Aug 15, 2011

A public service announcement, of sorts

I didn't intend to write this post, but here it comes. And for some -- or many -- of you, it may be FAR too much information. If you think I may be talking about YOU, please look away now.

However, other than Jenny McCarthy, there seem to be precious few women willing to tell you about the seedy underbelly of pregnancy and childbirth. (That is not a foreshadowy pun, leading you to believe that I am about to launch into a post about stretch marks. OH IF ONLY THIS POST WERE JUST ABOUT STRETCH MARKS.) And even then, a lot of those women are willing to talk all day about their vaginas and all the stretching and the discomfort and the sewing up and the whatnot, but they are NOT talking about their bumholes. And for that, I apologize to all of you who gave birth without the benefit of a true girlfriend who would warn you about what was about to happen to your butthole.

I will begin by saying this ... Four pregnancies have led me to this conclusion: Pregnancy, labor and delivery are the closest you can get to donating your body to science without actually being dead.

People -- men AND women -- probe your body, stick things up your body, look at and study your body, mostly in instances of partial or total undress. And sometimes you're in VERY uncomfortable positions. Sure, you're not in full rigor mortis, but I'm willing to bet they don't put cadavers in stirrups. So, let's call it even in that race between, you know, us pregnant women and the cadavers.

Long story short, I've suffered from terrible hemorrhoids with all four of my pregnancies, and they all got worse after delivery. However, with this pregnancy, I'm carrying Unnamed Baby Girl a lot lower than I carried the boys, meaning that there's a lot more pressure on my lady bits all the time. As well as my unisex bits. And that has led to significantly more painful hemorrhoids.

[Tap, tap. Is this thing still on? Anyone still there? MOVING ON.]

After trying three prescription remedies over the last couple of months, at my OB visit last Friday, he took a look because I was in such severe pain and said the equivalent of a gentlemanly, "OH SHIT." He called the nurse in, asked her to call a surgeon right away, and I was in a surgeon's office across the hospital within 20 minutes.

I was technically there for a consult, because surgeons generally don't "cut" on expectant mothers unless it's totally necessary. So I was surprised and somewhat aghast when he said, "We need to take care of this right now." And then proceeded to inject me with anesthesia EIGHT TIMES right there around my pooper.

ARE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE YET? I will say this to you, Internet: You were not the ones on the table. "Discomfort" is not a word I could use to describe this kind of painful violation. I was literally sobbing while gripping the sides of the table, white-knuckled. I was sliced and diced, then carefully put back together and stuffed with gauze.

When he was done, he asked, "What have you been taking for the pain?" And when I said, "Tylenol," he rolled his eyes and answered (IN THE VOICE OF GOD, in retrospect, and I will love him forever for this), "I'm writing you a script for Lortab. Take three a day."

I will NOT EVEN GO INTO how the surgeon's office neglected to tell me that all the lidocaine in my butt would prevent me from knowing that I had to go the bathroom, leading me to poop on myself IN MY WORK CLOTHES while I was waiting on my Lortab prescription to be filled at Walgreen's. I will refrain from regaling you with the details of THAT little adventure, yes I will.

But Internet, I share this story with you because we need to demystify discussions about the anus if you suffer from hemorrhoids, whether pregnant or not, you need to know that in my case, I was so much worse off living with the pain of the ailment than I am working through the pain of the procedure. Yes, I've been in pain over the weekend, but it is not nearly as debilitating as the pain I was in before. (Who sobs while trying to get up off the couch under her own steam after watching the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance? Me, pre-surgery.)

So you can imagine how bad it was before, since I'm feeling better after being cut open with an Exacto knife. Women, listen to your bodies. Take care of yourself. And talk to your doctor about your anus.

[SIDE NOTE TO CHINA: I have the answer to population control in your country. Accompany all ads for hemorrhoid cream with actual pictures of hemorrhoids and allude to unknowingly pooping oneself in public. PROBLEM SOLVED.]

22 comments:

Wade's World said...

For the first time in a long while, I've got nothing....

I'm so glad that I've never had to deal with this issue, but kudos to you for keeping it real. There were things about pregnancy and labor that no one shared with me, and it does come as quite a surprise that nobody is completely honest with you about what's going to take place!

