Getting off the Couch: A Memoir

Updated on May 29, 2019
Melissa McDougall profile image

Melissa is an avid writer and loves to share personal experiences, so others can learn and grow with her.

A Memoir: Shriveling

Getting closer to thirty can be a hard pill to swallow. But as your memories from your early twenties hold on for dear life and you look back at pictures of a skinnier you with thicker hair from less stress over a growing student debt; you wonder, “Is turning twenty-six really that bad?”

People are flourishing in their thirties! Some people are waiting until their thirties to start families. Some people don’t find their careers or get married until their thirties. People don’t seem to be in such a rush to wind down in their twenties anymore.

But what happens when you wake up from surgery and your parents (who never had the sex talk with you as a teen) sit down at the end of your bed and tell you what the doctor told them.

Your left ovary is compromised.

Getting pregnant can reverse Endometriosis.

Mother inserting joke about boyfriend impregnating me here.

Witnessing my father looking very awkward here.

“Oh,” I had said. “Okay.”

I left my bedroom and I moved to the couch in the living room when my boyfriend came home from work.

“Oh,” my boyfriend said when I told him everything my parents told me. “Okay.”

“I don’t want you ever feeling pressured or that I want a kid right now,” I said.

Boyfriend saying standard pleasantries here.

“There are many ways to have kids,” he said.

Six days later and I remained on the couch.

“Happy Birthday!” said everyone that day on Facebook. “Hope you have a great one!”

I ignored phone calls as I sat alone in my apartment. I couldn’t roll over without excruciating pain shooting through my collarbone. The gas they pumped me with for my laparoscopy was trying to escape my body. My lower abdomen hurt and even my friends making an effort to visit me that day didn’t stop me from crying for hours. I remained on the couch for two weeks.

College started that January and life carried on as normal. But every day, I had a pang of guilt inside me. Every day, I looked at my boyfriend and wondered why my body had to be defective. Every day, I witnessed my relationship crumbling. Every day, I was on the couch.

I made my boyfriend come to the Gynecologist for my one-month follow-up appointment. He played games on his phone in the waiting room. I tried not to cry. He remained silent during the appointment. I asked every question possible.

Springtime came quickly. Three months after the surgery and I wasn’t crying every time I saw parents with children. I was getting better. But only I was. My relationship had shrivelled into what I would expect a compromised ovary to look like.

It was covered in the scar tissue of our past wedding conversations and all the times prior that he suggested children in the future.

He left me that spring.

I laid on the couch for two weeks. I cried and asked myself why my body was too damaged for him to love anymore.

“His selfishness is too damaging for you to love him anymore,” a voice in my head said. “You don’t need to feel guilty anymore. You never did.”

I got off the couch and, in the end, I sold the damn thing. I don’t regret selling it, but I do regret all the time I spent laying on it feeling sorry for myself because of the chance I may not be able to give a child to someone who couldn’t help me off that couch for three months.

But he’s right.

There are many ways to have children.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Melissa McDougall


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        3 months ago

        Thank you for sharing your story. So very glad you have found a way through a dark time.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)