When I was 21-years-old, a blunt nurse said to me, “You are going to need a hysterectomy. Just get it done.”

I still remember how it felt hearing those words. Knowing someone, a woman especially, could so easily dismiss my maternal womb as expendable, it broke me.

I assured the nurse that despite my battle with severe endometriosis, I had no intention of getting a hysterectomy. I knew in my heart God made me to be a mother. And though at that point in my life, I didn’t even have a boyfriend, I planned to keep my body intact as long as possible.

“I want to have kids one day,” I said. The nurse shrugged and said I probably wouldn’t be able to ever conceive. I tried not cry. And soon after, I found a new OB/GYN office.

I was determined to live with the pain of my disease. I underwent four lapascopric procedures in my early to mid twenties. I took hormone injections. I grew cysts. I received tests and hopeless looks from many doctors.

At age 28, I married. Two years later, we started trying for baby. When our attempts failed, I took Clomid to help me ovulate. Still no success. Thankfully, one doctor tested my thyroid levels and when they came back low, she started me on medication.

The next month, after more than a year of negative pregnancy tests, I got a positive. So much joy. My son was born via emergency cesarean in December 2012. His sister, conceived with no issues, was born in August 2016.

Later this week, I will undergo a hysterectomy. In addition to endometriosis, I now have andemyosis and painful embedded uterine fibroids. I recently underwent a D&C but suffered bleeding complications. The cramping is bad these days.

In the past, I would have fought to keep my uterus.

But now, it is time to let it go.

No longer do I need to push through my discomfort. I can finally say goodbye to the dull ache in my pelvis.

I am nervous about the surgery. It is a major procedure requiring a night in the hospital. For four weeks I will not be able to lift my now 19-month-old daughter or crazy dance with my five-year-old son.

But I am so thankful to God for my children. I am so thankful I didn’t listen to that nurse all those years ago, because I don’t regret one minute I’ve spent with my troublesome womb.

Sarah Whitman

Sarah Whitman is a writer and mother living in Tampa, Fl. As the religion columnist for the Tampa Bay Times, she covers a broad range of faith and spiritual-related topics. She also contributes parenting columns. She recently started a poetry page on Facebook and welcomes mothers to submit their writings to the site. Visit Mama Dickinson at www.facebook.com/mamadickinson. Visit 1mamadickinson on Instagram.