Becky said...

Katherine, we have never met but I have been a lurker on your blog for awhile. My lord woman, you are downright hilarious! Sorry to be laughing at your discomfort but I don't hear too many grown women use the term "pooper". You are one of a kind and what the blogging world needs! I too suffer from those nasty things. Did your surgeon talk about banding them? My doc has suggested that but I don't think I suffer from your level of discomfort. As my late grandma would have said, "Bless your heart." Seriously.

ginmommy said...

You poor, poor woman!!! I too have had an unfortunate issue with the pooper, but mine hasn't been near as bad as yours!!

Meredith said...

Oh dear Lord in Heaven - you poor woman!! Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!! Hope you heal soon!!

Sewconsult said...

WOW! What we women go through to have a baby is just short of ... nothing compares. Hope you are feeling better and those men in your house are pampering you. Oh, I forgot my head...pampering is a short term word in their vocabulary. Gentle hugs.
Beckie

tarheelmom said...

Bless your heart. That's it...that's all I can muster. I am in shock and pain (yes, grimacing while reading) for you.

Rachel said...

Oh my poor friend! I'm crying in pain with you. I've had them bad before my second but over all no where even remotely close to what you've been going through. All I can say is sit gently. I'm praying for your hind quarters.

Robin said...

This was exactly what I thought was going on the other day, and I was praying that you were able to get some relief! Hemorrhoids aren't fun and even less so during pregnancy! Praying that this "fixes" things and the rest of the pregnancy will be pain free!

{{{HUGS}}}}

Amanda said...

I am SO sorry you had to deal with that but THANK YOU for sharing. I'm not being sarcastic. I was having a horrible day and I literally slipped off my chair laughing so hard. Not at you....just in the general vicinity of your poopy pants. Don't ever let your baby girl forget how fabulous you are! :-)

Katie said...

I love how honest you are. It's one of the many reasons I love you! Any baby book or article I ever read when I was pregnant with Will just glossed over the whole hemi thing. It's worse than childbirth, IMO.

Rachel said...

I am SO PROUD of your bravery in posting on this matter. And hilariously, no less. You are braver than I, as I hid the most miserable and embarrassing day of my life (that also happened to be Christmas Eve) (and also happened to be 5 days after giving birth) from the internet world.

I now pronounce you Queen of Preggo Blogging.

crigs said...

And this, my friend, is why you are on my list of favorites...

Grape News said...

OMG! Thanks for a good laugh on a hard day.

Beth, Joshua, Isabella and McKinley said...

wow... i mean really... there are no words. ouch... sorry... thanks for the laughs - all kinda seem like they aren't enough :-)

Erin said...

Lortabs all around! Best thing about my c-sections, hands down.

Wishing you a speedy recovery and no more public pooping!

Hang in there ... it's all glittery rainbows and pink unicorns ahead.

Jami said...

Hi, new reader here. I feel bad for saying you have me laughing out loud on a post that caused you so much pain. I am laughing again just reading your comments. I do have to agree, thanks for keeping it real. I don't think I will ever be able to go to Walgreen's and see someone waiting on a prescription and not think of you.

Wade's World said...

I just read your blog aloud to Jeremy and we were both cracking up at it. Not so much the circumstance, but the way it was written. You are hilarious woman! And we would both love to hear the Walgreens story!

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

I've only had two pregnancies so I haven't reached your level... but I'll never forget the pain after having my daughter. I kept telling my mom I thought something else was supposed to hurt after having a c-section. I finally had the guts to tell my OB, but it was awful. So glad you got some relief.

Lisa notes... said...

Wowsa. You had quite an ordeal! God bless you. I appreciate your honesty.

Too many of us put up with pain now because we don't want to endure the pain of a procedure (not that you were doing that). I hate going to the doctor as much as anyone, but sometimes you just gotta complain to them and get some healing.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

THANK YOU ALL for your comments and commiseration! I never would have imagined that this kind of post would have inspired so much empathy and sympathy. :)

Jamie said...

As if there was any doubt...I'm not having children. Adoption FTW.

momma said...

i have NEVER been so thankful that i had c-sections.

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