Hysterectomy + PCS | Life By The Sea

If you had asked me last year if the word hysterectomy would EVER be in my conversations, referring to MYSELF, I would said “what the heck? no way!” – because I am 34 years old and I literally never saw this coming. I am, however, going to have a hysterectomy and in this post share WHY and then be vulnerable enough to share what I’m sad about. Bear with me (had to Google that because I could have sworn it was bare with me, but no…apparently bear with me is the correct way to write that, LOL) because this is going to be personal and if you don’t want to hear about female things…you may want to run away now and go look at funny videos of my daughters on my Instagram page instead 🙂

For a very long time, I’ve had terrible periods. Terrible. Now – in all honesty I haven’t had THAT many periods in the past seven years with pregnancy and breastfeeding, but now that they’re back, they’re bad again. This May, however, I started to feel a constant ring of pain around my pelvic area and an especially painful feeling on the left side. Me clearly being a doctor self-diagnosed it as “oh my ovary is just hurting” at the time. Until – it started to hurt WAY worse. Then worse worse. I ended up getting an ultrasound and all they saw was a polyp on the left side – but not a big deal, but maybe the cause of the pain… but they sometimes go away so it wasn’t much to worry about. Except for the fact that they DID see something else on the ultrasound but not mention it to me initially because they didn’t think it was that big of a deal…but NOW, it is.

The other thing going on and the big reason for all of the pain is because I have Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. You can google it if you want (there are links at the end of this post!) but basically it causes a lot of pain and every single symptom I listed stuck out to the doctor because she has ONLY seen two other cases in her 15 years. She said I described it exactly like the other women and there was only one guaranteed route that would personally work for me to go – hysterectomy. YES – there are other options, but I am not able to take them for a couple of reasons. If I wanted to live without this persistent and often debilitating pain that keeps me needing to lay down or sit down by 3pm daily, I would need to go this route. I am also someone who hardly will say yes to taking medicine, so I usually saved taking pain medicine (Advil or Aleve) for when I was shooting a session or wedding day…so that has gotten me through working but when I’m not? It’s so bad. I can’t even describe it but I just got so sick of feeling this way every single day in the afternoon… I’m already not one to slow down but it was forcing me to, lol!

I’ll be having this surgery in the beginning of December. What I’ve heard is that those with PCS post-hysterectomy feel like they have a new life!!! They say it TRULY makes a huge difference and they get that pep back in their step. I want a pep in my step again that doesn’t require taking Advil, lol!

Some of my symptoms are (I’m not going to traumatize some of you and list them all in detail, trust me, you don’t want to know, LOL!):

*Extreme amounts of pressure in my pelvic area, mostly by the afternoon and lasting through the rest of the day
*Mostly on the LEFT side, but can be all over. Mostly dull, but can turn into sharp and pinching as well (and that’s when it gets tough)
*Feeling like there is a mass (I always say a baseball, lol) in the left side of my uterus pushing everything and making me feel “full” 
*Having to pee, A LOT, but mostly when I lay in bed and readjust even if I literally, one minute later, just went
*Pain in upper legs and booty, lots of soreness 
*The pain is almost unbearable the week before and of my period 

A hysterectomy at 34. Whew! I know, I’m no spring chicken…but here’s where I get weird. I felt such a sinking in my chest when I started to think about this more. My first sad thought (look I’m not holding back, I’m being REALLY real) – I always envisioned myself having my period when at least one of my daughters got hers, and being able to talk about that, etc. They actually all already know what one is because they’re horribly nosey and don’t give bathroom privacy but still, I always pictured sharing that with the girls when it happened to them. Also, my babies grew there. Removing the place where my babies grew, that makes me sad. That may sound strange to some people but I can’t really describe it. It just felt a little sad to me.

And of course. Pregnancy. I will never be able to have another child again. Had Mike and I decided we were done? YES. We did. But knowing it’s completely impossible after this, it just feels weird. So final, so heavy. On the flip side, we feel really “free” (LOL) knowing we don’t have to worry about getting pregnant when I have repeatedly not been able to be on birth control and the latest one I tried made me feel horrible. It’s like feeling two different ways at the same time, I’m sad but relieved. I’m scared but hopeful. 

