To My Mommyodyssey, (yes, she’s mine, I claimed her but I share)

Tomorrow she’s going for a laparoscopy and she’s scared and angry. Angry because last time she had a “minor invasive procedure” she came out of it worse for wear, scarred up inside and forever changed.

So now, it’s all happening again. Different doctor, different surgery, same “minor invasive” idea, same “low risk”, same “getting knocked out and having no idea what’s happening until it’s all done”, same complete lack of control as to what’s going to happen to your body.

And I’m scarred for her too, just like anyone else that has gone through any kind of surgery dealing with our fertility and reproduction would be. Ya, we’re a paranoid bunch, stop denying it. We’re the hypochondriacs of the reproductive world. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong because so much has gone wrong already, right? No, we need to back the F up.

When I went…what is it…over a year and a half ago I think, to have my big hairy, toothy, with its own thyroid and everything dermoid cyst removed from my right ovary, I was freaking right out. It was big enough that they didn’t want to leave it,
even though there was little chance that it was cancerous, but it may twist and cut off the blood to my ovary, my fallopian tube, whatever else it had grown on to.  Then I’d lose all that. But going in, I knew that there was a chance I’d be losing them in the surgery anyways, even though the chance was small.

But I was far more scared of getting put under. Why? I dunno. But it freaked me out more than anything. And I’m a nurse! I know people go through this all the time and they’re fine. Oh, and I was stupid enough to watch a video of my procedure beforehand
cause I though educating myself would be helpful. No, don’t do it. But when it’s personal, all practical knowledge goes out the window and all you’re left with seems to be doubt and fear and negativity.

So, I was afraid that above all else, I wasn’t going to wake up again. I got right morbid. I was in the middle of making my son’s “big boy room” and I busted my ass to finish it in time for my surgery “just in case”. I stuffed everything I could into his baby book, writing him letters about himself and me and what we did together every day and my special memories of him. I found a little corner of his room and painted a little love note to him on his wall so that he had something from me if I didn’t come back that he would stumble across at some point and feel loved.

The morning of the surgery I traded off, my son going with my step-dad to play in a helicopter (technically not supposed to do that) and my mom to stay with me at the hospital. I was NOT good company, but she was still a distraction a bit. I was trying to ignore the massive panic attack that I was going though, reminding myself of all the practical things that made no difference because it was me, not someone else or one of my patients going through this. Eventually, I gave up, surrendered to the numbness that was my only other option at the time, and went on in.

Of course they never get to things fast enough when you just need to “get it over with”. Waiting on the stretcher, having random nurses or surgeons come and ask me the same questions over and over (confidence inspiring, I know, but it happens all the time). And then eventually I go in, get knocked out, and remember nothing.

I only ever told one of my friends how I’d been feeling. Another mother that could understand the morbidity of my “what if’s” and not judge me or say I’m being ridiculous. I couldn’t tell my husband because I knew he’d yell at me for saying things I shouldn’t (maybe he thinks it’s a jinx, I’m not sure). I just faked a brave face for everyone else.

But eventually I woke up. I passed in and out for a bit, felt fine, told the nurses not to bother with a prescription for pain meds since they don’t work on me anyways (they looked like they wanted to have me committed when I said that, they must be wimps), and then I had to pee. “No way in hell am I using a bed pan if I can help it lady, no I’m not nauseous, just help me sit up so I can walk”. It’s amazing how you can go from fine to puking your guts out in a matter of seconds. But I did manage to walk to the bathroom after. And I puked every time I moved after that for the next few hours.

My mom took me home to live with her for the next week since my hubby was working and I couldn’t take care of my son. I came out of the hospital sliced up and stitched back together, underwear on backwards (mom’s fault), singing a song (slight side effect of the drugs) and pausing to puke every few minutes (it just snuck up out of nowhere), some pain in my chest/ shoulders/ back from the gas that they used to blow my abdomen up like a balloon, and walking like there was a short string from my head to my toes. But I was fine.

So mommyodyssey, that was my long-winded way of saying that we’re all scared, we’re all angry about the shit that has happened to us, and no matter how much I tell you that everything is going to be fine (cause it is) and that this time will turn out like it’s supposed to (cause it will) and that you will wake up (cause no one actually gets do die peacefully in their sleep like we all want to) and the percentage of things going wrong is so low (fuck percentiles, us infertiles hate percentiles)…all this will mean nothing because it’s not a someone else going through it.

I love you and I know that I’ll be hearing from you after your surgery when, just like I did, you will be able to laugh off your morbidity. I’ll be sending out my heathen prayers because if he’s there, he can hear me anyways. You know I won’t be the only one doing so. I know things are shit right now with this, and I wish I could be there with you to hold your hand and let you vent (even if you’re as grumpy and morbid as I got before mine).

Oh, and I managed to keep all my bits. I was lucky there (luckier if we knew why they aren’t really working). And my dermoid didn’t end up with teeth, hair and a thyroid. It was just boring fat and tissue so the dr didn’t bother taking a picture for me.