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I had one ovary taken out after suffering from a dermoid cyst as a teen. But I remained positive about becoming a mother even with just one ovary. This is my story.
As I write this article, I am nervous and impatient. That’s because I don’t know what may wake up my twenty day old baby, and I might have to rush back to him, leaving this story unfinished. But writing this story is equally important, as my pregnancy has strengthened my belief in positive thinking.
Eight years ago, as a young teenage schoolgirl, I walked into a private clinic with my mother as she had an appointment with a lady gynecologist. But as most moms are, after her checkup she requested the doctor to also check my overtly bulging tummy. You see, I was a stick thin girl but with a protruding belly. My staple diet was the junk food I ate, once I left home in the morning, often on an empty stomach. At that time I didn’t know the value of a hearty breakfast.
As the lady doctor instructed me to lie down on a stained bed, her eyes looked narrowly at my abdomen. She pressed my tummy hard and very rudely asked me, “What’s this?”
I was puzzled. How could I know what was in my abdomen? But in my mind, I guessed it could be mounds and mounds of maida, from all the noodles and momos I had eaten! But of course, I didn’t say anything.
Her next question embarrassed me. Right in front of my mom, she spat those words at me, ”What have you done?”
I felt as if I had been shot from a point blank range. And I became the victim of rudeness and insensitivity that is typical of some medicos.
“It could be a tumor or …”, she stopped halfway. “You will have to get an ultra sound done tomorrow, and come back to me in the evening with the reports.”
My mother and I got up from our chairs and headed out with our heads hanging low. Both of us were immersed in thoughts.
When we reached home, I started pondering on what the doctor had said. “It could be a tumor or …”. The OR in her statement signaled that I could be pregnant. All the years of education and rational thinking boiled down to nothing at that very moment. I, a well educated and logical person, began wondering about the various ways one could get pregnant.
Could it happen if you hugged someone or just accidently brushed against someone? Could it happen if you ate somebody’s jootha food? What in the world could get someone pregnant?
Of course now I laugh at my stupidity. But eight years ago, those were very real questions to me. This incident made me realize that just how important sex education in school is. Not the flower and frog types but the real human anatomy types.
But what if it was a tumor? The thought of which was even scarier. And all the sad Bollywood films, where the protagonist has a tumor, ran like a film reel in my mind.
Well, the very next day I went for the ultra sound. The nurses in the government hospital saw my bulging tummy and got very excited. An unmarried but pregnant girl, is nothing short of a breaking news in an otherwise boring hospital.
As the doctor, spread the gel on my abdomen –the nurses looked expectantly at the screen and sighed disappointedly. It WAS a tumor! But the type and other specifications could only be known through an MRI. So in a matter of hours I was taken for an MRI. And before I knew it, I was lying on the bed in the operation theatre. (and yes I DID change the doctor!)
It was finally discovered that I had an ovarian cyst, called the dermoid cyst. The cyst had diagonally grown inside my tummy over the years and had started pushing back my right kidney to grow further. The fact that I never experienced any pain and was regular in my menses never gave me reasons to suspect my large belly.
But the real problem lay in the fact that along with the cyst, one of my ovaries also had to be taken out, as it had been completely ensnared by the cyst.
Before the operation, my doctor told me about the loss and its consequences. But it were her last words that I hung on to, as she comfortingly told me, that to have a baby just one ovary was enough. And I never ever doubted that.
The procedure for the operation was similar to a C-sec. Under complete anesthesia, my stomach was cut open and a tumor weighing almost 1.5 kg, was pulled out. When I regained consciousness, I saw the tumor that was kept in the jar before being taken out for the biopsy. It had hair, teeth, bones. I jokingly told everyone that for all the trouble I had endured it could as well have been a baby!
On the day of discharge, my doctor gave me some sound advice – to get married as soon as possible. As with only one ovary I had only a 50 percent chance of ever having a baby. But I had the conviction that I would have a baby when I wanted to and not because I ought to. I left the advice in the hospital and headed home.
All these eight years since the day of my operation, I never once doubted my ability to conceive. I steadfastly held onto the positive belief that I would have a baby whenever I wanted. Along with a positive mind, I maintained a healthy diet and reduced any risk of developing any further complications.
And this March, when I saw two pink lines emerge on the strip, my heart blossomed, for what I had always known had come true – I would get a baby when I was ready for it!
This time I had an actual c-sec because of placenta abruption (a rare occurrence) and after the operation when I opened my eyes it was not the teethy-boney cyst that I beheld the sight of, but the sweet face of a boy who has inherited my long locks!
I now happily wear marks of two stitches, one below the other on my abdomen like some fancy tattoo.
My dream of holding a miniature me has come true and I can’t thank the universe enough!
Image source: young mother with baby by Shutterstock.
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