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Explaining myself??? Explaining myself???

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Unread 03-17-2002, 03:40 PM
Explaining myself???


I am new to hystersisters but have already decided that all of you are pretty darned wonderful. I went to the Dr. last week and found out that My rectum, bladder and uterus are severely prolapsed and that he will be doing the hysterectomy and the repairs to my other organs on April 29. I am still trying to process all of this, as I did not expect it. Anyway, I am pretty nervous about the whole thinig, especially since I have four kids, including a set of 9 year old twins and a 10 month old (who I will not be able to lift!). Here are my questions....
First, I see many of you use abbreviations in your signatures and I don't know which to use for my situation. Next (this is a SILLY question!!!) How do you explain what kind of surgery you are having to people who ask? I mean, I always tell the truth, but have yet to come up with a comfortable answer to people who ask that I don't know very well. FOr example, in church this morning, several people came up to me and said, "Oh, I hear you're having surgery. What for?" I find it somewhat embarrassing to talk about my rectum and bladder! Has anybody come it a better answer? My husband suggested, "I'm having a hysterectomy and some plumbing repaired". What do you think?
Also, will I still be able to breastfeed after the hysterectomy???

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Unread 03-17-2002, 03:52 PM

I kinda liked what your dh said, lol That was sweet of him to help. I'm still wondering about breastfeeding??? hmmm I'm unsure of this. Because of the pain meds you will be on. But still it would be hard to lay the baby next to you and breastfeed without you getting hurt. I would think anyway. I am afraid you will have to be on pain meds to long to be able to breastfeed. I'm certain the meds will be in your breast milk but just wait for a nurse to answer. She will make much more sense than I. Best of luck to you, Mikki Jo
Unread 03-17-2002, 03:56 PM
Explaining myself???

Hi, Shannon, and welcome - everyone here IS wonderful..so supportive. I think your husband's response is great! It sure made me smile!

Can't answer your question about breastfeeding - please ask your doctor about the effect of medications, etc. Sounds like you'll have some people to help you with that baby - I'm betting your twins will love helping out Mom and putting their younger sibling over near you so you can cuddle!
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Unread 03-17-2002, 04:03 PM
Explaining myself???

Hi Shannon,
So glad you found us! Here is the link for abbreviations used at hystersisters:


As for your breasfeeding question, please ask your gyn to find out for sure. As others have mentioned, you will need to take pain meds (in addition to the fact that you'll be under some type of anesthesia for surgery) and I would be concerned about that being passed to the baby. But ask your gyn to be sure.

There are other pull down menus on the home page with helpful tips for ladies about to have surgery (see Ladies in Waiting). We'll be here for you every step of the way!

As for what to tell people ... I like your DH's suggestion... plumbing repairs usually stops people from asking any more questions. Most people really don't want or need to know all the gory details anyway. I only shared those with my closest friends and family members.

Hang in there.

Unread 03-17-2002, 04:28 PM
Explaining myself???

Hi Shannon

I am assuming you will be having a TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) since you are having repairs. I had this surgery done about 11 weeks ago. I have a 22 month old who I breast until he was about 3 months old. I am STILL leaking from breastfeeding him over a year ago and since my surgery the leaking has gotten worse. I had both my kids csection and the surgeries are similiar. I had to take pain pills after my csections and the doc said it was not a problem breastfeeding while taking the meds. I took the pain pills longer after my daughter was born (about 3 weeks) and my doc and her pediatrician both said it was okay. I think both times I took Lortab. If you are still concerned after talking with your doc about it you could pump and freeze it for the time period you think you might be on meds.

As far as expaining your surgery to people goes...if you are not close to them and feel uncomfortable explaining things in detail I would just tell them you are having a hysterectomy. If you say "repair work" as well that will lead into "what kind of repair work??" and you have to go into it anyway. I would just keep it simple to those people who you dont know well. For family or close friends it probably easier to talk about all of it more comfortably.

You can find an abbreviation list at the top of the page on the pull down menu there is a page for them. I hope some of this is helpful. Let us know how you are doing and if you have any other questions post them. Also, if you have not joined us in chat yet please come by and join us.

Unread 03-17-2002, 07:39 PM

I can't say for sure but I had a C-section with my son, now 10, and even with pain meds I was able to nurse. Let your Dr. know you intend to nurse as soon as possible and he/she should be able to find a suitable pain perscrip. Also I was off pain meds by 3 days post op so with any luck you will have options in the nursing department. Good luck, God Bless.

Julie, TVH, Stage 1a cerv. cancer, 31 years old, surgery 3-7-02
Unread 03-20-2002, 02:48 AM
Explaining myself???


I'm the welcoming committee to the "I am having a hyst and still breastfeeding my youngest" club. hehe

I had a vaginal hysterectomy last July when my youngest was 13mo old... she's now 21 mo old and still breastfeeding. So there's your answer. *wink*

I believe the only time you might have a problem with actually physically being ABLE to still breastfeed after a hyst would be if you have your ovaries removed- so please ask your doctor about that. I'm not sure if your body will continue with the same hormones and producing milk the same or at all- if you have your ovaries removed. You'd need to ask the dr about that. I kept my ovaries and have had no problems with nursing at all.

