Ladies of the Round Table

March 15, 2008

Alive Anniversary

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftymommy @ 4:56 pm

March 15 is the day that I didn’t die.

It’s been four years since I had an emergency hysterectomy that saved my life. Four years since I was in that emergency room bleeding to death and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. Four years since I saw that worried, caring look on my doctor’s face. Four years since I was laying unconscious in a surgery room where not one person in that room thought that I would be coming out of there alive. It’s been four yeas of denial, and depression, and anger, and tears, and finally – finally – healing.

I’ve been contemplating the last couple of weeks whether or not to do this subject. Aren’t I over it now? What do I have to say now that I’m healing from all of this? Why talk about the depression and anger and how I used to cry every single day, when my good days now far outnumber my bad days? Don’t I want to leave all that behind me?

I’m in a support group for women specifically for those of us who experienced emergency hysterectomy after pph (postpartum hemorrhaging). One of the questions asked a lot by women who are just starting the journey to healing, women who are still angry or deeply depressed is when, if ever the tears will end. If this “healing” is real and attainable or just this myth that is nonexistant for those of us who have been through what we’ve been through, for those of us experiencing the pain and trauma of pph/emergency hysterectomy. I remember what it was like to wonder if I would ever feel normal again; if I could ever look at a pregnant woman without having to run to the nearest place where I could be alone and cry and cry and cry.

And that’s why I wanted to write this. I am healing. I’ve been there. I have lived the feeling of pain that I thought would never, ever end. Now that I am finally just beginning to leave that deep, dark place I realize that I just have to keep on. I want women who are still in the middle of fighting this to know – to know that there is hope and healing. It comes with time. It is one hell of a climb up here, and because I have been there I know that it helps immeasurably to know that it’s real, that at some point the bad days will begin to fade.

I still have bad days. I do. But the good days far outweigh the bad. I like where I am and where I am going and I couldn’t have said that before. I can’t say for certain the amount of time it takes to get here, every woman is different. Some women get to this place in their lives much faster or much slower, but it’s there and it’s attainable.

You are not alone. You will grieve and you will be okay.

As for me. I’m about to go give my daughter the biggest hug ever and then cook her some scrambled eggs with toast. I’m going to spend the day crafting and playing Candyland. I’m going to go to dinner with my family and celebrate. Celebrate my life with just another normal day.



  1. I read your story for the first time a couple of days ago on your blog and was blown away by your strength and courage to speak so openly about this very traumatic time in your life. I cannot begin to comprehend what you went through or how difficult the healing process has been for you, it’s unimaginable. It seems you have come out on top and have dealt with everything in the best way possible, although it’s understandable you still have some bad days. You definitely deserve to celebrate!

    Comment by Michelle — March 15, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  2. Celebrate! While I have read your story many times to pull myself out of my own funk – if she can get through hers then I can get through mine! So celebrate and know that when those bad days do occur we are all here for you!

    Comment by carissah — March 15, 2008 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

  3. I’ve was also very moved by your story when I first *met* you. Happy anniversary Melinda! It’s amazing that you’ve come so far, and are now in a position to provide support to other women in the early stages of their PPH grieving. It’s completely understandable that you still have the bad days interspersed. But that you’re able to work through those and enjoy the good days is tremendous.

    Comment by Laurie — March 15, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  4. Yes, I second the happy anniversary! When I was younger I never understood the cliche “time will heal all wounds.” Stories like yours remind me that it really is true.

    Comment by Jen — March 16, 2008 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  5. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your story and your strength.

    Comment by Reen — March 16, 2008 @ 2:52 am | Reply

  6. Happy Anniversary! I feel like I have known you for a while now. I have always been inspired by your strength. It must be really hard some days, but I am so happy that the good days are now much more common than the bad days. So glad you have found the support that you need to start the long healing process. What a great thing for you to now provide that support for other women.

    Comment by Kelly — March 16, 2008 @ 3:01 am | Reply

  7. Melinda- When I read your story I am reminded of two famous quotes: The first is Shakespeare’s famous superstitious line, “Beware the Ides of March,” and the second is Nietzsche’s famous saying, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” You’re living proof of the latter and your progress these four years shows that you no longer have to fear your annual ides! Congratulations and thank you for helping women who haven’t made it as far as you have. -Gina

    Comment by thebeequeen — March 17, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  8. Happy, happy, happy day and happy, happy, happy life!
    I hope you continue to find strength and support as your experiences and loss propel you further into this ‘new’ “normal”. I have always felt that that time when a life circumstance morphs you into a fresh chapter is so incredibly hard. “Healing” seems to be such hard work. Congratulations on your journey thus far!

    Comment by Lorri — March 17, 2008 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

  9. Happy Anniversary! I recall reading your story a long time ago on your blog and was inspired by it then. You’re a strong woman, Melinda.

    Comment by Laura — March 18, 2008 @ 2:58 am | Reply

  10. Happy anniversary! Your strength inspires those who have not walked in your shoes right along with those who have.

    Comment by Nicki — March 19, 2008 @ 12:39 am | Reply

  11. Happy (belated) Alive Anniversary! Another post that brings me to tears. I think you’ve done such a wonderful job of sharing your experience and I can tell that you are someone who is and can help others cope and move through that experience as well. I’m glad you made it through to be able to celebrate and make those scrambled eggs, give hugs and play Candyland and I agree that your strength will no doubt inspire many others.

    Comment by Stacy — March 19, 2008 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  12. Melinda-
    I was struck with the truth of your story. The universal truth that so many of us survivors(while my survival is not to the same degree as yours) find healing in being able to see how far we’ve come and share that with others. Thank you for sharing your journey to healing.

    Comment by sheljena — March 19, 2008 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

  13. Happy Alive anniversary (a few days late). The day of my hysterectomy is what I call my Independence Day. But even in the relief of the excruciating pain I was shocked from the onset of depression and grieving the loss not only of a part of my body, but the part of my body that made me feel like a whole woman. God knows I didn’t grieve the loss of my gall bladder! The depression and anger were so unexpected that it has taken many years to “get over”. And, honestly, there are days when it all hits me again like a ton of bricks. The dreams that I’m pregnant and waking realizing that not only am I not pregnant, but I never can be. And, it’s not that I even want to be, or that I want another infant, it’s just that I can’t ever be. I actually grieved the loss of my period. How crazy is that! I wish I’d been informed about the anger and the depression. I’m glad you’ve found healing.

    Comment by rainbowmom — March 29, 2008 @ 5:06 am | Reply

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