Lena Dunham Says Mother's Day Can 'Summon a Tidal Wave of Grief'

Lena Dunham is unable to get pregnant after undergoing a full hysterectomy in 2018

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Lena Dunham. Photo: Presley Ann/Getty Images

Lena Dunham was feeling mixed emotions on Mother's Day.

On Sunday, the Girls actress shared two throwback photos on Twitter to celebrate her mother, famous filmmaker and photographer Laurie Simmons.

But Dunham, 33, acknowledged in two follow-up tweets the somberness of Mother's Day, given that she is unable to get pregnant after undergoing a full hysterectomy in 2018.

#MothersDay is a beautiful and necessary celebration of what mothers give, but it can also summon a tidal wave of grief for those who have lost their own mother figure or their ability to be a mother in the way they’d always dreamed," the star said.

"For those who aren’t necessarily welcoming Mother’s Day, I see you, I love you and wherever you are today- resentful, lonely, nostalgic, resigned or maybe even joyful- you are already #wellenough," she added.

In November 2017, Dunham underwent a full hysterectomy to remove her uterus and cervix in the hopes of ending her crippling endometriosis pain — thus eliminating her chances of ever getting pregnant.

After residual pain from her full hysterectomy "got worse and worse," Dunham had her left ovary removed in October 2018. The actress shared on Instagram that scar tissue on her ovary was making it difficult for her to live a pain-free life.

“Yesterday I had a two hour surgery to remove my left ovary, which was encased in scar tissue and fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerves that made it kinda hard to walk/pee/vamp,” Dunham wrote. “Over the last month it got worse and worse until I was simply a burrito shaped like a human."

Lena Dunham/Instagram

In November 2018, Dunham reflected on one year since the hysterectomy, sharing side-by-side pictures of her recovery.

“The last year hasn’t been all roses and Kenny G songs, but it’s been proof enough for me in the presence of the divine,” she reflected. “The divine- it’s been there in the kindness of my family, friends, chronically ill folks online. It’s also been there in the moments where I cried myself to sleep, shocked by the sounds coming out of me.”

Lena Dunham. Emma McIntyre/Getty

“It’s in the light slanting on my comforter, the resilience of my best friend’s baby clonking her head then giggling, the new hairs sprouting at my temples. Mostly I’ve found it in my own strength, because who the f— knew,” she added. “And I don’t mean strength as in powering through. I mean strength as in vulnerability, feeling it all, taking it as it comes and dancing even with a hospital grade pad in my underwear.”

“I surprised myself,” Dunham concluded. “I bet you can surprise yourself too.”

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