Monday, September 16, 2013

TMI or "Why My Uterus Hates Me"

"I'm not feeling very well - I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course."
--Groucho Marx

I'm just going to warn you up front: if you don't have ovaries, you probably don't want to read this.
Actually, even if you have ovaries, you might not want to read this.
Because I'm going to be be honest here, folks.
Also, I'm going to whine. I hate whining, but I love ranting. So maybe this is more of that. Strap yourselves in.
Or flee in terror.
Either one works.

Because, sometimes, being female just stinks. Not only are there all of our insecurity issues, our weird methods of communication, our reading into everything, our penchant for drama, and the presence of high heels, there's this bloody little hormone called estrogen, and, my golly, is it a party pooper or WHAT?!

I'm also warning you because I think medical stuff is fascinating. I mean, I was that student who went out and researched the Bubonic Plague because I wanted to know EXACTLY what it did to you that made it so terrible.
Besides, you know, KILL you.
FYI I still remember the major symptoms and all that jazz, so if you're worried you've contracted the black death, give me a ring. I'll help you out. ;]
So, medical weirdness, bizarre science, I LOVE IT. 
In fact, Chris and I have pretty much decided that, when I'm old and senile, I'm going to be a female version of Fringe's Walter Bishop--random amazement, too many wacky facts, love of the bizarre, and random food fixations. I'm going to be a ball in the nursing home, folks.

And, um, for just a second can we talk about how AMAZING Fringe was??? I mean, REALLY. SO. GOOD.
If you haven't watched it, go to Netflix, and watch it ALL.
I think I need a rewatch because I need more Walter Bishop in my life.
Rant over.
For now.

Anyways, back to the point.
The problems all started with our miscarriage back in June. I try not to think about it, but the truth is, it has left a PHYSICAL mark, not just an emotional scar. The emotional wounds continue to slowly heal. The physical ones . . . The just keep coming.
I mean, really, my uterus is not giving me a break.
Thank you SO MUCH uterus. You're a pal.


First, just as we're like, "Okay, this whole ordeal is over. We're still balling our eyes out whenever there's ANYTHING about childbirth in movies or on facebook, but hey, we're dealing. We'll have a period and then it's all over, we can really heal."
Guess what doesn't show up?
L:adies, I have never ever EVER wanted Aunt Flo to come visit so badly. I mean, just seriously. I was begging her to come over and ruin me for a week because, hey that's what she does.
Once a month.
To every woman.
And she didn't. Why? Because my uterus had an infection. . Apparently, some natural bacteria from, well, you know--her royal lady-ness--decided it wanted to try living further north where it should not be, and things just got pissy. Totally natural, no big deal, my doctor said, and we had it cleared up in two weeks.
And for those two weeks, I panicked over the state of my womanhood, my fertility, just everything.
For no real reason, apparently, because this was as major an issue as the common cold. Less than, maybe, because that sucker had a cure.

So . . . now I'm normal, right?

Nope. They wanted an ultrasound. Why?
That's a word you never, ever EVER want to hear in a medical context. "Mass." They throw it around like it's nothing, but I've seen medical shows! I know what "mass" is a code word for, we all know.
So, again, I internally freak out for a week until I get that ultrasound. Again, the doctor says it's probably no big deal, but how do you not freak out?
There's something GROWING inside you. It could maybe be something that kills you. But don't be nervous or anything.

But, I go, I get my ultrasound, they tell me that, yes, it is a growth, but it's 99.9% harmless unless it keeps growing. It's this thing called a dermoid.
Basically, as far as I understand, when my body started pumping pregnancy hormones, one little egg decided it was a radical, Amazonian feminist.  It said, "Screw sperm! Who needs sperm?? Stupid men! I'LL SHOW YOU I DON'T NEED YOU TO CREATE LIFE!!!" And, with that, it shook its little eggish fist and began dividing and multiplying . . .
Into a lifeless lump of tissue.
But you know, they've been found with hair and teeth, so, maybe there are tiny teeth in there, too. You know that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the crazy aunt talks about the lump in her neck being her twin? Yeah, that was probably a dermoid.
Actually, this didn't freak me out. I thought it was COOL. See? Weird science thing. I had no idea that my body could do that. So I left, not feeling nervous at all. 

Welp, a week goes by. Aunt Flo FINALLY shows up, and I cry "NORMALITY!!!!" from the tops of the hills in victory. "I AM WOMAN AGAIN!!! I AM WHOLE!!!" I might have even sung a little tune to celebrate the wondrous return of PMS. It is such a gift, isn't it???

