I blog about the events I go to, the cool people I meet, the ins and outs of my life in NYC... and well, here’s the “ins” of my lower abdomen that I want OUT. Let me disrupt the highlight reel that is my curated social media feed and discuss something that plagues about 80 percent of Black women and 70 percent of white women over the course of their lifetime. Here is my story.
I have four fibroids. The biggest is now the size of a grapefruit. As you can see from the MRI, it extends up to my belly button. It’s so big that the fibroids below it press against my bladder (the white mass at the bottom). I already drink a lot of water so I have frequent urination just from the pressure of feeling full. I look five months pregnant, six months after a decent portion-sized meal. Sometimes, I get migraines that only marijuana can ease, random mood swings, and I crave veggie nachos and grilled shrimp tacos from El Jeffe when I'm ovulating and hungry as fuck. So yeah, I have typical PMS symptoms. My cycle is regular though she's been known to pop her ass up four days early, immediately start demanding shit like chips and dark chocolate, and wreck plans and planned outfits. My cycle is also relatively normal - somewhat heavy the first two days, moderate the third and fourth, and spotty or basically non-existent on the fifth. I rarely get cramps, but I still look and feel bloated even with cardio workouts, weightlifting, and targeted abdominal exercises while wearing a waist trainer. I see some definition, but I’m not as toned as I used to be.
I’ve felt slightly annoyed when men and women give me a glance over and offer their seat to me on the train. I know they see my protruding belly, and they mean well. I’ll catch them looking at my stomach then smile at me with the “hey, you can have my seat” look as they rise up. Sometimes, I politely decline. Other times, I nod and say "thank you" and sit my ass down. My fibroid fupa is hard to hide even when I'm sucking in my stomach. High waist control top panties and Spanx help some, but I miss my abs and my small food baby gut. I miss looking snatched in my dresses. I just want my body back. Most importantly, I just want to feel like me again.
BACKSTORY: I became pregnant by my boyfriend in January 2015. My period was due Super Bowl weekend, and when it didn't come, I took a test later that week and saw that plus sign staring back at me. I learned at the first ultrasound in March that I was eight weeks, I had fibroids, and they potentially posed a risk to the pregnancy. Now, before I found out I was pregnant, I finally realized that the relationship I was in was unstable and toxic, and things weren't working out so we broke up. We reconnected on Super Bowl Day to watch the game together but things were still rocky, and I knew that ending things was the right thing to do just like I knew they should have given Marshawn Lynch the ball.
So I was devastated when, at 30, I found out I was pregnant by a man with whom I didn't see a future. I was completely shattered and confused when I found out I had fibroids, though I wasn't shocked. My mom also suffered from fibroids and had a hysterectomy in 1999, and I learned that fibroids tend to be hereditary. So I had some tough choices to make... I wasn't going to stay in a relationship that I didn't want to be in nor did I desire to be forever connected to him through a child. That's not the life I wanted for myself. It also didn't help that I was unemployed at the time having been "fired" from my dream job just three months prior. I was an emotional, expecting shitshow, and I needed to make some changes.
It took the majority of 2015 to heal from making the mistake of staying in a bad relationship too long, and the very hard decisions I made to somehow rectify the mistake. I had to forgive myself, and I wanted a clean slate. I knew better, and I wanted to do better in every way. I drastically changed my diet and became vegan, I prayed more and focused on meditating and exercising regularly, I did some self-work, and I tried not to stress. I let go and let God handle the things I had no control over, and I was managing life and my fibroid diagnosis the best way I could over the next few years.
I didn't have any noticeable fibroid-related symptoms until late last year. My period became heavier and longer. Instead of it ending on day 5, I would spot for 3-5 more days. I began to have cramps more frequently in the beginning of my period, and they were more intense. I also had the urge to urinate more than usual. I decided this past January that I would take steps to get rid of my fibroids. It's been a back and forth journey of doctor's appointments, blood work, ultrasounds, a MRI, consultations, and nonstop research.
