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What a wonderfully written piece. I can imagine how terrifying that whole weekend must have been. Thanks for sharing your story, Kate!
Loved this essay. Well-told! And fascinating to my scientist-mind. Never heard of a teratoma before.
Wow, when you got to the part about the tooth my very first thought was "I'd want to keep that in a jar!" It's too bad you couldn't at least keep the tooth part. Pictures are nice too, though. Great story!
This is an amazing essay, amazingly well written, and so sweet, funny, worrisome, and reassuring all at the same time. I never heard of a renegade egg. I'm so glad you didn't have a tumor. And that your husband is such a good sport! Too bad you didn't get to keep it in a jar. But it's probably for the best!
Loved the way you turned this terrifying experience--one I'm sure many of us moms carry around in our heads--into such a funny, tender essay about life, and what we make of it. My cousin had one of these odd tumors, too.
I really enjoyed reading this. I had the same thing happen to me (it was the size of a grapefruit, the doctor explained) except I was all of 9 years of age when it was found. As you can imagine my mother was more worried than I was. It was nice to see you tell your story with a sense of humor..
What a strange and scary thing to face. Nicely told, but I'm with the macabre few - I think I'd want to *see* that tooth!
Superb piece of writing, Kate. I remember my mother getting a phone call of doom when I was home from college one summer. (Can't forget how she squeezed my hand when the doc explained over the phone the ominous things the test results meant.) Your piece brought me back to that moment -- long enough ago to have some distance -- but this time around with such an incredible and, thankfully, humorous twist. What a weird age we live in where there are tests that detect "tumors" that turn out, on closer inspection, to be (or at least have) teeth!
I had a similar experience with my first pregnancy. I always attributed the teratoma to my body's thrill at finally getting to be pregnant! For a while it was fun, I had ultrasounds once a month to keep an eye on the tumor's growth -- which meant I got to see the baby growing, too. (Of course there was always a twinge that it was not as benign as it seemed.) Eventually it began to crowd the baby and it had to come out -- at 4 months pregnant. That was a little worrisome. It all ended well and my baby girl is now eleven. The doc shared photos of the "little monster" - it was fascinating - lots a brain matter and hair - yuck! And to this day my sister-in-law likes to suggest that our first born was "almost twins"! Thanks for sharing your story, Kate, and so glad it all turned out well for you!
Wow. What amazes me is that in the 10th grade, thinking of Mary (of course) I asked my biology teacher if it wasn't remotely, astronomically possible for an egg to start to develop by itself. He said no, not at all. Now, this guy was generally a good teacher, but he was also awash in creationism and I believe he knew what I was thinking. Funny that I'm no longer a Christian but now I realize that those eggs CAN start up without sperm.I wonder how many babies have been born without dad's genetic material? I mean, we wouldn't question it, would we? Unless we get everybody genetically tested, we will never know whether or not any people were actually born from an egg only.Seems nothing is impossible with life...
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Jesscio, wow. I can't imagine finding one of these while pregnant. Now there's a story!Just to clarify, Anonymous, while an egg can "start up without sperm," it can't grow into an actual baby without being fertilized. It can only grow bits of genetic material.
Kate - this was really interesting. I loved it. Hope y'all are alright.
I enjoyed the way you told your story. A few years ago I had a weekend of terror following a breast biopsy, but my son's birthday forced us to go about our business as usual while we waited for Monday. I was like a robot, baking the cake, singing happy birthday. Fortunately my news was good. Then a year or so later I had an ovarian mass that the doctor thought might be a teratoma, but it turned out to be a cyst. It was big enough that I had to have it removed. I have pictures, too. They are not very pretty.I think about the women 100+ years ago who grew cysts and teratomas and other masses, but who didn't have any way to get them removed, and I feel so sad for them.
During my pregnancy, my anatomy ultrasound found a cyst that caused some concern, but was deemed to be something similar, called a dermoid cyst. It apparently had bits of fat, hair and bone in it-- they could tell this from the relative densities in the scan or something. We kept an eye on it, but it wasn't growing-- who knows how long it had been there. They ended up taking it out during my c-section, and the last thing I saw as I left the operating room was a group of docs bent over it on a table with "oh cool" expressions on their faces. As busy as I was with my son, I really wish I had been able to see it.
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