Saturday, September 11, 2010

Margaret Irene 6-19-2010 1:28 am 8lbs 13 oz 20.5 in

First Moments

Natural Blonde Highlights

Bright eyes!

Big Brother Caleb and new baby sister!


Wow, I am terrible at this blogging thing. A lot has happened since my last post. Here is the short version. I ended up transferring my OB care to a midwife group at Iowa City. I went into labor naturally and was allowed to VBAC. I went through 19 hours of labor with no pain medication, but in the end had to have another c-section. Unfortunately I have an android shaped pelvis on top of the hip dysplasia. My type of pelvis is the hardest for babies to pass through. My daughter, Margaret Irene, was face up, her head and neck where tilted up instead of down, and she was 8 lbs 13 oz. None of those factors help when you have an android pelvis. My son presented in the exact same way, so my body for some reason puts babies in the absolute worst position.
Labor wasn't so bad, I had a doula and I was able to sit in the whirlpool tub for several hours, everything progressed very well, until it was time to push. I tried squatting and every other position available, but Maggie never budged from the zero station. After almost 4 hours of pushing, I knew that I wouldn't be giving birth naturally. She was so stuck against my pelvic bone that the OB sounded like she was giving birth with all the grunting she did trying to get Maggie out.
The thing I remember the most was that toward the end my left hip hurt more than the labor pains. It felt like I need to stretch it out and not put anymore weight on it. My left hip is still super weak and the pregnancy did not help. If anyone is contemplating pregnancy after the PAO I would recommend waiting a little longer before pregnancy. The hip did great during the pregnancy I don't remember having a lot of pain, no locking up, no feeling like I couldn't walk.
Emotionally this has been very hard for me, another surgery, the third in 4 years. I am grateful for my beautiful daughter but my husband and I worked so hard to have a natural birth. I really believed that I would be able to do it, and when it didn't happen I was devastated.
The second c-section was more difficult, my wound had to be re-opened because of all the scar tissue I had from the last one. Once again my wonderful husband had to take care of me. He had to pack my wound twice a day for about 4 weeks, and put up with my emotional break downs.
Today Maggie is 12 weeks old, I just went back to work last week and life is starting to get back to normal. I am concerned that I will have to have another PAO. I hope not, but righty has been stiff in the mornings and it takes me awhile to get going. I haven't had any follow up in a year since my pregnancy prevented x-rays from being taken. I plan to make an appointment for the fall, hopefully I will get good news and righty will behave.

Friday, May 7, 2010

1 year past LPAO & 34 weeks pregnant!

It is a big day at the Carlson household, my one year anniversary from my LPAO. According to my husband, "It feels like it was a lifetime ago." I feel like it was a little more recent. If I wasn't 25 pounds heavier and would have kept up with my physical therapy exercises, maybe I would be feeling further along. Dr. Mckinley said my recovery would be slowed down by the pregnancy, he was right again! I have no issues standing all day at work or walking long distances. There is no more locking up of the left hip, but I do have a nagging pain in the back of my left hip that gets worse if I move the wrong way. I didn't start to notice this pain until recently in my pregnancy so I am hoping it is due to the extra weight I am packing on.
I have started doing prenatal yoga once a week. I feel great while I am doing it. (I do the best I can, I always was the most inflexible person I ever knew!) Unfortunately the day after I am SORE and then noticed this little nagging pain. I also discovered that my hip flexors in my left hip are really weak, which I have to say really surprised me. I can barely lift my own weight of the left leg when I am sitting down with legs extended in front of me. It is getting better though I can lift it a little easier than I did when I started the yoga class.
I am also seeing my D.O. again for manipulations. I am seeing him just as much as my OB for prenatal adjustments. In the beginning my left pelvic bone wouldn't move at all, now last week it is moving so hopefully that will mean success for my VBAC. I switched OB offices to have a group that is a little (not much) more supportive of VBACs.
I am really hoping to avoid a PAO on the right, I think it is still too soon to tell if I will need one or not, I am just taking one day at a time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

10 months post PAO

It is crazy how time flies and how I keep meaning to post more often than I do. Since my last post we have found out that I am having a girl! We are very excited to complete our family. What could be more perfect than a boy and a girl?
Hip wise things have been ok. I do feel quite a bit of weakness in the left hip. I imagine it has to do with the lack of weight lifting I have not been doing. My OB does not want me to do a lot of lifting so I have been using the exercise bike a few times a week. It does help, but it is so boring! I have some numbness when I lay on my left during sleep, I always was a tummy sleeper and the belly is making that impossible. Thankfully there is no locking up so I am happy with that result! I do have pain in the left buttock now and then, I think this is do to the weakness and fact that I am adding the extra weight from the pregnancy. All in all the aches and pains are not much different than my last pregnancy.
In the back of my head I am worried I will have to have a PAO on my right. The relaxin released in pregnancy is great for birthing babies, but not so great for dysplastic hips. I have had some locking and weakness in the right hip. I will worry about that bridge later though. Right now the big dilemma is to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or not.
My last post said I was 85% sure I was doing a repeat C-Section, but now as it gets closer the thought of one more surgery is not appealing to me. So many worries though, wondering if my hips will allow me to do it since Caleb never got past my pelvis before. (He was 9lbs and face up - the most difficult position to push out!) I know the PAO should not have any effect on the vaginal birth, but my right hip bone is smaller than my left so in the back of my mind I wonder if my hips expand the way they should. Of course there is no one to answer this question. My OB's want me to do the C-section, they say I have a 13% chance of success with the VBAC based on how my last labor went. (Fully dilated and pushed for 2 hours with no movement from the "0" position) That percentage comes from a study done in 1997 though so I wonder how accurate it is anymore. The big worry is uterine rupture, only a 1% chance, but the outcome could be catastrophic and I am usually the worst case scenario type person. So, like I said not an easy decision. I would like to see if these hips and my body could do a natural childbirth, but still not sure if it is the right decision for me. I will keep everyone updated with my decision, I promise! I would like to thank all of the Hip Women on the yahoo group for their quick responses and great advice, it does help to chat with people who have been through the same things I am going through.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

