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Letting Go {life after a hysterectomy}

But you always said you wanted three kids…

What if he has to remove everything…

Is there going to be a big void in me, knowing my “mommy” parts are not just broken, but gone…

How are my husband and babies going to survive without me being able to do so much while recovering…

Even as I sat in my mother’s car on the way to surgery, doubled over in pain, I wondered if I was making the right choice. I have no clue why, as I’d been preparing myself for this exact moment for the last year.

The moment I would have a hysterectomy, at the age of 31.

It had been a year of spending more days in bed due to pain, instead of being out of bed enjoying life. A year of losing time at work and with my family and friends, thanks to this body I was labeling as “broken.” 

The never-ending pain was enough to get me through the surgery center doors, and once I woke up from anesthesia, I was no longer afraid. The finality in what I had done hit me, but I wasn’t upset. It felt…peaceful. I mean, I’m sure the cocktail of pain medicine coursing through my veins helped with that, but as I write this seven weeks post-operation, I am in agreement with every woman I had spoken to about it:

I wish I had done it earlier.

Whether your doctor has broached the subject with you for years, or it is an idea that has recently come up, let me answer my deepest insecurities for you. Not to sway you one way or another, but to paint you a realistic picture of a decision that I think NO woman takes lightly.

3 tiny scars are the reminder of all my body has done for me

We wanted another baby. 

After having our first son, my problems started getting worse. After various trips to my OB, he laid out my options for relief. He approached the solution of a hysterectomy with caution – not only because of my age, but also because he knew I wanted more children. He said having another baby COULD correct some of the issues I dealt with each month, but regardless, he needed me to be sure I was finished having children, biologically. 

So, we almost immediately had little brother…and my symptoms got worse. The thought of “robbing” my husband of another baby we both wanted weighed heavily on my heart. It wasn’t until right before my surgery, when a tragedy struck our family, that a lightbulb went off in my head:

I do not have to carry and birth another child for them to be mine.

There are SO MANY kiddos in this world who need love. It was in that moment, knowing I could be a mother to ANY child brought into our lives, that I solidified my choice {side note: hubs just wanted me better, at any cost}.

What if I have to start taking hormones?

I was only anticipating a partial hysterectomy (luckily, it was a success), but if my doctor got in there and my ovaries were shot, I told him to take them. This was a personal decision on my part. The thought of another surgery/recovery in the future terrified me, so if we were going to “fix” me, I wanted it done NOW. The onset of early menopause at my age, and all of the care that came with it, caused a division in my mind. However, after inundating my OB with questions, I knew I could do it if that was what it would take to give me my life back. There are lots of options out there, so I knew it wouldn’t be a deal breaker.

What if I feel incomplete?

Doesn’t this feeling invade EVERY woman at some point in life? Whether it’s fertility issues, miscarriages, or even having produced children with a difficult pregnancy and/or L&D, we can all feel like our body has betrayed us. I thought I would feel a gaping hole where my uterus and tubes had once been, but you know what, mamas? Our bodies are magical, amazing machines. The parts of me that were removed were poisoning my quality of life, and I haven’t missed them yet. I feel better now than I have in years, and since I was blessed to carry two babies in this body, I can now enjoy the life I’ve created. Hashtag, winning!

What’s recovery like?

You can join Facebook groups, ask a professional, or just ask Google, but as far as recovery is concerned, it’s a lot like pregnancy: every woman is different. My go-to tools were rest, a heating pad, and staying on top of the pain. It will depend on your body when you return to work and how long it will take you to feel like yourself again. But know this: you must have a team. It killed me not to do ALL the mom things for my boys, but their daddy and grandparents were amazing in helping us all get through the day. It has been an adjustment, but I try to remember that it is only temporary. The kids will survive on PB&J, the mountain of laundry will get done, and someday I’ll vacuum again (booooo). 

Have you had a hysterectomy or are considering one? Leave your tips/tricks/fears in the comments!

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One Response to Letting Go {life after a hysterectomy}

  1. Avatar
    Mom February 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm #

    I love you, and am so happy you are no longer suffering in pain. Your procreations are my heart, and you’re absolutedly correct. If you want to make your family larger, there are countless children who need patents and a home.

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