Two days later I was back. The bleeding uncontrollable and passing clots the length of my forearm. To which an ER nurse said, clots are normal after childbirth. Normal. Normal? What is normal.. The anxiety was crippling at this point. No one was listening to me.. NO.ONE. No one at four weeks PP when I told my midwife something wasn't right. No one after the first hemmorhage.. No one now. Wash rinse repeat. My husband showed up with the baby at some point. Shortly before I was wheeled off for this magical d&c that was supposed to fix everything. I thought I was dying. I kissed my husband goodbye for what I honestly thought was the last time before drifting off. Waking up in intensive care I knew my uterus was gone before anyone said anything.
Fast forward to now.. "You're ALIVE be GRATEFUL!" "You have ENOUGH babies, be grateful." "YOU were saved.. Be grateful!". If only it were that simple. If only 'just' my uterus was gone. Mental stability is gone. My sex life is gone.. At 28. My energy, healthy body.. Gone. Be grateful. It's easy to say, harder to do. Have you ever lived with flashbacks and nightmares of your four year old child telling you not to cry while she sops up your blood and you lay on the floor? Or the anxiety of not being listened to? Knowing something was wrong.. I knew it at 8weeks when I bled.. 30 weeks when I bled.. Delivery when the stabbing pain was unbearable.. Immediately after birth when I crashed. I knew, and no one believed me. No oversight, no double checking opinions or work or ultrasounds.. Nothing. I'm alive but not quite living. Medications, meditations, soul searching, prayer.. Nothing.
Maybe if I had been listened to, things would be different. Maybe you don't feel the way I do. A laundry list of questions with no answers. Be grateful. Don't mope, enjoy your kids. Ignore the haunting, pray away the nightmares. But the thing is, recovery is individual. It's more than my scars healing. It's not having to hear my son say "hey mom remember that time you almost died and we stayed at aunt Jen's?" Yea, yeah I do. But it's just a uterus, cervix, ligaments, I have five kids. Be grateful, son. Your memory is irrelevant, be grateful. My daughter wakes screaming for the third time, for the umpteenth week in a row searching for you but you can't console her. Be grateful, baby girl. It was just a uterus, I'm here so be grateful. Sorry, dear husband, I can't have sex.. I'm out of excuses now except that the pain is crazy. But they only took my uterus so be grateful.
Alive but not quite living. But be grateful. They saved me.
Some days it's easy to choose joy despite all of this. Others it's a struggle and other, impossible. But it was just a uterus, right?