in the beginning, it was spring (part one)

This is the first of two-parts. 

Six years ago, on the first day of spring, I had my first fibroid surgery. It was a huge mother of a thing, a grapefruit-sized mass taking over my kiwi-sized uterus and invading part of my belly too. I was diagnosed in December 2001, after experiencing extremely painful, heavy periods (think hemorrhaging and writhing pain). I was 32 and just finishing graduate school. 

I had no clue. When my ob/gyn called to tell me, I was shocked. There was a mass of a tumor where my ute should be. It had probably been growing for years. I was infertile and didn’t even know it yet.  For the first time ever, I realized we might not ever be able to have children. That thought had never occurred to me. We had a plan. We were on course. We were getting ready. We were almost there…

I remember looking to my husband, terrified. He reached out and held me tight and I just cried. I mumbled something about how I wished we hadn’t taken all those years for granted. But we both knew that wasn’t the case. There was no “better” time for us. We had been working hard. In graduate school, in our jobs, and on our relationship. We were slowly working through the things that people do when they’ve been together since they were young and not quite ready for children. We were evolving into the people we would eventually become.

The truth is, even if we had been “ready” earlier, there was no way I would have conceived because this damned thing had made a home in my hoohah and was taking over my pelvic cavity, threatening to impair other bodily functions like going to the bathroom and having sex. It had to go. 

Everything changed. Suddenly we were faced with major surgery and a lifetime of uncertainty as to whether we would ever become parents. I took some time off and prepared. The surgery went well, or so we thought, but recovery was hard. Because of its size and location, the surgery was abdominal, basically a c-section without the baby. Unfortunately the damn thing was so embedded that my doctor had to cut into my uterine wall to get it out. I remember through the morphine haze she told me this afterwards, in her gentle way. The outcome and future risks. 

And so began my fear of scarring. I was facing a life of potential infertility. The adhesions could prevent conception or inhibit implantation. If I was able to get pregnant, I would carry a substantial risk of miscarriage, plus a serious risk of uterine rupture or pre-term labor. Oh, and let’s not forget recurrence.  

I might not ever have children.

What I didn’t know then was that was just the beginning of a long series of procedures and treatments that continued for years. Six years ago, I thought we were resolving our fertility problems before they even started. I was so wrong.  

to be continued… 

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~ by luna on March 20, 2008.

12 Responses to “in the beginning, it was spring (part one)”

  1. Hi Luna. I’m so so sorry for all you had to endure and had no idea you had to go through something like that before your IF journey. Although my story is nothing like yours (and can’t compare), when I first saw a specialist and had intital testing, I had a blocked tube (which I had a procedure to open successfullY) and than I also had a lap surgery to remove some endo. Because everything was fine and I was still young, I truly thought we resolved our fertility problem at that moment and I was going to be pregnant in no time. Even the Dr. had so much hope and I thought it was juat a matter of time. I was so wrong and so naive….! I had no idea I’d be going through multiple failed treatments for years and still be here trying to resolve my fertility.

  2. I think that last thought is the most chilling–that first surgery that you think will be the fix and then discovering (in retrospect) how much more is in store.

  3. I can relate to the comments above. Ditto here (lap and hopeful doc etc.)

    I can in no way compare my situation with complications you underwent, but I can certainly empathize.

  4. What an awful and traumatic way to start the TTC journey. Ours was a more subtle start, but I can relate to looking back and still not being able to really take in all that you have gone through.

    I sure hope this FET works for you.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. You have had some truly awful experiences. You must be so tired.

    I want this to work for you and your husband, Luna.

  6. My goodness, Luna. Infertility is tough enough as it is, but to struggle *before* the struggle…there are no words.

  7. Jeebus, Luna. That’s starting a man down, to claim a totally inappropriate sports term. Here I thought I was stupid for just flat out AVOIDING getting pregnant through my late 20s and early 30s, and in retrospect, would’ve given anything for the successful accident. I’m so sorry. Spring really sucks, doesn’t it, with all it’s hopefulness and assumed beauty. I hate not being able to appreciate it.

  8. When think about how careful we were for so long about, well, being careful, I want to smack both of us. But how can you know until you know. The only indication was when I was diagnosed with PCOS at 26 and the doctor very casually said, “You’ll probably need a little help getting pregnant.”

    I’m so sorry the beginning of your journey was so painful, and that it continues to be, 6 years later.

  9. […] the beginning, it was spring (part two) To read part one first, click here. Healing from surgery was a long process. We were advised to wait 6-12 months before trying to […]

  10. […] 2003, a year after my first surgery to remove a grapefruit-sized mass from my uterus, I was diagnosed with several new small fibroids. […]

  11. […] all began more than seven years ago, when I learned I would need surgery to remove a massive benign growth […]

  12. […] how much trouble. But we knew it was a real possibility. In fact the conversation was spurned by the first known threat to my fertility more than 9.5 years ago, even though we didn’t start trying until later. We talked about […]

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