July 14, 2014

Found a Little Help From My Friends… Emerging From Darkness

I had the MOHS surgery Monday to remove the basal cell carcinoma, and they were able to get it all. While I felt extremely thankful, I also had a rainbow full of emotions. I went into the surgery Monday in good spirits, but also very nervous for obvious reasons- safety of my baby, worried they wouldn't get it all, and yes, the vain part of me worried about my appearance. The procedure took nearly two hours, which when you are wide awake and your face is getting cut, is a long freaking time to think. Too long. I was very thankful for the doctor and nurse. They truly did their very best to make me as comfortable as possible, even going as far as to get me a bottle of water with a little straw for me to have during the procedure (and the nurse fed it to me). I was left with 17 stitches between my nose and eye. The nurse asked if I wanted to look at it before she put on the pressure dressing, and I said I didn't, but after a few minutes of encouragement, changed my mind. The sight in the mirror was something I was not prepared for. I had looked at pictures of the surgery online, and thought I knew what to expect, but when it's you, it becomes much more real and shocking. I fought back tears, sucked it up, and left. Summary- the right side of my face looked like I had been beat with a baseball bat- bruising, swelling, and the stitches. The plastic surgeon warned me that I would have pain in a few hours once the anesthetic wore off. He also told me that the tylenol I was allowed to take really wouldn't do anything, that I'd likely have more luck just trying to sleep it out and using an ice pack. He encouraged the ice pack to reduce the swelling, too. I did what he said, slept it out, applied the ice, and rested.

The next morning, we had our 30.5 week appointment. Good news- Baby Savannah is back measuring to her due date, and I had gained 5 lbs; she weighs over 3 lbs. Bad news- Baby Savannah is breech. Breech baby= c-section. True, there is still time for her to turn. The doctor suggested a website that has a lot of exercises and tricks that are supposed to possibly help the baby to turn. I have been doing all of those except the pool ones, which I will start as soon as I get my stitches out tomorrow. We left the doctor's office, and I felt something that I hadn't felt in a long time, probably years- DEPRESSED. I really let self-pity take hold. It just seemed that I was within weeks of having my dream baby in my arms, but that things kept trying to get in the way. And with these things, an incredible amount of fear crept in.

Something I blogged about a long time ago is that I sometimes have a reoccurring fear that something really bad is about to happen to me. After my divorce, when Keith I started dating, I constantly feared that something was about to go terribly wrong. I had the same reoccurring fear right before my wedding, and now that Baby Savannah is about to be born, I started feeling the same way. And then there's the ugliest of all ugly that creeps into my head- JEALOUSY. When things go wrong do you ever feel like everyone else has it so easy? That everyone else is just so… perfect? I struggled with this one, too, after my divorce. Literally ALL of my friends were happily married on their way to the perfect family (or so it seemed). This time I felt discouragement and jealousy because of the things I wanted (or didn't want). My face was a train wreck and 2 out of 5 people with skin cancer get it again. (So this is likely not the end.) I want nothing more than to have a natural delivery and a healthy baby, but she won't turn around. <Insert constant fear that she's not okay and something is wrong with her.> And two of my grandparents died and I didn't get to go to either of their funerals. Anger. Frustration. Depression.

The way I usually deal with my bad feelings is through running. Well, that has really taking a turn down Suck Lane, too. Not to mention the couple of days I couldn't run at all due to my face being busted. I really hate the treadmill, but sadly, that's the only way I can run some mileage without stopping. Anytime I run outside, it's a run/walk due to it being Africa-hot and humid out there. My mileage is majorly in the toilet, maybe 30-35 miles a week? It sounds really stupid to say this, but honestly, that's the best I can do right now. <Insert frowny face>

Wednesday came, and my face started to look much better. And I was allowed to run again (I love endorphins). The swelling went down and most of the bruising faded. I started to examine my crappy attitude. Through the examination of this crappy attitude, I came to a few conclusions.

