Well, I’m seventy eight days pregnant ya’ll. I’ve been waiting and waiting to give a surgery update….but the funny thing is, I didn’t have my reconstructive surgery! It was quite an eventful day…
My mom and Tyler’s mom were both in town. My last and final surgery was finally here! finally. I was going to be able to fit into my clothes again, sleep on my stomach again, and maybe feel more like a girl again! It was like Christmas freaking morning. We get to the hospital at 7am… We’re all seasoned veterans at this point. Checking in is exciting and no longer stressful.. we waited with anticipation instead of nervousness. This was such a different experience than the first! Woo!
Tyler and I go back to where they prep me with my iv and talk us through the procedure. I leave the moms and Alli in the family room, only to be able to have them send me off in a few minutes. Tyler’s taking photos to document my LAST surgery… the one that will leave me permanent and pain free. They draw blood and make me pee in a cup like usual…. and then we waited longer… which was not usual. We waited and waited, and waited some more. Then we realized something was wrong. The nurse is MIA and they haven’t brought my family back yet….. what’s going on?
Did they find cancer in the 2% of tissue I had left??
Are they going to delay this another month??
Do my scars show red flags??
I’m thinking the worst. Tyler’s no longer taking photos… he’s just holding my hand. Finally my plastic surgeon comes in….
My Brain: what… why are you here? I haven’t seen my family yet, you’re here too early..
Doctor H: Connie we make everyone take a pregnancy test before they go under general anesthesia..
My Brain: Uh huh.. cool
Doctor H: Your test came back positive today
My Brain: Notttttt possible
Doctor H: Sometimes these are negative, do you want us to check again?
My Head: *shakes yes
Thus began the longest 25 minutes of our life. Tyler is telling me it’s going to be okay, I’m choking back tears of confusion, the nurses are coming in congratulating me. Tyler’s tryinggg to comfort me by saying we don’t know for sure yet. I know, I know. It’s awful to need comfort at the thought of a baby… but I just wanted a little bit of time! Just a little!
This is nuts! I just chopped my boobs off and now we’re going to have a baby? This makes nooooo sense. They tested this four days ago at my pre-op, did they make a mistake?? My chest hurts so bad… how am I going to carry around a big belly and a rock hard painful chest for 9 months?? Well, okay.
Dr. H pulls back the curtain with a crowd of smiling nurses following behind him. He tells us that he can’t operate because we are definitely pregnant. The tears start falling from my face while the biggest smile creeps onto Tyler’s. I wish someone was filming this moment because it probably looked crazy. I’m crying because I’m in pain… and I wanted to feel like myself again… I wanted to dance they way my body wants to dance. I was just so confused about what this meant for my body and for this baby. AND MY MIND!
Finally, the good news comes and Dr. H tells me he can take some of the saline out of my expanders to make me more comfortable. He encouraged me with the fact that people who go through chemotherapy and radiation often have to keep tissue expanders in for years before they can finish their reconstruction. He was so excited for us and told us again and again how amazing this whole situation was. The nurses went and got our posse and we then proceeded to tell them surgery was cancelled because we were pregnant. We faced the faces of confusion, joy and worry. Obviously my mom wanted to know what this meant about my mastectomy journey, Tyler’s mom accused us of joking around, and my best friend waited for me to give the punch line… but all I could do was stare back at them and wait. It clicked. They had been so worried because of the delay, everyone was just in such shock!! Tyler said it best…
"We’re in a little bit of a shock because one awesome season is starting before this other really hard one has come to completion."
I changed out of the hospital gown… told the nurses I’d see them in 10 months… and went home. Everyone was texting and calling to make sure surgery went okay. I lied to people left and right as to why it got rescheduled. What was I supposed to say?! “Hi I’m only 4 weeks pregnant and I just found out and now I have to tell everyone??” We told a few friends and family and of course had to convince them we weren’t lying!
Weeks have passed and we are over the moon excited about Baby Bates entering the world. Walking through pregnancy with tissue expanders is no joke, but this is our story. Two months married, double mastectomy, seven months married… find out we’re going to be parents. What a story it is and I’m so grateful for all of you who have supported us and celebrated us in these months! We love you deep.