Embracing Womanhood

The day I decided to undergo hysterectomy at age 35, I felt relieved. 

This will be my very personal post. I think a hundred times before I decided to share this with you of course with husband’s consent. At first, I’m really hesitant to write it here but I want to remember the day when we accepted the plans of God in our lives.  

I wrote in this blog about my journey in fighting Fibroids last 2019, I even posted here that we spent many months attempting nonsurgical options to save my uterus and prevent my heavy bleeding due to myoma. I have tried Esmya, Mirena IUD, and even underwent 2 Hysteroscopic surgeries but still I’m bleeding. 

I consulted my 1st OB about my situation last March but she decided to postpone our operation because Covid-19 invades the world, lockdown has been implemented in the country and I have no choice but to wait until everything will be back in normal, unfortunately, it did not happen until now. 

For 2 months at home, I experienced anxiety that cause me sleepless nights. I take Melatonin before bedtime to have proper sleep but sad to say it has no effect in me.  For 2 months I worried about my monthly period, it’s heavy and I know I need to do something to stop it so I decided take Hemostan twice a day to control my bleeding.  (I have prescriptions from my OB) After two cycles, I know there’s something wrong with my body as I experienced spotting or light bleeding again after 2 weeks. This time, I told my husband that we should ask for my OB’s advise and to check if my hemoglobin is still in range. During the MECQ last May 22, we decided to visit MMC DR for check-up. When people are afraid to go to the hospital in fear of getting COVID-19, my husband and I brave to visit Makati Med together with our PPE. Wala kaming choice, kailangan akong ma check-up na. 

As soon as I arrived at the DR, the nurse started to do interview about my health history, they also require me to do Chest X-Ray, TVS Ultrasound and CBC test before they can assist me, this is one of their new protocols as the COVID-19 cases here in the Philippines are still increasing. Thank God, the Chest X-Ray result shows that I have clear lungs. However, for the nth time, my hemoglobin counts is below normal. The resident doctor called my OB to update the results of my lab test. During our phone conversation, my OB decided to do Hysterectomy immediately because it will be life threatening if my period will come and cause me severe anemia again. At that very moment, I cannot decide on my own, I need to tell everything to my husband and ask for his side. I need to do clearance before my surgery but it’s so hard to get an appointment to Cardio doctor as most of the clinics are closed because of MECQ in Metro Manila. 

Fast forward, at the very last minute we changed our OB doctor as we encounter personal problem with her. I will not discuss it anymore to keep her reputation safe. I still love her by the way. It’s our personal choice to change my OB and we are very happy that we did it.  Now, my new OB doctor is Dra. Margaret Cristi - Limson who did my 2 Hysteroscopic surgery last November 2019 and February 2020. She is one of the best doctors for me, she did the surgery very well and I’m super satisfied with her service. We only visit her clinic twice before the surgery and our communication is via text. Promise I really love her, she replied to my text and make sure that I am safe with my upcoming procedure. 

After discussing with Dra. Limson about my situation (I showed the TVS result to her, sad to say, the fibroid inside my uterus grows bigger), she offered us two solutions to choose from either Myomectomy or Hysterectomy. We decided the latter part, as we know the consequences in my life if we chose the first one.  I don’t want repeated blood transfusion and worried about recurrence. My doctor explains the risk and benefits of the procedure to me and I know that it is the best solution to our problem.

Before the procedure, I need to prepare two bags of red blood cell and I need to undergo COVID-19 swab test. This is another new protocol in the hospital, take note the swab test is not covered by HMO and Philhealth, so this will be on your own expense. The test is so expensive and a little bit ouchie. We paid 8,150 for swab test and after two days, I got the result via email- it’s negative, thank you Lord. Well, di naman ako talaga nalabas so I am confident enough that the result will be negative. Now, our next problem is to look for donors who are willing to donate blood for me, kailangan rin na ka blood type ko which is B+. This is one of the hardest part for us, san kami makakahanap ng ka blood type ko and willing to go to the hospital to donate blood e halos lahat ng tao takot pumunta sa hospital.  But I really believe that God will make his way to help us, one of our officemates help to get blood at Red Cross Manila super hirap makahanap talaga ng blood that time dahil wala daw nag dodonate ng blood since COVID-19 outbreak. Thank God, we got one. Thank you, Ms. Maricar Reyes. 

I’m also thankful to our neighbors, Jigs and Bernard who went to St. Lukes Global with us to donate blood for me unfortunately they are not qualified to donate that time due to Hemoglobin count issue. But again, God makes his way to help me, as Ms. Bebot donates her blood for me. I really appreciate all the efforts that they gave to me. 

