There was a lot that I was prepared for when I was first expecting. I was anticipating morning sickness (& boy did I get that), heartburn (not so much) and some extra aches and pains as my body expanded and made room for this amazing human it was growing. I had done a lot of reading and felt well-prepared for what was about to happen over the course of the next 9-10 months and was excited.
I remember very clearly one morning, about 5 months pregnant with my oldest child (Speed, who is now 6) and having this killer pain in my back. I remember reading that sometimes your ribs would hurt as they expand to make room for the baby. I chalked it up to that — until I could barely breathe. I honestly thought I was just being a giant wuss who couldn’t handle this and became quite worried about what labor and delivery was going to be like.
Then about 5 hours later, I went to the washroom and it became quite clear to me what was really going on and I was pretty surprised.
I passed a huge kidney stone. Like, huge with blood and pain and all that fun stuff that goes along with it. My mom happened to be there with me and I showed it to her and she confirmed (my Dad has had a few) that it was a stone. I had an appointment with my obgyn the next morning so I was going to chat with her about it then. She was shocked to say the least, but apparently it’s not uncommon to have stones during pregnancy (but I guess it is uncommon to work through them at home without rushing to the hospital).
I wish that was the end of it there but it wasn’t. Over the course of my pregnancies (all of them) I have passed a total of 26 kidney stones. I had to be hospitalized a few times (pain from the stones migrating causes contractions), surgery to remove a few and got to spend some time with a stent in place. I see a urologist when I am pregnant who follows me closely and am usually on prophylactic antibiotics to prevent any kidney infections.
That is the second biggest scare and worry I have for when we get pregnant again — that I will (it’s pretty much certain) have to deal with the return of the kidney stones, the pain and early contractions all in pursuit of baby.
So, I can actually answer the often-wondered question — which is more painful: kidney stones or labor. I am going to keep the answer of that to myself though
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Photo credit: modified from Spec-ta-cles on Flickr