Three days after my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, I was in surgery again.
My ovary had twisted for the second time. The surgery went well, and Jonathan took me home later that day. It was a gorgeous January afternoon, and I felt hopeful -- the sun was out, the surgery was over, surely now I could heal and move on. This time I had been discharged with some challenging post-op instructions: to sleep upright for 6 weeks to prevent the ovary from torsing yet again. The first night I spent in a pink recliner that had once belonged to my grandmother. Given my height and long legs, sleeping in a recliner is laughable as my legs hang off the footrest. We knew that six weeks of sleep called for a better option, so my husband brought home an electric hospital bed and he and my dad set it up in the living room of the mobile home. One of my job responsibilities at the time was verifying medical benefits, and I had to laugh as I phoned insurance companies from a hospital bed during Hannah’s naps.
Physically I felt better – weak and chronically tired from poor sleep sitting upright and everything my body had been through in the last two-and-a-half months – but in less pain. The most challenging part was the orders to not lift anything as heavy as a gallon of milk (that ruled out Hannah), and to sleep upright.
The other challenging part was my worry about Hannah’s well-being. Her new phrases, recorded in my journal, gave a glimpse of what was on her mind: “So bad”, “Hannah scared”, Come here, Mama”, “I coming, Mommy”, “Hannah cry”, “Mommy sore.”
One night she couldn’t go to sleep. I finally asked her, while rocking her in the pink recliner, “Are you worried about something? Is something on your mind?” Without a pause, Hannah, barely two years old, blurted out, “Yes! Mommy’s tummy.” Speaking soothingly, I told her that the doctor had fixed Mommy’s owie, and now my tummy was much, much better and she didn’t need to worry anymore. Sighing, she settled down, and the rocking lulled her to sleep.
My parents had made plans for a vacation long before my chain of events began, and shortly after my surgery they reluctantly departed. My sister made arrangements to miss school, and came from college to help us for five days. It was such a relief having help with getting Hannah in and out of her crib and the bathtub, and to have her Auntie Sissy around to pick her up and carry her. It was also so wonderful to have my sister to talk to.
The doctor cleared me to carry Hannah again, at my two week post-op appointment.
My sister went back to school.
My grandfather, special to both Hannah and me, died after a long illness.
I went back to sleeping in my normal bed.
And finally, three-and-a-half months after my D&C we moved into our new house, and symbolically, our future, as we were soon expecting another baby.