How to get this tummy in 5 easy steps – Step 3

 

Get an ovary removed

But you got to be at least be 26 weeks pregnant with your second child first. As my little princess was growing in my belly, so was a cyst on my ovary. The cyst is normal but the rate of growth is not. The baby and cyst were both growing bigger and if they had to compete for space, my daughter would lose. By the time I was at 26 weeks, the cyst was posing a very big threat and despite my hopes it would just stop growing so the only choice was to remove it. Mind you, before this pregnancy the only time I had ever been hospitalized was when I gave birth to my first. This was now going to be my second of this year/pregnancy. It wouldn’t be my last but that’s for Part 4.

Most people would be concerned about the risks of the surgery but that wasn’t on my mind. Not me. I was the sole breadwinner. My mind immediately focused on getting through this so I could get back to work. The recovery for the average person was 2 weeks but then I was gently reminded by my boss and doctor that I was pregnant and therefore would be longer. I was dissapointed that I was taking away from my maternity leave so I was already gipping my daughter from time with me. I was worried leaving my job vacant 2 weeks before the start of the year and it jeopardizing my job. I felt I was letting everyone down.

Surgery went with only one hitch. I tried to get an epidural so that I didn’t have to be put under and stay under twilight but somehow I was able to tell the doctor that I could feel the pain of the surgery. I have no recollection of that but I do remember a sudden hustling in the room. My first thought when I woke up was:

Oh no, I got put under. Is the baby ok?

She kicked me. Right on cue. That kick was glorious and painful because she kicked my incision. There’s no picture of this time. Imagine staples on a pregnant belly that ran from the top of my belly bottoms to the top of my bikini line. It wasn’t pretty but it was the price I paid. She was healthy and that’s all that mattered.

The adventures of frankenuterus begins. Frankenuterus is the adorable term my boyfriend uses to describe my reproductive system and I think it’s perfect.

Somehow I made it through the rest of the pregnancy with no complication. Right up until 34 weeks. I felt my entire pregnancy someone would yell out “Plot Twist!” and I was hit with something else. She had stopped growing. So it was back to the specialist who couldn’t find anything wrong. At 38 weeks I was induced and everything went smoothly. Just kidding! Her delivery started cool. I had my favorite people in the room. I was going without medication and I was killin it! My friend asked the nurse if it would hurt less since she was expected to be so small. She hadn’t grown since week 34. The nurse’s laugh let me know that was only wishful thinking. She composed herself and kindly said “no”. At 7pm I was ready to start pushing but my doctor said it would be hours before I was ready. I freaked because I knew what I was feeling. How could I be so wrong? Turns out, as usual, I wasn’t. The doctor came back in 10 minutes later to check me before she left for the night. She laid me back and madness broke out. My room went from from a zen situation to a circus. My friends being rushed to get up so they could bring in the delivery tray and get the stirrups up. The doctor is telling me not to push, yelling for gloves, and calling for the neonatal team to be ready to exam my mini-me. 

What do you mean don’t push?!? I’m not pushing!!

This girl was ready to make her debut and she must have said “ready or not, here I come!” Just like that. Boom. At 7:15pm. Right in the middle of the nurse’s shift change and before the doctor could even put her gloves on. It was chaos but in the midst of it all was my tiny (4lbs 11ounces) princess just laying on the bed (stirrups never made it either) and she was perfect. 

Now it’s no surprise that when you have a second child, your time is limited. I went back to work part time just 3 weeks after she was born. My level of disappointment was though the roof but had no time to wallow in that. I had a responsibility to support my family. Why only 3 weeks? You’ll find out in part 4.

For now these are the things I learned from this:

1. You’re tougher than you think but you don’t necessarily have to be.  I had no idea how I was going to get through these situations. I am a very private person so I kept this information on a need to know basis. It wasn’t pride, it was the fact that I was raised to take my responsibilities seriously. Asking for help meant I failed to take care of myself. Turns out I can go through a whole lot but having helps would have been nice…if I were willing to accept it. We have to find the balance of fulfilling our obligations and allowing others to help us carry the burden. That balance was very off for me but because I was handling it people assumed I didn’t need help. 

2. Everyone has hidden scars. When people look at my stomach they only see the stretch marks, the scars are hidden. Some are physical, some are emotional. I have learned to look deeper at everyone’s situation. Imagine the scars we might be hiding from others just to protect ourselves. If I never showed my stomach, no one could judge me but that meant I was ashamed. I deserve better than that. My scars make me who I am and I have to love them completely. We all have something we are struggling with and might feel ashamed of it but keeping it hidden or bottled up never works. It took me many friends, therapy, and time but the first step was to open up and now I am overflowing with love for myself and for others. 

 

3. Wounds heal in time. My daughter is 7 years old now and it’s taken me this long to get to a place where I feel that sharing my experiences can help others. I spent 7 years searching for the me I had lost. I had lived my life for others for so long that I didn’t know who I was, let alone who I wanted to be. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t rush thought the healing because we can’t really do much to control it anyway. 

4. Learn to laugh at life. Either you do or you don’t. Life is full of challenges, excitement, disappointment, happiness, sadness, and so much more that we either embrace it or reject it. Life happens the way it’s going to so I would rather spend more of my time on this earth laughing. Our time is limited, let’s make the best of what we’ve got!!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend and once again ask you to share this if you feel it will help someone. 

Stay tuned for Part 4!

 

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