Having A Baby was always a Dream of Mine. Has God Ever put a Desire in your heart? Like, you know you were suppose to Be this or do that in Life? Well, God put a really Deep Passion in my Heart to be a Mama. But before I would go & take on the roll, God allowed me to go through quite a Struggle, A Journey that I would like to share. This is my Story.
I won’t forget getting an MRI done with my Brother in Law who’s a Radiologist on Memorial Day 2014. He called me that evening with results & it wasn’t results I wanted to hear. “Nat, you have a very big mass laying on your left ovary. Just picture 4 golf balls. No wonder you have been feeling intense pain. It’s about 9cm, and it needs to be removed”. I suffered from Diverticulitis. That’s probably the most intense pain (besides Child Birth) you could ever feel. Doctors would tell me “Just follow a High Fiber Diet.” Which I did but I think we are all guilty going back to our old habits. But Diverticulitis wasn’t the issue obviously. 2009 was my First Flare-Up & Summer 2014 is when my body said “Enough!” I won’t forget the sadness I felt knowing that my left ovary was going to be removed. Jose & I had the conversation before my surgery of “Well if it wasn’t meant for us to have kids at least we have each other & maybe later on down the road we will consider adoption”. Doctors told us “don’t consider having kids. Your chances are so slim with all the complications you are having”. Even though Jose had reassured me everything was going to be okay, I felt like I failed him. I remember feeling all kinds of nerves so I tried to distract myself with watching a Disney Movie, Cinderella. Then it was time to wheel me in.
All I remember was waking up in the recovery room with intense pain & my family around me. I spent a whole week in the hospital & I was relieved that I was no longer going to live with the pain & I would be on my way to recovery. I went home with tubes sticking out of my stomach since I had to drain out a lot of blood. Every time I would look at myself in the mirror, I would sigh out loud & secretly cry to myself at night. It was more emotional pain I was feeling. I lost tons of weight which was a perk but emotionally I didn’t recognize myself.
My Home Care Nurses were Amazing! God Knew I needed positive, assertive, passionate & compassionate nurses my way. Everything seemed like it was healing properly, until the 3rd day after being discharged from the hospital, Paula my Nurse told me to go back to the emergency room. “You don’t look good”. I wasn’t feeling any pain at the time & I felt like I didn’t need to go to ER but Nurses know Best. We quickly got dressed & we headed back to Northridge Hospital. We waited, & the longer we waited, I was starting to feel pain. We waited for about 5 hours until they called my name & by that time I wasn’t even able to walk. That’s how bad my pain level went up. The Dr. that did my first surgery was on vacation, so the Dr. that was covering for him happened to be walking around the hospital & he stopped by. His eyes got Big & he was looking at my drainage. Everything was oozing out & his words were “What in the World is This”?! He started to evaluate me & said “Sorry My Dear, But we are going to have to open you up again”. That day was a Friday night & by Monday Morning I was back in Surgery.
I thought my first surgery was painful, but this one took the cake. I came out of surgery with a Colostomy Bag. My incision was about 8inches long. From my belly button, right down before my private area. I cried, moaned & groaned the whole time in the recovery room. It wasn’t until I was in my room where they told me my incision was completely open & that it would be healing from the inside out with a wound vac. I was in the hospital for about a Good Month Recovering. That was my life for a month, lying down, sleeping majority of the time, heavy pain meds, visitors & four walls. I couldn’t walk yet, & I didn’t have a room with a window. I would see people come & go and slowly depression kinda settled in. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to sound selfish or ungrateful. I was so Thankful God got me through the surgery & how fast my recovery was going… but not being able to enjoy food, not being able to get some fresh air… not being able to shower like I use to, it kinda gets to you. One night looking up at the ceiling in the dark (because I was having serious insomnia since they were slowly taking me off pain meds) God put a Song in my Heart. Bones- Hillsong it goes:
“You can take my dry Bones, Breathe Life into this skin, You called me By Name, Raised me to Life again. You Can Calm the Oceans, Speak Peace into my Soul, Take me as I Am, Awaken to my Heart to Beat Again, Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, Alive In Me”.
