I have a hazy memory of my first couple of days after surgery. I do, however, remember waking up right after surgery to my gynecologist oncologist sitting at my bedside. He told me he had tried his very best, but after a complicated five hours in surgery, he had to perform a complete hysterectomy. At that moment, what I heard had not hit me. Neither did it hit me any one of the five days I spent recovering in the hospital. It wasn't until I got home and spent time around my precious son that I realized that I would never have another child - that I would never feel another life grow inside of me. It also probably didn't help that while keeping up with friends and family on Facebook, I was bombarded with announcements of new babies and photos of beautiful pregnant bellies. It just cut deeper than any disappointment I had ever had in my life. It was a reality I couldn't escape. And then there it was - the grief. I knew I had to go through it, just allow myself to submit to it, but it was so hard. I have never cried harder in my life. In many ways, I was mourning the loss of a dream. I had hoped to give Brad a house teeming with little ones, but now that dream was dashed.
Now four weeks after surgery, with the love and support of my husband, family and friends, I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Its strange to admit, but other than a bit of lingering pain and slight bleeding, I physically feel better than I have in years. And although I am still a bit slow to walk and cannot hold my son yet, the light at the end of the tunnel is the thought of how good I will be feeling a month from now, and then a month after that. I still have moments where I get discouraged and lose my way by wondering about what could have been, but I always come back to my faith and appreciating what I have been blessed with: my Sutton. Sutton is such a beautiful and smart boy, a true testament of God's grace. He is our miracle, and Brad and I never take him or our experience bringing him into this world for granted. And what about that house full of children? We have our hands full with our little man right now, but there is always the possibility of more children through surrogacy or adoption. Right now, we just want to enjoy Sutton and give him a beautiful childhood.
A few days ago, Brad and I saw my doctor for my first post-op appointment. After three weeks, it was really good to see him and thank him for all he has done. He is one of the most compassionate and humble people I have ever met, and I knew that there was a reason I was so drawn to him. My doctor told me that my surgery was one of the most difficult surgeries he had ever performed, taking twice the time of a "routine" hysterectomy. Again, I was cut vertically to avoid cutting the tumor, but this time because it had grown so large, I had to be cut up through my navel. As my doctor examined me and shared his findings, he explained that once he was able to fully see my womb, it was realized that I didn't have an 11 cm fibroid as previously believed. Although all of the MRIs, CAT Scans and ultrasounds showed it to be 11 - 12cm, it was actually a mitotic 20 cm fibroid tumor that had distorted my bladder and cervix. He told me and Brad that without treatment, it could have eventually developed into a sarcoma. I was in total and utter shock! After hearing this news, it cemented in me and Brad the belief that everything happens for a reason. My long journey towards health in 2011 was a battle, but by the grace of God, it was a battle I won. Now I can look forward to a bright 2012 ... one filled with too many possibilities to list.