A royal birth

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 29th is a special day. And it's not because I give a crap about the royal wedding--cuz I don't. But it's the day our baby is scheduled to be born. As I mentioned previously, this month has been pretty heavy with meaning and thought, from reflection on the third anniversary of my mastectomy to the question of when to have this baby, given the literal confines of my reconstructed body. Lots of hoping for the best, but realistically, it also means fearing the worst. I can't help it. I'm not one of those people that can turn a blind eye of denial to my fears. One example is that in preparing the house and our lives for a new baby, I have also factored in the possibility of losing her. It has only been one year and one week since we lost our son, Veo, to birth defects. So when I began unpacking all the new baby stuff we got, I didn't take some of the stuff out of the original packaging, or if I did, I collapsed the boxes and kept them safely in a pile in case I'd need to return the stuff to the store. Luckily, a friend of ours also gave us a ton of baby stuff, so if we don't end up using it, we can return it to her or donate it. But I just can't give the stuff a place, or count on having to use anything, just yet. I'm too scared to be that confident.

On Tuesday, when we found out the date scheduled for surgery, we were also told that what everyone had been planning all these months might not happen. When we found out we were having a baby, we began having appointments with both the OB and the plastic surgeon who has been involved with my case for over three years. The two of them were eager and happy to team up for this delivery, especially since it has never been done before. My plastic surgeon said she was especially excited because more and more of her breast cancer patients are young woman, who still want to and are capable of having kids post-cancer, and she wanted to see this experience through so she could tell them what to expect if they wanted to carry a pregnancy even if they've had a Tram-flap reconstruction. So the two doctors watched me grow and documented how my body has responded to the pregnancy over the past 35 weeks.

The last week and a half has been a rush to schedule a mutual day when the two doctors could do the surgery asap because my body is in quick deterioration from the strain of the baby's weight on my abdomen. But of course, it's not just about their schedules. They also have to find a time when the operating room is available. Their receptionists have been talking to one another; the docs have been talking to one another. On Tuesday, at our appointment with our OB, she nonchalantly told us that our plastic surgeon might not be able to make it at all. We were in shock. And no alternative was discussed. So the past few days, we've been tortured by waiting and unknowing. It feels to me like those horrible days when I'd wait and wait to hear word about when I was going to start chemo, or when I'd wait after getting some sort of blood test or scan done to tell me if my cancer metastasized. I emailed the surgeon's coordinator to see if I could get info from her. But nothing. I emailed her again to follow up, but all she said is that she hasn't been able to talk to the doc about it, and she hopes I have a nice long weekend. Then I thought, fuck, it's a long weekend! Everyone is off til fucking Tuesday! Does she really think I'm gonna have a nice long weekend when I'm worried out of my goddamn mind? I see the OB on Tuesday anyway, and then it's just three more days til the surgery.

I'm starting the process of accepting that things aren't going to go as planned, or at least I'm trying to accept that. I have to hope for the best, but now, even more so, I'm fearing the worst.

However, my body has been through so much, and despite all that, I'm still able to walk and mostly function as if nothing ever happened. There is something to be said about that. So things don't always go my way, so what? It's silly of me to expect that they would go my way, after all that has happened.

What do I dream of? Having a healthy baby girl, and having the strength to make it through the surgery and recovery process. What am I grateful for? My two happy, healthy, beautiful children...my endlessly loving, patient, handsome soulmate husband...my friends and family...and the fact that I can still laugh, even though I cry sometimes too. I guess my gratitude ends up trumping my fears. I don't regret how I've spent my time. And if I end up having more time to spend, I will cherish it all the more.

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