Meet my 6 pound Uterus!

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*Warning, this post contains images some may find disturbing. Don’t keep scrolling if you are sensitive to medical photos.

So here goes nothing, I’m putting it all out there. Here are all the gory details.

Recap of how we got here to this moment: years ago I was told by my family doctor I had fibroids in my uterus but was never told how they could/would evolve or even if it was something I should keep an eye on. All I ever worried about was getting pap-tests to make sure I didn’t have cancer. I didn’t have cancer so, in my world all was good.

Then over time, my lower stomach area got bigger and bigger which I thought was all part of getting older. WRONG. Plus, I have never been flexible so when bending over got more challenging I blamed myself for not keeping up with stretching or my lack of dedication to yoga. WRONG. Then my period, it was always “normal”, always every 28 days and no issues until the last 2 years where it became all consuming, BUT again I brushed it off because everyone said “you are perimenopausal”. WRONG!

And then there was this photo shoot. We were taking pics for work and I decided to wear IMG_2106a fitted dress and honestly in my head I said “It’s OK that your stomach isn’t flat anymore, embrace who you are and you are OK with who you are” which is how I try to live my life every day but to be honest, in this picture I am also wearing 2 layers of Spanks. Look at my stomach, this  picture is unedited and you can clearly see my stomach area looks pregnant even with heavy duty compression.

Then there was my bunk gallbladder, thank you for being terrible! Without you I wouldn’t be here! Thanks to the stones in my gallbladder it triggered an ultrasound and the discovery of my extraordinary uterus. I had my gallbladder out the week before Christmas 2018 n an emergency surgery because the stones had gotten infected and then on January 23rd, 2019 I would have my hysterectomy surgery where I believed I a single fibroid thatt had grown to 10 cm.

Here is the play by play of my hysterectomy.

My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 10am, by 1pm I was in the OR holding area, my doctor came to chat with us and Derek (my husband) asked him “How big is the fibroid now?” to which Dr. Sheridan replied “It’s about 21 cm now” WHAT!!! OK that was not what I thought but it’s all starting to sink in that perhaps I am actually sick. *Note nervous smile below.IMG_6323

The surgery lasted about 3 hours, when I got back to my room I was super drugged out and in terrible pain. The nurse told me the incision was bigger than originally planned and that there were over 25 staples holding me together.IMG_4166

The next morning at the crack of dawn in walked my doctor and the first thing he said to me was “Boy, do I have a story for you….wanna see some pictures?” UM YES! As it turns out my uterus was HUGE! 6 pounds huge, over 30 cm huge and had grown up and over my belly button. It had pushed my bowels out of place and forced all of my lower organs out of their comfort zone. Dr. Sheridan said in the 27 years that he’s been a doctor he’s only ever seen one has big as mine. In a surgery like this they use a cork screw (yes, like the kind for opening a wine bottle) to pull out the uterus, they had to use 2 to get mine out (something her had only every had to do once before). He said they tugged, tugged and tugged thinking after one pull it would just pop out, nope! To put it in perspective, the average uterus weighs between 5.5 to 6 ounces and should look like an upside down pear. Mine had grown completely out of control and he said it was like I was pregnant for years. Here she is!IMG_4160

That first day post-op was a revolving door of doctors and nurses who were in the OR with me and they all had the same question “You felt no pain? You had no idea that was living inside you?” and the answer was NO! But now looking back the signs were all there!

Trouble bending over, constantly feeling tired, upset bum all the time, never feeling good were all not as I thought “just getting older” or “not taking working out enough” – I had a monster growing inside me.

It’s been 5 weeks since my surgery and it’s still tender, I am not quick yet to go from sitting to standing but I am so unbelievably excited for the future. I realize now, I haven’t known “healthy” for years and I can’t wait to see myself in 6 months from now. The human body is amazing and watching the changes in the past few weeks has been incredible.

I am not grossed out by my 6 pound uterus, I am impressed with myself that I kept running marathons, mountain biking with 6 pounds of dead weight hanging off of me and most of all that I didn’t let the norms of society make me believe I didn’t belong on TV, big belly and all.

Be Kind,

Fiona

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How to survive FIFA Women’s World Cup and/or a zombie apocolypse!

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The FIFA experience is almost over, next week myself and 2 friends will be heading to Vancouver to watch the finals and we  can’t wait.

Overall, it was an incredible ride with lots of twists, turns, highs and lows but at the end of the day I feel tremendous pride of what we accomplished and how we showcased our city. Winnipeg, you done good girl!

Some of the memories I will take away with me are; meeting all the dads who came out with their daughters to encourage their passion for sport, working so hard I for the first time in my life blacked out, didn’t recognize one of my closest friends and had “stress pukes” (it’s a real thing, who knew?), meeting and spending time with 24 of the best volunteers was incredible (kind, hard working, honest, determined and totally genuine people), and finally, watching my male sport dominate city embrace and support women in sport ~ it was a beautiful thing!

Here are the things that helped me survive 21 days of the hardest work of my life, this was my survival kit:

1) Wet ones! You cannot leave home without them because Wet oneswhen you are marching across a soccer pitch in 28+ degree weather in a navy blue power pant suit, you will need a little wipe down to stay fresh (Terrance Howard is no fool).

2) Snacks, it’s all about the food! I tried really, really hard to stay on track with my P2P (Push-up to Pin-ups) goals but around day 18 everything went to hell but I have rebounded. I survived on a) sugar snap peas b) rotisserie chicken and kale salad from Sobeys c) an obscene amount of roasted Brussels sprouts d) cauliflower rice e) homemade meatballs and CAFFEINE – Lord Jesus, I drank caffeine all day!!!

God's sweet nectar!

God’s sweet nectar!

3) Songza. After a couple grueling days I reminded myself I need to set the tone of the day and not the hundreds of voices asking me a million questions. So, I would go in a little earlier each day, sit at my desk and pop on Songza, to be exact “Wake Up Smiling, Oldies Morning”. It worked like a charm every day!Songza

4) Downy Infusions. When you are wearing the same clothes for Infusions16-18 hours a day you need them to smell good all day. Downy Infusions is your best defense plus the smell is hypnotic (Derek stop rolling your eyes, it’s an addiction – I know!).

5) One great husband. Oh man, I am a

Lawn mowing #selfie

Lawn mowing #selfie

lucky gal! Without Mr. Derek Taylor I would  NEVER have made it through this experience. He kept the house clean, he walked the dogs, he rubbed my feet, he held my hand as I fell asleep, he entertained our house renters (who ps. were totally amazing!!!), he mowed the lawn and he was patient ~ boy, was he patient!

6) GREAT friends! As always my friends supported me, encouraged me, kicked me straight in the butt when it needed to be kicked and reminded me how they have truly impacted my life more than they will ever know. Plus, I think I may now have converted a couple of them into hardcore soccer fans.

7) My Tim Horn. He was my right-hand man through out the Mr. Tim Hornentire ride and as far as co-pilots go, T-bone is right up there. He is kind, sweet, keen and looks great in a pair of Doc Martins.

So, if you find yourself taking on FIFA or a zombie apocalypse which I think would be on par to what I just went through, all you need to do is arm yourself with some great friends, awesome tunes, food and wet naps and you are set!

Be good my friends!

F

Alex Morgan