This is Dani and her gorgeous two-year old daughter. Days before Dani was scheduled to undergo major brain surgery to remove a benign but growing tumor, Dani discovered she was pregnant. Faced with an unimaginable choice, she opted to continue with her pregnancy and put the brain surgery on hold. I hope you are as inspired by her determination, recovery, and healing in the face of (too many) massive obstacles as I am.
“This morning I came barreling down the stairs with my daughter in tow as well as a tote bag, purse, diaper bag, breakfast, and keys while walking down my steep driveway to my car. Ready to start my hectic day. I saw myself in the reflection of my car window. This mom is a human camel, and proud to be one too!
To explain, a little over a year ago we weren’t sure I would be able to walk down the stairs unassisted. In 2012 I was diagnosed with a “benign” brain tumor called an Acoustic Neuroma. It had grown with me over the years until it took almost all my hearing in my right ear, balance, and extreme vertigo was setting in. My new husband and I rushed to specialists who advised me to have surgery almost immediately. It was finally scheduled, and I was hopeful that all would be back to normal soon.
Four days before my surgery, I felt compelled to take a pregnancy test – which came back positive.
I had to have this surgery.
I wanted to be a mother.
I had no idea how this was going to work. My doctor gave me the go ahead to monitor my brain tumor during my pregnancy and postpone the surgery. There was not a lot of research on my situation, so we really had to rely on a hope and a prayer. As we inched up to 7 months, it became clear that the brain tumor had grown significantly. It was hard and painful to write. I became bound to a wheelchair and walker.
Dreams of a water birth were dashed. It was too dangerous to have my daughter naturally, or even with partial anesthesia in my C-section. I was placed under general anesthesia and my daughter was born at 38 weeks, which was an accomplishment in itself. I was moved to ICU and she was transported to the nursery. I was able share two months of determined breastfeeding with my perfectly healthy baby girl, and I finally had my long-awaited surgery.
Two brain surgeries and over a year of therapy later, I can say my greatest gift is my wiggly 2 year old who challenges my balance every day!”
Dani, your resilience and optimism are absolutely inspiring. Many wishes for continued healing and recovery.
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