Annie was born on a Tuesday and I came home that Thursday. Looking back I wish I would have stayed longer. Due to the nature of my emergency c-section my recovery was rough. It would have been wise of me to stay in the hospital as long as they would keep me but I was antsy to get home.
The first few days at home were rough in regards to my recovery but everything else was going well. My inlaws had stayed with Eli while we are in the hospital and my MIL cleaned our house and got Annie's room put together, it was such a relief. Then when we got home my mom stayed with us and helped SO much. I couldn't have done it without her. I had lots of friends visit those first few days and people dropping off meals. I was feeling great and didn't feel any symptoms of PPD that I dealt with after Eli was born.
Then Tuesday came. One week after Annie was born I revived a call from the doctor who preformed my c-section. He asked how I was feeling and I thought it was super sweet that he was making a call to check on me.
After I told him I was doing ok he said "that is so good to hear, I'm calling you because I need to tell you something but I don't want to alarm you".
I don't know about you but if someone says "I don't want to alarm you" the first thing I do is BECOME ALARMED.
The doctor then went on to explain that they had found a tumor on my colon during my c section and he had sent it off to be checked and while it was benign they needed me to meet with an oncologist to discuss it further.
Honestly, I don't remember him actually saying it was benign during that call, all I heard was the word tumor and I pretty much hit a wall after that. Tumor and meet with an oncologist were all I heard and I was scared.
I tried to relay the information to my mom and Luke but I couldn't remember everything the doctor had said. So we called him back and put him on speaker and he explained it all again, and this time we clearly heard the word "benign". But he also stressed that there were still some concerns and the oncologist would talk to me about it.
My appointment with the oncologist was set for the next Tuesday, two weeks to the day of giving birth.
The week that occurred between receiving that call and meeting with the oncologist was one of the strangest weeks of my life. I specifically knew that I had a tumor, it was removed and was benign, yet there was still some concern, however I had no idea what the concern was. So for a week I was full of questions. Questions and worry.
I would go back and forth between feeling complete peace and then times of worried sick. What if something was wrong with me? And all the questions that followed after that.
It seems almost a bit silly in retrospect, knowing now that I'm ok and not sick,
However for that week I saw life differently.
Common everyday tasks of life now felt irreplaceable. I cherished every moment. Normally I rush through Eli's bedtime trying to get downstairs to crack open my can of coke and enjoy a show before bed. But for that week I took in every moment. Reading stories at bed, watching my husband play with our son, Thankful for them, thankful that I was alive and able to experience times like that. Realizing how fleeting life really is.
Every moment felt like a gift rather than another check mark on the tasks of the day.
I was seeing life through different glasses. We aren't promised tomorrow, I know this but don't always live this.
Everyday annoyances didn't seem like a big deal anymore. My sudden onset of hair turning grey didn't seem like a big deal anymore. The daunting thought of trying to lose the baby weight didn't even matter, who cares if I have some extra weight? I'm alive and loving on my babies, that's all I care about.
Two weeks after giving birth I found myself in another doctors office but this time it was an oncologist. She was very nice and asked me a lot of questions. She answered all my questions I had in the last week when she explained that they were concerned because the tumor had shown cancer "characteristics" so they had to be extra precautionary. Something I was thankful for.
A week later I had a body scan which came back completely clear. Everything was ok. My life was back to normal.
But that isn't the case for so many others and because of this situation I am more aware of how life changing one phone call can be. I have spent so many moments the past five weeks praying for people who were in this situation and didn't have such a positive outcome.
Once we got my "all clear" I knew I probably wouldn't see life through my rose colored glasses anymore, but I told Luke I wanted to hold onto some of it. I don't want to go through life somber because life could end at any moment, but I do want to go through life appreciating everything, not worrying about so many things I can't control.
In fact this whole situation reaffirms even more how in control God truly is. I was so bummed that I was going to have to have a c-section, however without my c-section the doctor never would have seen the tumor and removed it. Incredible. He is in every detail.
Prior to giving birth I was very adamant that I wouldn't be getting in any of Annie's newborn pictures. My hair was in desperate need of a cut and color, I felt like my grey hairs were out of control, plus I would be rocking that lovely new mom puffiness. There was no way I would let myself be photographed.
My opinion changed completely in the span of a week. Why did I find this earthy things so important? Who cares if my hair has split ends and grey hairs? It means I'm getting older and enjoying life. That extra body weight? It means I carried my baby in my body and was able to gain weight to support her life.
I decided I wasn't going to let insignificant worries stop me anymore. And so I allowed myself to be photographed the week after I gave birth. It wasn't a big deal, I just simply decided I didn't want to be controlled by small worries of life. There are too many other important things going on.
Obviously now I'm so thankful that I had a c-section, and also thankful for diligent doctors. It was a crazy time right after Annie was born, but I feel like I learned a lot during that time, and learned to truly appreciate this life.