Remember how I said, “The worst was over” when I was talking about my daughters pregnancy? I wasn’t quite right about that.
FYI– don’t read unless you don’t mind some gross body talk!
After the kidney tube was place, it pain was suppose to stop; the pressure on my internal organs should have been completely taken care of. There was even mention that I might not have to have the tube in for the rest of my pregnancy. That news elated me since I could tell emptying the bag and general day to day was going to get more difficult. I didn’t realize how difficult at the time.
That last month and a half was most mentally draining and physically depleting period of my life. It sounds so dramatic when I put it that way, but it’s the truth. I can’t even go into all the details of the day to day because I just don’t like remembering how hard it was. Why was it hard?
The kidney surgery caused some problems. Shortly after the tube was placed some of the pain did go away. But later that day, I discovered I could’t stand upright. I physically could not straighten my back (think Quasimodo) and no one could figure out why. Since the midwives, urologist, OB, and radiologist couldn’t figure out why the tube was not helping my back or kidney pain, Chris, Caidoc and I were in the hospital for appointments and evaluation several times a week and always, always refilling my pain meds. I was on as much Oxycotin, Oxycodine, and Ibprophen that they let pregnant women have.The full body spasms kept happening but usually only at night.
Night was the hardest time, because I had to sleep sitting upright, or my bag wouldn’t drain and my kidney would back up. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much. I couldn’t lift Caidoc, or much over 5 pounds. I couldn’t get all the way in a shower because I had to keep the bandage dry so I had to most clean myself with wet wash cloths. The bag I had to drain several times at night and many time during the day– several people have asked me if I still had the sensation to pee, and yes, I still peed regularly too, mostly because I was pregnant so I had a lot fluid in me and very little room to store it. Because I was so hot already from being pregnant I was getting night sweats. Due to these sweats the bandage over the tube started pretty much rotting my skin. That patch of my back smelled and it itched like crazy despite changing the bandage.
Because of the pain meds I couldn’t drive. At all. Which meant I rarely left our apartment. I felt horrible for Caidoc, our poor rambunctious boy was going crazy having to be stuck at home with me. The place was a mess since I couldn’t really clean or even do much than walk to the kitchen to fix Caidoc food.
All the doctors kept telling me the same thing; “Well, you could just have a c-section and end all this now.” But since my midwives and I were not entirely convinced the baby was causing the problem–since the tube should have elevated the kidney blockage– I kept telling them no. But every night when I was propped up in bed shaking from pain and exhaustion, I cried, and cried, longing to have the baby out. But every morning I would remind myself how miserable the recovery from Caidoc’s c section was and that I should just try to hold on a little longer. This baby wasn’t ready to come out.
There were complications being on so many pain meds. I was told there was high risk of the baby coming out with drug withdrawal in I stayed on narcotics till she came out. There seemed to no other way to deal with this amount of pain and still function and care for Caidoc, but I couldn’t stand the thought of our daughter being born with withdrawal so I started researching natural remedies. To keep a very long and arduous narrative short, I’ll talk about what did help me cope with the pain. I tried all sorts of things, pain meds, yoga positions, moving the baby, walking, not moving, laxatives and enemas (it was suggested to me that other ares of the body might be under stress and swelling..yuck), acupuncture, and seeing a chiropractor. The only thing that helped was the chiropractor. I went several times a week and he could straighten out my back each time and it brought relief. But usually, nighttime reset everything, and by morning I was back to being hunched over.
During the month and a half I had the tube in my back I kept trying to wean myself off the meds, knowing it would be better for the baby that way, and probably me as well. When I felt the meds starting to wear off panic would overcome me and I’d frantically dose again because I was so terrified of having full body spasms and ending up paralyzed on the floor again. I was able to do a pretty good job of cutting down the dosages. It was very hard mentally and physically.
It would be wrong to let you think I suffered alone. Help came from so many people. It’s true what they say, when times get tough, you really do find out who your friends are. Chris was heroic. Getting Caidoc out and about, fixing food, driving to the hospital, explaining to work how he needed to come in late again because I needed help, and so many other littles thing I can’t even start to number. The moms group I am a part of in Kent arranged for meals to come every other day for two weeks. That was a godsend. Chris’s dad came over and would play with Caidoc. My mom, as you already know, is a saint. She came down with my younger siblings as often as she could, to take Caidoc and I to parks and out for food ( since I couldn’t drive or walk without assistance that was pretty much the only fresh air we got). My younger siblings would run around and entertain Caidoc while I was able to update my mom on how I was doing. She also did wonderful research on what could possibly be going on, which is how we finally figured out the problem.
My grandpa is a retired urologist. One of the best and most knowledgable physicians out there. How blessed we are to have him as a resource. After hearing about the situation from my mom, he was as equally puzzled as to why the surgery wasn’t relieving all the pain. It took a couple weeks of questions and research but he said he believed that, by no one persons fault, the tube that was placed had poked or pierced my a dorsal nerve on my spine. It was a one in a million type situation but I had all the symptoms. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with it was to do..nothing. Hopefully, the tube being removed after the birth would lessen the damage but there was a chance the pain wouldn’t go away even after that. As fearful as I was that I would have to go on feeling this way even after birth, I was comforted a little by my grandpa saying that if I could stand this pain, natural child birth would be a “piece of cake”. That made me kinda feel like a badass so I resigned myself to keep it together for the baby and for the natural delivery I knew I wanted.
That’s how the last month and a half of my pregnancy went. I kept praying and hoping for a natural birth, a fast labor, and a healthy, happy baby. I NEEDED that. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to handle a difficult recovery or a tough baby after all I had been through. Turns out, with a few more hurdles to overcome, that’s exactly what I got.
****Birth story is coming soon!*****