I get to keep my uterus

Whoa, there’s a headline. I visited the gynecologist Wednesday, fully expecting that the two-years-delayed hysterectomy was about to occur. But no, she said things haven’t changed since last year. Just keep doing my kegels. Wait, I’m doing one now.

The other good news was that I’d lost seven pounds since last year’s exam, and my blood pressure was lower than ever, a good thing in a family that tends to stroke out.

But back to the uterus. I was quite nervous driving to Corvallis for my exam. There’s always the awkwardness of showing your parts to the doctor and the fear she might find signs of cancer. Have I mentioned that childless women are more likely to get breast, uterine and ovarian cancers? We are. But I was also wondering how I was going to work surgery into my busy schedule. I pictured myself pleading, “Can I keep it until October? I have some time then.” Shoot, I don’t even know how to fit in my dog Annie’s spay job before she goes into her first heat.

As I muttered to myself on the road, I finally said the words I’ve always shied away from: “I’m never going to have children.” I heard myself and thought, whoa, I said it. Does that mean I’ve accepted my fate? Yes and no. With menopause, it’s a done deal. I still have regrets, and those puppies I’m always talking about are not the same thing. They’re dogs, not people. Cute, but really hard to call on the phone.

Part of me wants to get this useless uterus out. It’s almost like the final stage of menopause. Take out the unnessary parts. But it makes things so final.

Meanwhile, pregnant young women dominated the waiting room, their bellies sticking way out in front of them. I scanned the middles of every woman who came in, smiling at the ones with no “bump.” My group. An older lady sitting across from me scanned the magazines, heavy on parenting, and chose a National Geographic.

As I waited in the examining room, wearing a gown that left half of me exposed, I scanned the walls. Everything was about having babies: pictures of babies, nutrition for a healthy baby, how to make labor easier. Can’t they set aside an examining room for those who are never going to have babies and might be losing their uteri? Call it the Empty Womb Room? It would be the compassionate thing to do.

Anyway, I’m keeping my parts for now and hoping for happy test results. And I’m never going to have a baby.