Not to start a heated debate- LONG

Avatar for ravenwulf
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Not to start a heated debate- LONG
7
Thu, 08-26-2010 - 8:16pm

but I am not sure where to put this one.

Is it a mortal sin to have a hysterectomy when it is not necessarily LIFE-SAVING but is definitely a QUALITY OF LIFE issue?

Let me explain:
I have had severe endometriosis since I was 15 (possibly since I was 9). Despite the odds (and with the help of fertility drugs the first time around) my husband and I have managed to birth 2 wonderful children and are expecting the third this October.

Between pregnancies I have had 2 endometrial ablations (surgery to laser off the scar tissues, bleeding ulcer-like growths, and free up my other internal organs). I have been off and on narcotic pain relief since 2002. I have had a spinal stimulator placed to get me off the narcotic roller coaster in order to get pain relief. Nothing works, short of being pregnant, and even then, because of the intensity of the scarring, it is difficult to keep a pregnancy, not to mention the pains from a growing uterus that literally can't grow well without crippling pain because of the scars that then have to grow and stretch.

Before I had found out baby #3 was coming I was ready for the hysterectomy. My 2 children suffer for the pain that I am in. I cannot have them on my lap. I have a hard time playing with them. I have an incredibly hard time some days even breathing. They need a mommy who is not always on narcotics. They need a mommy who can BE A MOMMY.

I know that suffering is it's own form of penance...but is it wrong to take advantage of a method that could take the pain away? The stimulator cannot cover the pain anymore and I have had it adjusted so many times that the company is out of answers and has said I may be one of the few people who do not benefit from it.

I'm just looking for the thoughts of those who may know better than I. Thank you if you've gotten this far.

Rachael

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2000
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 10:23am

Welcome to the board! That is such a great photo of your family. Congratulations on #3! Do you know if it will be a boy or a girl yet?

I'm really sorry to hear about your health problems. Here's a link to the Vatican's response to questions on uterine isolation:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_31071994_uterine-isolation_en.html

(IMO) I would think that your situation falls under the first question because keeping the uterus does threaten your health. Have you spoken with your priest? I think he'd be able to best advise you on whether or not this would be a mortal sin.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 6:18pm

Rachel,


I agree with Jen on both counts -- that it sounds like you have a licit reason for the hysterectomy, as your health is threatened (you aren't using it as birth control),

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 4:00pm

I agree that it would seem that having a hysterectomy under those conditions would be considered acceptable.

More to the point, I would think about this decision in the spirit of following God's will, not the letter of the law, so to speak. The teaching authority of the Church is to help us live according to what God wants for us, but every person is supposed to make their own decisions from a *formed* and *informed* conscience, with prayer and discernment. Not only does it seem that the information given by Jena would permit you to do this, but your own conscience seems to urge you to be life-giving to your family - which so many people think means just having as many babies as God gives you, but also means being present to them and giving them your WHOLE self, not just your womb. It sounds like you are thinking about that very thing. I would certainly think that your desire to be a good mother to your children by doing something to remove the constant physical pain you endure is a life-giving decision.

Kelly

Avatar for ravenwulf
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 6:12pm

Thank you Ladies.

I spoke with both of our priests and they concur.

One went so far as to tell me that old joke about the man in the flood who climbed up on his roof to "wait for G-d's help" and refused all aid. He wound up dying and asked G-d why he hadn't saved his life... to which G-d said, "What do you think I sent the row boat, the speed boat and the helicopter for?"

I think this is my helicopter (as the option has been pushed on me many times and I have always said there must be SOMETHING else to try). There are no more options anymore, medically or holistically. As much as it saddens me, I feel G-d's hand in this, and I know we will plan to adopt if we are ever in a position where we can provide a decent life for a wonderful child. I know our oldest would like a sister... adoption seems to be the only way that will happen, as the one coming is a boy and she already has a brother.

Please continue to pray for me- I have about 5 weeks left of this pregnancy.

Yours in Christ,
Rachael

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2003
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 10:04pm
I was in a somewhat similar position after DD#6 was born. I had a problem with cysts and heavy periods. If you want to call them that. I was actually hemmoraging. Dr. explained that there were treatments that we could try but he truely doubted they would work for me. He explained that a partial hysterectomy was my best option if I wanted to feel better and get healthy again. I was becoming anemic. I didn't do it for birth control reasons. I had left my family size up to God. I saw this as his answer that I had the children he meant me to have and now I needed to be the best I could be for them. I never realized how bad I really felt till it was over and I had so much more energy. It was actually great. I'll say a prayer for you it is not an easy decision by any means. And there is a time of mourning your fertility afterwards that you may experience but it will pass with time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2009
Sun, 08-29-2010 - 1:15pm

It is not a sin to treat a medical condition that is having a serious negative effect on your functioning as wife and mother. It's only a sin if you were doing it for the purpose of not having more childen...

hope that makes sense

Renee


Wife to Scott


Mom to: Madeleine, James, Abigail, Theresa & John


www.reneesuz.blogspot.com

Renee


Wife to Scott


Mom to: Madeleine, James,

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 10:14am

Rachel,


This made me chuckle. My oldest is a girl too, and when her third brother was born, she called me at the hospital and asked if we could adopt a girl! No point in wasting time!


Polly