A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday.... I Had Surgery
by Stacie Bloomfield
Okay, so I have been dying to get back to blogging about DIY and home decor, however, sometimes life intervenes. And this week, even though I had my baby 6 weeks ago, a post-pregnancy related complication arose that required me having surgery yesterday.
Now, not many people probably want to read about this, but, I feel compelled to write about my post-pregnancy complication and associated surgery, because what happened to me is pretty rare. So, stop reading now if you don't care to read about this nitty gritty stuff.
Otherwise, it starts like this. I delivered Lucy 6 weeks ago. The delivery was a dream. Easy and happy. 2 days in the hospital, and we brought her home! If you have had a baby, then you know that there is associated bleeding for several weeks. Yet after almost 5 weeks, I was still bleeding. Bright red. Also, breastfeeding had been so awful this go around. No matter how much a nursed, pumped, talked to lactation consultants, I could not get my milk supply to go up! Finally, after the bleeding got worse, and I started feeling weak and achy, I called my OBGYN and talked to her nurse.
The nurse did not seem to concerned with my bleeding. She was certain it was simply my cycle returning. But I insisted on seeing my OBGYN as soon as possible because I felt like something was not right. And it is a good thing I did. On Thursday, after visiting with my doctor she examined me. I was still dilated 6 weeks after giving birth! Not normal. Then she decided to give me an ultrasound so see what was going on.
As it turns out, parts of my placenta was still in my uterus! This is quite rare, and only occurs in 1% of all pregnancies. Placental fragments, as they are called, when left in the uterus, cause continual bleeding and prevent the body from healing after childbirth. In turn, the uterus can become infected. Sometimes when these go undiagnosed, women develop complications such as uterine infections, endometriosis, even in extreme cases, hysterectomies!
Another side effect of the placenta being left in the uterus is low milk production. The body still thinks that it is pregnant, due to the hormones excreted by the placenta. The placenta being delivered is what signals the body to start producing milk. So, my extreme difficulty breast feeding was a direct result of my post-pregnancy placental fragments.
Somehow, amazingly, I did not develop an infection! Six weeks is a heck of a long time for something like this to go unnoticed. It is partially my own fault. I went back to working on Gingiber a week after I had Lucy. I thought that the red bleeding was just my overdoing it. And, I am a bit of a workaholic. So I tend to push myself to hard most of the time anyways.
Friday morning at 5 AM I was at the hospital, having surgery to remove the placental fragments. Nathan's parents watched the girls that morning, and my mom drove up late that evening to watch the girls over night.
Now, it is Christmas Eve, and I am recovering quite nicely from surgery. I am on some powerful pain killers, and look rather rough! But, I am so very happy to be healthier now. Friends, if you ever think that something is off in your body, don't hesitate to go to the doctor and get it checked out.
Merry Christmas, everyone!