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i can’t seem to catch a f*cking break!

i don’t know quite where to begin. i have started at least 10 posts in my head and 3 on this site before this one. yucky pregnancy and birth and aftermath stuff to follow, read at your own risk…

olive’s post about the lake got me thinking… i have not been sharing what i am going through with you all because it has been painful, hard, really upsetting and this is the part that came AFTER getting pregnant. somehow it was totally OK to share this stuff when it was about TRYING to get pregnant.

in 3 days it will be one full year since the day we found out we were pregnant. don’t get me wrong, what ultimately came from that pregnancy is the most delightful baby girl (we shall call her bubbles here, ”every body does” – i will explain that another time). dakota and i are in awe of her and in love with her.

what i am still reeling from is the 10 months of terrible sick that was the pregnancy, the tests along the way that NEVER came back A-OK, but always a little wonky ”we’ll have to wait and see” results, losing one of the babies at 13 weeks, being tested 3 times for gestational diabetes (luckily not having it), having ”too much” fluid in the sack and needing twice weekly monitoring for the last couple months, being told at every sonogram (way too numerous sonograms to count) that she had a BIG head, a BIG belly, lots of hair… with a WOW voice that made dakota really nervous about what that all meant! turns out nothing.

at about 6 or 7 months (i can’t remember now) i got terrible tailbone pain and couldn’t sit… went to PT and it was a little bit better… thought getting it taken care of pre-birth/labor would be good so the little gal wouldn’t do damage on the way out… didn’t really work…

now we can talk about the way out… as i mentioned briefly right after bubbles was born, i was induced. i was about a week post dates (as they say) and my doctor was clearly feeling nervous. all my MILLIONS of monitoring tests said bubbles and i were fine, but with advanced maternal age the risks go up more than average when you go post dates and let’s face it, at that point the thought of unexplained lateterm fetal death is more than you can imagine risking. (turns out that a baby had been lost in just that way earlier in the week at the hospital my doc worked at and it clearly influenced her position… i am glad i didn’t know that till after).

the induction was 4 DAYS! that is 4 days of laying on a ”bed” that is really not intended for an extended stay. bubbles did not want to come out, she didn’t want to descend, she didn’t want to turn the right way, she just plain didn’t want to make an appearance. two days into the induction i said epidural now or we go for a c-section, the pain in my back was SO severe i couldn’t move. i got the epidural (though i had been very nervous about it and put it off as long as i could) it went fine… and it helped to be sure. there were about 8 hours of pushing and reassessing and pushing and reassessing and then forceps and then bubbles! i won’t even go into the details of dakota’s trauma of dealing with the grandparents who waited out the last 30+ hours in the waiting room stressing each other and dakota out at every turn – luckily i was totally unaware at the time.

after bubbles arrived, we were put in a postpartum room and all three of us spent the night together. i have never been more sore or exhausted in my life! the next day we found that bubbles had developed jaundice and she had to go to the nursery for light treatment, while really common it was scary just the same. the nurses woke me every three hours to go in to breastfeed her. they discharged me the next day, but bubbles needed another day of treatment so they let dakota and i stay in an unused room on the other side of the postpartum floor – weird cause we were still there in the hospital, but i was no longer a patient so could not get meds or food etc (though the nurses snuck me stuff cause they liked us). we took bubbles home and thought the fun would begin! of course my parents were staying at our place and that took some unexpected and ugly turns as well. let’s leave it at it was WONDERFUL for bubbles to get to spend time with her nana and grampa who live far away in CA, and i really enjoyed seeing them with her. everyone was really stressed, our roommate had given up her room for my parents and was feeling displaced (even though she offered) and my mom’s protective defensive crazies were full speed ahead. lots of tension ensued and it was actually pretty awful, they left early…

