MUTU mama Ashley is here to share more of her personal experience with having a hysterectomy. You can read Ashley’s other features on cesarean births HERE and more of her hysterectomy HERE. Ashley is open, honest, and raw and we thank her for being willing to open up and share some of her story.

My hysterectomy

When I was first told that my only answer was a hysterectomy I was determined to prove them wrong! My body was strong and I had so many tools in my tool belt, I would show them that I could do this without surgery. At this point, I had so much anxiety even thinking about going to see a doctor about my symptoms. I was sick of being treated like I was an inconvenience and honestly I just wanted someone to really listen to me. Someone to sit down with me and dig deep and get to the root of this problem. I wanted to feel validated, but instead, I would always leave feeling like such a nuisance with tears to follow those feelings.

I kept on fighting and I went to doctor after doctor searching for the answers I wanted to hear! I wanted a solid answer as to WHY!

Why do I need a hysterectomy?

Why won’t my body just work?

And why can’t I just feel good?

This is when I started to look back and wish I would have fought for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) for my second baby. Instead of having options I was instilled with fear from my doctor who performed my second cesarean when we were back stateside. I was told it was too dangerous, and told things like “you or your baby could die” and “it was too risky.” My doctor also said since all of my medical records from my first surgery were in German he was not comfortable letting me try for a VBAC He said he was unaware of how my uterus was cut and it was just too risky. Looking back I wish I would have asked more questions or maybe even gotten more opinions from other doctors.

Could I have fought harder?

I wish I would have fought harder. I wish I would have never had that stupid ablation that didn’t work for me,

I wish I wish I wish.

I wish I had been empowered with education back then like I am today.
I wish I would have been surrounded by the women in my circle today, but then I guess I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog in hopes to change someone else’s path.
I wouldn’t be fighting so hard for this area of women’s health. I know I’m not the only one going through what I’m going through. Just like cesarean rates are high in the US, and many of them unnecessary, so is having a hysterectomy. At the end of the day my biggest fear was going through with the surgery and it not working or changing the way I felt. Then once again looking back wishing I would have made a different decision.

Finding the right doctor

I want you to know that I fought so hard until I just couldn’t take it anymore. I asked myself “how is this affecting my life?” I could no longer run the pain had gotten so bad, sex was painful most of the time and my uterus continued to grow and trying to get a biopsy was unsuccessful. So once I found the doctor I trusted the decision seemed a little easier. It took me three doctors to finally find “the one.” When he came into the room and sat on the counter and said to me “you have been through a lot in the past few years, can we talk about it.” I knew he was the one! He listened to me and he validated every single word that came out of my mouth and then talked to me about all of my options. It was the first time in a long time I went to a healthcare professional and didn’t leave in tears. That felt good!

I booked my surgery that day and I knew this was the right decision. Even though I knew this was the right decision, it didn’t take the fear of the unknown away. Months leading up to my surgery I had so much anxiety, I had fears of dying and of being judged. I feared that because of my work in women’s health that women would judge me. I educate moms on their bodies and preach that surgery should always be a last resort and here I am writing this blog post-op from my abdominal hysterectomy.

Opening old scars

I had a deep wound and scar reopened and I would be lying if I told you I was fine. I had been on a healing journey for years and something I worked so hard to heal was going to be reopened. I truly think that if the procedures I had could have been avoided, so could my hysterectomy. If I didn’t have my cesareans and that ablation I would not be sitting here crying about my surgery now. This is my story and it’s is my journey and I’m trying to own it and embrace it. But it’s really hard knowing what I know today and knowing that things could have been avoided and my story and my path could have been different. This is why I chose to open up about my story as we celebrate women’s health month. I hope that by being vulnerable and sharing I can change someone else’s path. Or at least allow women to know that they are not alone!

The procedure

My doctor told me that my hysterectomy was one of the most difficult procedures he had ever performed. He said that I had so much scar tissue and everything was stuck to each other. This explains a lot of my pain and my symptoms. I still have a long road to recovery ahead of me and thankful for the many tools in my tool belt that I have gathered over the last few years. If I didn’t have the education, resources, tools and support from my women’s health PT and MUTU this journey to healing would have looked a lot different! I have never been more thankful for my knowledge in women’s health and being surrounded by an entire team of women who truly care as I am healing! I am excited to share more with you about my slow journey to healing post-op and how I have truly given my body and myself the grace it deserves while healing.

I share my story with you and hope that it will change your path or the journey that you are on. You know your body better than anyone else and you are the only person that can make the choices for you. I hope you will advocate for yourself and never settle for answers that don’t feel good to you.