If you’ve been following my journey, you know that 5 months ago I had a hysterectomy. I lost everything except my ovaries. This surgery has provided endless amounts of pain relief from Endo and Adeno, but as with any surgery, there are other effects as well. I wouldn’t change the relief I have received for anything, but I do wish I could still carry my own children.
I knew losing my uterus would be emotional, but I wasn’t prepared for the little things that would hit me. I knew that being around little ones would be rough. I also knew that being around pregnant people would be rough, but I was so unprepared for some other things. I never thought that a pregnancy test could make me cry. Last week I was walking through Walgreen’s and saw a pregnancy test and I just lost it. I realized I would never need one. I would never get to surprise my future husband with a positive pregnancy test.
Walking through Target or Walmart and seeing baby clothes is enough to make me tear up sometimes. I start thinking about all the things I won’t get to do. I’ll never get to be the pregnant lady walking through the baby section picking out clothes and being asked when I am due. It makes my heart ache sometimes.
The emotions post-hysterectomy in my case are weird. Sometimes something hits me and I breakdown. Other times, I am totally fine with the exact same situation. It is a healing and grieving process. I am learning to be easy and gentle with myself. I can’t be hard on myself for grieving my loss. I have had to learn to extract myself from some situations to protect my heart. If people want to talk about getting pregnant and having kids, I may need to walk away for my own sake. Walking away isn’t due to weakness, it is protecting my heart and my relationships with others.
Things that people say can also cause upset. I know little ones don’t know any better, but man sometimes their words cut deep. Back before the summer session at the gym I was coaching at ended, I had a four-year-old ask me if I was a mom. Talk about hitting a nerve. I kept it all together and told her no and laughed it off in the moment, but it was really hard. I have kids who call me mom, and it is just enough of a reminder that I can’t carry my own kids to get under my skin.
Overall, the most important thing you can do for your emotional health post-hysterectomy is accept it. Don’t try to bottle up all your feelings and act like you are fine. It is okay to cry. It is okay to be angry at your situation. Writing here and in a prayer journal have both been very helpful for me. I have found a support system of people who I can talk to. People who understand that this isn’t something you get over in two days, weeks, or months. The raw emotions and pain will last for a long time and that is okay.
My surgery and scars are just a part of my story. Right now the emotions may feel overwhelming, but that is okay. They won’t always be overwhelming. Time heals all wounds, these included.