December 2022…what a year this has been.
January started off with us still being hopeful and even buying a few baby clothes in the sale…we had started trying as per the advice from the sonographer. It was also the month that I turned 30! I didn’t have a birthday party or any celebrations apart from a meal with Steve and my parents, but I was surprised with a trip to Dubai for February.
February meant I was off to Dubai, and I was beyond excited! It was cold in the UK, and I was desperate for some sun and heat. The trip was absolutely amazing and I’m sure I’ll write a blog post in the coming weeks about Dubai and my experiences there.
March is when things started to crash around me. It was time to go back to London to speak to the gynaecology department with an update on the MRI that I’d had back in November 2021. I wish I could say the news was good…In short, we were told to immediately stop trying and that I’d be booked in for an operation as soon as possible. It would be another major operation and it carried more risks than the first time. But it was the only option aside from a hysterectomy. So, after a LOT of back and forth…we decided to go through with the operation. The rest of that day was spent walking around London feeling completely numb with shock. Crying in the British Museum, in P.F Chang’s, in the Lego store, etc. I also had a Vitamin D check done and it turns out, I am way too low on Vitamin D… not uncommon here in the UK…
April was a blur apart from the trip to the Netherlands for the tulips (which did not disappoint!) and to see family.
May was a trip to Vienna and Budapest with friends which was exactly what I needed! The perfect distraction from reality! I cannot recommend these places enough if you are looking for somewhere to travel to in Europe!
June was the month that I got the call with an operation date in the middle of Waitrose. 6th of July…just a couple weeks away…Mum whisked me away to Budapest for a couple days to take my mind off it all and to soak up more sun before I’d be on bed rest. The rest of the month just flew by and before I knew it, July was here.
July couldn’t have started any better for me though…Steve proposed!!!! I am now officially a fiancée! 1st of July will forever now be a special day for me. Those last few days before the operation flew by in excitement with wedding planning!
That excitement quickly moved to dread and fear on the night of the 5th. Tears wouldn’t stop flowing and I was ready to call the hospital and cancel it all. After a very restless and sleepless night…off Steve, dad and I went to London. They dropped me off and weren’t allowed to come up with me. I was escorted up to the pre op room where I had bloods drawn, many questions asked and forms to fill in. The one I hated the most was the one where I had to sign that I understood that I had a higher risk of death during this operation. I was all alone…crying my eyes out…hyperventilating. The nurses, doctors and anaesthesiologists tried their hardest to comfort me. Steve, mum and dad were texting me encouragement too, but I have never felt so alone and so scared. Here I was…having just turned 30…just gotten engaged with so much to live for and not knowing if I would come out the other end. Time stood still whilst I was in that room…I saw others come and go for their operations and mine never seemed to get closer. Eventually it was time.
The past few times I’ve been in hospital for operations, I’ve been taken to the room just before the operating theatre where I’ve been put under. Not this time…this time I was walked into the operating theatre. I was sat down on the operating table, and it was time for my epidural. It did not go smoothly…she was struggling to get into my lower back and suddenly nausea hit! I almost passed out and suddenly got so hot! The whole team stopped and cooled me down and calmed me down. They were honestly so amazing, and it calmed me down. The surgeons didn’t look nervous…so surely, I shouldn’t feel nervous. The second try of the epidural, she went a little higher and got it in one. What a weird feeling!! Being asked to move your limbs but not being able to at all! Before I knew it though, I was out like a light.
When I woke up, I was surprisingly ok…no pain…no nausea…had they actually operated?? Until I tried to move myself in the bed…the searing pain from my abdomen told me they had. The surgeon came to talk to me and reassured me that it went seamlessly. I lost a lot of blood, but they were able to get almost all the fibroids. I still had a womb, but I would probably need 3 or so smaller operations to remove the last few that were on the inside lining. The news had me crying for joy…I was alive…I still had a womb! The operation took a long time…close to 5 hours and I had 1.2kg of fibroids removed.
I’ll skip over my experience in the hospital as it wasn’t pleasant…recovering from a midline incision (belly button down) is not easy. But I learnt that I have really bad reactions to opioids and to anti-nausea medication. I managed to go home on Sunday the 10th where the real recovery started. I had been very sick and hadn’t eaten much over the last week. But eventually that started to fade, and my appetite started coming back. What I hadn’t mentioned yet was that as I came home, the UK had a heatwave. So here I was…recovering from a major operation…and it was close to 40 degrees Celsius almost every day. Our flat felt like an oven…and I couldn’t escape it. I would try and sit in our home office as long as I could, as that’s where we have an aircon unit, but sleeping was a challenge.
Fast forward to September and I finally have my follow up with the gynaecologist department and my surgeon…the news couldn’t have been better…yes, I still had fibroids, but they were extremely small, and I wouldn’t need any more operations…they would do an MRI to confirm this, but they were very optimistic. We were also given the green light to start trying from end of October and no time limit.
We know that I will need a hysterectomy at some point and the fibroids will be back…but for now…we are super optimistic…Recovery is slow, and I am still only 5 months into the 6-month recovery till I am mostly ‘back to normal’ but the difference in my life quality is insane.
The journey isn’t finished yet, but I am hoping that the next part might have more uplifting news…for now…if you have any pain or heavy periods…please go get checked for fibroids…the earlier you catch them…the easier they are to treat! All it takes is a quick ultrasound and its completely painless! I wish I had listened to Steve earlier and gotten checked much sooner.
But right now, I am mostly fibroid free and free to live my life again and to hopefully try and become a mum!
Fingers crossed 2023 is the year we’re able to get pregnant and have as safe a pregnancy as we can!