BESIDES POTENTIALLY BEING A GREAT NAME FOR A FEMALE ROCK BAND, “recalcitrant uteri” is a bit of a recurring theme in my life.
For starters, this week, three employees at three different clients, all expecting babies within the coming 2-3 weeks, all delivered early. As their HR rep, I’ve been preparing their leave and disability paperwork, with what I thought was enough time to turn things around. But these babies wanted out immediately if not sooner! Kids these days: So impatient.
My own uterus has a history of recalcitrance. I joke that if they hadn’t removed the babies from it, I’d still be pregnant. I never went into labor on my own: I had a C-section, an induced labor, and another C-section. My tiny humans were quite content in their warm and cozy cocoon, thankyouverymuch.
The last time a baby was removed from my uterus was a decade ago, when I was 37. I had decided I wanted that to be my last pregnancy. I felt extraordinarily lucky and blessed to have been 3 for 3. Tempting fate felt foolish. I was so certain that I asked the doctor to do a tubal ligation, since he was already in there. Convenient and efficient! He must have asked me six different times if I was 100% sure I wanted to have the procedure. I said yes, I’ve been through all the worst-case scenarios in my mind, and there is not a single one of them under which I would wish to be physically pregnant again.
At my postpartum checkup, I asked the doctor to show me the post-op report. Just to make sure.
Despite my certainty, I did go through a mild phase of “Whoa, that was it! My childbearing days are OVER!” I quickly made peace with that – after all, I chose it. But the female body continues to do its monthly thing even after such monumental decisions have been made. Visits from "Aunt Flo" started to feel like such an imposition. I don't have time for a guest - the spare room is a mess! Like, I’m done with all that stuff in there. Why you gotta keep coming around? You aren’t welcome here.
Nevertheless, it’s been business as usual, for the most part, until this year. Now, my uterus is displaying its recalcitrance once again, with two back-to-back cycles where the visit was two weeks late, and then it was particularly, well, let’s just call it notable and leave it at that.
I can’t help thinking that it’s a little like having a toddler:
ME: Come on, it’s time to go now.
Recalcitrant Uterus: I DON'T WANNA.
ME: Come on. You’ve known about this for four weeks.
RU: I'M TIRED. I'M NOT READY.
ME: But it’s time NOW.
ME: Next week??
RU: I'LL LET YOU KNOW.
ME: OK, I’ll be prepared, just in case.
RU: Good because I’m fixing to throw the mother of all tantrums and there's nothing you can do about it.
This is likely a sign I’m transitioning into perimenopause. Which just sounds weird, because isn’t menopause something that old ladies have? It’s another reminder that time marches ever onward whether you like it or not. I’m closer now to 50 than I am to 40. FIFTY?! Right around the corner! And while I don’t love that number, there are certainly things to look forward to in the coming decade. I eagerly await the day I can stop making up the spare room for Aunt Flo’s periodic visits. She’s getting older, too. Her death is coming. It’s only a matter of time.