It’s Monday and the doctor who conducted the surgery for my ectopic pregnancy is back. He calls Richard and me into his office, and we settle into the chairs across from him like a couple of regulars. In my hand is the print out of my surgery photos – not for the faint of heart. It shows everything: my ovaries, my uterus, and there in the center of one the photos is a large grey glob being pulled out of my right fallopian tube with a pair of extra large tweezers.
I spent much of this morning examining the photos and Richard has already briefed me on everything the doctor said after my surgery on Saturday. I’m anxious to hear everything he has to tell us so when he starts by saying that the surgery was “very interesting,” I move to the edge of my seat.
“During the laparoscopic surgery I found stage one endometriosis, one cyst and two myomas,” the doctor says with compassion. He rotates his computer screen so we can see the surgery pictures in high resolution. “The surgery went great,” he proudly announces. “I removed the endometriosis, the cycst and one myoma. The other myoma was attached to the outside of your uterine wall, which I can not touch during pregnancy due to the high risk of bleeding.”
He brings my attention to the pictures on his screen again by pointing out my fallopian tube prior to surgery. The tube is stretched so thin by the mass growing underneath that it’s transparent. The grey color shines through providing a stark contrast to the deep pink color the rest of the fallopian tube has. “We did the surgery just in time,” he says matter-of-factly. Although, I have no idea how much pressure a fallopian tube can hold, the picture creates an eerily convincing case by itself. Lastly, he points out the empty fallopian tube and the stitches. “It’s still so stretched out,” I remark. He reassures me that it will shrink back to its normal size. The stitches will dissolve on their own.
Now comes the interesting part. He turns to us and begins to talk about our desire to have children. Somehow, he knows that despite this dramatic experience we are not deterred. Or shall I say: I’m not deterred. Richard is still so shaken that his enthusiasm to try again is noticeably absent. The doctor explains that we do have an increased risk of another ectopic pregnancy. He goes on to recommend that we continue trying again as soon as the waiting period is over since the endometriosis may come back and the most likely time to get pregnant is directly after the removal of endometriosis.
Wait a minute. “Waiting period?” I blurt out, surprised. Obviously, I have not given this one ounce of thought because had I thought about it, I would know that my body needs time to recover and at a minimum my tube needs to heal. How is a fertilized egg going to make the trip through a tunnel under construction?
“Three months,” the doctor says sternly. It seems like an eternity. Three months of lost time. “Why so long?” I plead. He explains all the medical details of how my body needs this time to get back into equilibrium and heal. The look on my face must have revealed my disappointment because he said, “Well, the third month is mostly for the emotional aspect.” “So, two months,” I say completely oblivious to the feelings I’m harboring and have yet to deal with. I suddenly realize that I am trying to negotiate the waiting period: totally ridiculous but I stick with the two month reply. It still sounds long but much better than three months.
For the next hour the doctor continues to answer our questions and provide emotional support and guidance. I feel lucky that we ended up in such good hands. Lucky is not something I thought I would be feeling after this surgery. But at this moment I feel lucky and decide to savor it.
The only follow-up I need to do is to have my HCG value checked weekly to make sure that it goes back down to zero. Then I’ll need to see my OBGYN for a post-op check up.
As Richard and I walk out of the doctor’s office and head back to my room, I ride an emotional rollercoaster. My feelings are so mixed. I’m sad thinking about what could have been had the egg traveled just a little further. I’m happy my endometriosis has been removed. I’m frustrated the doctor could not remove the second myoma on my uterine wall. I’m thankful I could keep my tube. I’m scared that my tube may not heal properly. I sigh and bring my attention back to my loving husband walking next to me. Holding is hand right now is helping me heal already.
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