On Monday, July 22nd at 7:30am, I will have an outpatient UFE (uterine fibroid embolization) procedure. It’s minimally invasive and 90% effective with a relatively quick recovery period. I’m prayed up. I stay prayed up, I have a great doctor, and I know everything will be fine. Having this procedure done will preserve my fertility so I can have children one day with the right man with whom I'm equally yoked that God has destined for me. I'm going to Africa next month for my 35th birthday, and just the countdown to takeoff has been a spiritual journey in itself. I pray that getting married, having kids, and biologically continuing my lineage is in my cards.
I’m sharing my story because many women suffer from fibroids, and some women have the symptoms but don’t even know that they have them. For some women, they may have a myomectomy and the fibroids grow back and even multiply. Some women choose to have a hysterectomy and feel it's their only option for real relief. Some women go the holistic route with herbs, yoni balls, and v-steam sessions. And some women choose to play the wait and see game and do nothing at all. If you suffer from fibroids, you have to do what's best for you and base your treatment on your specific circumstance and the advice from a trusted doctor. If this post helps one woman who can relate, and they feel less alone in their own women's health and reproductive struggles, then discussing something this personal is worth it! How vulnerable is too vulnerable when telling your truth and discussing your story?
It's Fibroid Awareness Month, and it's time to end the stigma. Be your own advocate, put your health first, and take care of you!
7/20/2019 02:22:25 pm
I too suffer from fibroids. I had the myomectomy in 2015 and in 2019 the fibroids returned. I have blamed myself
7/20/2019 02:52:15 pm
10/18/2022 10:58:32 pm
I was up late searching for answers to questions and women that understood my path.. and ended up here. My grandmother had a hysterectomy at 28..My mother had hers in her 30s..and my aunts as well with one that had surgery complications. I have 9 large fibroids. I've been aware of them since my early twenties and if I recall the struggle correctly, I can acknowledge them even earlier. I would cry about the possibility of motherhood as I entered my thirties and I wanted to make peace with them. I didn't go vegan but ate healthily and began to take plant based supplements to regulate my hormones. Other than that I lived my life, meaning I did indulge in things that weren't the best( sugar, cocktails, red meat, and dairy) I too had a brief experience with birth control but it did give a feeling ..a void I can relate to. I just wanted my body to do what it was meant to do without leaving me anemic and ruining my clothes and linens. I became celibate, discouraged by the process of having to talk about it. But in 2018 , at the age of 34, I became pregnant. They tell you that youre never really "ready" so I went with it. It was a journey for sure, as they grew with my baby, competing for the supply of blood. I fought every negative thought and fear in my heart. I was high risk not only because of my age but because of these 9 huge masses. But I had a cesarean that blessed me with a healthy baby boy 21 inches long and 7.5 pounds! The doctors wanted me wait in the delivery room but being your own advocate is the best advice! Listen to your body, identify the different pains. I was told that I sounded like a coach giving plays that day. He and I both made it through fibroids, stress, and all. I would love a sibling for him but I'm fearful of miscarriage and heartache. All I can say is, I understand... with tears in my eyes...I do. Whether you want children or not ..to deal with these intrusive growths feel like a unspoken struggle that plagues many women. Whether you want to sleep on your stomach, have sex, have a decent menstrual cycle, or simply want to feel confident in your own skin they remind you of their presence. I understand. I've come to terms now that I must do something surgically to deal with them. But I'm hopeful that I can remind myself of the power of not only the human body but a woman's body and be ok with the outcome. I claim that energy everyday I feel burdened with the thought of dealing with them. It reminds me that this is MY body.. uniquely made. I agree...do what's best for you, be good to your body. Its yours..enjoy life as best as you can..and find peace with whatever life has in store. Im proof that life can surprise you and you'll look back on these days in awe of your resilience. I wish all of us the best!