My joy didn't last long. 
Because, you see, a week after that, I had a follow up with my doctor, and she's like, "You need surgery to remove that. Not an emergency right now, but it could grow too big and twist your ovary or rupture and that's incredibly painful and could be damaging so . . . let's get that puppy out. We'll go in through your belly button and use robotics and stuff."
Again, surgery doesn't freak me out.
Probably because the most major procedure I've had done were my wisdom teeth, and, again, I was fascinated. So, now, I'm thinking, Sweet, they're going to go all space-age on my abdomen and get my teethed-tissue-lump thing out. I wonder if I'll get to see it . . . You know, because it's all sciencey and stuff.
And then she tells me I can't be pregnant when they do the procedure . . . and then I just sort of smile awkwardly and say, "Um, sure, right but . . . what if I am? No one told us . . . well . . . uh . . . We want kids and um . . .  "

Peeps the LONGEST nine days of my life. I hate suspense. I just don't deal well with not knowing my future. And here I am torn between WANTING to be pregnant and WANTING to get this thing out of the way so I could be NORMAL and, eventually, have a NORMAL pregnancy, not one where I have to worry about dosing my baby with anesthesia and pain killers in OR having a surgery after delivery and having that mess dampen those precious moments with a newborn.
It's just messy. 

Well, it turns out that I'm not pregnant . . . I just thought this weekend I was going to die.
Seriously, people, I thought my womanhood was broken beyond repair.
Aunt Flo wasn't even this vicious during my physical miscarriage.
The pain wasn't really that bad--that was the only comfort I had this time around "Well, at least my insides are SCREAMING at me--but I was seriously worried that something else was bleeding. It was just weird.

I'm telling you, when we physically miscarried, I knew what was coming. Some very sweet friends shared their stories so I knew what to physically expect. My doctor gave me her number so I could call her when I was afraid I was bleeding to death. The only time I called was because it had been five hours and I was barely bleeding. I'm not afraid of blood, and, until recently, I wasn't afraid of my body.

This weekend, I was kind of terrified. So I call my doctor, leave two messages, and wait ALL DAY for her to call me back. Granted it was a Sunday. Who checks their messages on Sunday?? She calls me back, LAUGHING. Just sweetly chuckling, "Oh, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, what are we going to do with you?"
"I have no idea. I don't even know what to do with me."
And she proceeds to tell me that this Niagara Falls that is my body is acting totally normally. That there is nothing to be afraid of.  It's STILL just the physical aftermath of my miscarriage.
Let me lay out a timeline for you, peeps.
We found out we had lost the baby the first week in June.
We didn't physically miscarry until the last week in June.
It is now the middle of September.

I know that some people say that they recovered with no issue, but that is not every case. Some cases drag on for MONTHS, maybe longer. While the emotional wounds are slowly healing (I can actually talk about it without crying--Oh, I tear up, but I can mention it without uncontrolled sobbing or the strain to hold myself together as I fall apart at the seams), the physical is still working.  I am, for the first time ever, unsure about my body. I don't know what it's doing, I dont know what it wants, I don't know what it needs. It's WEIRD. It's unnerving, in a way. I am a stranger in my own meat suit.
I'm still trying to feel fully woman, again. 
I say this for one real reason:
  1.  If you've lost child in pregnancy and you feel like your body has betrayed you, sweetheart, you are not even REMOTELY alone. Things do not just bounce back after a pregnancy has ended--naturally or medically. Recovery takes time. It's scary and it's weird.  If they tell you it's nothing, they are lying to you. Hormones do not go back to non-pregnancy mode overnight. 
    I say this in love, really and truly, because people and research made the miscarriage sound simple and easy, and it wasn't. Even if we had gone with a D&C, I don't think my recovery would have been speedy because hormones don't fix with an on/off switch. They have to deplete and then they have to come back.
    My body is not the same. Maybe one day it will be, but it's been three months, and I'm still not there.

So, now the next step is to set up a surgery appointment. Yay robots in my belly button . . . like the Matrix . . . or something . . .

And then, maybe, just MAYBE, after all that, I'll be normal. Really and truly normal.
So, anyways, thanks Uterus. 
I know you're upset about what happened, too, but, hey, at least I'm working on recovery. You could jump in and lend a hand any time you want. 
. . . Seriously, any time, now . . .


  1. Women... just deserve a huge pat on the back (and lots of chocolate) for all that they go through. I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage and the tough time you had following it - you are so very strong, and I know that there must be something special waiting for you in the future! Keep on keepin' on, girlfriend!

  2. oh my goodness, im so sorry. ive had to deal with some really weird, intense lady problems for YEARS (since my early teens), and im with you, uteruses (uterii? is there a proper term for this) are just jerks sometimes.

  3. Oh no... this just breaks my heart. You have had to deal with SO MUCH lately. I have a friend who dealt with a miscarriage last year, and her body has been having problems ever since. However, they just found a couple of months ago that everything is ok and they are pregnant! I bet that's where you guys will be soon :)

  4. Just wanted to say I am thinking of you and hoping everything works out, both with the medical stuff and with your future family. :)

    P.S. - I will Netflix Fringe. I promise. ;)

  5. I am so so sorry to read about this. :(
    I have a friend who miscarried last year, and I saw her pain. I am hoping that you will be really and truly normal, in time.

