Monday, November 09, 2015

Superwoman: The Life That Was Meant For Me

The one thing that I've learned is that when one thing ends and comes to a finality in you life, there's a new and different world (or a new door that opens up) where life itself has morphed into what it's supposed to be. I don't know if you believe in "fate" and "destiny" or that old saying, "things happen for a reason" blah blah blah -- all of those sayings, as cliché as they are, usually prove to be true. Or maybe we just believe them to be "true" because it is what it is. Another lame cliché. This week has totally spun me into a whirlwind of emotions and indecisiveness. I know for one thing that I must get this surgery to end the excruciating pain that leaves me debilitated for days at a time every single month of my life. But on the other hand, my dream of having my own child since I was a child haunts me whenever I think about rolling into that operating room. And strange, my worst fear is being rolled into the operating room. I remember being brought into the OR for my D&C procedure wrapped up in a strange hospital gown with a hair cap like the other surgeons and assistants had on. The huge monstrous lamps, the operating table, the tools on the side and all the surgeons and nurses waiting for me like a big science project made my heart rate skyrocket.

The anesthesiologists are always super nice for whatever reason. I guess they know how freaked out patients are when hearing they'll be 'knocked out' for a few hours.

"I need a martini." I said jokingly.

The anesthesiologist laughed and said, "Oh trust me, I'm giving you quite the cocktail."

As my doctor held my hand and the sleepy serum was being administered, I tried slurring out my words and said, "Let me know if I stop breathing, OK?"

"OK, I will," he said as he chuckled and rubbed my hand.

"Now take a deep breath..."

Without a doubt, I'm going to be sleepless tomorrow night. I can't drink water, suck on lozenges  (as I do routinely before bedtime) or have anything to eat past midnight, which is fine. But no water! For someone with anxiety, the necessity for water is crucial. It's calming. I'll be anything but. I guess I should say more positive things like, "I can do this" and "It's not big deal!" I guess right now, it's just hard.

Going deeper.

I think about all of the missed opportunities in my life. They're not so much regretful as they are remindful -- (if that makes any sort of sense whatsoever). Everyone gets to experience graduation, college, wedding and baby showers, their parents looking them on as they say their vows to their lifetime partner. There were a lot of circumstances I can blame it on, like being without a father at the age of 16 and having to work full time to help out around the house. That was more important than graduating high school. I did what I had to do. In all honesty, I could have kept going to high school, but it was my choice to work instead. I developed the worst acne ever. I had anxiety attacks that were unspeakable. I remember staying after school while a teacher was trying to push me to get through the year and she turned to me, touched the clusters of acne on my face and said, "Does that hurt, sweetie?"

It hurt on so many levels.

At the age of 20 years old, I remember being confused about what gender (or person) I wanted to spend my life with. I was dating a man who I met while working at IBM. At the same time, I was also dating my now wife on and off. Hey -- I was young and stupid and confused at the time, but I did I always knew I wanted a baby. I missed my period and just thought it was due to stress. But once I missed it again, I ran to the store to buy one of those home pregnancy tests. It was positive. I bought three more home and all of them showed to be positive. I was pregnant with my first child. I was also pregnant and confused over who I wanted to start a life with.

Over dinner, Madelene dropped her fork after hearing the news and said, "Have it, Deb. You would be a great mother and so would I..." She was willing to still be with me even if I was pregnant with somebody else's baby.

About nine weeks in, I miscarried. I was both relieved and sad at the same time. I would never get an abortion, but having my own child was very important to me. I wanted to go through the nine months of having my baby inside me. I wanted to feel him or her kicking around. I wanted to place headphones on my belly and let them listen to soothing music. I had plans about just being pregnant alone.

At the age of 35, we were planning to have another one again. I quit drinking entirely for three months in preparation to make it a longer stretch. I started eating better, working out and prepping my body for a long nine month haul. I could do this! But things got "busy" and we both got distracted and nothing ever came of it. And on our last thought about it, my father found out he had the big "C" and it just changed our priorities at that time.

"We will soon..." 

But soon never came and that's OK. I had other people to take care of, like Mom when she was diagnosed with the big "C" too. Thankfully she is doing well and I am so happy that I was able to be there for her. I don't know if I would have been much help if I had a baby to take care of -- so that's why I think it was meant to be.

