Monday, 16 October 2017

The maternal shift- 3 years post my hysterectomy

* Be warned that this post includes what may be to some TMI, I have tried to be as lady like and cautious in most respects surrounding womanly things but if it’s not for you I suggest you skip this one.

I have ALWAYS loved babies and children ALWAYS, no lies I always envisioned myself as a mother, even as a small child I would gush over every baby that I came across, I would hold them, coo at them the works so it was a given that I could not wait to become a mother in my own right one day.

Then I fell pregnant at the age of 18 and welcomed Loghan with open arms and heart at the age of 19.
My mother always said that before she had children of her own she loved children and other peoples children just as I did but that when she had children of her own she lost her whim and patience, she even remarked that once she became a mother she realised that she was not made for motherhood, which seems drastic and harsh but over time I have come to agree with her, and it’s not that she is anything less than an awesome mother who has given everything she can for us however I think that mentally and emotionally motherhood took a toll on her and changed her in ways that she weren’t exactly for the better.
 In any case after I had Loghan I went through a fair amount of emotional issues however none were related to my being a mother or Loghan I loved being a mom and looked forward to having future children. Then I had Gabriel and things shifted; mentally, emotionally.  Looking back now I do not think that I was in the right frame of mind or ready to have another baby at all, my marriage was in shambles and I was just a mess, it really wasn’t fair to add another baby into that mix, but we did and Gabriel was very much wanted and very much loved.

When I met Jaco I knew that he wanted another baby even though he said that he was ok with whatever I decided, and I knew in my heart that I wanted another baby and that this time I was going into a pregnancy with all the love and support I had ever hoped for, and after our losses when I saw the words pregnant flash across that digital screen I was elated but scared as hell, I wasn’t just scared about whether the pregnancy would actually last I was scared about how things would change in our family dynamic, Loghan’s issues were becoming more prominent and difficult to deal with and adding an emotionally at times unstable pregnant  mom into the mix, it was a bit touch and go there for us, but we made it through and again we welcomed another bundle into our family with open arms, and on the day he was born I felt complete, I felt that my family was as it should be whole and perfect.

I had already requested a tubal ligation earlier in my pregnancy, I think deep down I knew that mentally, physically and emotionally I couldn’t go down the road of pregnancy again and I already felt that we were done that Jesse would complete us.

My doctor still joked during my c section though and asked if I was sure but from the moment I heard his cry I knew we were done.

Our family complete!

Years of pregnancy and losses had also changed my system for the worse I had gone from a brief monthly visit of 3 days max and light with no pain etc to visits that lasted weeks were incredibly painful and heavy (blood bath heavy) and emotionally it was just like Jekyll and Hyde, I was tired of struggling through contraceptives that made me gain weight and sent me on emotional roller coasters and I thought that a tubal would not only solve the contraceptive issue but would also help the other issues I was experiencing…

I was so wrong, it only worsened the issues and at a few months post birth I went to my doctor looking for a solution, she suggested a novasure procedure to burn my uterine lining with some sort of fan device (looked like it came out of a sci fi movie) she said that she had great success in all her patients and that I was a perfect candidate given that I did not want any more children and my issues were what the procedure was targeted at alleviating etc, I was elated and scheduled the procedure then and there.

I underwent the procedure and it failed, it was then that my doctor told me I had a tilted uterus which made so much sense considering when I had gone into labour in pregnancies the labour would never progress in the way of dilation ie my children’s head were not able to press down and open the cervix because of the angle/positioning.

So she suggested we go in again this time manually scraping the lining (with what looked like a fancy soup ladle) but again it failed but considering she was able to scrape most of it away she said it would more than likely be fine…

It wasn’t, and within months my time of the month which was no longer there would leave me agony, I couldn’t walk, my tummy would swell and I would appear to be 6 months pregnant, I had migraines on a daily basis and I was a terrible person to be around at this stage because I was constantly miserable and in pain, it was terrible. 

Another appointment and a scan later my doctor could see that my uterus had fused shut after the novasure and subsequent procedure and everything was pooling there (nice) creating the pain and bloating, the only options were chronic meds for life or a hysterectomy, I chose the latter.
A week after Jesse’s first birthday I went in for the surgery.

Within the next days, weeks and months so many of my health issues fell away, I felt a huge shift emotionally, the weight that I had struggled with for many years fell away pretty much on its own and no more painful monthly visits, even my skin issues cleared up. I felt like I was on cloud 9!

Then around the year mark I felt another shift, I was only 28 after all and I begin to feel the tug of my internal clock (even without a uterus), I started to question whether I had made the right decision, for a while I felt somewhat lost like I had lost a huge part of my womanhood, which if you google it is completely normal for many woman post a hysterectomy even if it is something they wanted, even though I knew logically I had made the best choice for my mental and physical health and for my family, I still felt a bit jaded because the decision to have a hysterectomy was not originally what I wanted; I wanted a tubal which could have been reversed or attempted should I have ever wanted to go in that direction even though at the time I didn’t feel that way, I guess I just felt like I was forced into a decision which of course is ridiculous, my doctor is amazing and every decision made was one made with forethought, she gave me all the information she could, answered all my questions it is not her fault that I am just a medical f- up and everything that could go wrong did.

So here we sit at 3 years post… how do I feel now?

Well I have to say my ideals and attitudes have shifted drastically, I still love babies and children but not in the same way as I did, I no longer rush along to every baby I see and I no longer feel even a whimper of an urge to ever have another baby.

I know now that mentally and emotionally if I had decided to have another baby it would have been a bad decision, I love my children so incredibly much but I understand what my mom meant about wanting to be a mother but not being made for motherhood, as someone who struggles with depression and ocd there are days when I freak out, scream, have meltdowns that I know are not fair on my family and often I feel like a terrible mother, my mother has many of the same struggles and I have so many memories of them and I’m sure that besides genetics they heavily influenced my own issues carrying on through my teens into adulthood.

So yes I am happy and confident in the decision that was made, mentally, physically and emotionally it was the right thing to do.

3 years later

I highly encourage any woman looking at this option to do your research and make sure that it is a decision made for the right reasons and with surety, but also that you prepare yourself for the wave of at times very confusing emotions that come post-surgery, our bodies are incredible and complex and the whole ticking biological clock is real I don’t care what anyone says its real and it hits you so its best to prepare for it.

RESEARCH is incredibly important I am not trying to scare anyone but always look at the pros and cons of any procedure or surgery you undergo, research the issues, they may or may not happen to you but if they do you will go in prepared to deal with them, I liken it to birth my suggestion is always go into it prepared for both a natural and c section should you only want natural because you never know what could happen and it has been proving that going in prepared makes a big difference to healing time as well as a moms emotional state post birth, so go in prepared from both sides and do what is best for you and your body and family never feel pressured always ask questions, a good doctor will never make you feel stupid or like you are wasting their time, a good doctor will always ensure that you are happy with a decision and that any suggestions are made in the best interest of your health and well being.

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