We were so relieved that what was going on wasn’t something worse, but I will say that this condition is REALLY tough. It made me feel like I wasn’t being strong enough, like I was lazy, and I am LITERALLY in the best shape I’ve ever been in so it was hard and confusing. Being in pain every day may become your normal but it emotionally starts to weigh on you. Especially when last month it seemed to double in how bad it was. Thank you Lord that this wasn’t something worse. I am so grateful for that.

Side note: I am not having my ovaries removed, but we are removing the fallopian tubes. VERY thankful for that! 

One thing I do want you to take from this post if you’re a woman who’s had any discomfort along the lines of all things uterine or female – please keep pushing to find out what’s going on. It’s very easy for us to chalk things up to “bad cramps” or “it’s always been that way” but when it gets worse, it needs to be checked. I’m SO quick usually to brush mine off but gosh it was bad (it IS bad…I have not yet at the surgery). Someone messaged me recently and said her doctor asked how much pain she was in, and she said “the normal amount” and he reminded her, pain isn’t normal. Pain may be common thing, but persistent pain that interrupts your life isn’t normal. So many moms feel like they don’t have the time to go to the doctor, they don’t have help (hello – my children went to ALL of these appointments and even the pelvic ultrasound, it was a mess! It was HARD!!!) but it’s worse for something to keep getting bad to the point of then not being able to take care of your family anyway! Take care of yourself ladies!

Some resources on Pelvic Congestion Syndrome:

Wikipedia | Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Cosmo UK | PCS




Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Dawn says:

    Amanda, I know about having a Hysterectomy early! I had mine at 31 due to severe Endometriosis. I had FIVE surgeries prior to that and put off the surgery as long as I could stand it. Let me tell you, it was the BEST decision I could have ever made! I didn’t get to keep my ovaries, so that’s a really good thing for you because you won’t have to take hormones.
    I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this, but keep your eyes on the fact that your PAIN free life is going to be fabulous! Much love from Virginia, is be happy to answer any questions if you’d like. Take care
    Ps Sorry I didn’t mean to write a boook!

  2. Deborah Newell says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this, but I know you’ll feel better. It has to be hard. Let us know if you need anything! ❤️

  3. Kim Holder says:

    You will feel like a new person. Praying for youđź’•

  4. Jess says:

    My Mom had the same surgery, only she had to have it for a different health reason. She experienced similar feelings of loss, even though she knew I was her one and only. It was the finality of it all. But if it’s any comfort to you, there were times every month, once I started my period for the first time, that she’d look at me and say, ‘Are we having our period?’ Because she had no way of knowing, but our hormonal clocks had lined up and she’d experience some of the indicators–mood swings, sore breasts, etc. So if it’s any consolation, you still get to have that connection with your girls, it’s just.. without the mess.

    Hope your surgery goes well and your recovery is fast!!

  5. Alison says:

    Love you for sharing this and praying for a quick recovery. I know debilitating pain I have lived with it the past 7 years since having our first child and she will be our one and only. As much as it pains me to say that I will never be able to carry or birth another child has had me at a huge loss because I loved so much to feel her growing inside me knowing that I was creating something truly amazing. Even after 2 surgeries so far which both should have taken away my pain I am left with more pain now than ever so another surgery is in the talks but we are moving due to military orders and once we get settled in and new doctors appointments made and doctors met we will have to go through this whole referral process all over again to get me where I need to be for my next surgery. I pray this one takes away your pain and you can truly shine bright like the sunshine you always were!

  6. Allie Heath says:

    Amanda, I was recently treated for PCS. How are you feeling these days? Thank you for sharing your story. Your bravery is inspiring!

    1. amandahedgepeth says:

      You are SO welcome!! Honestly – I feel 10 years younger, it’s so weird but so good! I still get the emotional part of period like symptoms but no period anymore and it’s been SUCH a relief!! 🙂

  7. Allie Heath says:

    I’m so happy for you!

Leave a Reply