In February, I had planned to spend a day or two in the hospital in October. Funny how things work out. Or don’t.
Walking into the hospital, my husband and I both realized that had it not been for the miscarriage, we could have been walking that same sidewalk at the same time but for a very different reason. “Right around this time, right?” my husband said. “Yeah, it should have been any day now,” I replied as I stared at the Maternity sign that hung just below the Registration sign.
As I laid in pre-op, my hands folded over my flat stomach and hubby by my side, I was surprised by how unemotional I felt about the fact that I wasn’t there to have a baby; that if things would have turned out differently, we would have been giggling nervously in anticipation of our newborn.
Without a crack in my voice, I recounted the details of my miscarriage to the pre-op nurse who asked three times if I had a dilation and curettage. “So they never went in and scraped?” she asked, adding hand gestures as if I was suddenly going to remember that I had a D&C when in fact, I did not. “No. It was a missed miscarriage and I took Misoprostal.”
“So they never went back and looked inside? They never cleaned you out?” For heaven’s sake lady, are you trying to get me to crack? Once we cleared up all the details and she determined I was healthy enough for anesthesia, the conversation turned to my People Magazine and how healthy Michael Douglas looked as he stared from the cover.
Just like that, my eight-month-long saga, one that I’ve told many times and in various emotional stages — my story – was nothing more than clinical pre-op details. Not worthy of People Magazine, just a medical chart. And you know what? I felt the same way. I felt so far removed from my miscarriage story, even in spite of the obvious irony of being in the hospital so close to my due date.
The surgery gave me permission to be the patient with the ovarian cyst instead of the patient who had the miscarriage. Describing my miscarriage, I was describing someone else. That was her story. The person having surgery – that was me – and boy was I glad to be me for once.
I’ve gone from, “I just had a miscarriage,” to, “I just had surgery.” It’s less emotion to reconcile with. This is a much easier place.
I’ve gone from dealing with a pregnancy loss to dealing with an ovarian cyst. For right now at least, I get to be the person recovering from surgery, not the person grieving from a miscarriage or trying to conceive after a loss. The best part? I. Feel. Free.
For months, I’ve grieved over losing my pregnancy and obsessed about becoming pregnant again. Isn’t that I what I’m supposed to do? Isn’t EVERY conversation supposed to be about my miscarriage and getting pregnant? Isn’t the white elephant ALWAYS in the room? Isn’t the world revolving around ME? I’ve felt like there was this unwritten expectation that I will get pregnant right away and that with each passing month I didn’t, I was letting the world down. I’ve felt like it’s wrong of me NOT to obsess over becoming pregnant again.
I’ve been looking for a way to let go without feeling guilty. I’ve been looking for an out. I’ve been desperate for a rest but didn’t want to admit that I was tired. Of course, now that I’ve had surgery, I don’t have to. For the next month, I don’t have to think about my temperature, or charting my way to conception. I don’t have to neurotically pee on sticks, or obsess about my cycle day. For the next month, I get to focus on healing. That feels good. I think it’s what the doctor ordered back in April but I’ve decided to finally fill the prescription.
Tomorrow is the day! I decided to have the surgery to remove this thing growing on my ovary. In honor of tomorrow, I wrote the sucker a letter.
It’s time we parted ways. You’re a little too attached to me. I mean, you’ve grown to roughly three times the size of my ovary. You are basically the size of a large Grade A egg. I would keep you around but unfortunately, I’m not competing in a state fair for the largest organically grown product. Tomorrow, you will be surgically removed, and you are not invited back. Thanks for playing. –Emily
Ah yes. The size of an egg – at least that’s what my Google image search for 7cm revealed. I’m horrified and, morbidly curious. I mean – I can’t grow a baby but I can grow a fluid-filled globe the size of key lime? That got me thinking…
Anyone that’s familiar with literature on pregnancy knows about the comparison of embryos and fetuses to foods. So here are some other comparisons: a large date, a small tomato, a red potato, a large strawberry. See, it’s not just the pregnant women who get to have all the fun!
My husband wants me to bring it home in a jar. I tried to explain that the surgery doesn’t exactly work like that. Thanks to the wonders of science, it will actually be sucked out through my belly button. Well, maybe not my belly button but some small incision near there. Either way, it’s not going to remain intact enough to store in a jar and put on display. And even if we could keep it in a jar, it wouldn’t match with our pillows and couch.
There is no easy way to put this so I will just come out and say it. There is a 7 centimeter cyst on my right ovary.
I got this news in the same room that I found out my baby’s heart was no longer beating and from the same person who told me that I had a missed miscarriage. God. I hate that room.
I sat in the waiting room for about 35 minutes between getting the ultrasound and speaking with the doctor. I watched the ObGyn coordinator call newly pregnant couples to the back for their first appointments. There was one couple in particular – a husband and wife by the looks of it. The woman was just glowing with happiness. God. I hated her; I hated them.
I overheard another woman scheduling her next appointment. The receptionist said, “Oh! Your 20-week appointment! That’s an exciting one!” God. Get me out of here.
By the time I finally got to speak to the doctor, I was nearly in tears. She came in with nine images of my ovaries and said, “It’s pretty big.”
I have a couple of options to deal with this thing. I can do the old ‘wait and see’ and hope it shrinks on its own. I highly doubt it. This cyst is big enough to have its own passport. I can take birth control pills to shrink it. Something about that option sounds counterintuitive to getting pregnant. Or, I can have surgery.
The surgery is laparoscopic, outpatient, and fairly straightforward. I watched a video of it on You Tube. I almost vomited but I think that’s because I’m a bit squeamish. It didn’t really look that bad at all and apparently, there is no real recovery time. Aside from the risk of completely losing the ovary if the doctor makes a wrong move, and of course, death…I don’t really have a reason not to get ‘er out.