Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and you just have to roll with it. My whole second pregnancy I dealt with nausea, food aversions and sensitivity and vomiting — it’s just a part of pregnancy, they said. When I had constant back pain for weeks at a time — just another joy of pregnancy, I was told. My midwife recommended a modified diet and pregnancy physical therapy to help, which it didn’t really. So I just accepted that this was what my pregnancy would be like.
I was wrong. After delivery, my nausea continued and my back was still very much in pain. I figure it was the hormones still in my system, and lived with it. I was still wrong.
Five weeks postpartum, my husband drove me to the Emergancy room at little after 12 am on Monday morning, feeling simple horrible. I was throwing up so much, it was coming up liver bile and having horrible upper back pain, worse than labor. I knew something was wrong, so we packed up of 5 week old, let my mother in law know we needed her to watch our daughter and where on our way to the ER. Once there it wasn’t long for them to see me and after so me nausea meds, fluids and lab work – the doctor was very concerned about my liver profile and said that it was very likely my gallbladder. He strong recommended transferring to hospital admission for more tests, a ultrasound of my gallbladder and the possible surgery.
Since I had dealt with similar episodes like this for almost 3 years, I was willing to be admitted. Doctors had thought it was acid reflux, GERDs, residual pain from a muscle spasm in my back — all wrong and nothing they suggested helped. I even had my gallbladder checked but nothing showed on the CT or ultrasound. A NP told me to just deal until I couldn’t handle it anymore and suggested changing my diet.
So all my second pregnancy, I dealt with not being able to eat much of anything, loosing weight very quickly and having a midwife fuss me out for it. Yet my baby was healthy and I focused on that.
When that ER doctor mentioned being admitted and more testing, I was willing to do anything at that point to deal with this issue that was causing me so much pain and keeping me from taking care of my children. They transferred me to the same hospital I delivered at, only on the first floor this time. More tests and a visit from a GI doctor and the NP from the surgical specialists where all concerned about my labs and wanted an ultrasound to see what was going on. The NP was so nice, and ironically, I had done her hospital newborn photos a few months previously so she remembered me.
For the first time, I heard how hormones during pregnancy could cause issues with your gallbladder and what I had suffered this second pregnancy was a inflamed gallbladder with sludge and gallstones. The relief I felt when I heard that was immense. Now I had a reason behind all the pain and discomfort. The word, surgery, still was not one I was not comfortable with — but it made me healthy and allowed me to get back to taking care of my children, I would do it.
It was my first surgery, first time going under with general anesthesia — it all seemed a little surreal, but I made of my mind I needed to do it. I don’t remember being drowsy or feeling sleepy, I just blinked and was in recovery. It was only a few hours later that I was released home. The back pain and nausea feeling I had been dealing with for 9 months was gone!
I am still struggling with not being able to lift much, putting me back where I was in the first two weeks postpartum, but I would’t have it any other way. I am healing, and working on figuring out the whole mom of two kids thing. It’s a work in progress but I love my morning snuggles.