Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

When I Grow Up

on June 3, 2012

I feel the need for a disclaimer here. This post took over and went in a very different direction then I planned. I do not mean to offend anyone, this is just a retelling of my story. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t cause anyone pain, my intentions were to share my experience.

When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was a mother. Ever. I would throw in ‘singer’, ‘teacher’, I even contemplated ‘veterinarian’ or ‘doctor’ but I never really had a passion for anything other than being a mom. As time progressed I volunteered as a leader for kids, got my babysitting license, began nannying, became a camp counsellor and later a teacher’s assistant. I have a thriving, growing, beating desire to be around children.

When I was 16 I went to the doctor with some concering symptoms. After our appointment, he agreed that with my family history and persistent symptoms that my self-diagnosis may be right.I may have cancer. This specific type of cancer is not lifethreatening, but when it finally became a problem in my mother’s life she had to have a hysterectomy. At 42 years of age, my mother had already birthed two children who were in their teens, and she had no plans for adding to our family, a hysterectomy (although painful and full of small required tasks for the rest of her life) was not a big deal to her. At 16 the possibility that I may never become pregnant and birth my own children devastated me. I was in Grade 10…in highschool…and I shook my head at him. No, I had said, I would return when I wanted to know. We could do the tests then.

My adolescent brain knew that if I would be unable to handle this news. That nothing good could come of knowing just then. Not. One. Thing. So I left it. My defence mechanisms kicked in on the most powerful of levels and shut it out. Gone. That was the last time I thought about my uterus and the potential cancer it harboured within until I had graduated highschool, and had almost completed my first year of my carpentry apprenticeship.

When I had a particularily nasty couple of months, my mind finally opened the doors and let me return to my doctor. I’m ready to know, I had said. So, he ordered some tests, referred me to a specialist and I got the news. You have cancer. At some point you will not be able to conceive or carry a child to term. We can’t tell for sure if that window is closed.

Now or never, and it might not even be now.

So at 18 years of age, I picked now. I knew that if my window had closed that I would eventually turn to other means, adoption has always held a soft spot for me, but I also knew that if I was given an opportunity to have a baby from my own womb that I would take it. Hands down I would do it. No matter how hard it would be.

And so, for a year I tried to get pregnant. Tried, but did not succeed. When I finally got to see the specialist she rushed me in for surgery that following week. I signed tons of paperwork, one ofย  which I was quite insistent on. Whatever they found – they were to remove.

My surgery was supposed to take 45 minutes. It took 120. She told me that they had taken out all that they could find. I concieved 29 days later.


The research that I have done has indicated that a healthy pregnancy will delay, if not stop, the regrowth of this kind of cell. Two years later I was surprised by my second pregnancy, and although I almost lost her early on, things rapidly turned around and she made it past term. I have never been back for more testing. Keep in mind, I cannot die from these cancerous cells. The part of my mind that saved me at 16 is back to work now. This place in my life is not the appropriate place to expand our family. If it happens, then it’s a blessing (and some birth control companies owe me a van), but I’m not going out looking for it. That door is sealed shut again because my mind knows that if I was faced with ‘now or never’ again, I would always choose now.

Always. Because when I grow up, all I want to be is a mother.


16 responses to “When I Grow Up

  1. kebibarra says:

    Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful mother you are; truly a blessing to your children.

  2. Oster's Mom says:

    This is an amazing story! Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your motherhood. Very inspirational.

  3. lorajbanks says:

    Thank God you got to be a mom…you were obviously meant to be! You’re awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Melissa says:

    Wow, what an incredible story. Thank you so much for sharing it. It certainly gave me new perspective on a Monday morning.

    Next up, are you going to tell the how you met Phil story?

  5. tdblue says:

    What an inspiring story. You are one tough chicka! I’m happy that things worked out, and you were able to be the momma you were destined to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. What a beautiful post – thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  7. A very strong story, thank you for sharing. Definitely gives perspective to how blessed we are to have the kids we do!

  8. Thank you for this, I needed it today!!

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