Friday, April 14, 2017

good news, bad news, best news.

Oh girl. Can I just say.

I am all OVER the damn place these past couple weeks.

First of all, I've been feeling so good lately, pregnancy-wise. A few weeks ago, the weather turned enough for me to get off my butt and start moving. I'd been experiencing a ton of aches and pains, which was frustrating because that didn't start for me during my first pregnancy until the last couple months. This time, my second trimester was littered with pains, swelling, and general discomfort. But! I started taking a walk every day - two miles, up and down the main street in my neighborhood - and doing some general strength training and stretching. I swear it's made all the difference. Much less swelling, no more pregnancy waddle, and I just feel like myself again. Plus, I downloaded the S-Town podcast and told myself I was only allowed to listen to it while I was walking, so I had good motivation to keep moving. (Can we chat about S-Town? I was intrigued, then devastated, then impatient, then underwhelmed...TOO MANY FEELS.) So happy to be feeling good in my body again.

Second - believe it or not, we are making a babymoon happen! I mentioned awhile back how much I wanted to get away with J.J. and Rowan before this baby comes, and just really enjoy our little family before it changes forever. The change is a good change, I'm fully aware, but it's still a change! Either way, it didn't seem like a real getaway would be possible between work schedules and finances and, you know, the fact that I'm on a bit of a deadline (i.e., giving birth). I still couldn't stop thinking about it, though.

AND THEN. My surrogate family, the family I grew up baby-sitting for, generously offered up their vacation home in Florida for us to use! Ahhhhhhhh!!! So we're off in just a couple days. I'm still kind of in shock that this is actually going to work - and I'm, like, jumping out of my skin with excitement. So is Rowan, who's never been on a plane or to the ocean before. She started asking all day every day when we were leaving for our trip, so I made her a calendar to help her understand. She snatched it from me and ran up to her bedroom, where she spent about twenty minutes taping it to her door:

I can't wait for her to experience it all! And for the three of us to just spend some quality time together. I am beyond lucky to have such kind and wonderful friends who are making this vacation possible, including the ones who helped me figure out logistics, are lending us things like car seat travel covers and toddler headphones, and are house-sitting for us. Three cheers for the village! 

Buuuut then came the bad part of this week (which has a happy-ish ending, thankfully). I noticed a lump in my breast a few nights ago, one that I remember feeling a few weeks ago and writing off as a pregnancy thing - clogged milk duct, probably. I let my OB know, and we scheduled a breast ultrasound for this morning, just to make sure everything was okay. I honestly wasn't thinking much of it, considering how pregnancy messes with your boobs, and the lump felt pretty similar to clogged milk ducts that I'd had while breastfeeding Rowan. 

Yeah, but it's hard not to get freaked out when you're sitting in an overheated waiting room in the cancer center, surrounded by women in ill-fitting gowns. My gown, btw, was AWESOME. Big enough to accommodate my 32-week-pregnant belly, but just a taaaad bit too big for my chest (which is enormous, relative to its normal state...like we're 'bout to bust into a B-cup over here, people, watch out!...but still a lifelong registered member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee). I fumbled with it constantly and was relieved when they called me back and I could just take it off.

The ultrasound was painless, quick, and no big deal. I refrained from asking them to move the wand lower so I could peek at Baby Boy...but I was tempted. The doctor was actually one the very sweetest parents I've had the pleasure of knowing from my former job, which was wonderful. I know some people prefer not to know their medical staff outside of the hospital setting, but I love it. I chose my OB partially for that reason, and I've coincidentally ended up with other doctors I knew from work - my dermatologist, a urologist, Rowan's pediatrician, a shoulder specialist - in the past. I like having that personal connection.

Anyway. Ultrasound was easy, but bad news/good news: it's not a clogged milk duct. It's a mass. A benign mass, most likely - like, 99% chance that it's benign, just a fibroadenoma. Fibroadenomas are super common in younger women (WHICH I AM, despite my "elderly multigravida" medical status), and they're often brought on by extreme hormone level changes. Like, you know, pregnancy. The doctor seemed wholly unconcerned, in the most reassuring way possible, and let me know that I had the choice of either watching it over the next four to six months, or doing a needle biopsy to rule out the 1% chance that it's cancerous. A lot of times, these masses will shrink or disappear once hormone levels return to normal, so waiting is a perfectly reasonable option.

Because I'm me, though, I went ahead and scheduled the biopsy. I know myself - anything that will contribute to peace of mind is a good thing. Especially when I'm staring down the barrel of impending labor, delivery, and postpartum stuff. While I was reviewing my options with the doctor, I really felt totally fine, besides being annoyed that it wasn't just a clogged duct. We talked specifics about the mass, she caught me up on how her kids are doing, I changed out of my sexy gown, we scheduled the biopsy for the week after we get back from Florida, and I walked back through the cancer center to the parking lot.

Annnnd then I kind of lost it a little bit. In my head, I understood that everything is really fine. This seems to be a pretty classic fibroadenoma, which is seriously not a big deal. Lots of women have fibroadenomas and don't even realize it. I, however, am very good at finding the teeniest, tiniest possibility that the worst-case scenario is upon me. What if it's actually not a benign mass? Then I made the mistake of considering Rowan in all of this, and I came unglued. For about five minutes while I drove home from the hospital, that is. 

Amazingly, you know what brought me back? Dr. Google. You should NEVER EVER Google medical stuff, right? Anytime you do, you're going to find out that it's pretty much cancer or pre-cancer or actually you're already dead, idiot, didn't you realize? But this time, the Internet consensus was clear: fibroadenomas are no. big. deal. (Ahem, just like the DOCTOR said, who is the person I should REALLY be listening to.) I'm still going to get the biopsy, but I'm not going to let all of this ruin our vacation. Or even my day.

We're celebrating Easter this weekend with a couple egg hunts, some brunch, and compulsively re-packing and weighing the bag we need to check to make sure it doesn't exceed the airline's weight limits. Happy Friday to all of you, and may your weather be warm, your candy be Easter-tastic, and your masses be benign.

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