Every sad/depressing/maddening situation I have faced in my life has always rebounded with something better than I could have ever dreamed of, but it just took time. Example: my horrid ridiculous cheating ex-husband and divorce (train wreck nightmare life) rebounded with a GREAT change in location, new job, and eventually a husband that makes me 10000X of happy.

Smaller things, like running- big ol' achilles injury with two months of crappy running, followed by two months of NO running rebounded with PRs in almost every distance.

Overall sadness my parents have faced the past few years as a result of my dad's accident and brain injury rebounded with 1000x of happiness in their future grand baby. I have never seen my parents this excited.

So… I can only hope and pray that all these things I'm facing will lead me to a healthy baby girl. THAT is the main goal. 17 face stitches, skin cancer, possible c-section, loss of grandparents, sucky running… NONE of those things will ever mean as much to me as being a mom. I just need to keep my eye on the prize and keep praying for Savannah to be healthy.

By Friday, I also came to a conclusion about friendship. I fear that I sometimes am a "taker" in relationships. Meaning, I require more maintenance than the other person. Meaning, I am always taking "help" (advice, care, etc) and not giving much in return. I've felt this way in the past and have tried to work hard at NOT being that person. When things are going badly, it becomes obvious quickly who is there for you, who understands, and who isn't. Once I had that realization, I was able to reflect on myself and ask if I am a good friend to that person and question how much the friendship means to me. Frankly, since I'm well into my 30s I don't care about how many friends I have, but I do care about valuable and meaningful relationships. My college friends reinforced that this weekend. I've known these girls for 17 years. We are thick in and out. They give me honesty, compassion, and can basically read my mind better than any other friends I've ever had. This weekend we went on our yearly girls' trip and while there I talked to them about being a "taker friend." We all came to the conclusion that being A Taker is okay sometimes; sometimes you need that. Ebbs and flows of friendship have them, as each person goes through trials in life.

I came home being filled with positivity. I also came home from my weekend with purpose. First, I'm ready to clean house of my taker friends, and start being a better giver to those that give to me. I'm going to focus on POSITIVE when it comes to my trials and Baby Savannah. My main goal in life right now is to have a healthy baby. Everything else is chump change compared to that.

And those are my deep thoughts this Monday morning. Run Happy, friends!


  1. "Every sad/depressing/maddening situation I have faced in my life has always rebounded with something better than I could have ever dreamed of, but it just took time."

    Yes, yes, YES! Focus on this! Things will get not just better than sucky, but better than before!

    <3 <3 <3

    I hope all goes well with you and Baby Savannah!

  2. Wow. That's all I got. Very real stuff. I have to disagree with the last paragraph, because you give more of yourself than you know.

    I can't possibly understand the process that is the pregnancy and everything else, but if Savannah is your daughter, she is more than up for any challenge!

  3. Baby on board, that's enough to make anyone smile...

  4. A good friend told me once that every good relationship (marriage, friendship, etc.) has a joint account. We make deposits when we are in a place with plenty to spare because we wish to invest in the relationship (as should our relationship partners). And when we are in need, we make withdrawals to sustain ourselves (as should our relationship partners). I love this analogy.

    {{Hugs to you}}

  5. I am so sorry you are going through this. I think you are a "giver" (and if you are a "taker", so what??) Every relationship is different so just take it as it is.

    Focus on the positives in that summer will be over soon and you'll have your baby in your arms.

  6. I am really glad you are OK after the surgery. That must have been scary. I can imagine myself feeling like you did. And beating myself up for it. You are a giving kind of person. Don't ever think otherwise. That's just satan whispering big old lies.
    You will have a beautiful, healthy baby girl very soon! And if it's C section, it will be OK. And if she turns around and goes out head first, that will be good too! Either way, you win! She's out! :D

    BTW.. interested in running a 50k any time soon? Looks to me like you could do it off that mileage. ;)