The word "unremarkable" has had a significant impact on my life. I used to think it was a negative word, meaning that something was dull, boring, or average. That was before I started to see the word on my CT scans. My entire brain was "unremarkable", except for that terrifying aneurysm that was discovered when I was 34 years old.
I had never thought about dying much before that. I didn't think something like this would happen to me. In fact, I didn't really know that I was at risk due to family history until I went to get screened. I had my clipping surgery in October 2014.
I chose to do the surgery instead of watching and waiting. My neurosurgeon gave me the choice. The primary reason I did the surgery was because I really wanted to have a baby. And I knew that I would be too afraid with an untreated aneurysm.
I got pregnant in April 2015, 6 months after surgery. I took the test on our 15 year anniversary and it was positive. We were excited- but secretly, I was terrified. I became obsessed with my blood pressure readings, my nutrition, trying to control everything possible to ensure a healthy pregnancy. I started to relax somewhere around my second trimester.
I was enrolled in a high risk program and was monitored carefully during my pregnancy. Week after week, my amazing OB/GYN reminded me "you don't have an aneurysm anymore, you will be FINE".
And I was fine! Baby was great, my pregnancy was....well, "unremarkable" in every way. My blood pressure was 100/60 the entire time. I felt great. And I let myself do something I haven't done in years- I let myself get excited about the future. And to anticipate the arrival of our daughter.
Norah was born on January 19th via cesarean section. Again- my choice. I was offered a forceps delivery to avoid pushing, but I didn't like the possible risks for the baby. As I approached my due date, a bit of anxiety snuck up on me. Going into an OR- awake this time- terrified me. Hospitals terrified me! The day approached and we were excited but with a dark cloud of anxiety for me.
My OR team was amazing. I told them about my struggles and they distracted me with chatter and questions. When Norah was born, they pulled the curtain down so we could see her (and we got an awesome picture that I will attach). She was perfectly unremarkable in every way. 9lbs 2oz- we make big babies!
This has been such an important new chapter in my life, that I wanted to share this experience with you, especially for those younger aneurysm patients that are too afraid to hope- and dream- for the future. Don't sell yourself short because something bad happened to you. Happy endings are possible.
Send me an IM if you have any questions! I'm up most hours these days :)