Pickles and Ice Cream, and Scoliosis, Oh My!

I have received numerous emails and messages asking me about my pregnancies, pain and if my scoliosis made it more difficult to get through. Many are amazed I even carried and birthed four children with this condition and sometimes, I think back and I am amazed too hence why I came up with my blog name, Scolimom. Having severe scoliosis and being a mom of four are huge parts of my life and makes me who I am.

If I could continue having more children I would. However, I have to be practical. Four is a pretty good number and I don’t think my body could handle another pregnancy. Actually, I know it couldn’t. I had my tubes done after Nicky, so no more babies for me. Although, sometimes I secretly hope it somehow didn’t work and our family would be blessed with another bundle of joy. Insert winking emoji. I’m sure Neil would love five!

I have been pregnant a total of 7 times! No, that is not a typo. Although I have 4 children, I also had 3 miscarriages, losing those 3 precious babies. Actually the first time I was ever pregnant, was miscarriage number one. To say that was traumatizing is an understatement. I remember standing in line at Jamba Juice to get my morning smoothie and feeling a gush of liquid down my blue velour juicy sweatsuit. I was 13 weeks pregnant. That miscarriage set the fear of losing babies in every pregnancy I had. I was always fearful it would happen again. And it did, again and again.

Laura was pregnancy number two. I gained 70 freaking pounds with her. And honestly, I didn’t notice my back hurting much different than the normal aches and pains associated with pregnancy and having scoliosis. I do remember bringing in my X-rays for the anesthesiologist and it taking two tries to get in an epidural. Overall, her pregnancy was my least eventful and easiest.  She came a week late and was 9 pounds even with a little pot belly. I fell in love right then and there. And although she is almost a teenager and can be quite the pain in my ass, she is still my first little girl and we have had quite the journey together.

Pregnancy number three was miscarriage number two. This one happened almost as quick as it started. In fact, I didn’t even know I was pregnant at the time. We were on a trip for 4th of July in Arizona and it just caught us by surprise.

And here comes Emma. Our little diva was pregnancy number four. We went to one of those 3D places to find out her gender early. I was so sure she was a boy and we have a video of me yelling, “Another girl?!” after we were told. This was a fairly easy pregnancy. I noticed my back had started to look a little worse, and the pain was definitely there but manageable. I was induced a week early because they said she was showing to be 12 lbs by ultrasound. The epidural only worked down one half of my body after two tries. After 3 pushes, my 9 pound 8 ounce baby girl came into the world. And boy was she a difficult colicky baby. She still is a handful with her fathers quick witted comebacks and stubbornness. I actually write what she says down in a little notebook because its just so hilarious what comes out of her mouth. 6 weeks postpartum at the grocery store, I felt a huge gush and started to have labor contractions again. We went to the ER to discover I had a second placenta still inside my body. Emergency D&C was performed and I’m lucky I didn’t die of infection.

Pregnancy number five was probably my most horrific of all miscarriages. I don’t know if I should go into detail for fear it may turn off some readers. I remember it like it was just yesterday. We brought the whole family in for my 11 week appointment so the girls could be surprised and see the new baby on the ultrasound screen. I did the exam alone first and before the doctor could go get them, I stopped her and asked she check first. I had a weird gut feeling as soon as I walked into that room. And my gut was right. This was the first time I had seen one of my babies lifeless with no heartbeat. Perfect little body measured to be about a week behind. I was then told I could choose 3 options: wait and let it happen naturally, have a D&C, or take a pill that would make my body expel it. After much consideration, I chose the pill. I wouldn’t choose that option again if I had the choice. Expelling the baby at home and seeing it(without going into detail) was one of the worst moments of my life. I was devastated and severely depressed. Just this past weekend, I was going through my bedside table drawers and organizing them when I came across the folder of paperwork for this baby. And I could see out of the corner of my eye Neil looking at me while laying on the bed to see what reaction I had to it. It still hurts. You don’t forget about these babies. However, I have been blessed with 4 wonderful children.

