** This post is about poop and other related things. It will also have a lot of complaining. If you’re squeamish or in a difficult place in your family-building journey, you may want to skip this one. **
Hemmies. More commonly known as hemorrhoids (though I prefer “hemmies” because it makes them sound small and cute and less like the gross butt grapes they are). Or, as I have been calling them in my head the last few days, Those Damn Hemmies From Hell.
And The Bane of This Pregnancy.
Seriously, guys. It is hard to truly explain how much grief and misery these hemmies have caused me this week. I am not talking about a little itching or discomfort. I am not talking about a slight burn when I poop. Or having to bring out the witch hazel and Preparation H every now and then.
I am talking about not being able to leave the couch except to change my daughter’s diaper and make her breakfast and lunch — and I do that only because I have to. I am talking about my husband walking in the door after work to find his wife sobbing because she is in so much pain and has been for every minute of the entire day. I am talking about a tush that is on fire and a burn that has brought me to my knees and nearly caused me to vomit. I am talking about having thoughts of begging for a c-section because pushing a baby through my vagina with this butt pain was just too much to consider. I have not done laundry, or dishes, or cooked dinner since Monday. Honey comes home after a hard day at work and has to take care of me. I am so behind on my ‘to do’ list that I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up, and certainly not before Skittle arrives. Even more…this hemmie pain has left me feeling defeated, on the verge of being depressed, for days on end. I honestly don’t think I have cried this much since my miscarriage of our Teddy Graham last year. It’s been that bad. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m truly not.
This is not my first encounter with hemorrhoids. I had them while pregnant with Cupcake and there was one very bad day then too. But it was only one day. They have hardly bothered me since (even though they never entirely went away). During this pregnancy, there have been moments when I have felt the hemmie sting and a brave look in the mirror showed me what I feared — a new hemmie had arrived. But on Tuesday, that pea-sized hemmie became grape-sized and it has caused me unbearable pain in the hours and days since.
The good news is that Thursday and Friday have been better days than Tuesday and Wednesday. The pain is no longer debilitating. I can function now. I haven’t cried in some time over it. But the bad news is that these hemmies are still affecting my every day life. I am not functioning at the same level that I was last Friday. I’m sore. I’m uncomfortable. I can’t sit flat on my tush. Sometimes, I can’t sit at all. I walk, slowly and awkwardly, sometimes with a weird limp. At home, I walk while spreading my butt cheeks with my hands so that they don’t rub the one hemmie that is really the source of all the pain. I’m afraid to leave the house because I don’t know when the pain will flare. And I have a long list of things I have to do to in order to manage the pain:
- Extra-strength Tylenol every 8 hours
- Hydrocortisone suppositories prescribed by my OB (1 every 12 hours and boy-oh-boy do they hurt to insert!)
- Sitz baths with baking soda three times a day — followed by an ice pack when I’m really in excruciating pain (hot and cold therapy!)
- Showering immediately after every bowel movement (which is a whole lot of showers when I’m pooping 3 times each day!)
- Wiping with witch hazel pads instead of toilet paper
- Alternately applying vaseline, hydrocortisone, Vagisil (maximum strength), calamine lotion, zinc oxide, and Preparation H every few hours
- Sitting sideways and not flat on my a** (I’m typing this while lying on my left side on the sofa)
- Tucking a witch hazel pad into my panties
The other bad news is that there is not much else I can do short of having them removed and my OB seems reluctant to do that this close to delivery. So I have to wait them out and hope they get better, which is hard and frustrating. I will never regret getting pregnant or being this close to holding Skittle in my arms. Obviously. She is worth every literal pain in my butt. BUT it still sucks. I worked so hard for this pregnancy. I want to enjoy my last few days or weeks of it. I want to happily anticipate Skittle’s arrival instead of impatiently and anxiously awaiting it. I want to do fun things with Cupcake because these are the final days of it just being the two of us and, instead, I’m planning our whole day around my baths and showers and Cupcake is getting me pillows and the telephone and whatever else I need so that I don’t have to struggle to get up. I’m pathetic. This whole situation is pathetic and it’s not how it is supposed to be.
On Wednesday, I got news that my friend Kat was able to bring one of her twins home from the NICU, just five weeks after delivery. He’s a chunky little guy weighing over 6 lbs now and I cried at hearing the news. Cried because I’m happy for her and her strong, resilient babies, but also because I was sad for me. I was so miserable that day. I wanted nothing more than to be holding my Skittle and free from my hemmie pain and all other aches of my heart. I want my little miracle to be here too. I know she will be soon, but this week, “soon” just hasn’t seemed like enough.