Since we already have the requirements before my operation, Dra. Limson decided to schedule it on June 1 in time for the GCQ in Metro Manila. At first, we asked her if we can move the operation on June 3 for us to prepare myself however due to her schedule it’s not possible. So this is it! 

On our way to St. Lukes BGC
May 31, Sunday after lunch we went to St. Lukes Global for admission. We handed the documents needed and waited for the available room. While waiting we ate at the 5th floor for merienda and after 30 minutes I got a call from the admission that my room is already available. My HMO limit is Php 180,000 with room classification to Regular Private. The staff assisted us in the 8th floor, which assigned for newly birth mother. 

As we enter the room, we both amazed how big it is. It is much bigger compare to the regular private rooms in Makati Med. The room is equipped with personal ref, tv, safety deposit box and private bathroom. They provided a kit with shampoo, conditioner, small towel and cup. Pag dating naman sa kit, mas okay sa Makati Med kasi they provided complete set of toiletries with alcohol pa. Anyway, sharing with you my room for 5 days. 

My operation will be at 6:30am, my doctor prefers to do it early in the morning so that the energy level is high. The nurse told me that I will not take any meals 8 hours before my procedure so may last meal and water intake should be before 10:30pm. They handed me also a Nex Chorex C2 Shower- Bath Kit that I need to use prior to my surgery. Meaning, I need to take a bath twice (8:30pm and 4:30am of June 1). This is new to me kasi wala naman ganito sa Makati Med. If you notice I always compare these two hospitals as I always have my procedure done at MMC and this will be my first time in St. Lukes, BGC. 

In Sickness and In Health 
IV Insertion 
Videocall with the kiddos

Fast forward again, June 1, 2020 - I woke up by 4am to take a bath and pray for my safety. By 4:40am they wheeled me at the OR in 3rd floor. My husband is not allowed to come with me as they are very strict due to the pandemic. Bawal ang pagala gala sa loob ng hospital that’s why we bring lots of food with us para di na sya lalabas through out our stay in the hospital. 

with my very supportive husband
Bagong ligo, ready for the operation
I stayed at the waiting room for two hours where they conduct skin test for the antibiotics. They monitor my vital signs and wait for the go signal of my doctor. The anesthesiologist came in and explains to me the procedure in getting the anesthesia and make sure that everything will be fine. My anesthesiologist is the head of Anesthesiology and also anesthesiologist of some artists like Kris Aquino, Dr. Jonnel Lim. Super bait nya and super nice, he explained to me everything that I need to know kaya kampante ako sa kanya. 

By 6:30am, the nurses wheeled me at one of the Operating Rooms; at that time bumalik lahat sa memory ko what happened to my two CS last 2014 and 2015. I feel so nervous to the point na nakikita ng Anes doctor ko yung heartbeat ko na lumalakas daw, while waiting for Doctora Limson the nurses help me to calm down and give assurance that they are with me throughout the procedure. Sa totoo lang kinakabahan talaga ako but I pray so hard and trust God and the doctors about my surgery. (I read Psalm 91 and Psalm 121 both readings about protection in time of danger, I also read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 and Hebrews 12: 3-13 for relief in time of suffering)

When Doctora Limson arrived, they started the procedure (6:50am). I remember Dr. Lim started to put something in my IV that makes me groggy.  They put me in supine position where they will insert a needle and tiny tube in my lower part of my back. I remember Doc Lim told me that the needle is removed and the catheter left in place for delivery of the medication through the tube as needed. Honestly, naramdaman ko yung pag inject sa spinal ko, though mas masakit parin yung pag lagay ng unang IV sa akin. Haha. 

After that, I felt asleep. I just woke up groggy when Doctora Limson shows me my Myoma, since Malabo ang mata ko, red and white lang nakita ko. I can hear her saying about my bladder but since groggy parin ako, di ko na sya naintindihan. Hehe. The procedure lasted for 2 hours and 10 minutes or by 9:00am. They performed Subtotal Abdominal Hysterectomy with Adhesiolysis. I still have ovaries, fallopian tubes and my cervix are intact. My OB just removed my uterus where the fibroid located. I only loss 200ml blood, Thank God they didn’t transfuse me blood and my vital signs are also stable.  As I’d said my goodbyes to my uterus, I say thank you for its service and the beautiful children I carried for 9 months.  

Here’s the operative findings:

“There was a dense adhesion of the bladder at the anterior midcorpus extending to the cervix. Myoma attached anteriorly, 80% Submocous. Uterus measures 6x5x5cm with smooth serosa and the endometrium is thin. Bilateral adnexa were grossly normal.”

