It is alive!
Okay, so I had my six-week post-op appointment with my doctor yesterday. Everything is looking good, the healing is continuing, and I’ve been cleared to ease back into normal activities. I get to begin physical therapy to strengthen my pelvic floor, too. Pelvic floor PT? Who knew?! If it proves to be as salacious as it sounds, I’ll be sure to report back here. My doctor wants to see me every couple of months for a year just to make sure everything is as it should be, which I find very reassuring (what I’ll do since we plan to move, I don’t know yet).
I’m discovering that I went into this fairly ignorant about what exactly was going to be done to me surgically, and about the recovery. My doctor mentioned yesterday that I had seven surgical procedures done, which is quite a few more than I realized I would have. I stumbled upon a Facebook group of women all dealing with pelvic organ prolapse (or POP) after my surgery, and I really wish I had found it before my surgery, because I think I would have gone into it with my eyes a little more open.
So, six weeks later I’m feeling pretty good, and the surgical repairs I had done seem to be doing what they were meant to do. In a nutshell, I do not wet myself anymore. I can sneeze, cough, laugh, and even yell at my kids, all standing up and not crossing my legs, and no leakage. Of course, I still haven’t tested jumping or running, but I do hope to get back to walking soon, and that will be a test as well.
A lot of people seem to believe that c-sections prevent pelvic organ prolapse. While it’s true that vaginal births can cause POP, so can pregnancy alone. And so can numerous other things: being overweight; menopause (when supporting tissues become less elastic); high impact activities like running; and even just genetics. It’s safe to say that the majority of women will have some degree of POP by the time they are post-menopausal. So although my own POP was caused by my clown car of a vagina, there are all kinds of ways for your parts to fall.
I also haven’t had a period since early March (although I do still get all the usual PMS symptoms since I still have my ovaries). I thought I would grieve the loss of my uterus – I’m serious, I really did. But I haven’t. To everything there is a season, etc., etc. We had a good long run, my womb and I, but that time is in the past now, and that’s cool.
My recovery from surgery was hard. Much harder than I imagined it would be. I think the fact that I bounced back from my mommy job last year so quickly after I kept hearing how hard it was going to be set up unrealistic expectations on my part for this surgery. And honestly, nobody really told me it was going to be as difficult as it ended up being (another big reason I wish I had found that FB group before the surgery). There was a lot of pain involved, and it didn’t help that I had the setbacks I had. I felt discouraged and even depressed at times, and maybe the worst part was feeling so alone and isolated. I was confronted with the absence of a support network and help our family has, and in all honesty I’m still struggling with it.
In any case, I’m finally bouncing back, and ready to put that whole ordeal behind me. Hopefully in a year I will still be saying that it was worth it.