So much with this pregnancy has been so very different from my other pregnancies. I have always loved being pregnant. I have always had a hard time feeling compassion for women that moan and complain constantly while pregnant- after all, I know so many women that would love to have swollen ankles and achy backs, if only it could mean that they would have a sweet, little baby at the end of 9 months. While that may be a noble sentiment, I am also realizing that uncomfortable pregnant women deserve compassion just as infertile women do; while my heart breaks for one, and I tend to be frustrated by the other, it is not my place to decide which pain is great, and therefore more "deserving" of compassion. i should be compassionate to all. Of course, this doesn't just apply to pregnancy woes, instead, it is helping to remember not ever to judge someone else's situation and deem it unworthy of sympathy.
That said, I can't help but feel like I've been saddled with my own dose of pregnancy discomfort as a means of teaching me this lesson. I have a history of "sensitive kidneys". I am quickly prone to kidney infection and tend to have higher blood pressure in the first half of pregnancy, despite exercise and the Brewer's pregnancy diet. Those things certainly help, but the most important thing seems to be a careful regimen of cranberry pills and hydration. Both of those things are difficult when a big pregnant tummy is already pressing on you causing constant heartburn. I tend to be, as many of us are, more vigilant about my health when someone else is depending directly on it, and so I have managed to avoid infections during pregnancy.
Last week, I started having severe all day sickness again, but suspecting that this baby just might be a boy, I didn't think too much of it ( other than ugghhhhh...) since I had experienced all of these things with my one and only boy. After keeping nothing done for days, on Thursday I started feeling a distinct kidney ache, on both sides, and through the night it became a distinct throb in the right side. Thinking that I had ended up with a sneaky infection,I headed to the doctor Friday. I feel like I wasted my entire day.
When my urine sample came back clear, I was told it was just "back pain", discomfort because of a fourth pregnancy. The thing is, I have a whole medical file that shows I know what kidney pain is. I feel like the disimissiveness comes because the military hospital deals with so many women who come in for every little things- because when health care is "free" one can be frivolous with it. Since the pain was more of an ache at this point, I let it go, came home ( in a crummy mood), decided to up my water, and Dr. Google it. Lo' and behold, what do I find, but that physiological swelling of the kidney during pregnancy ( hyronephrosis), particularly in the right kidney, is a fairly common issue in pregnancy- especially if you have problems draining your bladder ( which I have, ever since an unnecessary catheter during my first labor). I can't help but feel hurt that no one would listen to what I was saying, but I feel uplifted by God to yet again see my instincts confirmed. The pain is constant, but typically dull. The prognosis seems to be very good, so long as you avoid infection (so I am being very strict with my cranberry, water, and probiotics), but there seem to be mix opinions about whether any thing else is necessary. I see the midwives again on Friday and plan to tell them what I have been feeling, how it has gone since last Friday, and how I felt about being dismissed, considering my history ( and the obvious diagnosis). We shall see what comes.
One thing I know though, I will never again be as dismissive of anyone else's pregnancy discomforts. Now I know how it feels to have someone that you can't possibly be feeling what you say you are feeling.