That time I thought I was dying
I had surgery on December 19 to fix something that is not often discussed but happens to many women who have given childbirth vaginally: pelvic prolapse. Pelvic prolapse can actually be just one type of prolapse or it can be a few different prolapses of different pelvic organs. First - prolapse basically means the organ has fallen and it’s falling out of your body, either through your vagina, rectum, or putting an immense amount of pressure on your pelvic area. The organs that can prolapse from having vaginal childbirth include the uterus, rectum, bladder, vagina, and small intestine. Some factors that increase your risk of pelvic organ prolapse are having multiples, having large babies, and some people have a genetic predisposition. There are many different methods of remedying these issues, after consulting with my OB/GYN and Urologist we decided the best procedure for me would be surgery coupled with pelvic floor physical therapy after recovering from surgery.
My surgery was on a Wednesday and I was supposed to be discharged Thursday. However on Thursday I had a hemorrhage from somewhere near the surgical sight and was rushed back into emergency surgery to stop all the bleeding. This was absolutely terrifying. The Surgeon and nurses were discussing things like blood loss, blood transfusions, risks of General anesthesia vs. spinals, and how to even locate and identify where the bleed was coming from. I honestly thought I was going to die and I’m fairly certain this thought entered Mike’s mind as well. Neither of us said the words and instead we both assured each other everything would be alright. On the inside I was terrified.
The surgical site was inside my body so my surgeon couldn’t just identify easily where the bleed was coming from. However, because I had eaten that morning I couldn’t go under General anesthesia. The anesthesiologist decided the safest way to proceed was to keep me wide awake and instead do a spinal which she said was essentially just like an epidural. I had to be awake for this surgery because of the risk of vomiting and aspirating into my lungs while under anesthesia.
I came out of the second surgery successfully but have continued to have complications. Primarily, when you undergo this type of surgery there is a risk that your bladder will not function properly and that risk is even higher if you essentially have to have surgery twice (ahem, me.). On Friday, my Doctor took my catheter out to see if I could pee. After all I had been through I was hoping for a glimmer of good news, unfortunately I couldn’t pee. I still have not been able to pee nine days post-op. I’m praying this resolves sooner rather than later but it is all just a part of the healing process and all I can do is give it time.
We are getting through this difficult period with a lot of family support. I’m not allowed to lift anything at all right now which is difficult when you have three kids under three and a household and a job to take care of. My mom is a saint and has moved in with us temporarily to basically fill my shoes and boy is she doing it all. I heard Mike say to her today “you’re really good at doing laundry” and now I’m like shit, I’m going to have to keep up with these standards after I’m all healed. But seriously, my mom and dad, Mike, my in laws, my brother and his wife, and Mike’s siblings and their families have really stepped in to help in a big way. It’s hard to sit around and watch people take care of you but I’m never going to get better if I don’t take it easy.
There are few events in ones life that really open your eyes to the important things. I have always tried to stay grounded but sometimes get wrapped up in the daily grind. When I had children every grievance or petty concern I ever had vanished, in an instant, when my eyes were opened as to just what was really worth holding on to. When I truly thought I would die last week I wished I had more time. More time to love, to snuggle, to kiss, to teach, to make an impact. All we have is our health and our family. If we don’t take care of ourselves we won’t be here for our family. Take care of yourself mamas so that you can continue to love, snuggle, kiss, teach, and impact your family and the world around you.
Cheers to a healthy and lovely 2019 🖤