What? Wait. How?
It was 3pm, Friday, May 26, 2006. A date and time that will forever be etched in my mind. What many people don’t know about me is since my late teens I have suffered from severe PCOS and endometriosis that resulted in quite a few surgeries at a young age, and this year I was scheduled for another operation a few days later on the 30th. Let me rewind a second. I had just moved by myself to California, and was 3 weeks shy of being eligible for medical insurance with my new job. Falling ill was the last thing I needed. Needless to say, I pushed through and chalked it up to a pulled muscle in my back where I felt majority of the pain. But the pain was unlike anything I had ever felt. I could barely walk. Turns out I was 25 years old and 5 cysts averaging 10 cm each began to rupture and slowly leak which caused me to be rushed into surgery.
That Monday, I crawled into work and my boss (God bless this woman,) sent me home immediately after telling me that I was a cross between gray and green. After a few hours, I drove myself to the ER as I naively figured they’d give me a shot of something, and I’d be on my way. Man, was I wrong. So wrong.
The doctor on call explained my diagnosis and told me I was to have emergency surgery. New to the area, I had no family, a few roommates with their own lives, and my boss who stayed with me as much as possible. I remember they gave me something to relax before the operation, and as they were wheeling me into the OR, she was in my face saying, “Nicole, you realize you are signing a paper saying they can take your ovaries and fallopian tubes? You might not be able to have kids.” In a haze, I remember thinking, “I’m 25, not in a serious relationship, and nowhere near close to even thinking about kids. I just want the pain to stop.” I signed the papers.
After a 6.5 hour surgery that was only supposed to take 2, and a scar from hip-to-hip, the surgeon was able to save my fallopian tubes, but had to remove most of my ovaries leaving only tiny pieces of both “with hopes.” I remember being told, that the chances of me ever getting pregnant naturally was slim to none, but that with assistance, I would be able to conceive and have a relatively normal pregnancy. Shortly thereafter I met and began dating my future husband, and we married 4 years later.
Time passed and a few years into our marriage, we felt it was time to start “thinking” about having a family. So I booked a March appointment for my annual check-up, and told my OBGYN that we would like to begin the process of trying to have a baby the following year. Concerned about years upon years of scar tissue buildup, she felt the next best step was exploratory surgery later that May. This would give my body time to heal from the tissue removal, and the specialists would know exactly what they were up against.
Then the call came Friday afternoon that would forever change my life.
Five days before the surgery the nurse called me called me on my last day of work before medical leave at 3pm to tell me those two little words that would alter our lives forever, “We had to cancel your surgery. Your pre-op blood work came back and you’re pregnant.”
Just typing that last sentence still to this day blows my mind. You see, I’m a planner. This was NOT part of my grand plan. This was so out of left field that the rest of my pregnancy I was secretly waiting for the bottom to drop — this was too good to be true. With my track record, the light at the end of the tunnel looked much more like an oncoming train coming for me with pain, sadness, and disappointment. This could not possibly end well. I was terrified to celebrate this tiny miracle.
The rest of the conversation with the nurse sounded something like Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…this is a very early pregnancy so we need to do more testing to see its viable, and not an ectopic pregnancy.” “OK, thank you.” Was all I could muster. I was in an immediate state of shock. The pregnancy was detected so early on in my blood work that I had not even missed my period yet. I had NO clue I was pregnant. None. Zilch. Nada. Zip. The initial pregnancy symptoms felt so much like my typical PMS, that I chalked up to “being another rough one.”
I was seated at my desk jaw dropped for what felt like an eternity. This is not something I can tell my husband over the phone, and HOW am I going to explain this to my scary boss lady who frightened the bejesus out of me by constantly telling me, “You better not be pregnant!” in this weird passive aggressive manner that was so intimidating. Then the phone rang:
J: “Hey, I don’t feel like playing golf tonight. Do you mind if I use you as an excuse? I’ll just come home and we can grab take-out.”
Me: “Yes, sure, of course, that sounds great. Come home. That’s fine. I’ll see you tonight.”
Nine months later JetSetKid was born. And, well, you know the rest…
You are not alone.
I’m sharing this story for two reasons. While I ended up having what many would consider a “miracle” child, I’m not so sure how things would have played out if we had tried for Baby #2. For some reason I don’t think if we planned this, it would have gone as smoothly and I would have had to seek other avenues for conceiving. Also, I have so many dear, dear, friends that are going through or have gone through infertility and secondary infertility that I feel as though we need to share as much knowledge and support as possible. And that’s why this month I partnered with The Stork OTC conception aid found at Target.
What is Cervical Cap Insemination?
“The technique of cervical cap insemination is considered a less invasive method of aiding conception with a limited number of risks. Current assisted reproductive treatment options are often costly, invasive procedures with average success rates comparable to the success rates of cervical cap insemination. The Stork OTC is committed to providing an affordable treatment option, accessible to all couples that are trying to get pregnant, for use in the privacy and comfort of home.”
This is a sponsored conversation by The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.