Having a Hysterectomy - Amanda’s Story
It was not an easy decision for her, but she knows she has no other choice. “So, at 27 and childless I am giving in to this horrible disease and giving up my chance of ever becoming a mother to a child that is biologically my own,” she says.
Follow Amanda’s journey through her pre- and post-operation journal. The following is the first installment of her journal, which she began in August after setting the date for her surgery. Check back daily for more.
Amanda has agreed to feature her story here at Married No Kids to help people like her. “The women out there that are suffering need to realize that they are not alone and that they can live a ‘normal’ life,” she says.
August 13, 2003
I scheduled my hysterectomy today for September 9 at 7:00 a.m. I don’t know if it just hasn’t hit me yet, but I seem to be dealing with this pretty well. Growing up I always pictured myself with kids by now, but instead at twenty-seven years old I’m giving up on that dream and about to have my insides yanked out. I never would have thought that a simple blood test at twenty-one would be the start of such a miserable journey. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease then and had no idea what it even was. Little did I know that those three words would cause me such heartache. Shortly after that I found out I also had Grave’s Disease and had to have my thyroid removed a week before my twenty-second birthday. I thought the heavens had finally smiled on me when, through my husband, I met a girl that worked for a Reproductive Endocrinologist. There was no way we could afford to do fertility studies, but lucky me she knew of some studies coming up that would provide the drugs and the insemination at no cost to me. So at twenty-four I signed up to participate. I had blood work done to test me for eligibility and a hystosalpingogram to make sure that my tubes were open. Everything was just right and I began my first round of injections. It wasn’t the most enjoyable time in my life, taking shots twice a day, blood work and ultrasounds every three days and then a shot of Pregnyl to induce ovulation. Then came the big day, I would go to the doctors office and have him place my husband’s sperm where it belonged with what appeared to be a very long syringe. How romantic! And of course during all of this we had to schedule our sex life, not at all fun for a young married couple.
After two rounds of fertility treatments I decided that it just wasn’t for me. It’s just too heartbreaking to go through all of that just knowing that this time it’s going to work just to be let down. And to make it worse all of our young friends were getting pregnant and starting their new families and leaving us behind. Nothing is worse when you’re going through something like that than to open the mail and be invited to another baby shower. Of course I was happy for them, but that didn’t make it any easier for me to deal with. After the second failed study I started my period or so I thought. After eleven days of bleeding I called the doctor. They put me on birth control pills to stop the bleeding and that was that, or so I thought. A week later I was still bleeding. I called them and they told me to increase the pills to three a day, but they also wanted me to come in for some blood work. That afternoon I received a phone call at work from my doctor’s office. I was pregnant, but they suspected that I was trying to miscarry. After two more blood tests we thought I had lost the baby. About a week later I was hurting terribly and went in to the office for them to look at me. A pregnancy test came back positive once again and I was given the diagnosis of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. They were unable to locate the fetus with ultrasound so I was given Methotrexate to try to dissolve it without surgery. The following week I was to go in for another blood test to see if the injection had worked. Upon leaving the office I was overcome with the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life. I called the doctor as soon as I got home and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove the fetus. I was bleeding internally and it appeared that we made it just in time.
About nine months later I went to see my gynecologist because I was hurting quite a bit. She did the regular exam, ultrasound, blood work, etc. Being able to find nothing she decided she wanted to do laproscopic surgery to see if I had adhesions from the previous surgery that could be causing the pain. After surgery I learned that I had endometriosis and a closed left tube (due to the tubal pregnancy). So, we decided to try birth control pills to control the re-growth of the endometriosis. Of course I should have know that not even the simplest of things could be simple where I was concerned. When I began taking the birth control pills I went into a horrible depression. I found out from my endocrinologist that birth control pills tend to interact with the medication I was taking for my thyroid problems and depression was the result. So, I stopped taking them and thought things would be OK. Not so lucky, go figure. The pain returned, this time much worse than before and I again scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist. She put me on Darvocet to help with the pain and while it did, it didn’t stop it. So we decided to do another surgery to go in and clean up the endometriosis again. A week ago today I woke up from surgery and was told that the endometriosis was still there, there was too much to remove it because if she would have done so it would have left too much scar tissue. I went in for my post-op visit yesterday and the first words out of her mouth were that my right ovary is shot because of the endometriosis. So now I have a list of diagnoses that goes like this: Grave’s disease, polycystic ovarian disease (or syndrome), endometriosis, a closed left tube, and a right ovary that is shot (medically speaking). We talked about all of this and that leaves me where I started; in just under a month I will, at twenty-seven years old and childless, relinquish my female organs and finally give up my dream of ever becoming a mother.
I am no longer with the aforementioned hubby. Things didn’t work out for us. I don’t really believe it was any of this that caused the demise of our relationship, we just didn’t have a good one to begin with, but I’m sure it didn’t help. I am however with a wonderful man, Tony, that treats me the way I never dreamed possible. He has been very supportive and although he hasn’t been through the worst of it with me, he does handle my extreme mood swings rather well and I have faith that I can count on him. I do worry, though, that this will take its toll on our relationship. I hope it doesn’t.
The other night I decided to write something for the baby that I’ll never have. It goes like this:
Never will I look into your eyes or see your smiling face.
I have dreamed of you all my life, but I will never know you.
You will live forever in my mind, what I wish could’ve been.
I will cry for you, because I was never blessed with the chance to hold you in my arms.
There will always be a hole in my heart, the place you were meant to fill.
I have always loved you, even though we’ve never met.
All the prayers in the world couldn’t make you real, and now I finally give up,
I will forever wonder what you would’ve been like,
What you would’ve looked like,
The joy I would’ve felt to hear you laugh, the pain I would’ve felt when you cried,
What you would’ve been when you grew up.
All the things I’ll never have a chance to know.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to give you a life.
I’m sorry that you never even got a chance.
I’m sorry that I failed you.
Please forgive me so that I can forgive myself.
I sat here tonight on the Internet searching for books on dealing with a hysterectomy. While there are plenty of them, I wasn’t able to find any that deal with what I’m going through. Yes, lots of women have them everyday, but what about those of us that are going through infertility battles and are hit with something like this at such a young age? How are we supposed to get through this? So, I am going to document my experience in hopes that maybe one day I can help even one person that is going through an experience that is similar to mine. No, I am not a doctor and can’t offer any valid medical advice, but what I can do is document my feelings while going through this and hopefully one day someone can read this and realize that they are not alone. Because to tell the truth even though I know I’m not, sometimes I feel like I am.
Check back daily for new installments of “Amanda’s Story.”
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You Should Also Read:
Child free...but NOT by choice PART ONE: Dealing with the News
Child free...but NOT by choice PART TWO: How Infertility Affects Your Marriage
Amanda's Story -- Entry #2
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