2018: Our Hysterectomies

Detail of Book: Surgical Recovery
Detail of Book: Surgical Recovery

Our Hysterectomies is an eBook containing the illustrated first-person accounts of 16 women who have had hysterectomies, oophorectomies, myomectomies and more. The downloadable book contains animation, as well as printable DIY papercraft including reproductive system coloring book pages, pop-ups, paper cuts, and more.

The book is available for download with proceeds benefitting reproductive health organizations. The first campaign on Crowdrise to benefit Planned Parenthood went live September 2018 and all contributions regardless of donation amount receive a copy of the “Our Hysterectomies” eBook. You can still contribute and receive your copy of the book herehttps://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/our-hysterectomies-a-fundraiser-for-planned-parenthood

The book is also available for academic purposes. If you wish to have a copy included in your library or for students, please contact me.

Libraries currently include the Maine Women Writers Collection, Abplanalp Library, University of New England.

Background: On March 14th, 2017, I underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure was performed through open surgery and left behind a 6” vertical scar.

Upon waking up from surgery I felt surprisingly great. I hopped off the gurney and walked to my bed, ate two dinners, and walked laps around the ward.  I am typically rather private on social media, but I decided to be open about this. Maybe it was the anesthesia, but I realized that I had the support of family, friends, three work communities, good health insurance, and extraordinary medical care — something many women don’t have. And so, in an uncharacteristic political act, I posted an image of myself from the hospital.

The outpouring of support was overwhelming, and even more surprisingly, seventeen women I knew reached out to me to tell me that they themselves had been through this or were about to go through it. I was stunned.

Facts: According to the Centers for Disease Control, Hysterectomy is the second most frequently performed surgical procedure for U.S. women who are of reproductive age. Approximately 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy and approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year. By the age of 60, more than 1/3 of all women have had a hysterectomy.

Goal: All women need access to high quality affordable reproductive health care services. As a result, I am using this book as a fundraising tool to increase awareness and support access to services.

Stay tuned for upcoming campaign dates and links.

Post-Surgical Hospital Recovery
Detail of Book: Surgical Recovery
Detail of Book: Preparing for Surgery
Detail of Book: Preparing for Surgery
Our Hysterectomies
Detail of Book: Anatomical Coloring Book Pages
Our Hysterectomies
Detail of Book: Anatomical Coloring Book Pages