Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Counting down till Surgery

I haven't really talked about my upcoming surgery. I haven't had much of a chance to blog and was debating on if I was going to even post about it but I figured I share everything else, from infertility to health to life and babies so why not. Just a warning, this is totally TMI and partially involves girly stuff so if you don't want to know don't read on.  

My children have destroyed me. lol I say this with the utmost love and affection and of course in a joking matter because it's not really that funny. I'm really nervous ad anxiously awaiting surgery on March 11th. I have been given an official diagnosis of 3rd degree Cystocele (vaginal) and Urethrocele (bladder/urethra) prolapse and 2nd degree Rectocele (rectal) prolapse. Instead of giving long drawn out explanations here's some quick bullet points.The scale goes 1-3 with 3 being the the worst case.  Yup, that's how I roll. 

  • Cystocele (bladder prolapse)—Occurs when the wall between the bladder and the vagina weakens, causing the bladder to drop or sag into the vagina.
  • Urethrocele (urethra prolapse)—Occurs when there is loss of support for the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. It results in the tube sagging or bulging into the vagina.
  • Rectocele (rectal prolapse)—Occurs when there is a bulge in the lower back vaginal wall caused by the front wall of the rectum sagging and pushing against it.

I'm not going to post stock anatomy images b/c i'm sure you get the point. Definitely don't google b/c you'll see some extreme stuff that is definitely and thankfully NOT what I am dealing with!! 

Some background on me: 

 Those close to me know I have always had some bladder issues. For years I had chronic UTI and kidney infections due to "bladder sphincter dyssynergia", aka the muscles didn't work properly and I was essentially retaining and having recurrent infections. I had tons of testing end ended up trying this "trial" course of medication to help with things. It seemed to make a little difference with the frequency but I thought it made me not able to "hold it" as well from then on. 

Fast forward to having kids. Pregnancy definitely takes it toll on your body and bladder. But for me, of course, it had to make things interesting. Little did I know that I would be delivering a 9lb9oz baby which put a lot of extra pressure on things down there. Also the course of his delivery would forever change things "down there" in more ways than I anticipated. His delivery, for those who don't remember  was not a great experience. 34.5 hours of high dosage pitocin induced labor, two non working epidurals and 4 hours of pushing because he decided to roll while laboring.  (here's where we get real personal) Needless to say he was stuck and even with an episiotomy he needed to be forcepted out leaving me with a prolapsed bladder and 3rd degree vaginal to rectal tearing.   With in the following week I ended up re-tearing so that was a weekly process of dr's appts to help fix what was going on down there. Healing was brutul but in the end i can honestly say he was more than worth all the birthing "trauma" and I would do it 100x times over to have him in my arms.  

Jumping ahead we decided when Brayden was about 5-6 months old that we would start trying for another baby. We weren't "preventing" anyway but hoped we would be one of those people that got that surprise baby after IVF... haha the joke was on us. I went in june for my annual appointment and we also set up a consult with the RE to do another frozen transfer to try and have baby number 2. Unfortunately that's when y pap came back abnormal and after testing we found out i had CINIII cervical cancer cells. I had a LEEP procedure to remove them in July, which set back out IVF but I was glad to get clear margins and get a clean bill of health so we could proceed in three months time.  I mention this because the procedure itself drastically effected my pregnancy with Bella. I had some major cervical incompetence issues because the LEEP procedure removed a piece of my cervix. by 22 weeks I was having major vaginal pressure and starting to contract off and on, by 24 weeks I was on modified bed rest and 26 on full bed rest. Being 80% effaced and having Bella engaged in my cervix so early put a lot of extra pressure on my already prolapsed bladder. Needless to say I lived in Poise pads. Yes I'm classy like that but those things are awesome! 

When it came time to deliver bella as soon as i hit ten centimeters that girl flew on out. Great because it was barely 4 pushes but bad because my body didn't have time to naturally stretch. Thankfully i didn't tear like anything compared to Brayden. Just 2nd degree vaginally but it definitely didn't help things. 

Since having Bella I have continued to do my kegels and do the exercises I learned in biofeedback sessions years ago but nothing has helped. My dr explained that the straining issues I have are counter productive to the kegels so they are not going to help no matter what I do.  I did have additional biofeedback testing done in January to see the muscle functionality so he knows exactly what needs to be done. At this point my bladder leaks all the time. Even if I have to go just a little I feel like I'm going to pee myself. I always hae the sensation that I am not completely emptying since my bladder is collapsing on my urethra and I am not completely emptying.  Activity makes it worse and "intimate time" is just painful. Not a very good situation for only being 30!  

I can say I am looking forward to having the surgery done and being "normal" again but I am dreading the procedure itself. The dr said it will take about 4+ hours. They are essentially permanent stictching my bladder up in its correct place, at the tops and sides and are using a mesh to support the bladder. it is NOT the mesh kits that you see on those law suit commercials. My dr does not like the kit and would only use proponents as he seems fit. I LOVE my dr and implicitly trust him after everything we have been through together, so i know he is going to do what is best. For the vaginal and rectal prolapse, they are doing a full reconstruction. The way it was explained to me was is that they will be essentially taking me apart and putting the muscle groups back together to strengthen and correct things. Apparently I'll be like an 18 year old when he is done with me, not sure how I feel about that one lol  

The recovery time for the surgery is 6 weeks. The first week or so being the worst. The first night I will be staying in the hospital just to make sure everything is okay.  Then I can come home and crash. I think my biggest concern about being in the hospital is the kids. Specifically bella. Bray will do great and will have a great time with my mom during the day and Jason will be home with them at night. Bella is an obsessive nurser. She only takes breast milk from a sippy cup b/c she hates the bottle and even then she still fights.  It'll be my first over night away from her so I know I will have a hard time emotionally. But I know one night in the long run to have better health is more than worth it. 

The doctor did say that if we do decide to have another baby i will HAVE to have a c-section. With the kind of repair that are doing a vaginal delivery would not be a possibility later. Since we are not sure if we will get to have another due to my cervical issues, we figured I might as well just get it done and deal with that later.  

So the countdown is on.  12 days till surgery and I am not going to lie, I am nervous about the recovery. If it was just an elective surgery I would probably feel better because it was my choice (not that my dr is forcing me to do this but it's the best option).The recovery is suppose to be much worse than when I had Brayden, and at this point I can't fathom what that is going to be like.... wish me luck!! With two kids to take care of this should be interesting!! 

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