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Kristen's Pregnancy Journal

Week 33
~ Kidney Stones . . .

. . . are awful. Please take my word for this. I would not wish them on my worst enemy. Ok, well, maybe I would . . . depends on why they were my enemy.

Backing up to the weekend, and to set the scene for the week I've had, Saturday afternoon was my shower. My best friend went all out, and we had a great time. The two biggest surprises were that my favorite secretary from the first school I worked at came, and my best friend from college, who I haven't seen since T was born, also made it!! They made my day. I was so happy to see both of them! There were several people there, and I was happy to see all of them as well. The baby will be very well-dressed among other things! We got a lot of stuff we needed, and it's so nice to have fewer things to worry about.

My mom and stepdad have a place on the river, so after my shower, we headed there to spend the evening with friends. This is where my problems started. My husband grilled pork loin and it turned out amazing! Friends of ours brought jalapeno poppers, and I made the mistake of eating one. So, when the pain started, I honestly assumed it was heart burn. However, tums did not even touch it, and it started getting worse. At one point I was curled up in a ball on mom's bed, and then the throwing up started. At that point, I braved the car ride to get home, thinking a warm bath and my own bed would be a good thing. Neither one helped. We got home about 9 pm, and by 10, we were dropping the kids off at the in-laws and headed for our local ER. They sent me straight to labor and delivery, of course. After four hours, labs, a urine test, and two bags of IV fluids, I was feeling better. My labs were good but there was a lot of blood in my urine. The on-call OB, who I never even saw, said I could leave or stay, it was up to me. The consensus seemed to be I either had a UTI (wouldn't infection show up in my lab work??????) or kidney stones. No other testing was ordered, and the choice to stay or go was up to me. I wasn't in pain any longer, and truth be told, I was pretty disgusted with the whole process, so I went home.

I called my family doctor on Monday to have him check my labs. He also thought UTI or kidney stones, and he called me in an antibiotic, just in case. He also wanted me to make sure I followed up with my OB, who I had already called. All he told me was if I was feeling fine, just to keep my regular appointment, which was Thursday.

That brings us to Tuesday. I was fine when I woke up, but by the time I was ready to leave for school, I wasn't feeling the best. I wasn't in pain though. I just didn't feel good. By the end of first hour that had changed. I got home a little after 9. By 9:30 I was calling my husband to come home from work, and by 10 we were headed to labor and delivery again, this time to the one where I will deliver. I thought I would get better treatment and more answers. Boy was I wrong. The nurse I dealt with was very condescending. They had me pee in a cup first thing, then got me on the monitors. At the time, the pain had lessened some, to the point where it was tolerable. I had already told her that it came and went in waves, but never completely disappeared. After about an hour and half, she came back and said my urine was clear, and I could leave. Really. That was it. I lost it and completely melted down. I couldn't believe that I was dealing with the amount of pain I was dealing with, and no one was willing to figure out exactly what was wrong. My meltdown worked, in a round about way, because she called my doctor back and he ordered labs and a full OB ultrasound. I should point out that at no point was I ever really worried about the baby. He's a nutcase in there, and his movements were normal and as strong as always. His heart rate was good on both occasions, and I just didn't think he was causing the problem. The ultrasound tech ended up being my best friend. She asked me about my pain, had a little hissy fit because no one had even suggested checking my kidneys, and promptly "accidentally" checked my left kidney. Guess what? She found and marked two stones, and measured one. Not officially, of course, because my doctor didn't order a renal ultrasound. It was enough for me, however, and it did make my doctor pay attention. When I got back to labor and delivery, they finally gave me pain medicine. That was still it, however. At this point all I wanted to do was go home. I really felt like, even with the helpful ultrasound tech, I was getting nowhere. I went home, and even with the meds, continued to have pain until well after 9 that night. Talk about a long day.

On Wednesday, I again called my family doctor, who proved to be very helpful in explaining things to me and also offered to order a full renal ultrasound. He told me what my limited options were. Pregnancy makes the normal treatments for kidney stones unsafe, but the pressure the baby is putting on the tubes will also more than likely keep them from passing on their own. He assured me the pain meds were safe, and left me with orders to call him first if the pain got to the point where even the pain meds weren't helping. Otherwise, his advice was to wait it out until I deliver and hope the issue resolves.

I saw my regular OB on Thursday, and boy had his tune changed from when I was at the hospital Tuesday. He was full of concern, explanations, a back up plan, and a last resort back up plan. He basically told me the same thing my family doctor did. That there are options, but none are very safe for the baby. He told me not to hesitate to head back to labor and delivery if the pain got to where I couldn't handle it because there are stronger drugs that are still safe for the baby. My concern is that I'm going to be dealing with this every two or three days for the next seven weeks. I can't even imagine. We didn't discuss it, but my hope is that if that's how it's going to be, they will induce me when I hit full term. I'm really against being induced, but I think I could make an exception for this! I guess we'll see how it goes. Right now I'm just drinking as much water as I can possibly hold, waiting, and hoping for the best. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Hopefully next week's entry will be more positive, and I won't have had any more problems. I guess this is what I get for saying I really didn't have too many symptoms! Til next time.

~ Kristen

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