would see him around children or our friends announced their pregnancies. I could never give that to him. I could never make him a father. I could never give him the children he had always wanted. It made me feel like a failure but I kept my mouth shut, there was no use in implicating him in my misery. He had to deal with my depression and PTSD enough, adding this to the list seemed unfair. Fast forward to about two years into our marriage. We relocated to Exeter. During the two weeks of madness that ensues when you move I felt off. I felt really off. I barely ate anything for two weeks. By the time we were settled into our new home my period was three weeks late. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for me whatsoever but I felt different. I knew it wasn’t possible but something told me that I was pregnant. I put it to one side of my brain and went to get in the shower but I couldn’t do it. I got back out and told my husband I needed to pop to the shop. He thought I was acting strange but he didn’t question me. I got back home with a test and bolted straight back into the shower. While I took my shower I ruminated. Slowly washing my hair and visualising a small floppy hair baby with my husbands smile and my eyes. It wasn’t a dream I could afford to have, the cost could be my life but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t push away the little face that I saw. When I got out of the shower. I took the test. Wrapped in a towel and hair still dripping, it felt right to do it then. Clean and ready to start this new journey. The instructions on the packet of the test said that it would take 10 minutes for the test to give me a reading. I had ten minutes between me and my brand-new life. I took breath. I dipped the test. But I didn’t get ten minutes. The test was instantly, clearly positive. Two bright lines appeared the second the test was done. I gasped. I could feel my heart hammering. I was pregnant. Not only was pregnant I was very definitely pregnant. I took a breath to calm myself and put the test down. I would still wait the allotted time and then take the other test on the packet to make sure. I had to be sure. I couldn’t tell him unless I was sure and had evidence. I couldn’t dangle so much in front of him without being sure. I waited. Still, positive. Then I took the other test, the same thing happened. Instant positive. So now I was stood in my en-suite, pregnant, still soggy and with two positive pregnant tests. I finished up and put the tests in my pocket. I’ll save the rest of that story because it’s not all mine to tell and I’d like to respect my husband. He was happy though. He was so so very happy. It made me hopeful.Skip forward to us at our doctor appointment to get me in the right care for a pregnant person. The doctors introduces herself and the student doctors beside her. Then she asks me what she can do for me while she scrolls through my file. “I’m pregnant”She looks me dead in the face and says “you shouldn’t be”. I know I shouldn’t be. I know what this means. I know. I know. My husband gives me a high five and grins like he’s just won the lottery, his vulgar silliness makes me and the student doctor giggle. The doctor still serious, hands me a pot and tells me to provide a sample. I return and while the test takes she talks me through the care plan and all the referrals she is putting forward for me, she confirms my pregnancy, and we leave. As the weeks go by my body responds badly to the pregnancy, the sickness is almost unbearable but I make it without incident and all the scans/blood tests/ECGs/urine samples/blood pressure checks are all coming up rosy. My baby is growing wonderfully and is healthy. The first day of my second trimester I’m sat by myself and that’s when I decided that no matter what the outcome of this pregnancy I will never again be pregnant and I will never ever do this again. Every single person I meet jokes that I’m “just tiny” and “how are they going to get a baby out of you?!”. It fuels my fears and I when I suggest an elective c-section to my midwife she balks. She’s not pleased about it, but she tells me she will pass it on to whoever I speak to when planning my birthing. I’m still pregnant, my child is still growing and surprising the doctors, we also find out we’re having a boy! I’m thrilled. Near the middle of my second trimester I have one of those days that all mothers dread and fear. I didn’t feel him move. No mater what I did. I couldn’t feel him move, I’d become accustomed to him kicking in response to any and all of my movements, moods and eating habits. In the taxi, and we raced to the hospital I cried, I cried harder than I have ever cried in my life. I had known it was a possibility but the reality of it was too much to bear. I felt like the weight of it would crush me. I couldn’t look at my husband. When we finally go to the hospital, and we got scanned we found him perfectly happy and just snoozing. He looked directly at the ultrasound. He was fine. Everything was fine. But that decision to never do this again only became even stronger so at my next midwife appointment I asked to have a sterilisation while I’m open for the c-section. She practically laughs in my face. She wouldn’t be the last one to laugh at me for suggesting it but it hurt. Every time they did laugh at me it only even more resolute. In the beginning of my third trimester I get the date for my birth planning appointment. It’s two weeks before my due date. I call the