Around this time last year, I was in excruciating pain, and thought, either my womb is going to explode like a volcano or rush through my flange at warp speed. I ran — like a dawg — to my fabulous OB/GYN. We had only begun smear dating a few months earlier. He’s a brilliant, funny and unbelievably kind doctor/person, especially considering I’m no snatch picnic.
After a Pap smear, ultrasound and a few other tests, he called me into his office and warmly explained that I would never be able to have kids. Say what?! Historically, the preponderance of matriarchs in my family had 3-7 kids. That and I got knocked up when I was 21. (Sidebar: I had an abortion, a choice that I have never regretted. Seven-ish years later, I wrote an essay about it, Homesick Abortion, told from the POV of my ethereal aberration whose career was to be aborted. EA had a robust and wonderful life back home in Pheerknot.)
After my OB reiterated my diagnosis, I snapped, “I heard you the first time. Vital organs should not be permitted to make decisions without the expressed, written consent and permission from their hosts. Don’t you agree?” He kindly nodded, “yes.”
“To think I was such a mensch to my u-terrace all these years, and this is the thanks I get?!” He opened his mouth to interject. “What a passive aggressive organ,” I wailed and continued, “Can’t you fix this? You’re the vagina whisperer, get up in there and make a few tweaks, whisper your wombly magic.”
One lovely, I-wish-I-could smile later, I cried. I hate to cry. “Don’t look at me,” I said.
Then I got angry, “If my womb thinks that I’m going to sit idly by and let HER make decisions that SHE thinks are best for MY body, she’s got another thing coming. Find me a keg of sperm and slam it inside my womb — we’re going to war, shock and awe style. In the end, we’ll see who has the final say in this relationship!” I paused before adding, “I’m already challenged in the lady bits department; what with my polka dots and excessive pudenda.”
“You are so hard on your vagina, and you don’t have polka dots,” said, DR. F.
“My vagina didn’t get a call back for Pretty in Pink 2, sooooo…. And, I’m a pushy dame with high expectations and a freakish vagina. Even viler, when I’m dating someone, eventually I’ll have to tell him, which is wrong on so many levels because it’s personal!” (And, yet, I’m posting about it. Yes, I see the irony.)
After a long pause, we both laughed.
Though I’d been on the fence about having kids since I was 16 and still am, I was sad, not because I couldn’t physically have kids. Rather, I was mourning a choice I lost. I know I can adopt. I know I can hire a surrogate — I get that! But, I wanted to make the decision — me, Katie Schwartz, not my womb-gone-rogue.