As far as anesthesia and pain meds and the question that is always brought up about whether you need to pump and dump your breastmilk after surgery or while on pain meds- please ask your dr and if he says no... get a second opinion if you want to continue the breastfeeding relationship after the surgery. Or better yet- ask him WHY? The reason I say this is because I was told by many well meaning people including nurses that I would have to pump and dump after having a D&C (with anesthesia and pain meds) when my middle child was just a week or so old AND AGAIN when I registered at the hospital to have my hyst. My dr said it was fine and I want to share with you his reasoning -as it made a lot of sense to me and I'm sure it will to you also.

What my dr said was- if others (including myself since I had 2 c-sections) can have a c-section with the same general anesthesia as a hyst, and have pain meds after (morphine/etc) as you do with a hyst- and they can nurse a brand new tiny newborn- then why on earth couldn't I nurse an older bigger stronger (in every sense of the word) baby??? That was enough to convince me. I nursed my newborns just hours old after c-sections anesthesia and while on pain meds for MORE than a few days afterwards- and same with the D&C also... so the hyst was no different for me.

I nursed my then 13mo old right before I went in for surgery- and then again that afternoon after coming out of recovery- just hours after surgery. And (I am not the norm so don't expect this- I am just relaying MY situation and what happened) I went home later that night and the bfing relationship never stopped really. She just had to miss a couple nursing sessions during the day. Now since she was older- that was fine & I didn't even have to pump or anything. With a 10mo old you may want to express milk (pump or whatever) a little ahead of time for your baby to have the day of your surgery and then the hospital should be able to give you an awesome electric double pump (man those things WORK like no other pump works- trust me on this LOL) to pump and store milk while you are in the hospital if you are unable to have the baby brought to you there to nurse during your hospital stay. But please make SURE it is necessary to pump and DUMP- before doing so. If they say you must pump and DUMP (instead of storing for him to drink later/etc) then ask them WHY IS IT OKAY for a newborn to nurse shortly after the mother has a c-section with the same anesthesia and same pain meds as a hyst? Your baby is much stronger than a newborn. My dr told me after each c-section and the hyst (and this is not just ONE dr- multiple drs for all these deliveries/surgeries) that the only thing it MIGHT cause is the babies to be sleepier than usual while nursing while taking pain meds. I never saw that to be the case even with my NEWBORNS.. so apparently that is not always the case- just maybe. I wasn't that lucky (I WISH my newborns would have been sleepier. LOL)

As far as HOW (physically) to be able to hold the baby to nurse the baby/etc- it would be different depending on what type of surgery you are having- vaginal or abdominal (like a c-section). If you have any questions or I can help in any way-just email me and I'll be glad to help if I can.

Good luck with your surgery AND with continuing to breastfeed. Oh and I vote what Renee said... I'd just tell those that I felt uncomfortable sharing everything about my surgery- that I was having a hyst and leave it at that. That way you don't have to explain the other part of the surgery- repairs/etc.
Unread 03-20-2002, 08:29 AM

Hey ShellBelle-

YOU ROCK!!!!!!! Thank you sooooooo much for the encouraging words regarding being able to continue to nurse post-hyst. I really enjoy nursing my daughter, and have nursed all of my kids for a long time. I nursed one of my twins until he was three (but always joke that I just needed the cleavage for my Christmas dress). I am very happy to hear that you continued to nurse successfully and especially appreciate the detail about talking to the nurses and Dr.'s about the rationale. I am having my hyster done at Kaiser, so chances are good that I will be talking with more than just my regular ob/gyn (and surgeon) so now I feel more confident in discussing the nursing issue.

Thanks again!

Unread 03-20-2002, 10:12 AM
quick, easy explanation

Hi, Shannon,

When it comes to explaining what type of surgery you're having, less may be best.

Personally, I didn't feel that anyone outside my immediate family needed to know that I was having a hysterectomy. For one thing, people often have strong opinions about a hyst, and I didn't want to hear every opinion that came along. I'd already made my decision.

I answered the "What kind of surgery?" question with two words, and this worked every time. I said, "Abdominal surgery." Anyone who wasn't bright enough to figure out what that meant got no more information. I'd just change the subject.

Good luck with your surgery.

Best wishes,
Unread 03-28-2002, 10:24 PM
Explaining myself???

Wow Helen.. I wish I'd thought of that (abdominal surgery). What a great way to explain it to those you don't want to explain in detail!

Shannon- awww, thanks! I'm so glad I could help! I was hoping I didn't come across too strong but hey, sounds like you are more of a breastfeeding advocate than I am! (you nursed your babies longer than I have... my 1st I only nursed 3 days and my 2nd he weaned on his own at 8mo- so 21mo is so far the longest I've nursed )

Yes, the rationale is what got me. I mean after he said it that way I was like (slapping my forehead) duh! Ofcourse... why were those *insert nurses/dr/whatever here* even THINKING I couldn't nurse after having this surgery/anesthesia/pain meds? LOL

Good luck to you sweetie. I know all too well what you mean about enjoying nursing your daughter. It was the single most important "worry" I had at the time of my surgery. Sure I worried about other things but I sooo did not want to end up weaning her before SHE was ready. So I'm so "with you" on what you mean by that... because I was there in the same shoes last summer. I'm hoping it all goes as well for you as it did for me.

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