We know that women are sensitive, weak, and too emotional to be president, right? Hear me out. We shouldn’t go to war because we are too slow, too distracting, and would be too traumatized by death and destruction. And of course, women can’t be trusted to make decisions about their bodies because fiddle dee dee, we just don’t know what’s right!
If the world truly feels this way about my gender, they sure as hell aren’t doing anything to remedy the situation. (If there is a record for number of essays squeezed from one experience, I’m about to shatter it…) As you know, I had abdominal surgery in March. I was, and still am, extremely sad to lose my uterus, though it had probably produced its last baby. Even though I have three kids and am aware a fourth would have been risky, it’s been a difficult experience. The day of my surgery made things much worse.
I don’t know anything about hospital protocol, so pardon me if I’m missing something important, but did I really need to be in the labor and delivery ward to recover? I did have “lady surgery,” and my OBGYN performed the surgery, so perhaps that’s why I was surrounded in birthing women all day, but come on. Having my organs fixed was bittersweet already, but I could hear babies crying from the moment I woke up. Babies crying that screechy, newborn cry. It bothered me, because I’d never have another newborn, but I kept thinking about other women who weren’t as lucky. Someone who had to have “lady surgery” before they were able to have any kids. Or someone recovering from losing their baby.
Nurses, techs, lab folks: I know y’all are super busy. I know if you’re going around taking blood from everyone on an entire floor where there is 95% chance that chick just popped out a screaming infant, you might just assume. When a woman came in to draw my blood, I asked her what she was testing for and she replied, “oh, you know, we do the same tests on everyone who just had a baby.”
“I didn’t have a baby. I had a hysterectomy.”
My surgery was elective. I did this on purpose. And I was still pretty emotional. The whole day was traumatic, including being wheeled past all the rooms full of balloons and Welcome, Baby! signs just to leave the damn hospital.
And worst of all? Two months later and we are still getting boxes of formula samples in the mail. I don’t know who gives out my information — the hospital, my doctor, my insurance? But seriously. What if I’d had a hysterectomy because I had cancer? What if I’d had a stillborn? What if I had endometriosis? What if this surgery hadn’t been optional? What if I didn’t have my three babies at home?
If women are really so fragile, why don’t we do something to protect them? It turns out we are tough as nails underneath our beachy waves and eyelash extensions (other women, not me obviously — my hair is in a tangled knot above my eye-bags) and we are capable of recovering from devastating loss. But if you honestly think we’re the weaker sex, why aren’t you doing something to help shield us from pain?
I’ll say one good thing about my local hospital. They moved me to a general surgery floor when I lost a baby. Had the sense enough to know I couldn’t handle those crying babies. Shame on them for not doing the same for you!
Oh my gosh I was thinking about YOU specifically when I was there! I’m so glad you were taken care of with a little more sensitivity.