Pregnancy and childbirth after transplantation

Having a baby after transplantation is pretty common but it is provided by more risks than pregnancy of healthy woman. Women on dialysis shouldn’t get pregnant at all because of unstable level of hormones and high probability of miscarriage. The whole topic is very well described in this article.

When it was about five years from my kidney transplantation, me and my husband started to think about baby. As the transplanted kidney was working without any bigger problems the doctors approved it, only they had to change my medication as the one I was taking at the moment could be dangerous for the baby. Than we had to wait few months if everything would be ok after the medication change. Because nothing went wrong, we could start trying.

Believe it or not, I got pregnant on first “attempt”. It surprised us a lot as mostly even healthy women have problems with getting pregnant not only someone like me with my medical history and so many pills taking every day. But it just happened.

At the beginning I wasn’t even realizing that I was pregnant. I had no morning sickness, no tastes for weird combinations of food, no problems with smells or tastes, just nothing. The first complication came at sixth month when I had to undergo a glucose screening test for gestational diabetes. It is a common test that almost every pregnant woman has to take. In my case they found out that my sugar level remained too high, which means that the body was not responsive enough for insulin.

At the beginning it meant just following a well planned diet but later in time as it went worse, I also had to inject me insulin shots. At first I was scared of it but I was surprised how developed the insulin pens were and I could hardly feel the needles how thin they were. The only real annoying thing was that I had to control the sugar level in my blood after each meal to find out if I needed the insulin shot or not.

Another complication appeared about five weeks before the assumed childbirth date. As the baby was growing, it started to press to my share-bone in a way that it terribly hurt when I was walking. At that time the doctors decided that it would be better if I stayed in the hospital till the delivery date. Oh well, five weeks in a hospital!

Fortunately they allowed me to spend each weekend at home but still I was not happy about the situation. Few weeks later the doctors decided that the pressure to my share-bone was to big and so they decided to go for a c-section and they planned it one week before the expected delivery date.

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The big day was set to March 10, 2011. I decided only for an epidural anesthesia instead of general anesthesia as the doctors told me that epidural would affect only my body but the general one would affect the baby as well and I didn’t like that. So in the morning I was given the epidural injection and was waiting for my doctor to come. My husband was there with me.

I don’t remember much what happened when the doctors came. I just felt some pressure somewhere around my underbelly, then some dull pain and then they showed me violet little baby covered in a white clay. The most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Then I remember I said how beautiful she was and then suddenly started to feel very bad. I felt like fainting so I started to say to the doctors that I was feeling bad and that I was gonna faint….

And then suddenly I woke up at DOA unit with lots of hoses in my hands, many monitors around and no idea what was going on. Later I was told that during the childbirth the doctor cut accidentally the transplanted kidney and it started to bleed heavily. I lost more than 1,5 liter of blood and the doctors were actually fighting for my life. (Again…)

When my husband called this to my mom, she immediately contacted IKEM and one of the doctors almost immediately arrived to the hospital and started to investigate what actually happened and how much it affected the kidney. Fortunately and I must say I still can’t believe it, the kidney was fine. Just creatinine increased slightly. Fortunately it was just temporarily. Besides that, no harm done.

I don’t know exactly how, but when the doctors were trying to stop the bleeding during the childbirth, they also caused me some burns at the underbelly area, so together with the c-section scar it hurt like hell. The treatment of the burns then took several weeks and was very painful.

I spent in the hospital eight days which were physically and emotionally very hard. All the pain together with stress from taking care of new born baby who had to be fed each three hours and was refusing breast feeding because when I was at DOA unit the nurses were feeding her from a bottle and she got used to it. She also slept mostly during the day and didn’t sleep much at night. Moreover, the nurses told me that I was having the loudest baby from the whole department. Haha, I wasn’t even surprised 😀

I was pretty desperate and actually started to cry from happiness when the doctors told me that I could go home. They gave me box of injections of something that was thinning the blood to prevent thrombosis and I also had to come back to the hospital every second day because of the burns treatment. But I was just happy to be home with my family.

Whatever happened then there, I am just grateful to have the most awesome daughter in the world, my beloved Ema.

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