The last few days have certainly been filled with a lot of firsts for myself and our little family.
Since giving birth to Sophie I’ve woken up twice in the middle of the night with pain under my right shoulder blade. It was bad enough to wake me, I would pop two ibuprofen and try to get back to sleep to no avail. Twice I’ve had a hot 4 am bath to help alleviate the pain, and it worked after a while. I knew these were likely gallbladder attacks, since gallbladder issues are quite common after having a baby. Plus, my diet was consisting mainly of ‘whatever is quick and nearby’ these days, and usually, it wouldn’t hold much nutritional value.
Wednesday night I was on the phone making plans with my mother to go do some shopping on Thursday morning, and at the time I was feeling pretty good. We hung up, and as I stood up to go get ready for bed I felt pain in my upper rib cage. It was so uncomfortable, it felt like intense trapped wind that would not come out no matter how much I rubbed or moved around. I dialed 811 for advice, but rather than give me any advice they annoyed me with reading their list of questions. They really should make that a better service (I find it useful for the baby, for J and I, not so much). The pain only continued to intensify, and it was horrendous. I knew something wasn’t right, and as I got dressed, J packed up the baby bag for the hospital. We made it to the ER, and they took me right in. I was admitted right away for gallbladder issues, they did bloodwork and offered me morphine for the pain.
Since I am breastfeeding, I did not want to take anything for the pain unless absolutely necessary. I opted to take acetaminophen for the pain instead of Morphine. My bloodwork came back and all was fine, my pain was less horrendous, so they said I could go home but to return if the pain came back. As soon as we left, I regretted it, as the pain crept back up on me. At home, I paced the floor, not able to make myself comfortable anywhere. I tried having a bath, but it didn’t help. So I busied myself packing more things in the baby bag, grabbing extra diapers, sleepers, etc. I woke J up, we packed up the baby and headed back to the ER.
I was admitted again, it had been about 6 hours since I had been in, and the new bloodwork indicated my enzymes had begun affecting my liver. I was offered Morphine again for the pain, and again I refused. I was told I needed to see a surgeon about what was going to take place, so we waited in a room inthe ER to speak to him. He said I likely had gallstones stuck in a bile duct, which was what was causing the pain, and I needed to go on a test to see if this was the case. It was to be scheduled for the following morning, a friday, and if it showed gallstones in the bile duct I would have to go to Halifax for a scope procedure to have them blasted. In the meantime, I was being assigned a hospital room on the surgical ward.
As it turned out, they scheduled me for Halifax right away the following morning because HEY! It was a long weekend and we should take care of this right away. So, the following morning we were able to drive to the city for my appointment. This was Sophie’s first long car ride, and also her first trip to the city and she did so awesome! She slept the entire way there.
This was my first procedure, ever, and I was to be given a sedative, then a tube was put down my throat. Good times. But, all went well, the gallstones were blasted and I was brought back to the local hospital by ambulance. My first ambulance ride, and I slept through it all. Due to the sedatives and pain medication, I wasn’t able to breastfeed, very sadly. So, Sophie had to take a bottle of formula. She wasn’t thrilled with it at first, but she took it.
I was scheduled for gallbladder surgery the following morning, a Saturday. I went in at 12, and at 12:15 the anesthetist was injecting me with a sedative, then the general anesthetic. My first time being put to sleep, my first time having surgery.
When I woke up, groggy, I could hear the surgeon on the phone telling my husband that surgery was over, I did fine, my heart rate had dropped during the surgery but that it was a common occurance and I had recovered well. All I could think about was Sophie, through the whole thing.
I was released from the hospital on Sunday after lunch, I was so sore, but not as sore as the night before. Each day since then has been an improvement,, and I’m so happy to say that finally today I was able to breastfeed Sophie again. I spoke with the prenatal clinic, then with Motherisk, and when all was cleared I went ahead.
Can I just say how much I missed breastfeeding!? I missed that special bond, the closeness and the cuddling afterward. I missed having her so close. Because of the incisions, it’s very uncomfortable having her across me to breastfeed, and I’m still very sore to move her around a lot. But I’m so happy to be able to breastfeed her again!
I was pumping and dumping my breastmilk to keep my supply, and now that I can breastfeed her, I will be pumping and storing my milk. I wish I had done it sooner.
So that’s what’s been going on with us. Josh has been so amazing at taking care of Sophie, and me, during this whole time. It’s certainly been keeping him busy, and he has been so great with it all! I am one lucky woman!