then about a week later all hell broke loose. i had been having the shakes since bubbles was born – normal they said, hormones they said. the shakes got worse, much worse… teeth chattering, bones knocking, every muscle a-spazaming. and on top of it, i had back/tailbone pain much worse than during pregnancy and a headache like i got hit by a 2×4. not so normal… i went in for my OB checkup and they sent me down the street to the ER for tests. i discovered percocet in the ER – yay!! i am NOT a drug/medicine taking gal generally. i often wait way too long to take something for what ever ails me, cause i am afraid of (or don’t like) the side effects. i don’t drink, smoke or do drugs for the same reasons – made me quite the ”goodie two shoes” amongst my friends growing up. i have never been in so much pain, and so constant of pain. the percocet took the edge off… only the edge! 1 CT scan, 8 million hours, a neural exam, a vaginal exam, a very inexperienced tech and about 10 blood sticks later they sent me home. the next night was even worse and back to the ER i went… the barf bag i kept in my bag all through my pregnancy and never needed was put to use in the back of the cab! and i wish i could say it helped with the major peeing on my self that i did every time i heaved! thank goodness the pads caught ”most” of that. we sat for 8 million more hours in the ER before i was admitted and spent a week in hospital, pumping dumping and crying because bubbles was at home and i was not with her. turned out that i had endometritis – very common, i did not have the most common symptoms and because i came in with severe pain, it took them awhile to diagnose. turns out the pain they could do nothing about. tailbone bruising or something… take it elsewhere, take some percocet you’ll feel better soon.

three months later i still have constant pain. i basically can’t sit. i have a special pillow i use when i MUST sit. it helps only the tiniest bit. i stand or i lie down… yes even to nurse! my feet hurt, my hips hurt, my back of course hurts… i am finally not taking the percocet any more (i was on it for 2 months), not because it doesn’t hurt any more, but because it made me too nervous about breastfeeding and that i was gonna get totally hooked… my doctor was getting nervous. it was already less effective than it had been and i wouldn’t up the dosage. so i remain in pain… i am cranky ALL THE TIME.

then, to add insult to injury, about a month ago i started noticing that while my episiotomy was healed and i should now not be having discomfort in my nether region, i was having a new sensation there… it felt like when you put a tampon in, but not well/all the way – think back to the early attempts in your youth. it felt like there was something there… i felt around and it seemed something was bulging a bit. now, i thought that could be the change in the landscape since the birth… maybe nothing… a week later it seemed more so. i suspected prolapse… i got it checked out, and YUP cystocele and rectocele… basically means my rectum is leaning against and collapsing in one wall of my vagina, the bladder is doing the same to the other side and in fact is leaning in so far that it is trying to the protrude out of my vaginal opening.

if at this point you want to throw your arms up and say ”no fucking way!” ”can’t this gal catch a fucking break?” feel free to join the chorus. i really lost it at this one, major crying… i don’t feel like i can take much more.

but now i gotta tell you what the specialist/surgeon said… and this guy was friendly, easy to talk with and not skeevy… but then after telling me about the prolapses and the likelihood that psessary (kind of propping thing that you stick in your hoo ha to hold back the walls) would not be the best solution for me, and that i would need surgery to shore up the walls and put the organs back where they belong… he told me i also needed vaginal reconstruction. the opening was gaping and ragged and the perinium was shortened because of it – he could make me look 20 again! yuck!! i told him i don’t want/need to look 20 again, i just had a baby for goodness sake! of COURSE i’m stretched and a bit ragged. i went for a second opinion (this time a female uro-gynecologist) and she agreed about the prolapse, but also agreed with me that the other part was completely cosmetic… no need to ”repair”. she is not a surgeon though so i now have to decide if i find a new surgeon (and go to the third person about this) or if i talk with him again about this part and see if he is open to doing the internal surgery and leaving the outside alone. it is a nightmare and very uncomfortable!

i am cranky all the time, weepy most of the time, in pain constantly and spending my days at home alone with the sweetest, most delightful baby. she is truly amazing! i can’t wait for this fog from hell to lift so that i can really enjoy her. i feel like i am short-shrifting her.

there are many more struggles… wife’s work schedule, mother-in-law negotiations, my not having had a job for a full year already cause of the layoff… and so many more, but i thought i would start here and let you all know what has been going on for me/us. we are both ”OK” and not 😉 if you know what i mean.

i have been reading along with your trials tribulations and victories even as i have been hiding in my hell.

thanks for reading,
xo mulberry

soon i will post a password protected post with some photos of bubbles… we are not comfortable putting the up online without that in place. if i know you and you want the password, let me know and i will send it to you.