Talking About Pregnancy Post-Hysterectomy
Last updated: May 2019
No matter your age or whether you wanted to have children or not, having a hysterectomy can cause a lot of emotions that can be hard to deal with. Pregnancy isn’t always a subject you can ignore. We have women in our lives who are either trying to start a family or have done so already. We see advertisements with pregnant women and we see them walking on the street. On a more personal level, we have friends and family who talk about wanting children. All of these things are challenging to process and can leave you feeling lonely and sometimes even a bit depressed. Though those feelings are normal and should be validated, it doesn’t make having them easier.
The importance of Hystersisters
When we listen to friends or family talk about wanting kids and starting a family, we want to listen and be supportive. It feels good to allow them to have the space to do that. But in all honesty, it can take a lot of emotional energy to have those conversations. We can be happy for them, but also be filled with emotions that they wouldn’t completely understand. These emotions are also really tricky to explain sometimes. Having friends who have experienced a hysterectomy can be really helpful for this. It’s someone you can talk to and that can help you process the emotions you have surrounding the subject.
There’s also other situations we can’t avoid such as being invited to a baby shower or someone announcing a pregnancy. Everyone has experienced different situations post-hysterectomy, so being able to share your stories and how you coped is super important for the community. I know firsthand the depression that can come along with the hormonal and emotional changes after a Hysterectomy. I really don’t know what I would have done without the women I’ve met and spoken to. We really do share a special bond that I believe is so crucial to have in our healing process.
Finding a creative outlet
With any sort of emotional struggle, art is a wonderful and even life changing outlet. With something like a hysterectomy, it can allow us to find our voice again as women. It can help restore the strength we sometimes feel we lost while battling such a hard recovery. The best part is that it allows us to express our physical and emotional pain in a therapeutic way.
You can start off with something simple like keeping a journal to give yourself a safe place to write about all your insecurities, worries, and struggles. Then there's always different mediums like painting, collage making, watercolors, sketching, etc. Producing art also gives you confidence which is really important when you feel as though something has been taken away from you. It’s easy to have moments where you feel like you are lacking something, when really we have gained so much emotional strength through the choices we’ve had to make.
Adjusting to changes
There are a lot of adjustment when it comes to big changes in your life. Through time after my surgery, I’ve noticed there are things I might not always be able to be apart of. For example, I might not be able to touch someones pregnant belly or attend a baby shower. Sometimes, I might divert a conversation about pregnancy so I don’t have to be reminded of that subject. As crazy as it might sound to others, I might even avoid looking at a pregnant woman walking around outside.
Though every woman reacts differently to these things after a hysterectomy, we need to be reminded that if we do need to adjust, it’s okay. It’s okay to avoid certain situations if it’s best for your mental health and it’s always okay to excuse yourself from a conversation. In time, things can get easier but some things might take a while or always be hard for us to do. It’s important to know we can’t force ourselves into things that can weigh so heavy on ourselves emotionally, but instead adjust and accept to the changes.
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