Mom and I are not that close. We do not call each other very often. We do not share recipes or secrets. She is not the type who has strong emotional manifestations. Still, she never hesitated to lay on the operating table for my sake. I get that. Now. I would do everything in my power to make my children feel the same feeling they give me when I hold them in my arms. If they wanted me to.
Mom is a very rational woman. Pragmatic. She does not ruminate and ponder over things. And when she decides for something, she does it. As in the case of donating her uterus. I do not possess any of these characteristics. Nevertheless, I inherited a lot from my mother. The persistence. The pride. A little laziness. But also a great drive. An inner strength.
I do not remember asking the question. She, on the other hand, had followed my interest in uterine transplantation and the research at Sahlgrenska for a long time. She was well prepared. When the discussion about donation came up she just answered “of course”. And then there was no more to it.
Nowadays we share something bigger than recipes and secrets. The bond to my children and the adventure of how they were born. We don’t talk about it that much, but it’s there. We both have in common that we have removed the uterus. And although the circumstances were completely different, there are several things we can relate to. The scar on the stomach for example. And when we get the repetitiously question if we feel less female because the uterus is gone, then we both shake our heads laughing.
The ethical debate in the medical world, whether it is right to ask a mother to donate the uterus to her daughter and the risks involved in surgery, is not my place to comment. Such questions can only my mother answer. This is entirely her words:
“I did not feel forced to participate. And never at all, I felt pressured. I had plenty of time to think and opine, but above all to mentally understand and realize what awaited me. When my daughter asked the question I had already decided. However, I don´t think I would have donated to anyone entirely unknown – On the contrary, I would like to have some bond to the one I´m donating to.
To completely understand what an operation means, I don´t think anyone does. I had never been operated before and we were furthermore the first couple to do the operation in this research, so it was obviously difficult. There are risks and consequences in everything you do and my attitude for the most part is that you can not worry about them. Otherwise, there is not much to live for. In addition, I felt a great confidence in the medical team. I had a gut feeling that this will go well. It will be successful and it will be a baby.
If it had not worked, then we at least would have tried. I don’t miss my uterus at all. I have given birth to three very lovely daughters and I do not need it anymore. And considering the inconvenience I had with bleeding in the end, I was just glad to get rid of it. I do not regret it. I have donated something nice and got a good “reward” in the sense of two wonderful grandchildren.
I am for uterine transplantation. The more operations that are done, the safer they become. There are many who struggle with their infertility and who need this surgery. I want more people to know about it. “