Bat Signal (A Grief Moment)

I’m in a season of grieving and I almost missed it.

It took weeks of having a short fuse, crying at random baby things in movies and Instagram, and riding waves of worthlessness before I put the pieces together. 

I’m finally mourning my hysterectomy and resulting infertility. Nine months later.

When I figured out what was going on, I wrote this letter. It just flew out of me. It’s addressed to women like me. And I’ve been sitting on it for a month, hesitant to put it out into the world because it’s real and difficult and it encompasses a moment of heaviness and grief and realization—but with no happy resolve to tie things up. 

I share it now in hopes that you might know someone who’s in this boat with me. That might need this.

I share this so she and I can both know we aren’t alone.

This is the letter:

Dear Other Young Women with Hysterectomies:
What was it like for you when it was gone?

Did you feel like a weird part of you had left too? Don’t get me wrong—I had thoroughly broken up with my reproductive organs before they were physically removed from me. The pain was constant and too much and it got between me and my little girl. (And nothing is allowed to get between me and my capacity to care for and snuggle my little girl.) So I was prepped and ready to part ways.

But it’s like some part of my identity that I didnt know was hiding in there, left my body with them. With the tubes and with the ovary and the uterus and the cervix. 

It’s like I’ve lost a little of my mojo. Despite being better now, there’s a bit of missing “zest” I can’t really explain.

Dear other young women with hysterectomies:
When did you start crying about it?

For me it was just recently. I think the relief of the pain being gone has faded into normalcy (never thought I’d be able to say that) and now I’m coming to terms with the massive price I had to pay to feel normal.

Yes, we want to adopt. Yes, I might not have been able to carry another child biologically anyway. A hysterectomy was my best choice (yikes!)—my best option to reclaim my life, reclaim myself, be present with my husband and care for my daughter. It was the best and only decision really.

But I think that’s one of the hardest things. I had to make that choice at 26. At 26 a total hysterectomy was the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m mourning that now. And I’m learning that that’s okay and necessary.

This new reality, though pain-free, is weird, unusual and isolating at times. And I am realizing if I’m not honest with myself about it and don’t allow myself to feel all the hard feelings that come with this unique loss, I will never fully heal.

It is a loss—that’s an important thing to note.

It’s also a foggy process making sense of all of it.

Dear other young women with hysterectomies: 
Are you out there? And can we be friends?

Consider this my Bat Signal.

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