It’s been six months since I had my TAC surgery so I think it’s a pretty good time for an update.
I’m feeling 100% normal about 99% of the time. Despite not having put it to the test yet, I am very glad I went through with the procedure for the peace of mind it has given me. That being said, my recovery was not what I had expected it to be. In some ways it was better, in some ways it was worse.
Let’s start with the worse…
Lightning crotch. It’s a thing. It hurts. It can be breathtakingly bad, and it took a lot longer to go away than I had expected it to. I had to learn the new limits to my body. I couldn’t hold bodily functions as long as I used to or Zap! Zap zap zap! This still happens from time to time, especially at entirely inconvenient times, like when I’m in the car, with a nice big cup of coffee, for a long road trip where washrooms may be hard to find. But for the most part Lightning Crotch is a thing of the past. I’m not sure if that’s from me relearning my body or the surgical site healing.
The other thing that I have found worse is the vertical size of my scars. The lengths are about what I expected, but they seem to have “blown out” more than I expected them to. Maybe it’s because of my tummy chub, maybe it is totally normal and how belly scars always heal. My appendix scar is blown out too, but I remember it being smaller when I was younger, and I have gained a lot of height and weight since I had my appendix taken out as a kid… Anyway, the scars really aren’t bad. I just thought that they would heal smaller. As the dissolvable stitches disintegrated, they seemed to shrink into my skin and the scars seemed to lengthen vertically. For me, this really isn’t the end of the world or even that bad, really. There are only two people who usually get to see my belly: Malcolm and me. And my belly was never going to win any awards with it’s blown out appendix scar, PCOS hair, and chub. Plus, scars fade over time and if I don’t like them I could always get a sweet belly tattoo to cover them up. And if I get pregnant again I’ll be delivering via C-section anyway and that will leave another even bigger scar.
So, now on to the better:
I was expecting periods to be hella painful. But for the most part mine have been quite manageable with some raspberry tea and minimal painkillers. I actually think my periods might be easier than they were before the TAC. Well, all but the most recent one. That one sucked, but no more than my periods before the TAC.
In general pain has been much less than I had worried it would be. I had been worried that getting intimate with my hubby would hurt, but it doesn’t and never has and that makes me happy. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to wear certain clothes, like waistbands over my scars without pain, but that’s not been an issue except when combined with a full bladder/bowels like I mentioned before. I was worried I’d never feel “normal” again, but I feel pretty normal most of the time, and I doubt anyone feels normal all the time.
I wanted the TAC for peace of mind and it has been providing me with that. I haven’t been counting the days between cycles, second guessing whether or not I was feeling or ignoring pregnancy symptoms. I have been able to just relax in that sense and I haven’t been passing money down the drain taking pregnancy tests every few days.
Even when I have been worried I have been able to turn to the TAC Community for support, reassurance, and information. For example, I had a bad stomach bug or a bout of food poisoning recently, and I was in and out of the washroom with diarrhea. I have tried to be very careful about pushing during bowel movements for fear of it messing with my TAC, but with those stomach cramps my body had a mind of it’s on and wanted all things digestible OUT NOW! I turned to the TAC community and within minutes I had other women reassuring me based of of their own experience. I was never made to feel stupid or neurotic and I was able to focus on feeling better.
The transabdominal cerclage is a drastic measure, it involves invasive surgery and complications can be severe. It is not the right choice for every bereaved mother. I have been fortunate to find a medical team who were willing to investigate and understand my unique set of circumstances and determine how a TAC could help me towards my goal of bringing home my rainbow baby. I am hopeful that someday that will happen.