Delivering Medical Wonders
Just a couple of years ago, Gwen was recovering from surgery, and hoping someday to start a family. Now, she is the mother of twin baby boys.
Not long ago, Gwen realized that while her job as director of constituent communications at a local college was rewarding, she wanted more in her life: she wanted a family. She had been dating, but hadn't found her soul mate.
"When I turned 39, I thought: 'I want to have kids, so I'm going to do it on my own.' I thought I check on my fertility, so I went to the fertility clinic," said Gwen.
Things looked good, except she had fibroids. Uterine fibroids - benign (noncancerous) growths - are common, occurring in roughly 40 percent of women. They can grow either underneath the uterine lining, inside the uterine wall or outside the uterus. Most fibroids are small and insignificant.
Uterine fibroids can cause problems if they are large enough to interfere with or prevent pregnancy, as was the case with Gwen. Fibroids are often asymptomatic, although for Gwen, the diagnosis explained the long, heavy periods she'd been having.
Gwen's fibroids weighed half a pound, and were the size of a baby's head. In this case, the fibroids were large enough to interfere with her ability to get pregnant, so Gwen would need surgery.
Until now, the only surgical option for removing fibroids was through "open" abdominal surgery called a myomectomy, a major operation requiring up to six weeks for recovery. A myomectomy can cause a lot of scarring, as it involves cutting through the abdominal muscles and into the uterus. If the scar tissue occurred inside the uterus, it too could interfere with pregnancy.
Because her surgery was performed using a da Vinci Si robot surgery system, which allows for precise, high-definition 3D magnification, the scarring was minimal both inside and outside. While the recovery time for open abdominal surgery is normally six weeks, Gwen's recovery time was two to three weeks.
While this was happening, Gwen met her soul mate, Brian. With everything Gwen was going through, she would understand if he wanted to bow out, but that wasn't the case.
"I wasn't really expecting anything, since we'd just met. But he said he wanted to be a dad again (he has a daughter from another marriage). He said we should give it a try," said Gwen.
As luck would have it, they were successful with their efforts and four months after her surgery, she was pregnant, and seemed to be getting very big very fast. She found out she had twins.
At the first ultrasound, Gwen's doctor said, 'It's a miracle - you just had a myomectomy four months ago, you're 40 and you're pregnant.' When he said I had twins. I nearly fainted," said Gwen.
Her twin boys Mason and Gavin were born 37 1/2 weeks after that, each weighing six and a half pounds. With two baby boys and a wedding to plan, Gwen's life is now full.
"It's all happened very fast, and has been amazing," she said.