And in that Moment, I began to feel my Heart Come Back Alive. I was no longer focusing on “How longer am I going to be in this place?!” Instead I was just taking it one day at a time. I began to focus on my relationship with God. Fellowshipping with Him every morning. I started making friendships with my nurses. I enjoyed the company of my Husband who NEVER LEFT MY SIDE since I was admitted into the hospital. And then I finally started walking. I didn’t realize after laying in bed for so long, how even being able to walk is such a Blessing in itself that I take for granted. I would pass by other patients rooms & begin to pray over their sickness to myself. I felt like God allowed me to stay in the Hospital for that long, I might as well do something & allow him to use me in any way. The more & more I did this, the closer my day finally came. “Natalie, you are going Home Today”.
I won’t forget the day I left how Bright the Sun was & how fresh the air smelled. But I was on my way home to a long recovery. To be honest I was scared. I mean… I was going home with a Colostomy bag attached to my side. They had me watch tons of videos on how to change my bag, & I couldn’t remember a single thing. And I had all kinds of pain medication that they gave me to take at different hours. My whole summer consisted of 3 nurse visits every single day. I had to walk to build my strength, & also gain my appetite back. But most importantly, making sure my wound healed properly. The first couple of weeks were Rough! I cried, every time my bag would leak. I was still in a lot of pain, & I felt like I needed to hold my stomach together because all I could think about was how open my incision was. I guess reality hit me. I didn’t have the hospital nurses that were always at my beacon call. But by the 3rd week I was slowly getting out of the funk again, with the help of my Amazing Husband. We would go for walks, for a drive or just have long conversations. I won’t forget one night, he was changing my Stoma (Colostomy Bag) & he was wiping everything down & when I say everything I mean poop. Seriously. He wasn’t disgusted by it but I was so embarrassed. I told him “I’m so sorry you have to see me like this”. And then he says “What are you talking about? I’m going to be changing our babies dirty diaper one day”. Ahhh! I cried! Well, As weeks went by I was starting to get the hang of my Colostomy Bag. I even started to selfie. If my hubby was okay to see me like this… why shouldn’t I?
Nurses were stunned how fast I was recovering & how nice my incision was slowly but surly healing. Little by little, I felt like I was getting my life back together again. My eating habits definitely changed. I was actually afraid to eat for a while because the bag was a little intimidating to look at. I mean I’m supposed to be pooping through this thing! I didn’t want to over eat. So it was a High Fiber Diet for me & tons of water. As weeks went by, I started embracing my Colostomy Bag. I enjoyed changing it out & hearing the click because that meant I was doing it right! Ha! And in every hour of the day I was still in Fellowship with God. Even though I was in so much pain physically, but emotionally he put this joy in my heart & that was my strength through my recovery. That, & the support of my Hubby. Seriously, he never left my side. He slept in those uncomfortable couches in the hospital. He was woken up every hour like me because of the nurses checking my vitals. Everyday he had cafeteria food & in between all that, he always made sure I was comfortable. The nurses in the hospital joked with him saying “After leaving here, you should fill out an application. I think you learned how to do my job & probably even better”. And finally, they gave me a date for my reversal. After getting the hang of the Colostomy Bag, it was time to take it out! But this time, going in to surgery, I had a better attitude.
This surgery was also a bit painful but I was kinda pro when it came to pain. The healing was a whole lot faster & I had the best surgeon in town. Dr. Saad! I won’t forget what he told me before surgery. “Natalie my Dear, For being so young, & going through what you’ve gone through, you handled everything like a Champion. You are going to live a long & healthy life. This isn’t just going to be a memory. This is your Story, Now Cinderella, let’s get you ready for the ball”.
This is my Story. In the midst of pain, suffering, loss, God is right in the middle of it all & still can put a song in your heart & you can still experience Joy & like Cinderella sang… “No Matter How Your Heart is Grieving, if you keep on Believing… The Dreams that you wish, Will Come True”.