Hey! Hey! I mentioned in last week’s Currently post that I’m continuing to recover from my surgery. As I also mentioned, long story short, it was a long time coming. I thought today I’d share more of the longer part of the long story short.
Caution: long post where I get deep in my feelings and the details 🤣
That being said, this is one of those posts where as I sit here writing it, I know people will either be very interested or very uninterested in this topic. If so, come back for other light-hearted posts later this week 😊
That being said, when Shay shared her story last December, it was was actually quite helpful in my decision to start making plans to move forward with my total hysterectomy. So, I know there may be someone out there, even one, who may benefit from hearing my thoughts and feelings about this surgery.
I didn’t know how to really start this post, but I saw this recently and it resonated with me…
This decision, for some, would be very easy. I’ve been in discomfort or pain for quite some time, so why not just go for it? Just get rid of the problem. My brain doesn’t operate like that. I have to have time to process my feelings and to get a plan. So, this has been many years in the making.
I also want to reiterate that this is my experience. I didn’t take making this decision lightly, but I also don’t take for granted that I was able to make the decision without it being completely forced on me. I know there are many women who have had this decision forced on them out of necessity because of Cancer or other health related issues.
The quick time line is that it took us some time to get pregnant with Hayden and Hadley. But we finally welcomed them into the world in November of 2009. After a couple of years, I was experiencing some pain, and my OB performed a laproscopic surgery in June of 2012. There, she found scar tissue all over my right ovary which made it non-functioning. Then, there were other pockets of scar tissue and my uterus had so much scar tissue that it was adhered to the lining of my stomach. Of course, she tried to laser off what she could, but the post-op conversation was that my right ovary was of no use and the only way to be pretty pain free was to get rid of everything when I felt ready for that.
Of course, at the time, I was 32 and we still hoped to add to our family. With the help of the same specialist who we saw for H&H, I did get pregnant in 2013…but then miscarried. So, we tried for a few more years with no luck and lots of heartache.
I’m sure I could write a whole post about infertility, but I will save that for another time. I can honestly say my infertility struggles and that miscarriage changed me. To be honest, both of those experiences even seeped into my everyday life. Whether I was thinking about starting a family or adding to the family, doctor appointments, medicines, shots, counting days, and then, years later, just figuring out that right time for the hysterectomy, I’ve had all of this on my mind for 12+ years. The infertility and miscarriage even shattered my confidence. (hence why the meme above is so perfect) It’s easy to feel like a failure when your one job as a woman , to produce children (if you do choose to do so), isn’t happening easily or naturally, you start to question what you’ve done wrong and what you’ve done to deserve it.
Some would think if the parts are causing so many issues, get rid of them…but when you’ve been wanting something to work for so long, you cling to hope that one day it will. #imnoquitter For me, it was actually easier to pray and hope than to give up. Until…
I realized I could be a better, more present, and more active mom to Hayden and Hadley if I went ahead with the surgery…and just tried to move on. There was never going to be a good time. Travis is super busy with work in September, November, January, and July. I work full time. We have two very busy and active kids…and the list goes on.
After talking to my doctor at the end of August, I was relieved when she said the surgery would be on October 14th. October is probably one of our least busy months. And…it’s cheesy, but 14 is my lucky number and October is my favorite month. I figured it was a sign to go for it.
So, leading up to the surgery, I was a bit emotional and anxious. I was at peace with the decision, but anxious for the day. I told a few people as the time got closer, but waited until the week before to tell Hayden and Hadley. I waited for a moment when I was feeling strong to let them know. Basically, I shared with them that I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch before I had surgery. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both kids had questions, Hadley more than Hayden, but it was a good little conversation.
Two days before the appointment, I had a Covid test and blood work as well as just going over what to expect.
The night before my surgery, one of my friends brought over some food. She’d written funny sayings all over the paper bag. So funny and just what I needed.
My surgery time was moved from 1:00 to 10:00 the day before the surgery. I was up pretty early after a somewhat sleepless night and missing my coffee. We woke up the kids, did the usual breakfast and backpack routine and then we dropped the kids off at the pod at 8:00, and headed to the hospital.
I checked in, and Travis sat with me in the waiting room. That was only a few minutes, and then they called me back to pre-op. Due to Covid, Travis couldn’t come with me. That being said, I was thankful to have had my phone with me. Also, my brother actually works in the OR, so he had access to me and sat with me for about an hour. My sister-in-law is a nurse at the hospital and stopped by as well.
While I was waiting for the surgery, Travis had to run home for his computer. He sent me a pic of these flowers my sweet Mom Gang sent me. #getyourselfamomgang
Also, one of my friends texted me because she knew I was a little nervous. She said, “When you’re sad or anxious, it means you’re about to do something really brave.” So very sweet…and true.
