I started this blog out of my pure gratitude due to becoming a mother. It almost did not happen. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wake up feeling eternally grateful for the gift I have been given. My fairy tale dream come true might not have been realized if not for the rare surgery I had while pregnant that saved my baby’s life.
My surgery may be rare, but I know that I am not alone in battling infertility or my possession of a strong desire to become a mother. I am not a doctor or a fertility expert by any stretch of the imagination. My hope is that I can offer a few tips that may help other hopeful parents-to-be.
Three Little Words
It all began with three little words. You have cancer. My husband and I had been trying to conceive on and off for years. We sought the advice of fertility specialists who informed me that getting pregnant would be extremely difficult due to a laundry list of issues.
I was not ovulating regularly. My body produces an excess of estrogen (which acts like natural birth control.) I had problems with excessive bleeding. There were cysts on my ovaries. I did not have many viable eggs left. And on, and on, and on…
It would have cost tens of thousands of dollars to even attempt to pursue fertility treatments and so my husband and I decided to put baby making on the back burner. I cannot recall what it was that renewed our desire for parenthood. Maybe it was just how much we love each other or maybe we saw a particularly cute baby while out walking our dog.
I decided to make an appointment with my long-time obstetrician/gynecologist a few months earlier than annual exam was scheduled. We wanted to find out what our options really were.
Tip #1: Find a doctor that you would trust with your life
I trust my doctor more than words can describe. She is professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate. Most importantly, she has always made me feel safe. After performing my annual exam, there were indications that I had abnormal cells in my cervix, endocervix, and uterus. Upon further tests and a biopsy, the results were in. I had advanced cervical cancer.
Tip #2: NEVER skip your annual exam
It is now recommended that women ages 21-65 should get a pap smear every three years. However, it is also recommended that you still visit your gynecologist to yearly for your annual pelvic exam. If you feel that something is a little “off”, do not be afraid to schedule your exam sooner, as I did! Trust your instincts and your body. These exams are about the least amount of fun one can imagine, but always make your health a priority. You will thank yourself later.