  6. Aw sorry to hear of your continued struggles with physical recovery. I can't exactly relate but I can say that hormones are whack. Just whack, at any time. Having my second child has messed up my body in more ways than saggy boobs and stretch marks. Don't mistake me, I truly thank God I have him, but geez sometimes I just want to feel normal again.

    Praying the surgery can come soon for you and that Aunt Flo does her thang ;)

  7. That is so frustrating that it has taken this long--hopefully after the surgery everything with clear up much more quickly! I have to say, though, I think you handle all of the medical drama with a much better attitude than I would. Angel pretty much has to drag me into the doctor for any reason....I would really struggle to go willingly.

  8. Thanks--it is frustrating, but it's like I've almost gotten used to it. Things just haven't been quite normal since we found out we were pregnant in May, so now it's just business as usual. Oh well. It all works out in the end ;]

  9. Thanks so much, Krista!
    Oh, hormones . . . They just don't like to give us women a break, do they? ;]

  10. Thank you so very much, really. :]
    Hopefully, normalcy comes quickly, but, if not, I'm kinda getting the hang of this weirdness deal.
    Thank you so much for your sympathies!

  11. Thank you so much! I think we're slowly getting there, but, hey all in good time.
    And you have to let me know what you think of Fringe!

  12. Thank you so much, really.
    And thank you for the encouragement! We're hoping our happy ending arrives soon, but all in good time, I guess. ;]

  13. Ugh. Lady problems are the worst, aren't they? Boo!

  14. We really do need some love and chocolate, don't we? ;]
    Thanks so much for your sympathies and well wishes! We're keeping on, and, hopefully, we'll find a big, bright light at the end of these tunnels! ;]

  15. seriously. and then the people that tell you to suck it up because "it happens to everyone"....

  16. Because, um, it totally DOES NOT.
    Every body is different, so it makes sense that your body's reaction to hormones very likely doesn't match anyone else's. Sure, there's a medical "normal" but come on . . . BAH

  17. I totally relate. I lost a baby in March and since then Aunt Flo has been terrible. I've also been having a ton of pain after sex (no pain during sex, but only about 5 min after I get this terrible abdominal pains, worse then my miscarriage) I went to the doctor but they just told me to take a Advil before sex. So I made an appointment with another gyno. I also went through about two weeks of terrible depression where I cried all day. Things aren't normal. Sigh.

  18. Oh my goodness, Carolynn, I am so, so sorry for your loss! That's awful!
    I hope your new doctor can give you some answers and maybe help things get back to normal. Blech on hormones.
    I definitely cried for days immediately following the miscarriage. I couldn't even read the sympathetic messages sent by friends and family from Florida without bawling uncontrollably. Things got better . . . and then, just over a month after our miscarriage, my husband became an uncle, and I just went back to square one emotionally.
    Medical sites make it sound like nothing, but miscarriages really are a HUGE and emotional loss. I'm so sorry that you've felt that pain :[

  19. So many things.
    1. When Google Reader peaced out I transferred all my blogs to newsify and there you were at the tip top because "A" is the first letter of the alphabet, boys and girls. I would click on your blog and it would be like "there are no posts to display." Oh, okay. WELL IT LIED BECAUSE YOU HAVE SOME POSTS TO DISPLAY. So here I am. I am sorry that I was a neglectful friend. Reading through everything now. Expect a bajillion comments.
    2. I miss Fringe. I watched it until it got a little weird with the parallel universe and jazz but I loved Walter. I loved how he always called "Astrid" something hilarious and random. He was the coolest minus the weird experiments on kids thing.
    3. I am so sorry your body is having a moment. I mean, one thing on top of another. Talk about when it rains it pours. You are such an amazing writer, though. I just need to throw that in here because I laughed out loud and then felt bad for laughing out loud because this is not a laughing matter. You have a talent, girlfriend. Anyway. Back to your BOD. Human bodies are miraculous things that sometimes do horrible things to themselves. All you do is take care of it and feed it and sleep and it's like, "Here. I got you this. A mutant egg tumor. You're welcome." I imagine it to be smoking a cigarette during this convo. Little B that it is. I just hate that you're going through this right now. There's a bigger plan than anyone can see and someday you'll look back on this moment with your 20/20 hindsight and have a better understanding. I don't have any advice or experience to share with you. But know that I've been praying for you and Chris since the news of your miscarriage and know that I am so incredibly sorry about what happened. You are amazing and hilarious and someday you will make a great mama. Until that day, keep your chin up and know that God's plan is bigger than these little scary moments. So much bigger.


Good morning, Starshine! The Earth says, "Hello!"