Confirmations from God keep me sane. I wasn't meant to have my own child. I was meant to take care of my loved ones the best I can and maybe even those I don't even know. My mission in life may not be the same as everybody else's. So, I'm accepting it. But the hormonal rollercoaster I'm experiencing is hitting me like a ton of bricks. Yes, my decision is made and I know I will never regret it -- but my mind is playing a whole buncha' tricks on me. Even if I was still able to keep my uterus intact -- I already chose that I do not want a baby or even carry one at this point. My chronic pain and health issues let me know that I'm not the best candidate to be a pregnant woman for nine long months.

My life is so very unconventional and I'm happy about that. I don't want to be some over-the-top soccer mom with no time to even brush her teeth in peace. (Kudos to all the busy mamas out there!) I also don't want to send my child off to college when I'm 60 years old. And not that it's a bad thing or that 60 is too old -- it's just that I know I'll be the achey-breaky crazy lady with all my pain and ailments. I'll have to bring my Hoveround.

So that's what's on my mind right now. This'll be my last post before surgery come this Wednesday. I had a lot on my mind and I had to just let it out because it's been really killing me emotionally. YES this is the right decision for me but wow, the emotions tied to this decision is huge. Sometimes I feel that maybe I'll be less of a woman without my uterus. Other times, I feel like I may turn into Superwoman once it's finally out. (A thinner and better Superwoman that is!) I'm going with option two. I have this feeling that life is going to change a great deal for me. It's time to really start living my life -- the life that was meant for me.

Thank you for all the supportive advice and encouragement! I received some beautiful comments over on my Facebook page as well as personal emails that made me smile. Thank you.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Everything is Going to be Alright, Maybe Not Today, But Eventually

They say, they say, they say, that everything has a way of working itself out. I don't know who "they" are, but I guess it's safe to assume that "they're" kinda right. I haven't written in a long time. My mind had no room for passing thoughts, passionate views or even my own opinions about whatever. It was as if my mind turned into this huge blank page. Attempting to write was like trying to write on wax paper with a ballpoint pen. The ink just wouldn't come out. It stayed inside and held its content until it finally exploded. The last time I wrote anything was over a month ago. It was then my doctor had given me the exact date of my partial hysterectomy. Long story short: I suffer from dysmenorrhea -- a debilitating type of menstraul pain that sometimes lasts for over 8 hours at a time. There've been times where I have passed out or vomited from the intensity of the pain. I had to change careers because the typical 9-5er would cringe over taking a day or two off from work every month. I had to work around the calendar if we had to go on trips and vacations. My quality of life suffered a great deal. I had to make a huge decision.

And it was the hardest decision of all.

My heart hurts as I write this. The decision I made takes away my option of having my own biological child -- something my wife and I have always talked about since we've met. I know I'm able to have a child, but I cannot carry for whatever reason. I'll leave it at that. I don't want to go through another round of disappointments. I know adoption is a wonderful option, but the final decision to do this was difficult nonetheless. I always dreamed of looking into my baby's eyes, which were my own, biting their toes and making them giggle. Yes, adoption is wonderful... But there is something to be said about a mother's intuitive, biological connection that's unlike anything else -- the reflection of your own being staring right back at you in need, in love, in sync with your every motherly intention. It's just different.

Many doubted and still doubt my motherhood because I'm the "baby of the family". I remember hearing what my father had to say about me spending my life with another woman.

"Well, at least you know she can't get pregnant." 

I don't think he meant that in a demeaning way -- I think he was just joking of the logistics of it. But many doubt my capability of taking care of another human being for whatever reason. "The baby of the family" is still very much a baby in many people's eyes. I guess that's OK...? At the age of 41, I don't want the risks associated with having a baby after 40 anyway. I also think about what it would be like to send my kid off to college at the age of 60. It would feel weird and I would probably be downright exhausted from it all. I think about this crazy world, school shootings, social media online bullying and the possibility of drugs creeping into our lives. I think about the "what ifs" of any mother's concern. That alone keeps my sanity and decision to go ahead with this hysterectomy. So my tears before and after this surgery will be due to the loss of motherhood, but also tears of happiness for finally gaining quality of life and eliminating this excruciating pain.

Not everyone was meant to have a child. Maybe my mission is to just take care of those I love around me as well as those I don't even know. Maybe my life was destined to do other things and not the conventional (expected) life that people assume I should've lived. Typically I'm full of opinions and strong views about life itself, spirituality or politics, but right now, I'm allowing my mind to be still. I'm just here trying to listen to God. So bear with me as I go through this quiet period in my life. I'm not going to give up writing, but the hiatus that I've been on may continue for some time.

My surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday, November 11th. I would love it if you could send me some prayers and positive energy my way. I'm having a real rough time emotionally and physically.

I'll be back...

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!