Firstly I want to say thank you for this web site. I feel less alone and perhaps I am finding a newfound appreciation for my body.
This is a long story. In 2002 I got married. I had a fairy-tale wedding. It was everything I dreamed of and more.
One month after my wedding I attended a routine Pap test appointment. My doctor suspected Fibroids and so sent me for an Ultrasound. I was diagnosed with bilateral Dermoid Ovarian Cysts. The cysts were 5 on my right ovary and 4 on my left and growing. I was told to have surgery as soon as possible as they could burst and the contents of the cysts were quite caustic.
I researched and found a Surgeon who would remove via keyhole surgery through my belly button. Surgery was undertaken on 03/03/03. I was nervous but thankful they had been diagnosed whilst I might still have some ovarian tissue left to salvage.
I was admitted at 6am, the surgery was meant to take 1 hour. I woke up three hours later in the most incredible pain. The surgeon had grazed my artery during the procedure and I had been sliced open and my keyhole surgery resulted in a 10 scar, which ran through what was my bellybutton. This needed to be done to save my life. He had seconds to open me up and so the cosmetic appearance of the cut he would make was irrelevant. On waking I was informed of what had happened and the doctor informed me how I had ruined his statistics of no complications. Not the best bedside manner!
When my husband visited me (my only family where I live now all my family are overseas), I lifted my gown to show him the mess and he passed out. He is very squeamish. He was admitted to Accident & Emergency with memory loss. I received a phone call from his Neurological Doctor stating he didnt remember getting married. So I was left alone worrying whether my husband would regain his memory and looking at my newly butchered body. Some 8 hours later he returned to visit me with his memory mostly restored. It was a very lonely wait.
The scar was a constant reminder of how close I was to loosing my life. Instead of being thankful for being saved I couldnt recover easily from the experience. I lamented how I would never wear a bikini again and of course I no longer felt attractive to my husband. This impacted on our marriage greatly for a long time. I decided to have plastic surgery to straighten the scar. This resulted in a slightly neater but 2 longer scar in length. It didnt change my feelings about how I looked I still felt very unattractive.
In 2005 we decided to try for a baby. I researched and came up with a quick plan to conceive. Thinking it might take many months due to my age (35) and scarred ovaries I was quite aggressive with my plan. I fell pregnant the first cycle and the first time we tried. Ten days later I knew I was pregnant. I was very thankful and of course incredibly surprised.
I had an uneventful pregnancy. I worked in Panama and was informed by the OB we were expecting a boy and all was well. I returned home to Australia and at my 20-week scan my boy was actually a girl. We were amazed and it did take a little getting used to.
I had nausea initially but found if I ate constantly I would never throw up. Eat I did and piled on 55 pounds. My husband was overseas for the last 2 months of my pregnancy. I was lonely and I ate for comfort. Now I was overweight and scarred.
Ten days overdue I went into labour. 48 hours of trying resulted in a failure to progress and I was told I had to have a c-section. More battle scars. Our baby was born 8 pounds 8 oz and all was well. She latched straight on to my breast.
Six days later I still had no colostrom and no sign of breast milk. I went home and pumped my breasts due to cracked and bleeding nipples in an attempt to bring my milk in. Six times a day for weeks and the most I would get would be 4 teaspoons for a whole day tied intermittently to the pump. I never did find out why I never engorged but I felt a failure. It hurt so much not to birth my baby and to never feed her. People asked for days whether my milk had come in and were always quick to offer advice. When my daughter was 6 weeks old I decided to give up the pumping it made me unhappy and I couldnt enjoy the time with my baby. It was the best decision for us both. She has thrived on formula and my husband has bonded during his time
Here are some photos 6 weeks post-partum. I am still carrying a good 20 pounds extra or more and of course a pooch, which you cant see as it is way down, and hangs over my new c-section scar. My weight gain is mainly on my hips, butt and thighs.
I am determined to regain my former figure but in the meantime I should love my body for all its failings. We have a beautiful daughter who is healthy and happy.