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My uterus has vacated the premises! My hysterectomy story:)

My uterus, served its purpose. It worked overtime! It carried 5 babies and gave my 4 amazing sons. It was the first home my boys knew! BUT, it became a monster that invaded my body. So it was time to kick it to the curb.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been very public with this hush hush topic. Ive done many stories telling my story! I was bold in sharing "I'm getting a hysterectomy" but embarrassed to share the "why." BUT I kept getting message after message from women wanting to know what was going on. So I hope- that by sharing this, I can make even one women feel less like a circus freak-haha! Its so easy to share the highlight reel, but in reality this is a health issue I've been suffering with for years.

I have the notorious "little women bladder syndrome" (or so I thought). It had gotten so bad that I was getting up nearly every hour to pee at night- (And I cut off my water intake after 7pm like you would a toddler-haha!) and 1-2 times an hour during the day. It was my norm. I figured, "oh its probably time to get my bladder tacked up!" I never had the leakage issue- when i sneezed or coughed. Just the frequent and painful urge to pee.

I also had other strange symptoms that were getting increasingly worse throughout the years. I could not lay on my back. If I did, It felt like my bladder was being squeezed and the weight of it was awful. My stomach was really crampy and bloated pretty much all the time. I had intense pelvic pressure. Doing workouts or activities like running or jumping were SO painful and made the pressure so much worse. I did not have bad periods at all: BUT ovulation time was a beast. I had really painful ovulation. Like my whole body hurt when I ovulated. I started spotting throughout the month. These are just a few of the issues that honestly, had me suspicious of ovarian cancer.

So I made an appointment with my lady doc. and wanted to get this ball rolling. They did an ultrasound and exam, and she told me "well, you have uterine prolapse." "OK, so how do we fix it, and what does this mean?" She said "It means your uterus is falling out and the only way to fix it with the degree you have it is a hysterectomy."

WHAT THE....I had to process this. And research it. (Unless you want the fear of God in you, be very careful what you search for when you search hysterectomy-hahaha!) BUT in my searches, I found a gyno urologist who also happens to be a world renowned pelvic floor expert, right here in Tampa! I made an appt. with him and couldn't have been more shocked with what he found.

Unlike the gyno I saw, who just did a traditional pelvic exam, he was WAY more thorough in his testing. He used a catheter- pumped my bladder full of liquids and scoped my pelvic region with a camera. Im not exactly sure what all was involved with the testing. But it was intense. And long.

After the exam, he basically told me there were 4 things wrong with my uterus: it was enlarged (double the normal size) which made it highly sensitive, it was stage 3 prolapsed, it had adenomyosis, and it was falling backwards so it was squeezing my bladder and blocking my intestines. I will not go into detail BUT the last reason is the number one reason I could not wait to get this monster out.

I def did not go into this light hearted. It was a HARD decision. I had two choices: have this major surgery now and improve my quality of life, or wait a few years, let it get worse, wait till I'm closer to menopause and then have it done. I chose quality of life. SO many women on social media helped put my mind at ease with their positive experiences. They freely answered my questions and made me feel confident this was the right path for me.

So 2.5 weeks ago, I had my uterus, cervix and tubes removed. Both ovaries stayed so I won't need hormone replacement. The tubes were removed because new research suggests that ovarian cancer forms in the tubes, and since I don't need them anymore, we decided to have them removed. My Dr. did the Da Vinci method and I have 5 incesions above my belly button. Honestly they are much larger than I was expecting. I started light scar massage this week to hopefully minimize them as they heal.

Its only been 2.5 weeks. and I'm still swollen, BUT even with the swelling, my stomach is flat! Just puffy. I can lay on my back totally pain free. Ive gone as long as 6 hours at night

without having to pee. I can finally and completely go to the bathroom. (again, not going into detail here-haha!) But that in itself is worth the surgery. And, I will never have a period again (SAY WHAT>>????!)

Recovery has been so much better than I could have anticipated. The first few days were ROUGH. I had to stay in the hospital, and the nausea was awful. The pain wasn't fun. I slept a lot. The first 2 weeks were uncomfortable but not terrible. The past few days I've been feeling pretty good but I still have to wait until the 6 week mark to hold anything more than 5 lbs., workout, and do other fun things :p Which is hard when I'm feeling good physically. I do get tired SUPER easy. Like exhausted. That's the main side effect I'm feeling 2.5 weeks out.

I was SO worried about weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings. Ive read about women mourning the loss of their womb, (even when they knew they were done having babies). I didn't know what to expect. My Dr. assured me that by leaving the ovaries, I wouldn't have those hormonal side effects, but did say that younger women who get this surgery, in their 20's and 30's typically have a harder time getting their bodies adjusted for the first few months without these child bearing organs. He said post menapausal women breeze through it a lot easier. That freaked me out! But so far so good. I haven't had any hormonal side effects and have actually lost a few Lbs. (Im sure its muscle as I love to lift weights and do cycling classes!). Definitely missing my workouts. But ill be so ready to resume life as usual in another month or so!

So thats my story, its been nothing but a positive experience so far. And if you are having any of the issues I was, I encourage you to explore the cause. I wish someone would have told me a long time ago I didn't have to live this way! Super happy to be uterus free;)

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