midwife and tell her I will not make it to that date, I explain that I can feel it, my baby will come slightly early. She tells me I’m being ridiculous and that’s the appointment date. A few weeks later I have the desperate urge to clean my entire house, so I do. I clean everything over Saturday and Sunday, Monday morning arrives and my partner calls into work and tells them he will be coming in late because he hadn’t slept well; I, however had slept the best night sleep I’d slept in months. It’s the late morning and my husband gets up to get ready for work, I go to make breakfast and pack his lunch. I’m happily singing along to music and the TV has the news playing, I’m just about to grab the toast and it happens. Just like in the movies I feel a pop and there’s a huge gush, not the trickle I’d been promised a huge gush. I look down and it splashes on the ground. I stand there for a second trying to figure out if I just peed myself or if my waters just broke. Oh shit. My waters just broke. I run to the bathroom door and bang on it. I scream to my husband that my waters have broken. I’ll skip past the 18 hours of traumatic, terrifying labor that could have easier gone wrong numerous times but ultimately resulted in a natural birth, bad tears and PTSD but also a beautiful, perfect, healthy baby. I was terrified the whole time.  And with every contraction even more sure that this was the first and last time o would ever do it. Motherhood was a wild ride but it felt right. I suited it. My baby was a miracle.One I would not ask nature to replicate, so I started my battle with the doctors to get sterilised. NHS or private no one would listen to me. No one would ever refer me but I persisted. Then I had my miscarriage. It happened and I felt like I’d killed something. I felt empty and disgusted in myself. I felt like the life inside me had chosen death over having me as a mother... I carried that guilt and pain for months but slowly I managed to grow from it. I kept fight to be sterilised, at this point everyone even my partner was resigned to the fact I was never going to get what I wanted. Everyone apart from me. I decided I was going to that appointment with ammo. I took an essay I had written, a letter from my partner, a list of numbers that they could call to speak to people who knew me and how much I needed this. I went with the attitude that today was it, someone would listen to me today. No matter what I would get this and it was today. When I was sat in the waiting room I kept mulling over what I was going to say. I finally got called in and the doctor apologised for the wait and explained that he was a stand in for the doctor I was meant to see. He asked me just like the first doctor I had seen when I first fell pregnant “what can I do for you?” and so I explained to him what is was he could do for me, he listened to my reasoning and only spoke when I asked him if he wanted to read the letter from my husband. “I don’t need to read that, a woman’s body is her own business and her decisions on contraception should be respected”. I carried on my speech until I was done. He looked at me for a minute and I held my breath. He looked at me and said “as a doctor it’s my job to do what is best for my patients and from listening to you I can wholeheartedly agree with you that this is what is best for you. You are young, that will be the first thing they say to you but that shouldn’t stop you from making a clearly very informed decision about your own body; I’m going to refer you to the hospital and put in it your notes that I strongly agree with you but after that it’s out of my hands, Monica. That’s all I can do”. I broke down into tears because that was all I wanted. From him. Just him to listen and do what he could, and he’d done just that. I was finally listened to. Even if I didn’t get sterilised because of this someone had finally heard me and believed in me. I thanked him over and over and each tile he told me that o shouldn’t because it wasn’t the end. I still had a long road ahead of me. Months later my referral from the hospital came. I went to it, I had to take my child with me but it only made even more sure that I was doing the right thing. I spoke to the gynaecologist, and she listened just like the doctor had. She too agreed, but she wanted me to sit on it for a three-month cooling-off period and get a smear test. At this point I would have let her take a biopsy of my ovary with no anesthetic just to get sterilised, so I agreed. I got the meat test. Three months came and went, I was back. I was still sure, and she was happy to give me the go ahead. I cried. I cried and I called everyone to tell the good news. “I’m so happy for you. You deserve this so much”. They were right to be happy for me and I did deserve to be sterile. I deserved to not have to go through anything like I had ever again. I deserved never to have to make the choice to have an abortion if it were to happen. I deserved not be in bits everyone my cycle was late. Not having to have a stash of pregnancy tests. Not having to take them because I’m scared. I deserved this peace. She let me go and told me that I would get my surgery date in the next 2-4 months so everyday I would check the post twice. After four months I called the department that handles allocating the appointments. I had to come in for all the test that clear me for surgery again, so I did. Then it came. A white envelope with my name on it and the NHS logo just visible in the corner