I finally saw my doctor around 11:45. Once I saw her, tears sprang to my eyes. I was just ready to get it over with. Once I saw her, things moved quickly and my 10:00 surgery finally started at 12:15. The 1-2 hour surgery lasted close to three hours. My doctor said it basically looked like last time but worse with more scar tissue and more lesions. I was so happy when I woke up (I was very nervous about the anesthesia). The nurse asked how I felt, and I said I had a slight headache. She gave me a sip of coffee, and it was the best coffee I ever tasted. 😀Then, they wheeled me to my room around 4:15 where Travis was waiting. Again, due to Covid, he had to wait in the waiting room (or cafeteria) and then was escorted to my room. I was so happy to see him. I was like, “Travis, I did it!” 😂
A laproscopic hysterectomy is a one night stay at the hospital. My doctor had mentioned if she couldn’t get everything, then she’d have to make an additional (bigger) incision which would mean two nights at the hospital. Thankfully, my procedure was completed all laproscopically with three little incisions.
Visiting hours were only until 5:00, but the nurses said Travis could stay for a couple of hours since I’d arrived at my room so late. He stayed until about 6:30, and I rested after taking a couple of bites of mashed potatoes from the hospital dinner.
Around 8:00, the kids Face Timed me which was sweet. I shared in my Friday Favorites post my sweet conversation with Hadley that evening. I told Hadley I was proud of her for her first flute lesson that day. She said, “No, mom, I’m so proud of you” because she knew I was nervous about my surgery, and she was a little anxious about it too.
Then, I watched a couple of episodes of Guys Grocery Games and dozed off and on. Of course, the nurse came to check on me and take my vitals every few hours. I fell asleep, and woke up from a hard sleep…I thought that it must be morning…uh! It was 11:55 PM. 😳
I was up off and on through the night to use the restroom but then slept pretty solidly from 4:30-6:30. Around 6:30, my night time nurse said goodbye, and I met my day time nurse.
For breakfast, I was so happy to have some Sprite and black coffee. I ate the muffin and a piece of bacon while waiting on Travis to come visit.
My brother actually stopped by around 8:30 for a bit, and Travis got there around 9:00. My doctor checked on me, and said if I ate a decent lunch, I could go home. So, Travis hung out with me. I napped off and on, answered texts, and watched the Golden Girls. The kids were at home with the sitter doing school work. I was discharged around 2:00.
I was so excited to get home, see the kids, and was so shocked by all the goodies friends and family had left for us.
Care packages, honey from Savannah Bee company from my dad, a candle, a lantern, goodies and breakfast items from Wolferman’s Bakery from my mom and more.
I also mentioned last week that the kids made monster cupcakes with the sitter. So sweet.
So, I’m almost at two weeks of asking for help, relying on others, taking it slow, and healing. My days are mostly filled with taking it easy, napping, and Netflix. BUT…with each passing day, I’ve been able to be productive around the house and school work.
This meme is me right now: 🤣
I will say that the pain has been very little. Honestly, I spent so much time before the surgery bloated or in discomfort that I was kind of used to it. I only took the occasional pain med the first few days because I was afraid that the pain could catch up with me even though I was mostly just feeling soreness. Then, I just relied on Ibuprofen for a couple more days. My biggest side effect has been exhaustion. Going into this surgery, my doctor said the 4-6 week recovery was more about taking it slow and resting because tiredness would be my number one issue.
Also, for now, my hormone replacement is an estrogen patch to delay menopause. So apparently #thisis40 😉
I’ve been going to my OB for 15 years. She’s amazing, and I trust her and appreciate all that she’s done to help me on this journey of infertility, pregnancy, loss, and now the hysterectomy. At the hospital, the nurses, technicians, and anesthesiologists were all great. I couldn’t have asked for a better team during my time at the hospital.
Of course, I want to thank all my family and friends who’ve checked in on me, said an extra prayer or two, taken my kids where they needed to be, dropped off food, sent cards and text messages, and more. In the grand scheme of life, I know this wasn’t the biggest surgery in the world, but it was a big decision for me that weighed heavily on my mind and my heart for quite some time.
Of course, I need to give a shout out to T-rav. His Super Dad cape has been working overtime. I have leaned on him the most through the ups and downs of life, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive spouse. Hayden and Hadley have stepped up to the plate as well, and I appreciate their extra love and hugs.
If you made it to the end, thanks for reading. It’s pretty vulnerable to put my thoughts out there. It’s weird for me to say this because I do have a blog, but I’m a pretty private person. That being said, this blog is a journal of sorts for me…so it feels kind of natural to share my feelings this way. And, as I said above, I know that Shay’s posts provided me with a sense of peace moving forward with my decision. Maybe this post will be that for someone else along the way too. ❤️
Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks so much for reading.