HysterSisters- A support group

Many people misunderstand the feelings, emotions and pain of hysterectomy. Hysterectomies deal with both physical and emotional pain. For many women a hysterectomy is a solution of last resort, not a first resort. For me a hysterectomy was medically necessary to improve the quality and health of my life. Someone actually suggested to me that a hysterectomy is no more painful than a c-section. It was also suggested by that same person that a c-section and hysterectomy were so similar in nature that by day 4 or 5 I should be back to normal and able to resume normal activities. I had to bite my tongue on that one.

The first major difference between a c-section and a hysterectomy is that when you have a c-section you leave the hospital with a baby. When you have a hysterectomy you leave the hospital knowing that you will never be able to conceive a child again. This is hard for many women to swallow since other women think that it makes you less of a woman if you can not have children. I know women who feel like their greatest accomplishment is the birth of their children, which says to barren women you have accomplished nothing in my eyes. I also know women who feel that being barren is a punishment from God for sins you have committed. These women really get on my last nerve and they need to realize that they are being judgemental and uncaring toward women who experience infertility. For many years I struggled with these kinds of feelings of inadequacy, now I understand that some woman are just stupid, cruel and have no concept of caring.

Another difference between a c-section and a hysterectomy is that when you have a c-section you are removing something from the body that has been present for 9 months and from conception was intended to be removed. On the other hand when you have a hysterectomy you are removing something that has been with you since your conception that was not intended to be removed.

If you have not been there you can not possibly know how it feels physically or emotionally. Susan a friend of mine sent me a link for a support group  called HysterSisters. This support site is for people who have had or may be facing a hysterectomy.  The site is very informative and has discussion groups related to pre-op, post-op and life after a hysterectomy. In just a few days of being a member of the site I have had many questions answered, and have been able to support other women who are in the same boat as I am. I wish I would have found this site prior to having my hysterectomy done, because I would have known better what to expect. It is a good feeling to know that I am not alone in what I am going through. It is also nice to know that others understand what an invasive procedure this is and that recovery takes time. If you or someone you know is facing or may be facing a hysterectomy you might want to tell them to check out the HysterSisters website.

6 Responses to “HysterSisters- A support group”

  1. Laura Webber says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you have found a positive influence for the tough emotions that surround your surgery and the years preceding! I will never cease to be amazed at what people are capable of saying and then walking away like their comments meant nothing hurtful.

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m always glad to hear that HysterSisters is a help to women during such a challenging time. I think the best part is as you described – knowing you are not alone in your feelings – of grief for the loss of the ability to have children – of relief and hope that better health is awaiting you.

    Thank you for sharing your story and please stick around HysterSIsters when you have the time. The members will benefit by your kindness.

  3. Lori Wegman says:

    Thanks for the link. I will pass this on to my mother, who had a hysterectomy years ago. I suspect, although I am not certain, that the emotional pain was probably not quite as great for her as she was past her child bearing years already when she had hers done. All the same, no one can know how others are feeling when you have not walked in their shoes. Funny…I know some women who felt “less like a woman” when they had to have c-sections and could not deliver naturally. Me, the c-section didn’t bother me, but not being able to get either of my children to breast feed naturally did. I didn’t expect that. Having to pump for 6 months and bottle feed made me feel like a failure somehow. You just never know how things like that will impact you so you certainly can’t guess how others are impacted. Glad you are on the road to recovery, Donna – physically and emotionally. Love you! Lori

  4. donna says:

    It is crazy that we as women do our best to make other women feel less like women. Its like women have to one up each other, instead of bonding together and celebrating our accomplishments. As women we are made to feel like failures if we can not do what is considered “Normal.” If you can’t have children you are a failure. If you don’t breast feed you are a failure, if you don’t have natural child birth you are a failure, if you use drugs during child birth you are a failure. If you are not a stay at home mom you are a failure, if you are a stay at home mom you are a failure. I spent years feeling like less of a woman and a failure because of infertility. It is shameful that we allow other women and media outlets to impact our self image so much. I am thankful that I have a wonderful husband who reminds me often that I am not a failure because of any of these silly things.

  5. jjsmom3 says:

    Hey! I’m not the only adoptive parent on hystersisters!

  6. donna says:

    I have talked with several others on Hystersisters that are adoptive parents- so you are not alone.