I went for an ultrasound this week to check for any recurrence of endometriosis after my laparoscopy three years ago. I’ve been back to my surgeon for follow-up exams, but haven’t had an ultrasound since my surgery.
It was a tough day for me. For one thing, the exam included both the abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound and the latter… well, it’s not painful, but it’s awkward and uncomfortable.
Still, that’s not really what bothered me. I felt so anxious over the results, so afraid we might find the endo coming back, so afraid I might have to have another surgery or at some point a hysterectomy.
I know it does me no good to worry, but I just couldn’t help myself. It seemed like it took forever and the technician was just quiet the whole time. It made me wonder what could be taking so long and if that meant she found something. I lay there looking at the ceiling trying to think about other things. I prayed. I counted my blessings and thought of things I feel grateful for in this situation. And yet, she just kept looking around in there taking pictures and measurements…
I won’t get the results until the radiologist sends them to my doctor. It could be great news and give me peace of mind. That’s my hope and plan A. If it’s something else, I’ll deal with that if we get there. I’m trying not to worry.
But even all of that wasn’t the worst part for me.
The worst part was living such a different experience from the ultrasound experience I’ve dreamed of having. When I checked in, they had me read an information sheet about obstetric ultrasounds – how they’ll allow only two additional adults and how they’ll give pictures to the new parents, etc. Honestly, I couldn’t even read the whole thing because I was so overwhelmed and hurt. I’ve had a diagnostic ultrasound once before and just hadn’t made this connection in my heart. I gave her the paper back – “I don’t need this.”
So then they bring me back into this dim room, squirt the warm gel on my belly, and do the abdominal ultrasound. A beautiful image of my empty womb appeared on the screen, and there’s just me along with the technician in this strangely large, quiet room.
I could imagine the joy of new parents seeing their baby that way for the first time. I could imagine that experience with my husband. At best, that’s extremely unlikely to happen. I kept my shit together until the technician left the room and then I cried. I had a hard time stopping.
I didn’t go back to work afterward. Instead, I went home and got into bed for the next three hours.
I’m praying for the strength to deal with whatever comes and I’m thankful for my supportive husband, sick leave from my job, health insurance, and good medical care. I have much to be thankful for. I wait for the results and hope for the best. I hope for an all-clear, no recurrence of endo, peace of mind.
I hope for our path to parenthood to be lit somehow, to be able to deal with these decisions and grief, to move forward with adoption if that’s our path, and to one day be snuggling children of our own.
Image: Detail from Barren Womb by Richard Rappaport
Text copyright Snowdroplets, 2015