So that whole uterus thing? Yeah. It's gone. I'm not really in a coherent place when it comes to my feelings on the subject. I'm angry and sad and guilty.
The short of the medical facts: I kept bleeding after my c-section. Had an amazing recovery otherwise. I was driving by 13 days out. Walking 5 miles around the local lake at 3 weeks out. I felt awesome. But the bleeding didn't stop. And I kept getting positive pregnancy tests through 6 weeks post partum. So we did a scan, and no surprise, there was retained placenta. I was booked for a d&c at 7 weeks post partum. If you've ever had surgery, you know that when they have you sign the consents, they describe all the terrible things that could go wrong? With d&cs, they always mention the risk of uterine perforation. I've had at least half a dozen before and been ok. I wasn't ok this time. My OB ruptured my uterus, despite ultrasound guidance. That earned me an emergency hysterectomy. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not keep your uterus.
They attempted to do the hyst laparoscopically, but there was too much scar tissue, so they reopened my c-section incision and did it that way. Thus I have both the abdominal and the belly button incisions.
I'm angry because I didn't want to have a hyst, and my OB did nothing to avoid it. I feel as if this entire pregnancy, she's wanted to be sure I never attempted pregnancy again, so she was relieved by this outcome. That might not be true, but it's how I feel, with some reasons behind it. I'm also angry because even if I still had a uterus, I know I couldn't ever be pregnant again. If I had known how awful E's pregnancy would be, how she'd have NICU time, how I'd be away from the twins for so long, I never would have gotten pregnant with her. I'm SO glad I didn't know, and she's here, but since I do now, I would never transfer my remaining embryo. Thus I shouldn't be upset about the hyst, but I still am. I'm angry that it's not my choice.
How do you grieve losing something you no longer needed, but still deeply wanted? How do you grieve the fact that you wanted to still need it, but you lost not only the need for it, but the thing itself? And how do you cope when you feel that you shouldn't be grieving at all, because even if you had the thing and the need, finances and space and age would prevent you from using it? We can't afford a fourth, we can't fit a fourth, and we never wanted a fourth, so being unable to transfer the last embryo should not make me sad. And yet, grappling with all of this, I feel sadness.
As for the guilt, I feel guilt over that day 7 embryo. He deserved a chance and he'll never get it. More than that, though, I feel a larger guilt. When I was in the hospital trying to reach viability with Quinn, I started bargaining with the universe, or God, or the devil, or anything that might listen. I promised to be a nicer person if my daughter could live. I offered money. I offered my house. As the days passed and I got more desperate, what I was willing to offer grew. By the time she was born, I would happily have traded away years of my life or limbs off my body for her survival. If god, or the devil, had walked into my hospital room and offered to trade my uterus for Quinn's life, I'd have said yes with no hesitation at all. None. And now here we are. Baby E is alive and well and I don't have a uterus. It's a trade I'd have readily made. So I feel guilt that now I have her here, I'm angry over the loss, when I'd have happily accepted that loss to have her. I know that doesn't make sense, but as I said, I'm still not coherent. I'm just hurting.