Left Photo: My Uterus (Can you see the scar? I got it for my 2 CS)
Right Photo: The Fibroid (Myoma)
I woke up in mild pain inside the recovery room where the nurses are there to check me from time to time.  While waiting for the go signal from the doctor to send me in my room, I prayed and thank the Lord for the successful surgery then I realized two things, One, after living with the pain of a uterine fibroid and many months of suffering, I will never again have an uncomfortable or inconvenient period every month and the other one is a deeper fear became clear: Was I less of a woman because my body was no longer capable of doing what a woman’s body was evolutionarily made to do? I do not have a uterus. I will never have another baby. Goodbye Uterus, Hello Grief. I’m not sure exactly what triggered a sense of loss after the surgery but I think I faced my own expulsion from the club of fertile women. During my 2-hours stay in the RR, I think of our happy memories, my family and friends who pray for me and keep reminding myself that I’m still blessed to have two beautiful children given by God. 

Prior to my surgery, I joined some group of women who undergone Hysterectomy and as I read some of their testimonials said that it is one of the best things they’d ever done for their health. I got lots of positive advise from them like I need to stay ahead of my pain medication, rest and ask for help during my recovery period, most important is to listen to my body’s cues and to ease back into normal life gradually. 

As my I arrived at our room, my husband welcomes me with a smile, he even take us photos together and he make sure that everything will be okay now. Iba ang thinking nya, super positive, kaya kahit papano nawala ang lungkot ko.  For 3 days, I struggled not only with pain, bad reaction in one of the pain relievers given to me via IV and extreme fatigue but I also experienced a kind of mourning for those parts of me that had been removed. I know I’d made the right decision to have hysterectomy so I could be healthy, but a part of my womanhood that left me with a pervasive feeling of emptiness. I’m only 35, I’m not too old to have another baby, and we really love to have another baby. I’m so jealous whenever I saw a friend or even an woman shared a picture of her pregnancy belly on Facebook and IG and I though about how I’ll never again feel the kicks of a life inside me, that kick is one of the most wonderful experience ever! But still I was hoping for a couple of weeks to get used to the idea of it being gone without having to talk about it. 

Finally, out from the Recovery Room (1st photo taken after procedure)
1st Selfie after procedure.
Thank you Lord for my successful operation

I got a sweet message from my eldest :)
Our first breakfast after my surgery
2nd Day and I need to stand up and walk
I got discharge last June 4 with grateful heart as I got tons of positivity in life. I decided to get advice from my loving friend with hysterectomies, Ms. Beth who claimed it was the best decision she ever made and my thoughts took a different turn. Thank you, Mother sa bawat messages mo sa akin at pag sagot sa never ending questions ko about my new life. 

Now, I’m 2-weeks post op and little by little I can manage the pain and began resuming normal activities. I realized how much that fibroid had affected my daily life. Sometimes whenever I see myself in the mirror, I realized again that I don’t have a uterus, that I will never have another baby, that Project Baby Boy will never happen but instead of feeling emptied, I though of why I chose to have hysterectomy to begin with. I will never again endure the pain of a fibroid. I will never get worried about my heavy bleeding and in fear of blood transfusion every month. I will never again curl up in bed with a heating pad and ointment because of cramps. 

I’m still in recovering period, whenever I feel like I’m less of a woman, I remind myself that my uterus was only a piece of what makes me a woman. My womanhood is evident with one look at my children, both of whom look so much like me that there’s no mistaking that my body was, at one point in time, capable of creating them. It may have been difficult to believe those long-term benefits were coming, but I now know I can handle whatever feelings of loss and what-ifs come my way, because my wellness is worth it.


I thank my husband who’s with me throughout this battle, who never left me, who stands with me, who give me his full support and make sure that our decision is the best for me, for us. I cannot do this without him; he is my strength and everything.  I love you honey. 

My first night at Home (#TeamVillareal)
I thank my family who supports us in our decision. They took care of our children during the time of my procedure.  I love you all. 

Thanksgiving Merienda/Early Dinner 
I thank my closes friends who always comfort me and support our decisions. Alam kong nag alala kayo but with your jokes and advices, nakaya ko. Love ko kayo kahit bully kayo. Hehe. 

I thank my doctor, Doctora Margareth Limson who did the successful surgery and never left me. Who make sure that I will be fine and doing well. Thank you.  Thank you. Thank you. 

Last but not the least, Thank you, Lord for keeping me safe always. For guiding us to decided what is best for me and for loving me unconditionally. Thank you. 

And to those who pray for me, you know who you are, Thank you. May God Bless you always. 

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