Becoming pregnant really starts preparing you for being a mom. There’s the marking of monthly milestones, the constant fear of something going wrong and, of course, the non-stop worrying.
The beginning of my pregnancy was relatively easy. We had monthly check-ups where everything was progressing normally. My blood pressure was normal and I passed the Glucose Test with flying colors. I still worked my retail job, where I stood on my feet for 8 hours a day.
One day, I started getting a bad pain in my ribcage and an intense headache. I laid down and it went away. When I mentioned it to my OB/GYN, she told me that it was most likely a gallbladder attack. Since I was pregnant, I was advised to keep an eye on it and to drink plenty of water.
I was now in my 7th month of pregnancy and we started going to birthing classes to prepare for our son’s birth. Being a first time parent, I had no idea what to expect going into labor would feel like. The instructor told us what to expect contractions to feel like and how we should lay on the couch if we don’t feel the baby moving.
That night when we got home from our birthing class I went to sleep like it was any other night. A few hours in, I woke up dripping sweat and in the worst pain I have ever been in. I made it to the bathroom where I collapsed on the floor. I was short of breath with an intense pain radiating over my chest and down the side of my body. Crying and screaming, I was sure I had to be going into labor. Why else would I be in this much pain?
I made it out of the bathroom and on to my couch. Realizing that this was most likely a gallbladder attack and not labor, I took some Tylenol, laid on my side and tried to calm my breathing down. My husband put a call into my doctor. Eventually, I was back to normal. Shockingly, while I thought that whole episode had lasted hours, it only lasted about 20 minutes.
When I went in to see my doctor the next day, I had an ultrasound done. The test showed that my gallbladder was very inflamed and full of gallstones. Since performing gallbladder surgery on pregnant women can be risky, my doctor told me that after I delivered Hayden we would have to do surgery. I was given pain medicine to use sparingly and to watch my diet and to continue to drink plenty of water.
Even with watching my diet, I continued to have gallbladder attacks the rest of my pregnancy. Add in a diagnosis of sciatica and I had to go on leave and spend the rest of my days at home.
Having frequent gallbladder attacks was definitely the most difficult part of my pregnancy. I was finally able to have my gallbladder removed 4 months after my son was born. In addition to the attacks I had while pregnant, I continued to have them afterward. If anyone asks, I’ll tell them. Having a gallbladder attack is so much more painful than giving birth. I would much rather give birth a dozen times than have another gallbladder attack!
Becoming pregnant changed my life, and I’d love to hear more about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011.