“I was worried about my own vagina. It needed a context, a community, a culture of other vaginas. There is so much darkness and secrecy surrounding them, like the Bermuda Triangle, nobody ever reports back from there.”~ Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
So my Mommy Body Transformation Project has taken quite a turn in the last two weeks. There has been little exercise, no diet whatsoever, and a whole lot of poking and prodding going on around and within my feminine parts.
For those of you who can’t stomach the subject of women and their ever-changing bodies, stop reading now, return tomorrow for a lighter post, and I’ll forgive you for taking a temporary leave of absence from Renaissance Mom. Otherwise, sit down, grab a LARGE glass of wine, margarita, lite beer, Skinnygirl sangria, or whatever your preference, and listen up because this is some stuff you should know.
I am a 40-year-old women who has had her body stretched and contorted in ways I thought impossible, beginning with the damage done within while carrying my firstborn — twins. I remember having feet poke out of my skin seeming to wave e at my husband and I as one twin or another stretched out and made his/herself comfy. I’ve also felt as if my ribs were cracking in half because someone in there was wedging some unimaginable body part between a rib or two that didn’t belong there. Turns out it was Thing 2’s (or at that time Baby B’s) entire rear end and then some. Ouch.
I’ve always believed that carrying those two babies in there did some serious damage, from having a permanent vertical hole down the middle of my stomach where my stomach muscles never mended back together to organs that never quite found their way back to their original homes after my twins left the womb. Well, two weeks ago when I had had enough of the monthly hemorrhaging which left me home, double-padded, tamponed and purchasing new underwear each month because the laundry couldn’t keep up (which I also blamed on my pregnancies), I finally decided it was time to go to the doctor, find out what was going on down there, and discuss my options. I also was sick of being the “sick” mom each month, which I overheard one of my kids telling my husband one day while I was recovering on the couch, my two-day a month hangout, from a migraine and lack of energy, the result of a day plagued with bleeding like a stuffed pig. Nice visual, huh?
My first visit to the doctor left me nauseous and almost passing out after a surprise biopsy by the nurse practitioner. If you’ve never had one it consists of a whole lot of poking and prodding between your legs and then one quick snip of your cervix that causes labor-worthy cramping. I hadn’t eaten, wasn’t prepared, and a little nervous all at the same time which left me a little woozy and unable to sit up for 10 minutes or so. Fun. Then I headed to the lab for blood work to make sure all “my numbers” were OK, and then back to the doctor the following week for a hysteroscopy where I learned I had a “bulky” uterus. Well, I thought, everything else on me is feeling bulky lately, why not my uterus? Apparently my uterus was feeling left out. My sister’s and my mom’s uteruses are both special enough to be deemed tilted, mine bulky. Nice. Another nod to the damage my twins did inside my body. That procedure also left me nauseous and turning green, so the doctor escorted me back to the examining room where I lay embarrassed for another 10 or so minutes.
With everything checking out fine, except the menorrhagia (the medical term for my condition), I had one of four options to consider:
1. Do nothing (out of the question); 2. Use a IUD, Mirena was the recommendation (no go, I wasn’t putting any more chemicals in my body that could react with the antidepressant like the NuvaRing had that I used a few years back to try and curb the same bleeding issue … I was temporarily insane on that); 3. An endometrial ablation (possibly, a few friends had had it and sung its praises); or 4. A hysterectomy (Um, absolutely not, I’m only 40).
So after learning more about the Novasure Ablation, I opted to have the inside of my uterus burned by a laser, and the surgery was scheduled for the following week, after a little more poking and prodding in the form of an internal exam a few days later.
So Wednesday was the big day! I went into our local day surgery facility at 9 a.m. for a 10:30 a.m. procedure, was poked and prodded, had some blood drawn, and then hung out staring at my husband, lying on a hospital bed (me not him) with my ass hanging out of my hospital gown until 11:30 a.m. when the doctor finally came and took me away. Once in the operating room, they gave me a dose of something good that the anesthesiologist told me would only put me into a light sleep, but knocked me out into the best sleep I have had in thirteen years. I was none too happy when I was awakened 30 minutes later by the doctor et al. telling me everything was over. That’s it? I’m done? No more bleeding out every month leaving me in need of massive blood transfusions to function.Yup.
Thirty minutes later I was on my way home with my husband at the wheel … and thirty minutes after that I was puking my guts out on my couch at home, an apparent reaction to the anesthetic — for a good five hours — thus rendering the 800 mg. of Motrin I had taken earlier absolutely useless. I hurt, I was crampy, hungry, I was vomiting up my insides, and the dehydration caused by all that resulted in a migraine that made me nauseous, as if I needed that. But finally, after a two-hour nap sans vomit, I felt more like myself again. I ate, I visited with my kids, and slept through the night, waking up to only a little cramping, and a pulled back and stomach muscles from tossing my cookies all afternoon the day before. Not too bad.
So what do I have to say thus far of the procedure … if you need respite from bleeding DO IT! The small bit of uncomfortableness I experienced will definitely be worth it if it slows down or stops the monthly bleeding altogether. I’ll keep you posted.
If you are in the same situation and want to know more about the endometrial Novasure ablation I had visit novasure.com or changethecycle.com where’s there’s a funny story from Vicki Iovine author of the “Girlfriend’s Guide to …” books, about her experience with the procedure.