of the little plastic window. I was shaking. I took it to the living room and sat on the floor. I steadied myself in case is wasn’t the letter I wanted. I opened it and there in clear black letters my surgery date, in a month. I called everyone again and we all rejoiced again. The days leading up to the surgery I was insufferable. It was all I could take about I was so happy. I was so excited. All my friends tagged me in memes about sterilisation. I cooked loads in preparation for recovery and I cleaned everything I could so it wouldn’t be too much bother for my family. I picked the snacks I wanted to take with me. I bought new clothes for it on the day, I took a long bath the morning of. And finally I was saying goodbye to my boys, so I could make my way up to the ward. I was electric with excitement. I had been waiting for this for five years. Five years of work was finally coming to and end and my goal was in touching distance. I was the happiest person on that ward, I sang to myself. I talked to anyone who would talk to me. I made anyone who spoke to me laugh. The lady who did my last check up and took my stuff commented that she’s never had such a chirpy happy patient. When I explained why I was so happy she beamed. My anesthetist — Micheal has a long discussion with me as he talked me through what he’d be doing. I could tell he was a little miffed by me but happy that I was happy. Then I met with the surgeons assistants and the student surgeon too, again they were so surprised at how excited I was, they talked to me about all the risks and things that could go wrong but not even that could ruin my mood. I was just too happy. Finally, I was being prepped. I looked up to see five smiling faces — all I had met before the surgery and all very reassuring. I slipped under smiling and happy. When slowly came around I had four neatly stitched and carefully dressed holes in my stomach, clips on my tubes and then I freaked out. I was panicking hard. The first thing I said was “I did it” and then I cried. The nurses all asked me to calm down, I slowly found myself and managed to find my calm. As the anesthetic loosened its grip on me I felt better. I sat up and made folks laugh and again. I aggressively tried to share my snacks, I had packed way too much. I saw the ladies who had been in the waiting room with me, their surgery has gone well too! I congratulated them and they left. The pain meds started to wear off, so they dosed me up again but that made me feel very sick. The nurses were close to keeping me in overnight but I begged them to give me anti sickness intravenously because I’d already sicked up the tablets. It slowly settled. The pain settled too. The head nurse agreed to let my husband pick me up. She could see keeping me wild only stress me out. I dress myself in an attempt to prove that I was okay to go home. It’s a bit blurry after that. I remember sitting in a room post op waiting for my husband and son then they walk in and my heart is full. A lady talks me through post op care and someone removing my cannula. I’m home and resting on the sofa. Everyone is asleep soon after. I wake up the best day and get everyone stuff ready for work/school. My husband insists I go back to bed. He drops my son off at school and I stay home sleeping on FaceTime to my friends, having him home won’t help, so I tell him to go in. A few days after the surgery all the meds have left my system and I feel far more myself. The healing is going well but it’s Christmas time my stupid ass decided to put up all the decorations alone and I mess my stitches up a little. I don’t learn and I keep doing stupid things that make the stitches pull/become infected then I heal them up again. About two months after the surgery I’m fully back to myself. I’m at the gym, I’m back to my normal speed. Emotionally, I’m still so happy about it all. I’m still at peace with it all. I’ve now been sterile almost six months and I’m still yet to regret it like everyone else told me I would. I’ve not had any of the side effects that can follow sterilisation (post tubal litigation syndrome). It’s been nothing but an improvement on my whole life. My cycles are so much lighter and shorter, they take far less of an emotional toll on me too. I don’t have weeks where I’m so low I can barely function and throwing up from the pain. I barely notice it. I’ve never had so much of a life without pain. It’s like having the surgery taught my reproductive system a lesson in manners. I don’t constantly you’ve in the fear of falling pregnant and the aftermath of it. I’m so happy. I’m so much more me. I have found so much of myself. I have so much more of an appreciation for myself too. Everyone has noticed the difference in me. It’s been truly wonderful. Getting sterilised was one of the best decisions I ever made and stand by that. I don’t know what the future may hold and I can never say for definite that I’ll never regret it because humans by nature are creatures of changeability. But what I do know is that if I ever do regret it I’ll accept that I made the wrong choice but that it is my problem. Sometimes we make choices we can take back and or undo, so we have to live with them. To quote the movie ‘Juno’ — This is one doodle that can't be undone, Home skillet.So that’s that. Idk what you could get from that but hey I hope you got something. Love and fuckery as always, Mon        xxxHappy, sterilised and feeling like a G

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