I never thought getting pregnant would be easy. My mother struggled with infertility for years and suffered 6 miscarriages. However, I always imagined I would eventually get pregnant. I also imagined that one day I would adopt.
Well, I was sort of right. Getting pregnant was not easy. In fact, it never happened. Also, my husband and I adopted two newborns. Life didn’t exactly go just as we had planned but we felt blessed and happy.
Then we were hit with another curve ball. I was told that I needed a hysterectomy…at 30 years of age. Now I’ve known for a long time that I would never be pregnant but I had always hoped that maybe I would. Yet as I sit here typing this, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I will NEVER be pregnant. I had a hysterectomy on December 8, 2015, and while the initial shock of no longer possessing the parts needed to grow a life was jarring, I’m okay.
I’ve been asked why. Why would you have a hysterectomy so young? Have you looked at other options? What is wrong with you?
Of course I looked into other options before major surgery, as should any woman. I have always had ovarian cysts. Then I developed endometriosis, which for a while was maintained after laparoscopic surgery and cauterizing. That actually lasted for 6 years. Then the endometriosis grew more, I developed adhesions, had awful pain with intercourse, an enlarged left ovary, painful heavy periods, abnormal pre-cancerous cells, and was diagnosed with adenomyosis (a cousin to endometriosis but in the actual uterus). I tried another laparoscopic surgery. Adhesions were removed and my left ovary was drained, and yet I still had daily pain. The doctor told me that was from the disease in my uterus and that the only cure was a hysterectomy. However, because of my age he suggested hormone therapy first. That did nothing for my daily pain and discomfort. It actually made me bleed more and longer and have hot flashes. The next step was a hysterectomy. My doctor wanted to take everything so that all the diseases would be gone as well as the chances of ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer. I wanted to keep the ovary that never caused me pain. He agreed as long as it didn’t look infected when he operated. I also wanted a vaginal hysterectomy. For several reasons, it didn’t happen that way. As I sit here now, I have a 4 – 5 inch incision right at the bikini line. I am wearing a belly band. I am swollen and uncomfortable. I cannot lift anything over 10 pounds. But, I am not having the kind of daily pain I was before. For the first time in 18 years, I did not have a period this month. I won’t lie, I’m not comfortable yet, but each day I feel better. I am still worried about how I will heal and if I will have any complications from the surgery. I don’t know how this surgery will change me overall and won’t know for some time until I heal. It takes 4-6 weeks to fully heal.
I’ve learned that unfortunately hysterectomies are quite common. However, most women are over 40. I’ve also learned that hysterectomies can be quite scary. I was given a list of things that could happen to me. Some of those included death, bowel and bladder complications, and hemorrhaging. Thankfully I had none of those issues. The type of hysterectomy I had is the more invasive kind. I wish I could’ve had the less invasive, but it wasn’t meant to be. If you or someone you know is considering a hysterectomy, tell them to do their homework and look at all the options. I did and while I’m not thrilled that I had hysterectomy so young, I am looking forward to being pain free and healthy!