"I have cervical cancer but I'm going to be okay."
Then we laid down on the living room floor in front of the big sunny picture window with our baby and made him giggle. And I explained the details of my diagnosis while we tickled his widdle chubby belly.
This was hard, we decided, but not disastrous. It was a bump. An entirely surmountable bump. Together - we would surmount this bump. And it wouldn't change much. We wouldn't let it.
We made a plan to try for number three after I returned to work in about a year or so. It meant spacing our kids more closely together than we would otherwise but it would be okay. In the meantime we'd research the snotcrap out of our options. We'd see some other doctors for a second and a third opinion and we'd make sure that my gyn wasn't some sort of hysterectomy-happy Victorian-style mad doctor who spent his evenings creeping through foggy cobblestone alleys with a scalpel glinting beneath his overcoat.
It's like my ovaries heard the doctor.
Followed by another shock.
It was awful timing.
I was tandem nursing my first two children --ohmigod-- and pregnant with my third.
With three little ones, every little thing we do is an enormously taxing exercise in logistics and Zen.
But she is a cupcake with chocolate frosting and pink sprinkles on top. She is a pot of gold. Whenever I catch her eye she grins so wide my internal organs turn into marshmallows and spontaneously toast just so. She is a giggle laughing at a chuckle. She is so delightful.
I'm sure if this whole ordeal didn't shake us down we would have had number three at a perfectly reasonable time in our lives. Like when at least one of us was gainfully employed. And we'd love that other, much more reasonable baby very much. Just as much as we love our baby Josephine.
They arrive and you meet them and you say, "Oh, you're exactly the one I wanted. You're perfect. I'm so glad it's you and not some other baby."
It's like she really needed to be born. And she seems so very glad to be here. She's the cherry on top of our happy pile.
Down the Rabbit Hole: An HPV Story
by Betsy B. Honest