A New Life Without a Uterus

Almost two weeks ago, I had an operation which hopefully will change my life.

First let’s begin here, in February. The following is something that I wrote in my person journal.

Today, I had an ultrasound scan. The last one I had was when I was pregnant with my twin boys. That time I was nervous and excited. Today was slightly different.

Over a number of months, and even possibly years now, I had been suffering from mid-cycle pain, mittelschmerz. Basically, it’s a bit of period type cramping and pain when an egg comes out of the ovaries and gets sucked into the fallopian tube. It never bothered me much until about 5 years ago. While some women take off a day of leave when they get their periods, I was taking off the day of my ovulation.

At the time, I was taking some nurofen once in a while to manage the pain and sleeping with my hot water bottle on really bad days. It was bad, but only for a day or so.

Now five years on, twin boys conceived, baked to 37 weeks, and born naturally (aka not a C-Section) I've had to deal with a very heavy period and much more severe cramping during my mid-cycle. I thought, fair enough - my uterus was the size of Lake Michigan when I was pregnant. Pretty typical. Right?

The last few month, however have been proving otherwise. Maybe not so typical. The cramping on my right side and bit of bloating haven’t stopped. It’s been a constant subtle pain and aching for a few cycles now. So, I finally went to my GP. As she did her routine pelvic exam, I winced. Yep, sore. She then referred me to get an ultrasound once my period was done and before my mid-cycle.

So today, I laid there in the same darkened room where I first saw my two little boys on the screen, then nervous and excited, today however, calm with a growing sense of pain and fear. And now as I sit here writing this, a sense of panic and sadness.

The scan showed this - mind you the radiologist still has to give me a full report - large fibroids, small fibroids, possibly cysts, and swelling around where she should have been able to see my right ovary.  She couldn't see it.

Needless to say, it took a team of doctors months to come to a conclusion, multiple scans, blood tests, and exams. Four months later, one doctor finally had a brainwave. My uterus was still quite large, not in the right place, twisting around, those pesky fibroids were putting pressure on the rest of my organs and ovaries. After this discovery, the first question was, “Are you planning on having more kids?” She told me she’d consult with her team and get back to me. She even rang me the next day to say she hadn’t had a chance to talk to the head of her department, but she’d let me know.

Finally, I had an appointment booked to talk with the doctors about what the options were. In the back of my mind, I was hoping they would just say, “Take it out! Just get rid of it all!” But logic told me they would put me on some medication to reduce the fibroids or something along that lines. That’s what I expected.

Finally, the doctor came in and asked me, again, “Are you planning on any more children? No? Ok. We think your best option is to have a hysterectomy.”

Not what I expected. At all. I signed my uterus and Fallopian tubes away. The next few days was met with a sense of sadness and happiness. Happiness, as I was going to be without this aching and these pointless pains, but the sadness was something I wasn’t expecting.

As a mum of twins, you go through a grieving period, you feel guilty for not being able to spend that one on one time with these amazing little babies. You spend the first year of their lives just trying to keep them alive, keep yourself alive and as sane as possible. It’s a manic time, not one filled with those sweet moments you dreamed of that you see on Huggies commercials. So, you grieve.

Even though we never planned on having more than two children, I began to grieve again. I would never have those moments. Those sweet idyllic hours of enjoying the peace with an infant in your arms, while the quiet of the house calms you. I would never know them.

Not to mention, I found all of this out on my birthday/Mother’s Day weekend. Rip out my heart along with my uterus thanks.

But after a few weeks, I received the date of my operation. I went through what I thought would be my last period, my amazing Mom arrived from the States to help look after H&W, I was really looking forward to it. I wanted this pain to be done. Nights getting up to refill my hottie to try and comfort myself. Days of not having enough energy to keep up with two active 2 1/2 year olds. Ready.

And as if my body knew what was about to happen, my uterus gave us one more hurrah… I got my period. Again. For the final and last time ever. It had decided coming 6 days early would be a great idea. I was more ready than ever.

Jacob came with me the morning of the surgery and I was first in the queue for the day. They got me dressed up in those lovely hospital gowns, I walked to theatre and got on the table. Within 3 minutes, I was out like a light. And after what felt about 3 minutes more, I was awake. Or rather I had been awake for a while. I can’t remember that. I’m not sure what happened but the nurse seemed to be quite upset, it took me almost a couple hours to come to apparently. After that, it was a constant feed of morphine and other drugs. Seriously, I was out of it. Eventually I made it out of recovery and up to my room. Jacob had waited for me, but I barely remember seeing him.

I slept, in and out of dreams for a while. Attached to a catheter, IVs, leg massagers for over 24 hours. Around 11am the next day, I was able to get out of my bed. I stayed in hospital for a couple more days, crocheting, reading magazines, listening to podcasts, and periodically getting up to use the loo.

Now, after being home for over a week, I’m still aching. I know it will take a few more weeks to get myself up and moving to where I am happy. My afternoon naps are something more than a luxury. The need for sleep is more than I could have imagined. And thanks to my Mom who has been staying with us the last few weeks, she seems to be the boy-whisperer and gets them to nap too. The quiet in the house is amazing.

But, there is the forward looking to the future. Days without pain, nights of sleep, no more aching, and *wooooooo* no more periods! I was able to keep my ovaries, so menopause won’t be a problem either.

I’ll be meeting with the doctor again soon, and I’ll be interested on what they actually found, but for now, I’m happy to know that the pain I am feeling will go away soon, and be gone.

What are your thoughts? Have you had something similar? xx

Brutal. Isn’t it?

6 thoughts on “A New Life Without a Uterus

  1. Oh gosh! Hope your recovery is going well. I had the same operation when I was 29 and it was the best thing. My only advice is do rush your recovery. It takes a long time to recover from this surgery so just accept it is what it is! So worth it in the long run. Now 64 I certainly never regretted, for one moment, choosing this procedure!


  2. Hey Beth, wow, big changes since last we caught up! I have a number of clients who have been through something similar….lots of rest will help the healing and gently easing back into housework etc, just do what you can when you can. We are here if ever you need us, I have Mondays off work so I can always pop over to help! Healing thoughts are with you, Arohanui Carol


  3. Hey Bethy!! Well I had the same “parts” removed right after I had Chris. So about 27 years now. What I can remember is… I felt empty for a while. I guess knowing I’d never be able to make the choice of having more kids or not. That passed after a few months. Then I remember when the weather got really hot, I could feel where my incision was. This lasted a few years. Not bad at all, just a little uncomfortable wearing jeans. The best thing was not going down “That isle” at the store any more and that ‘time of the month” never got in the way of ….. well you know teeee heee!
    So I still have my overies and have not had any problems in that area at all. If you have any
    questions or just want to talk about it…. I’m here for you!! Always! Love you!! Oh yeah. Take your time healing… you only have one body, take care of that wonderful thing 🙂 oxoxoxoxox


    1. Thanks Aunt Debbie! I had no idea! I cannot wait to wear jeans again! And I know in a few months I’ll be feeling amazing and not having to worry about my period etc. Love you sweetie!!!! xoxox


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