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I had surgery. Again.

March 22, 2019

I used to be an elementary school teacher and ed-tech consultant; now I'm a mom of twins and aspiring children's book author.

This blog is a place for me to write about personal life experiences, gleanings from books I've recently read, past and current DIY projects, and reflective thoughts that need a home outside my heart. Here at HeartEyes, I am opening my heart and eyes to yet another new chapter of my life, and my hope is that by joining me here, your heart and eyes would be opened to a more thoughtful and intentional life.

Hi, i'm tiff!

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3/04/19  ER Visit
3/13/19  Meeting w/ Surgeon
3/18/19  Surgery


“Another operation AGAIN? It hasn’t even been 2 years since my C-section!”

“No lifting anything over 10lbs? So I can’t move the twins in/out of their cribs/high-chairs/stroller/carseats/bathtub…”

“No working out for several weeks?! I’m going to lose everything I worked so hard to gain.”

“My belly is SO messed up. There is really no hope for it to return to its pre-pregnancy state.”

“Having to hit the pause button on my life is so depressing. I feel like I was just beginning to find myself again.”

– – –

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, beginning with a visit to the ER, followed by a meeting with a surgeon, to being back in the hospital for an operation, ending with me sitting in my bed right now recovering from surgery.

Two weeks ago, I was putting the twins to bed when a wave of pain hit my lower left abdomen. It was the kind of pain that had me doubled over, feeling dizzy, and seeing spots. I ended up in the ER, and after an ultrasound, they discovered a 9x8x5cm cyst near my ovary. That’s like the size of a grapefruit. What.

I remember thinking, “Why do I keep getting these ginormous things in my tiny body?! Babies included!”

As I was getting wheeled alone into the room for the ultrasound (my husband was still at school), I started shaking, and I realized that I was about to have an anxiety attack. It was the exact same feeling I had after my C-section almost 2 years prior. Thankfully, because I had been going to therapy, I recognized what was happening and was able to take a few deep breaths and talk myself down.

Receiving the results of the ultrasound was not fun, given that my options were to get surgery now to remove the cyst, or wait to see if it would go away on its own (which it most likely wouldn’t due to its size) while risking it rupturing or twisting my tube and cutting off blood supply to my ovary, in which both cases could result in emergency surgery. No thank you.

After getting several different opinions and consultations, we decided that it was best to deal with the cyst now, rather than risk any emergency situations later, especially since we have so much travel planned coming up and already had to cancel our trip to Cali to take care of this thing.

After finalizing our decision that I would have the surgery, I was honestly depressed for several days, thinking about my situation.

Yes, I was upset that I would have to go under the knife again. Yes, I was scared to have general anesthesia for the first time. Yes, I was mad that I would have to go through pain and recovery again. Yes, I was annoyed that I would be slow and not be able to do much with the twins for a while.

But as I reflected more and more, I realized I was and still am most upset about not being able to attend my workout classes for a while. I had worked so hard on fixing my diastasis naturally and was so excited I had been cleared from that abdominal surgery; not once did I think would I be in the operation room again anytime soon. I had come so far and have built so much strength that I never thought would be possible, that I was really depressed about losing everything I had worked so hard for.

As I reflected on this frustration more, I realized how much attending my workout classes had become a regular part of me and my life after becoming a Mom. Hitting a pause button on that felt like I was losing a part of myself again, and I had just begun feeling like I was finally on my way to rediscovering myself.

So the day of the operation rolled around, and of course I was nervous, but not nearly as terrified as the morning of my C-section. As I was getting prepped for surgery, however, I started fully realizing and recognizing the trauma I had actually experienced post-C-section and the days immediately after.

I had extremely high blood pressure after the twins were born, and had what I didn’t know at the time was an anxiety attack every single time a nurse opened the door to my room to check on me. This time, I felt the same heart palpitations begin to happen as different medical staff came in to see me, but thankfully like during the ultrasound, I was able to recognize the anxiety attack and talk myself down before it got out of hand.

This was such a crazy experience because I felt like I was experiencing PTSD, like I had been teleported back in time to the exact moments of anxiety after the twins were born, and the opening and closing of the hospital door to my room was my trigger.

Fast-forward to post-operation (laparoscopic surgery), and I woke up from my general anesthesia, was finally given food/soup/water, and was able to get up, walk around, and go home. Even though this was what was expected after this type of surgery, it was such a relief and victory because I got through another scary situation (definitely not without God), this time without complications (so far) and thus without fully experiencing the trauma from 2 years prior.

So here I am 4 days later, sitting in my bed recovering, walking around as much as I can since that speeds up the healing process, but not doing too much nor carrying anything heavy. Though it’s somewhat nice to be exempt from all my responsibilities, I feel like I’m withering away because I’m not as active as I was before my surgery. (I literally watched one full season of The Bachelor in 2 days.)

With everything that has happened lately, I’m trying to be positive and not think about how long I will be out of commission and especially how long I’ll be away from my workout classes. I think the best thing for me to do right now is to take it day by day and just be thankful that this whole thing got taken care of at the time that it did. Prayers and positive thoughts are continuously welcome though!


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  1. Amber says:

    Somehow I missed this post and WOW what an event to go through!! I’m glad everything went well and that you’re recovering now. You’ve been through a lot in the past 2 years but it also sounds like you’ve learned so much too. Your drive to workout and repair your body is inspiring! And you’re right, it’s day by day, even despite a setback!

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Pondering thoughts, personal life experiences, things I love, mental health, marriage life, and everything in between.



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Everything from my birth story to postpartum anxiety and depression, from c-section recovery to mom guilt and judgment. Prepare for raw and emotional posts!


Books + Podcasts

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Gleanings from books I've read and podcasts I've been impressed with, with the occasional children's book recommendations!


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DIY project tutorials from six years of projects in my home! Very much a work in progress, migrating tutorials from my Instagram page to my blog!


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