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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My uterus has had enough.

So, as many of you know, I've been on bed rest for the last month for a pretty severe prolapse of the uterus and bladder.  I have to say... bed rest SUCKS.  I don't like feeling as though I am being babysat in my own home.  I don't like having to ask someone for everything that I need.  And I really don't like not being able to be a mom and wife in every way that I'd like to be.  It's been a very big test of my patience.

That said, I realize that I am lucky that I have a support system capable of carrying me through that.  It would have been much more difficult if I hadn't had the help of family and friends keeping us stocked with prepared meals.  My parents were especially generous, coming to stay with me every week day to help with the kids while Brian was at work.

The first two weeks or so of my bed rest went well and I felt like things were getting better down there.  But then I got sick and spent the last two weeks of my bed rest with a bad cough.  I was downing cough syrup and cough drops constantly to try to control the cough, but still the cough had a really negative effect on my prolapse, basically undoing almost all of the improvement that I had previously seen.

So when I saw my Ob/Gyn on Monday, it was no surprise to me when he told me that there was not very much improvement.  It was a little better, but not enough better.  So we discussed treatment options, which consist of a pessary or surgery... or both, as may be the case for me.  He said that he wouldn't want to recommend surgery until after my normal menses had returned because that return to normal, non-pregnant hormones helps to tighten things up in the abdomen.  So until that has happened we won't know for sure how much my body will repair itself on its own.  In the mean time, he ordered me a pessary, which I am to use during the day and take out at night.  One nice thing about that is it will provide support during the day when I'm active, so I won't have to be on bed rest any more.  And it's possible that the pessary and some more time may be all that I need to fully recover.  We will re-evaluate after my regular cycle has returned and decide at that time whether surgery is necessary.

One big issue that keeps coming up is retaining my fertility and whether I want any more children.  Surgical correction of prolapse is not recommended in women who intend to have more children.  The big reason is that a lot of the time, surgical correction involves a hysterectomy.  But also, even if a hysterectomy is avoided, pregnancy will usually ruin the surgical repairs.  And the fact of the matter is that uncorrected prolapse only gets worse with subsequent pregnancies.  So if I were to have more children, afterward I would experience worse prolapse than what I'm already dealing with... and that idea is highly disturbing to me.

So Brian and I have decided that we are done having children.  Brian has even scheduled his vasectomy.  I thought that might be a difficult decision for me to make, but really I'm quite at peace with it.  We have two beautiful daughters who are healthy and happy, and I feel very fortunate to have them.  Wouldn't you feel lucky if these were yours?


carolg said...

No question! They are beautiful - and we ALL are fortunate!

Marcy said...

Sorry to hear about all that, here's hoping you're able to avoid surgery. =(