As Moms, we worry about everyone else’s bums. There are diapers to change. Potty training to tackle. I even clean up after my dog on walks. But, as is often the case, Mom’s bum takes a back seat. That is until Mom’s bum refuses to be ignored. If you have a delicate stomach, stop right here. But we’re moms, right? We’ve seen and heard it all!
So I’m stepping forward to share my bum truth. I have a feeling I’m not alone….
Seven months into my second pregnancy things started to get uncomfortable and not just in the regular “I’m seven months pregnant” way. One weekend, what seemed like a case of constipation turned into much more. I could barely stand, sit or walk without searing pain in my bum. It literally brought tears to my eyes. The pain of childbirth is always my gauge. Is what I’m feeling as bad as giving birth? In this case, it was a pretty close second. My husband suggested a possible diagnosis: hemorrhoids. I was horrified! How could this be? Don’t old people get hemorrhoids? How embarrassing! But my level of embarrassment was about to go off the charts. While my husband watched our two-year-old daughter, I made a trip to the closest Walgreens. If you’re going to buy extra strength Preparation-H and an economy-size tub of Tucks pads, you need to save others the humiliation and make the purchase yourself.
When my arsenal of products didn’t work, I (mistakenly) turned to the internet for further diagnosis and treatment options. It turns out hemorrhoids can be internal or external. The veins around your bum are enlarged or engorged with blood. Hence, all that pain. According to Medical News Today, most cases of hemorrhoids occur in people (mainly men) ages 45 to 65. A woman is most likely to get them when she’s pregnant. Fantastic. In severe cases, your hemorrhoid may require surgery. Of course, I was convinced I had the worst kind of hemorrhoid because I was in so much pain. Thank you, Web MD. First thing Monday morning I called my obstetrician and managed to get the first available appointment. A quick examination determined I had the most benign kind of hemorrhoid. A relief in some ways, although I can’t imagine what the worst kind of hemorrhoid feels like! My doctor prescribed a fast-acting suppository. I can laugh about it now, but the name of the medicine is the “rectal rocket.” Trust me, I wasn’t laughing then, but the medicine did live up to its name so relief came at warp speed.
I may have put THAT bout with hemorrhoids behind me, but this story is far from over.
A short time after I brought my sweet little boy home from the hospital, the dreaded hemorrhoids returned. This time I recognized the early symptoms and began treatment immediately. I was encouraged to keep a supply of “rectal rockets” in my refrigerator and my refill at the ready. I’m so thankful I followed that advice! I was able to put a stop to the hemorrhoids before they really got started. (As if you don’t have enough going on with a newborn and eager big sister at home!) The bad news? I’ll likely face hemorrhoids again in the future. Hopefully I’ll never be diagnosed with a case of “terminal hemorrhoids.” (That’s seriously a real thing and I’m certain it’s as bad as it sounds!)
I’ve had to make some life changes.
Now my morning starts with a glass of Metamucil. All that extra fiber on top of a healthy diet is essential. After being on over-the-counter stool softeners for probably too long, my doctor said I need to make sure I drink 60 to 90 ounces of water a day, especially since I’m breastfeeding. Exercise is also key. I worked out before I got hemorrhoids, and it’s even more important now. You have to get your body moving to get everything else moving (if you know what I mean). If my problems continue to reoccur my doctor also said I would need to pay a visit to a gastroenterologist. Moms know that childbirth can do a number on your body that includes your digestive system.