Owen continues to thrive yet his mom is falling into a total mess. I had stopped taking pain medication at the hospital. After coming home I noticed a shooting pain under the lower left side of my rib cage every time I took in a breath. It felt as if I had a broken rib. A quick search online yield no clear answer so I brushed it off as yet another adverse effect from the c-section. While my incisions are healing nicely without much discomfort, the pain on the left side of my back both front and back seem to have intensified over time. Two days ago the same pain somehow traveled up to my left shoulder. Now every time I inhale it feels as if someone is stabbing me all over the left side. The pain is so debilitating that I can’t stand up straight, walk upright, lay on my left side, or take a full breath. That’s right, I have been literally holding in my breath for nearly two weeks!
My coworker joked about 3am purchases on Amazon as a desperate attempt for infant sleep solutions that comes with prime shipping. However, Owen is not the one with sleeping problems in this household. Instead of googling how to put a newborn to sleep, I’m the only one staying awake at odd hours googling things like “broken rib from c-section,” “back pain from c-section,” “shoulder pain from c-section,” etc. After sorting through numerous online forums, I found out that it’s normal and common to have pain at random places due to trapped gas from the surgery. The gas can exist both in the digestive system as constipation or in the body cavity as excessive air pockets that must be absorbed into the body in order for it to be expelled. I was aware of constipation both from the surgery and pain medication, specifically Percocet, but I had no idea that there could be gas somewhere else as well. In another word, I have back gas and it has travelled up to my shoulder! The persistent pain is so excruciating that it finally pushed me over the edge last night and had me crawled up on the floor crying. The only way I could tolerate nursing Owen was to have Peter place him flat on the floor while I get into child’s pose perpendicularly on top of him and lower my nipple into his mouth.
Although I had asked Peter to purchase Gas X earlier in the afternoon and mentioned to him that I was in pain, he went about doing the usual household chores without skipping a beat after placing Owen on the floor. I was immobilized by the pain and irritated by Peter’s oblivion that I finally let out a scream to get him back to my side. “What can I do?” he asked, “I didn’t realize you were in so much pain.” Of course his reaction made me even more angry because I feel like whenever he doesn’t know what to do, which seems like majority of the time, he chose to do nothing. This way of thinking is so counter to every cell in my being since I can’t be farther from a do-nothing type person. After some screaming from my side Peter proceeded to massage my back. It helped a little but not nearly enough. Later in the night I slept with an electric heating pad under my back and a microwaveable heating pad on my shoulder. Frankly, it’s the only way I could even lay down without screaming.
I woke up this morning in the same miserable condition as last night if not worse. Despite a long and vigorous massage from Peter, I didn’t feel well enough to have lunch or dinner. No vitamins or fish oil or placenta pills either. Just the thought of putting anything into mid section makes me sick. Coconut water is what has sustained me since I went into labor. Now the only thing I want to have are those chewable gas x tablets. The box says no more than four tablets a day. I want to swallow them by the handful even though they don’t seem to do much.
This evening was a special kind of torture. My back and shoulders were in so much pain that I couldn’t even lay down in bed. Peter tried to massage my should without any success. I cried and screamed as if I was back in labor. The only thing I come close to tolerate was to stay sitting up in bed. I fed Owen that way and spent the rest of the night mostly awake in a semi reclining position.