At 29 weeks, when the baby was old enough to survive if I were to go into preterm labor, I had a mastectomy to remove my left breast. I needed to wait to start reconstruction because my doctor didn't want me to undergo any unnecessary surgeries while pregnant. Physically, I was okay, but the operation took a huge emotional toll. I walked around the house in my husband's T-shirts. I couldn't look in the mirror.
Thirteen days after surgery, on November 27, 2007, everything changed. I called my ob-gyn because I hadn't felt the baby move much that morning. My doctor told me to go straight to labor and delivery. We learned the baby's heart rate was low and she might be in fetal distress. I had an emergency C-section and, at 31 weeks, my daughter Addison was born weighing 3 pounds, 6 ounces. I no longer had the luxury of dwelling on my missing breast. Addison became my first concern.