When I was barely pregnant with Will(pregnancy number 6), I saw that same psychic at the fair. She didn’t know I was pregnant but what she said to me I will always remember. She told me that I was pregnant with a boy and that this boy had tried to get through a few times before. That the boy I so desperately wanted would finally come. This pregnancy was definitely one of the most painful and crazy I have had. I swear I still have post traumatic stress syndrome from the birth itself. The doctor wanted to induce me early because Will, like all my kids, showed to be gigantic. I was induced 2 1/2 weeks early and spend 3 days on pitocin, walking the halls 1000 times, getting a balloon catheter, getting an epidural after day 2 to then let it wear off to walk again and have my ass hanging out of my gown on all fours trying to get him down because he wouldn’t come out. After 3 1/2 days, I was told we had to do a c-section. Will ended up being 9 pounds and 14 ounces! My largest baby with a head full of thick dark brown hair. The reason he wouldn’t come out was due to the cord being wrapped around his neck 3 times and so with every contraction and push, he was like a buoy going up and down. After I was brought back to the room, I told my husband I felt wet. His face turned ghost white and immediately he went to get a nurse. Seconds later I was rushed back into surgery and put under anesthesia. I woke up to Neil with his face in his hands and a nurse trying to get him to eat what I think I remember was a slice of pie and a soda? Apparently I lost half the blood in my body and needed 6 units of blood. I spent another 5 days in the hospital after that. After all of this,  I actually wanted to get pregnant again!

My last pregnancy was Nicholas. I for sure know my worst curve was at least 72 at this point. My rib cage, like with Will, was twisted and my hump for both Will and Nick was scary. Like in my initial post, the doctor had urged me to have surgery however, I knew I wanted one more baby. My back could barely handle this pregnancy although I still danced throughout and up until the last week before he was due. Nicky was an automatic c-section due to my hospital’s policies. Although, I know I would have had no problem pushing him out! He was born 9 pounds 6 ounces with HUGE blue eyes. I have had a hard time recovering from this pregnancy. All the more reason this surgery can no longer wait. Sometimes I can’t help but cry and feel bad for Nick. I am not as active as I was with the other kids at this age and I feel like he is getting the shit end of the stick. The next year is going to be so challenging and my presence won’t be nearly the same for him. I think about this daily as surgery creeps closer.

Please know, all of these complications had NOTHING to do with having scoliosis. I do feel scoliosis definitely played a huge part with the amount of pain I had during and even after pregnancy. The year after birth is when I noticed the most pain and I feel like being pregnant undoubtedly made my curvature worse. However, when I look at my four gorgeous children, it makes it all worth it.  They are the reason surgery is so important and why I continue to fight through the pain each and every day.

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The day of Nicky’s birth
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Week before Laura was born
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2 1/2 weeks before Emma was born
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A month before Will was born
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A month before Nick was born.

 

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8 thoughts on “Pickles and Ice Cream, and Scoliosis, Oh My!

  1. What a journey! You could look at it as Nicky will have a “rebuilt and wonderful” you longer than the other kiddos! You are amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have scoliosis too. I had my spinal fusion when I was 12. Twenty-six (!?!) years later, I’ve got two kids and am training for a marathon. Surgery was hard, but I’m so glad I did it. I don’t even think about it day to day any more. Good luck to you. You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you have any spinal surgeries before you had kids? I had mine done when I was 15. At the time I definitely wasn’t thinking about childbirth, but when I was older I was getting an X-ray and the technician said to me, “have you ever asked your doctor about what happens when you have kids?” And I was like no… why? And that was when she told me that a lot of women who have had scoliosis surgery can’t have epidurals. Even though I was 20 at the time, that totally freaked me out and I went crazy looking for information on the internet. I found a lot of varying experiences that depend on the type of surgery, the placement of the rod, and each woman’s individual pain threshold. I’m 30 now and I still don’t have kids, but I’m thinking about it in the next few years. I’ve never been great with pain and I always assumed I would have LOTS of drugs lol so this really freaks me out! But I’ve also heard you develop super-strength that you didn’t know was possible. Anyway, you’ve had four so I figured I should ask!

    ~L

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lindsey,
    I haven’t had any spine surgeries although my Dr had recommended it at 14. My parents declined. Due to how curvy I was, the epidural didn’t work too well anyway. I think it depends where your fusion stops. If it’s in the area they usually administer an epidural then you won’t be able to have one. If you end up needing a c-section, they would briefly put you under general anesthesia since you wouldn’t be able to have a spinal block. I wouldn’t worry too much though! Your adrenaline will get you through and it honestly feels like relief once the baby is pushed out! And then once you are holding your gorgeous baby you will say to yourself….now that wasn’t so bad.

    Like

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