Gynaecology My Vjayjay - chapter 2
NOTE: If squeamish or going to be weird with me when I talk poo, sex and weeing myself then skip to the last 2 paragraphs or next chapter.
Ten days (I think) since surgery, my first night where I can't sleep because I need to exercise my brain. I regret saying that this was going to be chapter 2. I would rather share why a stack of yoga blocks was my best friend in my recovery so far and share some moments of the blur of post surgery low and high points (high Literally). Also excuse my ramblings as I have taken some pain relief and the pills are starting to kick in!
Back to my Vjayjay. Honestly look away now if its too much! People will have assumptions around hysterectomies and prolapse repairs based on misinformation, mystery and myths. I know what I know and I this is my vagina story.
I first questioned my prolapse after the birth of my eldest daughter (18). She was 9lb 6 AND a quarter and delivered vaginally, 2 weeks late. Her lateness I am told is partially due to my comfortable womb and she lay with her back to my back, which meant that she didn't press on the cervix to dilate. When she finally decided to enter the world it was scary and at the point of pushing, I had to keep her inside me because she was aspirating the meconium. Imagine that? The midwives say push, mine said HOLD. Daisy had Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) also known as neonatal aspiration of meconium is a medical condition affecting newborn infants. It occurs when meconium is present in their lungs during or before delivery. Survival rate back then was extremely low and Daisy had her last rites read before she showed us her thirst for living. Not a good place to go.
After that, I noticed that pooing was a challenge. I would shuffle and gyrate on the loo and would sometimes end up inserting a finger in my vagina (HooHa) and push the back wall up and back to allow the poo from not getting stuck. The Doctor said it was hormones and would rectumify (LOL) itself and the world said "it will never be the same again". So as a result I continued that method happily in the knowledge that this is the gift that keeps coming with hormones. Yay Me.
Before I know it, I am pregnant again. 18 months between my amazing girls only this time I have a huge amount of terror around the delivery and beyond. I loved being pregnant and cherished every second, I truly blossomed and even moments after giving birth to my first, I was quoted to say, I would do it again. EXCEPT somewhere in my first labour I am sure someone said it might be a maternal trigger that made me nearly lose my first baby by the way I was carrying her.
So now I am living in Fallon, Nevada in a different culture of child birth and I am armed with my birthing ball and TENS machine (not seen by my OBGYN until me). `For fear of repetition and lack of an intensive care unit, we all decided to turn my baby in my womb (also lying back to back) so she had better odds of an easier delivery and NO meconium AND a week early. I have PTSD about that turning experience and I am sure my OBGYN had the biggest hands ever. This time it was fast and furious and dilation was rapid. So rapid that the consultant nearly missed it and Tony was gowning up ready to catch Maddie as she shot out at speed. All 9lb 8ozs of her.
Then the epidural kicked in!
Fast forward to my 30's and I am teaching high impact aerobics, Pilates and peeing myself throughout the class. Every bounce on the trampoline etc, etc... The Poo Ritual is an artform. Feet elevated, lean forward, insert two fingers, push up and push back with two fingers to release the prolapse pocket of poo and evacuate. I know! Hideous but so common.
I can't remember what inspired me to see the consultant but I do remember him commenting on my weight loss since the birth of Daisy. I remember what I wore that day too. I vaguely remember a dialogue about my womb and that it is not strong enough to support another baby and that if I had the prolapse (rectocele) fixed then I couldn't have any more babies vaginally and probably couldn't have babies at all, which was a great sadness as we both wanted three children.
So it's my birthday, a hot summer day and I have had the rectocele, stuffed (packed) with what felt like straw and high on morphine. I am 35. What followed was over a year of infections, pain and anxiety. The low point was being examined with a juvenile speculum as I was so inflamed and rotting from the inside, saying to the nurse that I can't see myself ever having any intimacy again and that it has healed over. Counselling followed and my darling husband, after supporting me for so long finally resumed to bunny status. YAY! (that's another chapter winky face!)
So, I am day 10 post Uterine prolapse, Cystocele, Rectocele, TVH, Total vaginal hysterectomy and some bladder thingy! Oh yes. The works! I am minimising pain relief and got myself a UTI! Grrr (urinary tract infection). It is not uncommon to get that after cathertisation.
You are either reading this and pulling ickey faces or reading this and thinking, I connect with you. Either way, this conversation, no matter how personal should be shared because I know there are many sharing these stories and way worse. We ladies are all in this together and to be honest, the days of men not knowing about female health is so last century. As we are living longer and living with chronic health, with an increasing worried well population, surely we should be taking back control of ALL of our bodies? Even the ickey bits. We are educating on puberty but we are not talking about Puberty's bitch of a big sister., Menopause.*
Gynaecology My Vjayjay - you have now learnt too much information about my wombless body but may have raised an eyebrow to the subject matter and so the conversation begins. My wicked side says I dare you to share your stories with me. Keep that thought.
The transition into the third age shouldn't be this chaos with thousands of memes around the mood swings and hysteria. The calmer we are, the more connected we become. Our desire to nourish and listen needs to be addressed and understood.
A thoughtful admiring smile to all women who walk before me and made an impact gaining momentum and are owning their third age. A huge respect to those who inspire and educate. Those brave enough to challenge the norm. Those who have excepted the challenge and given it a wink. Those who are being honest with their thoughts.
Day 10! I have to say, I feel ok. No. In fact I feel good and in spite of the extensive trauma to my body, I actually feel mentally strong. As for my wombless body? I choose her. I am transitioning between the space where I once was and entering to where the dance of MY life begins. Grateful for where I am at, excited about where I am going.
"well at least it's not cancer!" I shudder. Overheard whilst listening to some ladies talk about their friend having a hysterectomy. That is exactly the point. There are so many conversations around cancer and survivorship. 1 in 2 will be affected. We have learnt so much by learning, listening and sharing around cancer. Menopause lags behind in its sexiness and remains largely taboo. 100% of females will experience menopause. It's awkward and ickey and it is amazing.