Monday, September 30, 2013

1095 and Counting

It's been almost four years since I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and I still remember that day all too well. It was as if I was standing in a subway station as the train flew by. I couldn't actually hear the words that Dr. R was saying I could just read her lips..."You have cancer." My head began to spin and my mind was racing with what that meant. All I could think was that I was never going to be a mother as she uttered the words, "You're going to need a hysterectomy." My world was turned upside down. G and I had been trying to have children for a year and a half and now any chance of a biological child was being ripped away from me. Now what?

Luckily I was given a referral to Dr. B, a renown gynecological oncologist, for a second opinion which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Knowing that G and I were trying to have a baby she wanted to try and save my fertility and postponed talks of a hysterectomy while we pursued other options. On October 1, 2010, after 10 months of hormone therapy and multiple surgeries, I was told that the cancer was gone and released to the reproductive endocrinologist. We were so excited and again filled with hope of a biological child.

This journey has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. It has been filled with miles of hope, days of shaky faith, massive highs, desperate lows, heartache, loss, love and jubilation. Thanks to Dr. B and Dr. L I have defied the odds, beat cancer and am pregnant with an amazing miracle. It's been 1095 days since I was first told I was cancer free and I'm thrilled to say it's 44 days until my son's due date. I know three years seems like a long time but considering four years ago I was told I needed a hysterectomy...I'll take it. I thank God everyday for our miracle and I know my son is so much more loved because of what we have been through! Sometimes blessings come when and how you least expect it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Is This Your First?

Over the years G and I have been asked many questions about children and our lack there of. I can remember all too well the triggers, tears and heartaches they have caused. I really thought now that I was pregnant there wouldn't be any questions that would cause those same fears or reactions, but I was wrong.

Over the last few months I finally became comfortable enough with my pregnancy and dealt with many of those past fears to begin preparing for my little squirt's arrival. At 26 weeks I gathered my nerve and we went to the baby store to start our registry. That's when I was first asked the simplest of questions that would shake me to the core. "Is this your first?" As the words came out of the clerks mouth chills shot down my spine and I felt as if I was just stabbed in the heart. Simple question, right? To someone who has never experienced a loss I am sure the question wouldn't even phase them and they would gladly respond with a resounding "YES!" However for someone with my history it froze me in my tracks and I couldn't even formulate a word. How do I respond? Is this my first pregnancy? No! Is this my second pregnancy? No! For me, no, this is not my first because I have beautiful angel babies that are being loved and nurtured in heaven. In reality, I guess you can say this is my least my first keeper. Obviously the clerk had no clue what we had been through, and why would she? It's not like miscarriage survivors have a marking or a visable scar to allow the rest of the world to know their stories. This simple question, though truly harmless, was enough to send me into a tailspin of doubt and fear once again.

As my pregnancy has continued to progress and we have continued to move forward in our preparations for squirt's big day that question has been asked of us repeatedly. Each time I feel a little more pain as I answer "Yes, this is our first." Sometimes I feel as if I am hiding that part of my life. Like I am not being truthful. Does every person that rubs my belly, rings up a baby item purchase or works in my dentist office need to know every detail of this journey? Of course not! I'm not saying that we need to share all the intimate details of our trials to get this miracle. I just believe that those little angels that came before our miracle are a part of me and have given us the strength to get to our little squirt! He truly is our miracle and is so much more loved because of what we have been through!

I know that I'm not alone in my feelings. I had hesitated to even broach the subject with G until this week for fear he would think I was just being overly sensitive or hormonal. After being asked this question three times during our recent visit to the baby store I finally decided to ask G how he felt each time we were asked, "Is this your first?" To my surprise it was jolting to him as well. He said every time he's asked he flinches. I guess no one is immune to the pains of loss and even the simplest of questions can be a trigger!