I feel like I finally have the answers I've been looking for, for years, and yet, I feel like my world has been flipped on its head.
I was diagnosed with Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia. Basically it's an abnormal overgrowth of endometrial cells caused by estrogen-dominant PCOS. It's more common in the older generations, so to have it to this extent at my age is a bit shocking. It explains all of the symptoms I've been having and I'm so thankful we finally got an answer. There are some temporary treatments, including putting an IUD in and taking oral progesterone, but it will ultimately lead to me needing a hysterectomy soon.
According to my doctor, we can put an IUD in this month, and do another biopsy at the same time. Then 3 months later we can repeat the biopsy and if my condition hasn't worsened or has stayed the same, we can take the IUD out and start fertility treatment immediately if we want to have another baby. Otherwise, she'll schedule me for a hysterectomy.
Both decisions are so final. And on the opposite spectrum. I'm processing the inevitable loss of my uterus with considering using it one last time. Major, life-changing surgery vs. creating another human followed by major, life-changing surgery. It just feels... overwhelming.
Some people may think I'm crazy to be considering another baby. 3 is enough, isn't it? 3 is a lot, right? 4 is just crazy. Who needs that big of a family these days? Think of the environment! Can my body handle it?
In true Kelly fashion, I made a pro and con list:
Even numbers - everyone would have a buddy
Research shows 3 is the most stressful number of children, so going to 4 wouldn't be that bad
We have an extra room at the new house & we're buying a van
Our house just sold at a higher value than we anticipated, so our new mortgage won't be that much higher than it is currently. Financially, we can make it work.
Timing-wise, the twins will be starting Kindergarten when baby will be starting daycare, so only one child in daycare at once
Just one baby would be absolutely delightful
We're moving to a small community where neighbours help each other.
An un-eventful delivery would be healing for me after my past birth traumas
After having twins, I could manage one newborn easily
We have names already picked out
What if it's not just one baby? My track-record shows that I like to have twins.
What if it's more than twins? Can I take that risk?
Can I mentally and physically withstand another pregnancy
Do I want to be pregnant? I feel like puking just thinking about the first trimester.
Fertility treatment (enough said)
Another hit to my career
Daycare costs for another 3+ years
4 kids is a lot. What if I can't give the girls the attention they need because I'm busy with a newborn? I missed a solid 6 months of Nora's life after the twins were born.
What if the delivery is complicated, like my previous deliveries. I'll be setting myself up for more trauma.
Can we financially afford 4 children in the long term?
The longer we go before taking my uterus out, the higher the possibility of them needing to take my ovaries too, which will leave me on hormone replacement therapy and put me into menopause early.
There's so much to consider and it's a decision we weren't prepared to make right now. We kept the door open intentionally because the past 2 years has been a lot. And making final decisions while deep in survival mode wasn't on our radar. But now our hand is forced.
I've heard that when your family is complete, you just know. And I don't just know. So does that mean I'm meant to have more? What if I'm just too exhausted to listen to my inner voice when she's screaming STOP or GO? Does anyone have a crystal ball I could borrow?
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even if the reason isn't that obvious. So is this small window we're being given the sign that we need to have another baby? Or what if this is our opportunity to actually shut that door ourselves rather than have someone make that call for us?
In addition to all of this turmoil, I'm also feeling a huge sense of relief. I have been struggling for years with out of control periods. Painful, messy, and long periods. To the point where I almost got fired because I was away from my desk for too long one day because I literally couldn't leave the bathroom. To the point of being hospitalized for anemia from bleeding too much. Being home for the past year and a half during lockdown has been a blessing for me in that way. I finally have a name and a treatment plan that will take ALL of the suffering I've experienced away, permanently. A life without periods sounds pretty amazing to me.
But that means a major surgery. Removing one of my organs to save my life. Removing my children's home for 8 and 9 months. The one organ that has been praised and celebrated is now dangerous. The one thing that makes women freeking superhuman...
It's coming out either way. The major question is when, and what do I do with it first? There's not a clear answer for me. I've flipped back and forth between "hell no, take it out now" and "let's do it!" I'm so confused. But seriously... if anyone has that crystal ball, send it my way!