12/7/2020 05:36:36 am
I've never really had a relationship in my life. Most of it were distance and never worked. So most times, I'm alone. I'm 38 this year. I'm a university graduate but never got adequately employed.Let me say it this way, I don't always do things right.😄. I'm always coming into delays and no one to help in any way. So I do all by myself if I'm able to. But one good thing about me is I'm very artistic. I can draw. I can write. I can craft. So I started crafting jewelry and posting online. Sales isn't automatic but this gives me joy that for once, I was doing something too. Then, i started feeling a mass in my lower abdomen. Then constant urination wont let me sleep day and night. That was about 5 years ago. That was when i was diagnosed of fibroid. I cried. Why me again 😀. I was initially desperate looking for a man. But i read on google that its not the end of life. I started a blog to write my pains. This helped me to release some bottled up pains and emotions. Then I came back to God. It's the best feeling. And I could smile again. Then I came into henna arts. Let's say self discovery 😀. Back to my fibroid, I used to be chubby but flat tummied. Small waist too. And I usually exercise at home as a routine. With fibroid, I stopped meat, sugar, oils, butter, multivitamins etc. Gradually, I lost weight, my youthfulness. I lost strength. And my hair too. And initially, my period was normal-- 3 days not so heavy and 2 days almost not there at all. Suddenly, I started bleeding bad during my period and takes about 8 days to 10. This makes me weak and shaky. I'm so slim now but my tummy is shamefully protruding when I wear form-hugging clothes. I use waist trainer but painful, and not covering enough. I used to obsess about my waist those days, so ashamed is just an understatement now. I'm considering the surgical procedure too but because I never was able to date men right initially also keeps putting me off. If I do it now, won't I be desperate to force myself on any man? Also, well, I'm afraid of the unknown. I make waist jewelries now. I want to go to gym and work out so as to be able to showcase my beautiful works but will gym help? My solace is God. I'm trusting that He will make it right for me. I've not gone for check up since when I was first diagnosed. So I don't know 😀😀 where I am now. But I am happy and thankful that I can smile and make light my predicament. I came to google looking to know if waist training is healthy for my fibroid. That's how I came across your write up. I'm happy I found someone that understands and is not ashamed, and is strong enough to encourage we 😀
12/7/2020 07:13:36 am
4/5/2021 06:35:13 am
So how did the surgery workout? I was considering this surgery. I look 6 months pregnant too. Ugh
4/5/2021 08:51:30 am
6/10/2021 02:23:56 am
Wow. I know some of what you ladies are experiencing. I've had fibroids since my mid 20s. I was able to conceive and deliver healthy babies via c-section. I had UFE about 13 years ago and the fact that I stumbled here should tell you effective it was for me 👎🏾. Fast forward here comes menopause. Well the expectation was they should naturally begin to shrink. Well with menopause being so very bad I've been on plant based hormones for 10 years. They're absolutely wonderful for my menopause symptoms but horrible for fibroids. I now have 7 ffibroids and I believe wearing a waist trainer with them has caused more harm than good. I wish you well and thanks for the share and a place to rant.
7/7/2021 04:55:57 am
I have fibroids too they grew really big when I was on the run and staying with and older gentleman who had cancer. His tumors were shrinking but uterus was growing. I was told this was done to me out of revenge because i asked a friend's, friend if she was pregnant she told ne she had fibroids. I knew about fibroids cause most of the older generation had hysterectomies. Time caught up with me in an instant. InJAN 2011 they took out 35 tumors. They left me with a uterus but the belly still is big pressing on everything sex is painful especiaply during doggy style. I have been celibate for 6 years it is for the better though. I was tired of being everybody's hoe , men were not staying and they keep me unemployed as a means to keep me on my back, even with a college degree. After everything im thinking about getting a hysterectomy. Im 45 what man I'm I gonna meet to get married and have a kid?I can barely keep a job as an educated fool. I'm in no mood to be a single mother, whether now or at 55. I want to enjoy the time i have left on this earth, whether i be by myself or I find somebody. So yeah I'm thinking about getting a hysterectomy. They should have taken everything out the first time. Im scared cause I dont want to end up with a colostomy bag or some other medical accident but I'm tired of all that weight down there..its heavy!!!
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