6 months post LPAO

I had to look at the calendar to realize how long it has been since my surgery, so I guess that is a good thing. I had my last follow up appointment in Iowa City on October 16th. I didn't get to take any new X-Rays, because I found out that I am pregnant with my second child! It would have been nice to see how the hip was looking, but I can wait until next June to check it out. My doctor is not concerned at all about the pregnancy, just mentioned that my rehab may take longer. I can already feel my body becoming less strong. I have not been going to the gym. I have just been so tired! I plan to get back in there though, I need to exercise for reasons beyond my hip. My last pregnancy I came very close to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. My last pregnancy ended in a C-section, so I am 85% sure I will have another one with this pregnancy. I say this based upon my experience with trying to push out a 9lb baby, my hips are not even in the picture and anyone who gets pregnant after having a PAO is able to have a vaginal birth.
Last month I was having pain in the back of my left hip, I worried that something had moved or fractured, but Dr. Mckinley said there was no stress fracture after examining my hip. I haven't had the pain since, so maybe it was in my head? I can sit for extended periods of time with my hip in the "captain" position (ie. sitting on steps, etc.) and it doesn't lock up anymore. When I bend down to tie my shoes there is still a slight pain after I get up, but nothing like it was. I wouldn't say the hip is perfect, but it is better. I think I made the right choice. I guess I am waiting to see how I am in a year. Next month I am going back to my D.O. that referred me to the orthopedic surgeon. I need to have my heel lift evaluated. Dr. Mckinley said that the surgery should have no effect on my short leg, but I feel like it isn't quite right.
My right hip has been letting me know that it is not feeling great. Last month it locked up on me for a second as I was going up some steps. I only had one instance of that, so I am hoping I can get through this pregnancy and keep my hip intact. I don't want any ligaments to loosen and make the hip more dysplastic than it already is! I really don't want to have a second surgery. The first was tough, not only on me, but my husband and family. I will post again after I see my D.O. and try to update everyone on the pregnancy/hips.

Monday, September 7, 2009

4 months post PAO

Today in the honor of Labor Day, Logan and I cleaned the majority of windows in my house today. We still have our four season porch left to do, but they fold inward so we can clean them from the inside, so much easier. I know Labor Day is supposed to be a holiday for relaxing, but it was a beautiful day to clean windows and we don't get too many days together to work on house projects.
My hip has been much better. I can get up off the floor with no problems. I have even been able to get in the gym about 3 times per week. I can do about 20 minutes on the elliptical or around 2 miles. Then I usually do some weights. My hip used to lock up after doing the leg press machine. My hip doesn't lock up anymore, but I don't think it is 100% yet. I still fill a little weak after getting done with the machine, but it feels so good to be able to exercise. Slowly the weight I gained after my surgery is coming off.
All in all life is getting back to normal. I can even lay on my operated side to sleep at night. I still have numbness in the front of my upper thigh, but the only time I have real pain is when anyone presses on the area around my scar. Once in awhile I get a few aches, but I try not to analyze every one I have. I have some bad days, with stiffness in the morning, but some stretches and moving around helps a lot! I think I still have a slight limp, but I can't really tell unless I am really tired. Next month we go back to Iowa City. I was hoping I would be pregnant by now, but it hasn't happened yet, so I guess I will be getting more X-Rays.

Friday, August 7, 2009

13 weeks post PAO

Well I am finally 3 months post my LPAO. I have to admit I am not very good with keeping up with my blog. I can't believe it has been almost a month since my last post. Mostly I started back to work the second week of July. The first shift was 4 hours, after standing for 4 hours my legs felt like jello. I gradually increased my time and my stamina has come back. I am now back to work full time. I can stand for the entire 8 hours as long as I sit down for at least 20 minutes for lunch. (No Pharmacists don't take very many breaks!)
Yesterday was my last day of physical therapy. In the beginning I went three days a week for the first 3 weeks and then went down to 2 days a week. I am convinced that physical therapy is why I have done so well. I started as soon as I could weight bear. At first the exercises were me just lifting my leg weight, now I am up to 5lbs on the ankle weights. I am doing lunges and sidesteps. It sucked while I was doing it. The pain and fatigue was a lot to bear on some days, but now I feel almost back to normal and my co-workers forget that I had a major hip surgery since I can walk around the pharmacy just as quick as they can.
I still have trouble bringing my hip upward in the "captain" position. My physical therapist said ankle weights and just lifting my leg will help with that. I also have a hard time lifting my body weight off the floor (from a kneeling position) but I can tell it is getting better. The therapist also cleared me for the elliptical. Whoo Hoo! I have about 15 pounds to lose to get down to my pre-surgery weight. Damn you skittles!
My pain level is quite low. If I take 800mg of ibuprofen in the AM, then I don't feel any pain. Today I didn't take any Ibuprofen and there is a slight nagging pain near the scar and in the back of my leg on both sides. I still have numbness in the front of my leg and my abdomen.
I will try to blog monthly from now on, unless a major development occurs. My next doctor's appointment isn't until October. So no news is good news.
I would like to thank everyone who helped me while I was laid up, I had lots of help and am so grateful for the support. Hopefully I will never have to do this type of surgery on my right hip, but only time will tell.