If you read my previous post, you know I had trouble with breastfeeding, and one of the major reasons I had some issues was due to having gallstones which led to me needing to have my gallbladder removed a mere 6 weeks after giving birth.
I’m sharing this, because apparently this is slightly common with first time moms, or women who have recently given birth. I had no idea that what I thought was just normal pregnancy pain, was probably my gallbladder the whole time. Guess it’s tome to have baby number 2 and see. (Wink wink, haha J/K hubby!!)
So anyway, here’s my story so that maybe another momma out there can relate, or if having the same or similar symptoms, can get checked out.
Most of my pregnancy I had pretty bad abdominal pain. Not so bad I felt the need to constantly get it checked, but all in all very very uncomfortable. I’m a small girl so I just figured, as Cameron was growing, she was running out of room and was just using all the space she had. I swore over and over she was just up in my ribs, kicking, or lodged up in there and refusing to move. I checked with the doctor during my appointments but nothing ever raised concern to do more about it.
Fast forward to about 3/4 weeks after giving birth, I feed Cameron, put her down for the night, (well the first part), and lay down myself. As soon as I laid down, I started having chest pains, at first I thought it was indigestion, but as time went on it only got worse, and then I was having trouble breathing. I was convinced I was having a heart attack. So I went to get my mom, and scared the crap out of her in the process. She had me lay down and went to get my husband. When he came downstairs and saw me, he suggested we go to the hospital. When I said ok he knew it was serious. If you remember from my birth story post I’m stubborn, so when I willingly and quickly said yes we could go to the hospital he knew it was bad. So we made sure Cameron and my mom were good and drove down to the closest ER we could find.
In the emergency room they ran test after test trying to rule out everything they could. It wasn’t a heart attack, they didn’t think it was a blood clot, it wasn’t this or that or this or that. And finally after a few hours they took me for an ultrasound where they discovered not only did I have a bunch of gallstones, but a kidney stone as well. Which those I’m prone to so I wasn’t shocked. The ER doctor said I would need to have my gallbladder removed sooner rather than later so I didn’t keep experiencing these episodes.
We left the hospital and the next day I got with my doctor to set up a consultation with a surgeon. I was in maternity leave so I wanted it done right away. I also knew the longer I waited the less likely I would want to have the surgery because I kept freaking myself out about it. I’ve watched every episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I know what could happen. So we had the consultation, I had the surgery, all went well, and I now write this one gallbladder less in my body. It was a fairly basic and routine procedure. The recovery time for me was about 48 hours before I could really be up and moving and holding my daughter again. About a week before I really felt back to normal, and about 72 hours before I was attempting to breastfeed again.
I’m not sure why my supply tanked after the surgery. Maybe I wasn’t doing something right, or maybe something in my body just was misaligned, but it’s a big reason why we started adding more formula to Cameron’s diet and then eventually switching over fully.
But to those out there that didn’t know about gallstones, or are wondering if they may have them. All of my pain was right below the breast area on both sides. When I couldn’t breathe and was super in pain it was like a T shape of pain. And I don’t know if it triggered it or what but I had a pizza sandwich the night of my attack that sent me to the hospital. So just keep on the lookout!!