I Am Strong {SPD and Gallbladder}

by January Harshe on September 20, 2015

I am strong because I started developing an unexplainable pain in my legs when I was only six weeks pregnant with my first child.

I am strong because I had to go through two doctors, two chiropractors, and twelve weeks of increasing pain before a chiropractor identified the area causing problems (my pubic symphysis) and I found the actual diagnosis online (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction).

I am strong because my SPD progressed beyond the “normal” range for pregnancy. At nearly 31 weeks pregnant my midwife sent me to an OB to make sure that my condition wouldn’t cause me to risk out of a birth center birth. After a quick exam the OB said my pubic bones had separated more than 9mm which meant I no longer had SPD. I had Diastasis Pubis Dysfunction, the most severe form of the condition. This was one day after my 35th birthday – happy birthday to me.

I am strong because I was rushed to the hospital in excruciating pain at 36 weeks pregnant with what turned out to be gallstone induced pancreatitis.

I am strong because I lived on IV fluids and no food for four days while my pancreatitis was being treated.

I am strong because I ate a drastically different diet for the remainder of my pregnancy and my first 11 days postpartum in order to keep the pancreatitis at bay.

I am strong because I had to try six different chiropractors before I finally found one that could even remotely ease my pain (seventh time’s a charm) when I was 37 weeks pregnant.

I am strong because at 38 weeks and 5 days I birthed my beautiful and amazing daughter naturally in the water at a birth center with her holding her hand against her head. This turned out to be extremely lucky since she’d managed to wrap the umbilical cord around her neck and arm four times. (My birth story is on my baby blog.)

unnamed

birth without fear

I am strong because at 11 days postpartum I collapsed on my bedroom floor when I was hit with a rush of pain as the pancreatitis returned.

I am strong because the very first time I was ever separated from my daughter was when the paramedics rushed me back to the hospital in an ambulance.

I am strong because I went two more days on IV fluids and no food and, after continuously and unsuccessfully begging the doctors to switch me to medication that was safe for me to be on while breast feeding, I resorted to pumping and dumping while my daughter, thankfully, thrived on donor milk.

I am strong because I insisted that the hospital allow my husband and daughter to live with me in the hospital for four days.

I am strong because I had my gallbladder removed at 14 days postpartum.

I am strong because I helped my daughter return to the boob as soon as the medication was out of my system, a day after surgery, and though she was born nine days early, five days before I was scheduled to attend a breast feeding class, and I didn’t know what I was doing and had to see three different lactation consultants before we could nurse without pain, my daughter has been breastfed since birth and only received formula once while getting over jaundice and twice in the short time when we were waiting for donor milk to arrive.

I am strong because I, with the loving support of my husband, my family, my friends, and my birth center family, survived several painful conditions during my pregnancy and have no plans to let that stop me from having another child… naturally and in the water.

i am strong, birth without fear

Submitted by Kassondra.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rebecca Wood September 22, 2015 at 2:55 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am 12 months postpartum and I have never come across anybody else who has had the same – or at least very similar – experience to myself. It is somehow comforting to know that I am not alone, although obviously I am so sorry you had to experience. You are indeed strong.
I too had severe SPD from 18 weeks followed by pancreatitis. I was on crutches by week 31 of my pregnancy and practically house bound by week 34. The Consultant offered to induce me at 37 weeks but because there was no risk to my baby I decided to cope with the pain and continue. Thankfully my baby arrived at 39+6 and didn’t make me wait any longer! I was in labour for 36 hours and to my continuing regret I had an epidural at 8cm, after dealing with the SPD and that length of labour I was simply exhausted. During delivery I had a 3rd degree tear and was taken to theatre for repair immediately after delivery. I was in surgery for 2 hours and parted from my baby, who was enjoying skin-to-skin with her Dad.
I collapsed at 10 days postpartum. I was again separated from my baby – 3 times for nights at a time in her first 4 weeks – as the pancreatitis was misdiagnosed as gastritis. I had 3 overnight hospital stays before I had the final attack at 4 weeks postpartum, at this point I thought I was going to die. They eventually figured it out as I was on my way to intensive care. The nurses and doctors tried for 6 hours to get an IV drip in to me but because I was so dehydrated (I’d been vomiting every 10 mins for nearly 20 hours) they couldn’t find any veins. My arms were black and blue after their 8 attempts. Eventually I was able to get some morphine and much needed fluids and over the next few days my pancreas stabilised. Like yourself I could hardly eat for the first week and was on a very restricted diet for 4 weeks while my pancreas calmed down enough for my gallbladder to be removed. I lost 2 stones in weight in this time.
Again like yourself I carried on pumping & begging for baby friendly meds. At one stage I was given the nurses kitchen (!) to express milk at 3am.
I am strong because I dealt with all of this, I consequently developed postnatal depression and have been in counselling for 10 months. I also moved house the week my baby was born, what was I thinking!?
I am now back to work and considering baby number 2. Unfortunately I have anal prolapse and non functional bottom muscles to sort out first – a result of the 3rd degree tear, but I intend to have another baby.
I thought my experience was so rare that I was alone so I am so grateful you shared your story. I am so sorry you had to go through what you did. I really can relate and just want to say a big thank you and send you a big hug.

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