Sunday, March 28, 2010

Post-Preggers Health Fun

After all I'd heard about complications with C-sections, I was very very grateful this part of the delivery went as smoothly as it did. Since the babies were on the small side the incision was smaller, too, and all in all the delivery was very easy. That said...

The twins were delivered on a Monday, I checked out on a Friday night, but then we were back at the hospital 12 hours later. I was suffering from severe constipation, which sounds funny but was seriously the worst pain I've ever experienced. Since I didn't have any contractions after my water broke on the day of the twins' birth, it was like the constipation was my way of experiencing childbirth pain... except at the end I gave birth to a multitude of little brown babies.

My septuplets

I'm sure everyone wants to know how constipation is treated in the ER and the answer is the physician first removes impacted poo with her fingers, and if that doesn't work, administers an enema. Both are no fun. (In other news, I can't BELIEVE people pay to receive enemas.)

My doctor?

Then three days later I was back in the ER, this time because of high blood pressure. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia (which can cause very high blood pressure) after having given birth, so I probably came down with it in the last week of my pregnancy. (For those of you keeping score at home, this pregnancy had 4 pre term labor scares - 2 of which landed me in the hospital for over a week, 2 months of bed rest, gestational diabetes, severe constipation, and finally pre-eclampsia. Such are the joys of a multiple pregnancy, especially when you're "older".) In case you watch 19 Kids and Counting (don't get me started on how having 19 kids is child abuse), the Duggars' 19th child weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces when she was delivered in her 26th week (which is when I had my first pre-term labor scare), because the mother was diagnosed with pre-clampsia. There is a risk of seizure to continue with a pregnancy so the babies are often delivered early. I also found out that I have a 30% chance of pre-eclampsia if I'm pregnant with a singleton in the future.

Here I am with my parents while wearing my dad's hat. My feet and legs were super swollen because of high blood pressure related to pre-eclampsia. Those flip flops are the only shoes that would fit.

Check out my scary cankles on my last day in the hospital.

I ended up in the ER after I saw my perinatologist (Asian female Doogie) and she sent me to the ER to have my blood pressure monitored. There's nothing more reassuring than lying on a gurney while being checked into the ER, and hearing two nurses discuss how I need to be given a room right away because I am a seizure risk. I was also told that having blood pressure rise above 150 puts you at a high risk of stroke. (This made me worry that a stroke was imminent though I think they just meant "higher risk of stroke.") Nothing can play with your mind more than being hooked up to blood pressure machines and trying to relax to keep the numbers down while told you're at risk of grand mal seizure and stroke.

Scary puffy feet close-up! It was worse than last time when my cankle doppleganger was Miss Piggy!

I had to monitor my blood pressure at home for several weeks with a blood pressure gauge. A few times when my numbers were too high, I had to call the perinatology center and they instructed me to lie down for an hour in a dark room with no outside stimulation - not even TV (the horror!) - to bring down my blood pressure. I was really sad for a few days because I finally was off bed rest only to be told not to move unless absolutely necessary. I wanted to finally spend time with my new babies, and be able to do simple things like walk around the house and set up their nursery. Thankfully my numbers were back to normal about a week after my ER visit.


  1. Sounds like you are ready to get pregnant again really soon, right? Wow, what an experience! I was at Barnes & Noble the other day and found a book called, "What Your Poo Says About You" - the chapter I opened to was called, "Deja Poo, Haven't I Seen That Somewhere Before?" I'm pretty sure it had your poo diagram, or something similar, in it.

  2. What are parents for if not to take you to the ER for an enema? I hope things are moving more freely for you now!

  3. childEngineer, things are indeed moving more freely now. Someone I know recently had the same constipation experience that I had and I asked which was worse - natural childbirth or that and she said the constipation! I am vindicated!

    Aly3kids, where were all the funny poo books when we were kids?