I’m getting a little, well, actually very personal with today’s post I’m sharing part of my pregnancy “story.” This is the part of how I found out I would be, under going major surgery at 14 weeks to remove an Ovarian cyst. So I guess, I should start from the beginning of my pregnancy, I found out I was pregnant very very early on, roughly around 3 weeks (at that time I thought I was closer to the 8 week mark). So when I called to make my first appointment, my OB had me schedule my first trimester scan prior to my first official visit with her. My now fiance and I were so excited for our first visit, we couldn’t wait to see our little one for the first time (and in a weird way get validation that we were REALLY pregnant).
The day of the ultrasound, I was given instructions to basically drink my weight in water and reframe from using the restroom (cruelest test ever! if there was ever a time I thought I was going to pee myself as an adult, this was it). I was laying in the ultra sound room, with a full bladder and full of excitement, the tech started to scan my belly and instantly her expression changed. I knew there was something wrong right away, I waited a few seconds before I asked “is everything ok”? She very calmly asked, if I had a history of cysts, I didn’t. She continued to scan over the same area and take several pictures, she let us know the Dr would be with us shortly.
She said I could use the restroom (finally!), while she called the Dr. in. By this time all I could do was pray, that our baby was ok, all of the excitement of seeing baby for the first time had vanish. I turned to look at my fiance and I could see the worry deep down, although he tried his hardest to hide it. Finally the DR. walked in and performed a second ultra sound, he confirmed that I had a tumor roughly around 5cm growing with-in my right ovary. He explained that, it did not look cancerous (phew) but there was a small chance my OB would recommend surgery while I was still pregnant. Or best case I could carry out my pregnancy and remove it post delivery. I was so devastated, I remained silent throughout the rest of the appointment, it wasn’t until we got back to the car that I finally could say my thoughts out loud. My fiance reassured me that everything was going to be ok, and we would get through it together. The days leading up to my next appointment were just pure torture, while I didn’t want dwell on the previous appointment, it was nearly impossible not too.
Finally the day came, and we met with our OB (my forever hero). Unfortunately she didn’t have the results we were hoping for, the mass was too large and she strongly suggested surgery at 14 weeks. I was shocked, I couldn’t believe I had this thing, this tumor growing inside of me and unknowingly. I never experienced ANY type of pain, there were no noticeable signs how was I unaware, how? This is why I titled this post “My Pregnancy Saved my Life” if It wasn’t for that ultra sound, I would have found out too late. During this visit we discussed both options and neither was ideal. Choosing to not have the surgery, meant my chances of a miscarriage would be tripled, waiting t oo long could result in the tumor erupting and cause serious internal bleeding. Not to mention general complications through-out the entire pregnancy. Option two, came with risks as well, removing the cyst could overwhelm baby and cause a miscarriage. If the surgery was successful, I could have a healthy pregnancy which seemed like the only gleam of light. We put our complete trust in our Dr. and decided to go through with the surgery, we knew all three of us were, in the best possible hands.
After leaving our appointment, we left feeling devastated 14 weeks was right around the corner and up until now we had not shared the news with anyone. So we were faced with sharing the very exciting news with our loved ones only to hit them with horrible news seconds later. Prior to the surgery I felt as if I couldn’t allow my self to get too attached, or even feel excited, there was a constant “what if”. Naturally I already felt a strong connection to our baby, I constantly talked to him and asked him to stay strong I let him know we loved him everyday.
Finally I entered 14 weeks and it was the day of my surgery, my fiance and I made our way into the prep room and we waited. Our Dr. came into the room and did one last ultra sound before the surgery. I didn’t want to admit this but I was staring at the monitor thinking, this could possibly be the last time we see our baby. It was the worst feeling imaginable, even typing it now gets me teary eyed. She explained that there would be a total of 6 people in the room with her, an assistant surgeon ( who actually delivered my sisters baby, so we felt very lucky to have her as well) the anesthesiologist and 3 nurses. The goal was to get in and out as quickly as possible, the whole thing would hopefully only last roughly around 2 hours. I took a deep breath and gathered as much courage as a possibly could, as I said good-bye to my fiance.
The surgery room was cold, and extremely bright full of people all awaiting my arrival everyone looked so calm, yet the room felt so eerie. It was time to perform the epidural (We wanted to avoid having to put me fully under) the nurse had me crutch over while pushing my out my spine first attempt no luck, second, no luck, third no luck. By this time I was crying in agonizing pain, my Dr. held my hand and said I would need to be placed fully asleep. I nodded my head while trying my hardest to hold back the river of tears running down my face. That was the last thing I remember before waking up in the recovery room.
I felt like I had closed my eyes for just a second, unknowing that it was 4 hours later. The tumor was so big, and so high up that she had no choice but to make a vertical incision. Once it was removed it measured 15cm not 5. I remember looking around the strange room searching for my fiance, I wanted to see a familiar face to feel some kind of comfort. I tried to call for the nurse, but I couldn’t get any words out, not a single one. The nurse must have seen me struggling because she rushed over and held my hand told me I was ok and that I would be moved into my room with-in the hour. Second longest hour of my life, I finally was brought into my room, my parents and fiance sat nervously waiting for me. I finally felt brave enough to ask how the surgery had gone, I wanted to know if baby was ok. My fiance full of joy said the surgery went wonderfully, baby was one strong little fighter he held on. His heart beat was strong throughout the entire 4 hours, I cried so hard it was the best news I could have gotten. Shortly after my Dr’s assistant walked in to check in on me, she explained that I had one talented Dr. who fought hard to save both of my ovaries.
The following morning my Dr. came in to see me, she explained that the cyst was much larger than expected. She could only assume I had been living with this thing for at least 3 years, it had began to grow second. Had we waited one more month, this thing would have erupted, without a question I knew then that my baby had saved my life. To this day I’m still so shocked that I under went surgery while carrying another life inside of me. I’ll forever be grateful, to her and her teamed because of them baby and walked away healthy she saved my baby. The weeks following my surgery were difficult, I experienced a lot of pain doing basic tasks felt nearly impossible. But that didn’t matter to me all I knew was that baby was healthy.
I wanted to share my story with all of you for one reason, prior to my surgery I searched high and low for women who had undergone the same surgery and it was nearly impossible. The stories I did find helped me tremendous, so I in return want to help the next mom who maybe feeling that same fear I felt. Trust in your Dr, you will make it through this difficult time, and try to enjoy your pregnancy.
I hope I answered and covered everything, I’d be happy to answer any questions. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.