In the best way, I became a mommy. It is the best thing I have ever known and I don't take a moment of it for granted.
I also got my answers. After Jackson was born, my reproductive system went a little haywire. After a year, I started having painful periods- bad cramping and constant, intense fatigue. I had a vitamin D deficiency which was quickly fixed and the rest was caused by a uterine polyp. I had a D & C and hysteroscopy in February 2010 and I felt great for about 6 months. The painful cramping came back and we went back to watchful waiting mode. In April, I had intense pain with a fever, nausea & vomiting. I had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst rupture. Treated with birth control, we had hope that the cyst would shrink. It did not shrink.
This last Friday, I went into surgery to have it removed. My appointment was earlier than most humans should be allowed to be awake- I had to be there by 5:45am to check in. With a 3 year old at home, my husband and I struggled with how to manage getting Jackson to daycare and getting back to be with me. We decided that my mom would bring me and my husband would arrive while I was in mid-surgery. Mom and I had little waiting. I was quickly checked in and within no more than 15 minutes, I was in my pre-op room answering a bunch of medical questions and getting dressed in my sexy surgery garb. My mom came in to join me and we waited for awhile before the doctor came in to go over the surgery with me. Then it was wait time. It was kind of nice hanging out with my mom. We talked about books, my medical issues, about Jackson. The nurse arrived and it was time to go. Unlike what you see in the movies, I didn't get wheeled in to the operating room. I walked there on my own. I'm not sure why, but it creeped me out. All the nurses and the doctors. The tools. The lights. Strangely, they strapped my arms down as they said, "Arms tend to flop around in the middle of surgery, so we strap them down to keep you safe." My doctor was by my side, holding my hand as they inserted the IV, promising me that everything was going to be great and I would feel so much better when she was done. I don't even the remember the moment the anesthesia hit me.
I woke up in recovery and was most definitely in pain. A nurse was nearby to remove the oxygen mask from my face. I was in and out of consciousness, trying to figure out what time it was. Desperate to know if my husband had made it in and that my son was safely at daycare. Was my mom still there? What the hell did I get hit by? A truck? Ugh. I felt like crap! My doctor stopped by and I heard her say she took the ovary and that she was sorry. Still confused, I came out of it and we started working on getting my pain under control. I was wheeled back to a post-op room where they loaded me up with crackers, pop, water and really whatever I needed. I then saw my husband. I was so happy to see him. So happy he was there. So happy to get out of this sterile smelling place. The only criteria holding me from going home was peeing. LOL. Seems so simple, right? You'd be surprised how hard it is after having abdominal surgery. Finally, pain med prescriptions in hand, we were headed home.
|My nurse dog has kept a constant vigil by my side.|
|I love my hospital slippers|
So here's what they found: My ovary was enlarged, twisted around my bowel, was stuck and growing into my liver and my appendix. The ovary was no longer functional and had to be removed. There wasn't even one singular cyst, it was my enlarged ovary causing all of my monthly agony. Likely the cause of endometriosis, but also a result of my failing reproductive system. I chuckle at my "advanced maternal age" as 35 really, truly doesn't feel that old to me and I know SO many women who have conceived into their 40's. The only way to keep this from happening to the other side is to remain on hormone treatment (i.e. birth control) indefinitely. I will likely have to have a full hysterectomy in 5 years or so. I thought about sharing the photos from my surgery but decided to spare you some of the gore. They are pretty yuck.
This surgery was officially the end of my fertility. I have had time to mourn. I have had my moments of desperation for having another baby. Now, I am at peace. I am ready to recover, move on and be well.