Letting Go of Control For the Benefit of Health :: A Hysterectomy Before 40

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I, like most I would assume, prefer to be in control. I don’t need to be in control of “your” business. I just like to be in charge and independent when it comes to my affairs.

When that control is threatened, I become a little bit undone. For example, I thought I was done having babies. I had my last at 37, which is considered geriatric for all intents and purposes. Tag on some postpartum, a pandemic, and a baby girl with more personality than she knew how to handle . . . and it’s a recipe for not only chaos, but a sense of being “done” growing the family.

“We Found Cause For Concern”

I closed that chapter, or at least I thought I did. Around ten months later, I found myself sitting in my OB’s office thinking I was probably getting ready to leave with medication or birth control when I heard the words, “We found cysts and a mass that is cause for concern.” I ended up leaving with various options of surgery, one of which was a full hysterectomy. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I wasn’t even 40!!! Close . . . but no!

By the time I got home, all I really remember is that she kept reiterating that I needed to be certain I was done with making babies. At that point, that’s all I heard. It’s all I could think about. That chapter was blown wide open.

I cried every day. I became consumed with that thought and the finality it would bring. I was heartbroken. Sure, I was “old.” Yes, I had two wonderful children. Didn’t I understand that there are many women who can’t get pregnant at all? I did. I was one of them for a short time.  

We Went to God

I couldn’t talk about it, except that I had to talk about it. I had to talk about it with my husband so we could decide how to move forward.

We didn’t go to Google. I knew I couldn’t handle what I might find there. We went to God.  

Side note: The morning before my appointment, God led me to Psalm 121. While in the waiting room waiting to be seen, I was pointed again to Psalm 121. He was preparing me for something ahead, in the hopes that I would be successful. I love that God is not only in the middle of our trials, but He’s also there at the end to pick up the pieces. He’s at the very beginning too, preparing the way, and equipping us with everything we might need. What a good God! 

Working Through the Emotions

Thankfully, God also provided me with a husband with a more logical approach than the rush of hormones and emotions that seemed to be dominating my thoughts. He was able to hear and see what I couldn’t. While he asked if we could have the surgery that week (NO!!!), he patiently let me get to that choice and talk/cry my way through it all.

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We decided on a full hysterectomy in the hopes of negating any future and more severe health issues.

I love my doctor. I trust her 100%. I know she is conservative, trustworthy, and always follows the best practices. This was not about needing a second opinion (although there are times that is absolutely necessary). Follow your intuition.

This was about being a woman, a mom, and facing a potential health crisis. Yes, I could ignore what doctors and family suggest and try again to get pregnant, but who does that really benefit? This was about working through all the emotions and thoughts associated with this type of surgery. This was about not tying my identity to my anatomy. This is a journey the Lord has asked me to walk, and I want to do it faithfully. 

Letting Go of the Control

I let go of the control and decided to do what’s best for my body so that I can do what’s best for my children. My focus began to turn from no more babies to preparing mentally, emotionally, and physically for this surgery and how best to heal. Once I let go, the Lord gave me peace, and I saw what I had to do.

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I didn’t necessarily like it. I, again, cried everyday . . . but now it was because of all the potential outcomes and the stress of the unknowns. At this point in the journey, I’m at home recovering. We still don’t have all the answers or know which way the road will lead. We also still have a hold at our adoption agency from before we got pregnant. Who knows? God may send us back to that door. Stay tuned! 

Some Takeaways: 

  • Have doctors you know and trust. If something doesn’t feel right, say something, find another doctor, or get a second opinion. Your health is too important.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you’re honest and able to have those conversations with your doctor and others around you. Other women can be such a great resource for saying, “That is not normal. I know someone, etc.” 
  • Everyone needs a village. My husband, family, and friends are invaluable. They have rallied, and I know they’ll continue. They truly are the hands and feet of Jesus.
  • I hate asking for help, but some situations demand it. It’s okay!!!!
  • Grieve. This has caused me to have all sorts of feelings. It’s okay to be sad.

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Carri has called Birmingham home for the last 15 years. She grew up in Tuscumbia, Alabama before spending some time in Tuscaloosa gaining a degree in psychology. From there, she moved to Birmingham to do her graduate work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She and her husband met through a mutual friend and were married one year later in New York City. She spent six years as a third grade teacher and is now a stay-at-home mom to Cecil (four years) and Birdie (six months). When given the opportunity, she loves to read, cook, and even exercise (that's a new one). Motherhood has deepened her love for many things, coffee being close to the top.

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