And as of last Tuesday they are finally gone from my body.
We left baby boy (who we have taken to calling Bug so much that we worry he'll start to think that's his real name) with my mom and drove down to Orange Coast Memorial before the sun was even up. I checked in with admitting, filled out the same paperwork I had filled out multiple times over the summer, for both mine and our son's various stays at Orange Coast's sister hospital Long Beach Memorial, and then we walked over to the main entrance where I checked in again - this time with the surgical receptionist.
After a few minutes of waiting I was taken back into the pre-op area. I changed into a gown, hair net and booties, and the nurses connected me to a monitor to get my vitals. I may have set it off once or twice - prior to this the only time I had had surgery was a tonselectomy when I was five, so I was more than a bit nervous! After the nurses got my vitals and started an IV, my husband was allowed to come back and sit with me while I waited. Thank God for that - I was beginning to get even more nervous with just the fabric curtains for company.
The anesthesiologist stopped by and asked some questions. Then the operating room nurse checked in. Finally my doctor showed up and went over what the procedure would entail one last time. When she asked if I had any questions, I shook my head and said I just wanted to get it over with.
She left to get scrubbed in, and a couple of minutes late the anesthesiologist and the operating room nurse came back.
It was time.
The anesthesiologist injected something into my IV that burned, but the sensation quickly faded. My husband kissed me, and then the OR nurse rolled the gurney back to the operating room. She and the anesthesiologist asked questions about my son and I told them about how well he was doing now. I caught a glimpse of metal tools sitting on a table near the wall when they had me scootch from the gurney on to the operating table.
I had thought I would lay down, they would place an oxygen mask over my face, I would count backwards from ten, and then pass out before I could reach eight. That's what had happened when I had my tonselectomy. Nope. There was no oxygen mask or counting. Instead the world began to tilt and spin as I laid down on the operating table. I remember asking what she had given me, and I remember wanting to make a joke about how it felt like I had had way too many ciders, but my lips wouldn't form the words. All I could do was close my eyes.
I heard the anesthesiologist say something about how she set that up right...
And then the next time I opened my eyes, I was in recovery.
A new nurse was checking my vitals and asked how I was doing. I told her everything hurt. It felt like I had a big gaping hole in my middle. The nurse promised they would get me something for that, and then promptly disappeared. Or maybe she stayed put and I just drifted off again.
The next thing I remember is hearing my husband ask if he could see me. The nurse said he could since I was awake. Which I call shenanigans on. I had to force my eyes open, but it wasn't long before they were closing again. It was so hard to stay awake!
I remember none of this, but supposedly after he was allowed to see me my husband began to ask me questions like if I still loved him, etc - which made the nurses laugh. I guess I just stared at him blankly in response - which made the nurses laugh even more.
Moments later (or at least it felt like moments... It could've been a heck of a lot longer since my sense of time was pretty much shot at this point) it was decided I was stable enough to be moved up to my room. I was hooked up to portable oxygen (which I didn't realize I was on until that point...) and the nurses and orderlies unlocked the bed and began to push me through the halls.
Mind you, I still hadn't had any painkillers at this point, so going over the door jambs between the different hospital sections and into the elevators was lovely.
We got into my room which I would be sharing with another lady. A nurse finally gave me some morphine, they began to check my vitals... And we found out I was being moved again. Apparently they needed the bed for a gentleman who had just gotten out of surgery. Since the only other bed was in postpartum, and only women could be on the postpartum floor, they decided to move me down there.
So we were off again, back down in the elevator, and through the halls until we ended up in a room that was just around the corner from the labor triage room I had been put into back in June.
My husband found this fitting.
I couldn't care less. I just wanted the morphine to kick in - which it did right in the middle of me scooting from one bed into the other.
After we were settled into the new room, and I had called my mom and checked in on the baby (he was fine) and called my dad, my husband and I promptly passed out and slept for a good part of the afternoon. I woke up long enough to say hello to a friend who stopped by to visit, kiss my husband goodbye when he left to pick up our son from my mom, and eat some broth (which was the best broth ever) before passing out again.
The next morning, my Obgyn stopped by to explain what had happened during the surgery. Originally she had intended to make a small incision, pull my uterus out through the incision, and then remove the fibroid. It turned out that the fibroid was too big, and not located where my MRI from January had said it was. Instead of being outside of the uterus, it was on the inside. As a result, my incision was far longer than she had planned, and they had had to use retractors to hold my skin and muscles back.
That explained why I was in so much pain.
Come to find out, the fibroid, which had started out at 10cms, and grown to 16cms during my pregnancy, was 18cms by 16cms when they removed it. It was also over 5 pounds.
I have a picture of it. It's all fleshy and icky looking and kinda kidney bean shaped.
My Obgyn told me, yet again, between the fibroid and my low progesterone levels, she had no idea how I had gotten pregnant, nor how I hadn't miscarried. Granted the fibroid was a lot smaller at the beginning of the pregnancy, but, even so, she still didn't understand how we hadn't had more issues.
Since the fibroid was so big, she was worried that it might be cancerous, but so far everything has come back normal. The fibroid was dying though, so it wouldn't have been long before I started to get an infection because of it.
Thankfully my uterus is in really great shape, so she doesn't think we should have any problems conceiving when we try to have another baby. However, because there is a risk of more fibroids showing up (which, considering my family history, is very possible) she doesn't want us to wait too long. She suggested we give it a year and then start to try, and reminded me that when I do get pregnant again, I'll have to have the progesterone shots (they know the fibroid was the issue behind my preterm labor now, but they figure better safe than sorry) and that I'll have to have a c-section at 37 weeks.
I'll be honest, for a couple of days after the surgery I didn't think I could do a c-section. Everything just hurt so much. But a c-section is a smaller incision compared to the bikini cut I'm sporting right now, also baby boy will be older, and our future child will be smaller than what he currently weighs, so it'll be easier.
Also Percocet can be taken every four hours and it is ten times better than Vicodin. Prescription strength Motrin is nothing to sneeze at either.