I haven’t blogged in a while, but I was recently inspired to start again. One inspiration was from an unexpected source that I’ll write about later. The other was from a woman who found my blog and wanted to ask me about being pregnant after a mastectomy, because she was going through the same thing.  So – what’s new since I last wrote? Well, the new things in my life are probably the same reasons I haven’t had the energy to update in a while. Basically all of the things they say are the biggest life stressors happened at the same time – new baby, new city, new job! Even though it was crazy chaotic – all of the new things in our life are super exciting and incredible.

The most incredible is our baby girl, Gabriela (but we all call her Gabi)! Gabi girl is the light of our lives and is now 8 months old. For my loyal readers, you know about the challenges we went through to have a baby – from infertility/IVF treatments to my miscarriage. I can tell you for sure, that for anyone struggling through these issues, none of it matters once you’re holding your baby in your arms. My infertility and miscarriage journey was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, much harder for me than anything related to the mastectomy or BRCA. Please don’t give up hope, our rainbow baby is proof that miracles can happen (also big shoutout to science).

We moved to San Diego, to be closer to family, and we’re so happy we did. It’s awesome having so much family finally in the same city. I also started a great new job! So, lots of big changes, but all of them so good. Look out for upcoming posts about that mystery inspiration I mentioned, the third trimester of pregnancy after a mastectomy, medical debt, preeclampsia, and being a new mom after a mastectomy. Definitely some hard hitting topics, but I promise to bring the laughs along with the tears. xoxo.


Pregnancy After Mastectomy: Weeks 5-21

Women who have had double mastectomies aren’t able to breastfeed afterwards. This was the one part of the decision to have a prophylactic mastectomy that made me question whether or not I should do it – because of all the breastfeeding benefits for both baby and mom. In the end, I’m very happy with the decision I made, even though it means I won’t be able to breastfeed. My particular BRCA mutation (BRCA2) is known to activate during pregnancy, so the benefit of having a mastecomy before pregnancy definitely outweighed the risk for me, but it was still a tough choice. The melanoma part of my BRCA2 mutation has acted up during pregnancy (don’t worry, everything is ok), which has made me even more relieved I chose to have my ticking time bomb boobies removed and replaced with my lovely foobies before getting pregnant.  I’m going to be writing separate posts soon about pregnancy and BRCA (including the pre-melanoma pregnancy drama).

In my last post, I talked about how it’s been difficult for me to find info about being pregnant after having a mastectomy. With everything available online, it’s been frustrating trying to find out if things I’ve been experiencing are mastectomy related or not. I’m hoping to blog about everything I find out, so that other women with similar questions have a resource.

Weeks 1-13 (First Trimester)

Very early on in the pregnancy (probably weeks 5-6), I had really weird pains in my back like I’d never felt before. I got permission from my IVF doctor to see a perinatal chiropractor, which helped a lot. He explained to me that my pain was actually referred pain from the chest. Basically, because I had a mastectomy, my nerves were sending sensations to my back instead of breast pain.

Around that same time, I had weird lightning like sensations that felt like they were from my nipples. I hadn’t had any sensations in my nipples since the mastectomy, so I think pregnancy activated something. Also, areas where there was a bit of breast tissue left like underneath the incision and under my arms were tender. If you’re curious how I still have nipples after a mastectomy, check that out here.

Weeks 13-21

Starting around week 18, I’ve noticed some swelling where there must be a small amount of breast tissue remaining. The areas under the incisions and under my arms are a bit swollen. Other than those areas, my breasts/nipples haven’t changed at all during pregnancy.

Around week 20, I had some strange/annoying phantom pain in the areas where I had drains after my mastectomy. Luckily that phantom drain sensation only lasted a few days bc I never wanna deal with that effing drain pain again!

Recently (weeks 20-22), my back has been generally hurting a lot and I have that weird back pain again. The general back pain is par for the course with being pregnant and carrying around a big basketball tummy (plus my expanding hips and bootylicious butt – I don’t think my back was ready for this jelly), but that same weird pain I had early on is related to the mastectomy again. Once again, my chiropractor has helped me a lot, along with starting to do prenatal stretches (thanks to my hubby for suggesting this over to my stubborn self over and over until I finally listened).

Second trimester is also when we started the baby registry and the reality of not being able to breastfeed has kicked in a bit more, which has been a bit tough. I told the woman helping me with my registry that I’m not able to breastfeed, and she was super helpful in pointing out nursing items I could register for meant for bottle/formula feeding, and not making me feel judged for not breastfeeding. My friend, Elana, who was with me, also helped make me excited about the cool bottle feeding items we found. In addition to my friend Elana, I want to give a special shoutout to Maddy at Buy Buy Baby in Encinitas, CA for helping this part of registering (that I was a bit worried about) actually be really fun instead of a downer.

I hope this list is helpful! I’m going to be continuing blog about pregnancy after mastectomy throughout the rest of my pregnancy (126 days, but who’s counting), and beyond.




I’m Pregnant!

I’m so happy to be able to share this wonderful news, especially after my last post, which was kind of a downer. Adam and I can’t express how much we appreciate all of the support and outreach after I shared our fertility struggles.

I’m 17 weeks pregnant with our baby girl, and feeling a lot better than I did in the first trimester (feeling hungover 24/7 is not fun). Of course, my BRCA mutation has caused a bit of drama during the pregnancy – but I’ve stayed on top of it.

During pregnancy, I’ve found a lack of information online about pregnancy after a mastectomy, so I’m excited to blog about it! So stay tuned for more posts about being pregnant and BRCA+.