It’s Not a Hernia

Today was a whirlwind. Thank God I took the whole day off – I was gone from 9:50am to 1:45pm.

I’ve been a little anxious this week waiting for my appointment. Although my doctor wasn’t positive it was a hernia, she seemed sure, and as did I. It seemed like all of the possible outcomes would be bad: surgery now, surgery after birth, required C-section.

You see, my “problem” area is in the general region where the baby comes out. TMI? If so, you can skip this post – I will not be offended.

About a month and a half ago, I noticed an odd feeling; it was almost like I was brusied. Some swelling began then, and the discomfort continued. I feel intense pressure down there after standing up from a sitting or horizontal position.

My appointment today was with a surgeon who specializes in complex hernia and intestinal surgeries. After examining me, he agreed that it was likely a hernia but that it hadn’t broken through the layer of fascia. He said I could still have a vaginal birth, and he’d do surgery about a month after giving birth. Brody and I were both quite relieved at that point.

We scheduled an MRI, per the surgeon’s request, and headed down two floors. At this point it was almost noon. The radiologist came to see us to get consent to do an MRI on my pregnant body. He explained that there are no known risks to a baby by doing an MRI. We signed the form, and I was ready to go.

I knew what an MRI was like and thought I’d be fine. Ummm…not so much. I am not claustrophobic (or maybe I am now?) and figured I could handle it.



The techs had me keep my clothes and Ugg boots on, and they gave me a blanket. Over my belly they placed a plastic cover which put slight pressure on my belly. I put on the sound protective ear wear and closed my eyes.

Initially, I was okay. I tried to slow down my breathing and let my mind wander. I even thought I I could catch up on some sleep. Suddenly, I got panicky: my heart started beating, I felt nauseous, and I began sweating. I pressed the squeezy thing and told her I was really warm. The two women kindly gave me ice packs for behind my knees and my neck and removed my Uggs and the blanket. Relief.

Back in I went. This time was great – I was cool, comfortable, and relaxed (kind of like in savashana). Then that feeling came back again, and I had to get out. This time, there was no going back in. They said I looked pale (but as Brody pointed out later, I always look pale) and gave me water. Who knew I’d be such a pansy?

Because of my pansiness, we were sent in for an ultrasound. As the radiologist watched the screen, he said “It’s veins.” In my very comprehensive, thorough, and scientific research about my issue, I had read about having varicose veins in the vagina area. He explained that it was an enlarged bundle of veins. It wasn’t a hernia!

Although he couldn’t say much about what this meant for me, I had a good feeling about it.

Brody and I celebrated by getting lunch at Panera; it was one by now, and he was starving. What a trooper! I was hungry but not famished, as I had brought a granola-like snack pack and downed that before the MRI.

While inhaling our food, Brody and I both agreed that we are SO lucky to live in the Madison area and have such amazing medical care with UW Health. Within three hours in one day and in the same building, I was able to see a specialty surgeon, have an MRI, and have an ultrasound. Pretty incredible. I do not take this for granted.

The next step: talk to my doctor. I will call her later this afternoon, but I have already found more information online about this, and my amazing friend and fellow blogger, Bridget, has gotten me in contact with someone she know who is a nurse and also had these varicose veins.

There you have it. More personal information about me than I ever thought I’d share on my blog. I’m just so happy that it’s not a hernia, and maybe that is causing me to have the guts to share this.

Happy pregnant, non-hernia Angie and an exhausted Moose in the background! Although he’s not showing it, he is also thrilled I don’t have a hernia.

Have a wonderful Friday!

One thought on “It’s Not a Hernia

  1. Pingback: Pregnancy Update: Week 28 |

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