- Women's Health
Kidney Stones vs. Pain of Childbirth: Is There Really a Comparison?
"Hee, Hee, Hoooooo"
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney out of substances in the urine.
A stone may stay in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass all the way out of the body without causing too much pain.
A larger stone may get stuck in a ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. A problem stone can block the flow of urine and cause great pain.
Giving birth and raising a child of my own is something I’ve considered many times throughout my adult life. I remember thinking that I don’t even need a “husband.” I’ll just simply choose one of those non-traditional methods. As time has gone on, the courage to make this commitment has never truly been in my blood. I’ve also been extremely afraid of the pain. So, glimpses of motherhood I receive are through spending quality time being an “auntie” with my nieces and nephews.
My sisters have told me, “you’ll never r-e-a-l-l-y understand what you go through when delivering a baby.” And I would agree, “I’m sure you’re right. I really give you both a lot of credit. I honestly don’t know if I could do it.”
Then one day, simply out of nowhere, I was
in excruciating pain and was rushed to the emergency room. My back and stomach felt like I was being
stabbed repeatedly. The urge to urinate
was incredible. I was so sick to my
stomach, I held a bag near my chin. What
was happening to me? I was afraid and
thought I was going to die. Instead of
screaming and ripping some sweet nurse’s head off, I tried deep breathing and
then I began to take short, quick breaths like they teach expectant mothers on
TV. I was doing the "hee-hee-hoooos."
It didn’t take the unknown doctor long to diagnose that I had kidney stones. It has been said over and over again that the pain of passing a kidney stone is comparable to delivering a baby and that re-occurrence of this event is common. So now I know what it’s like? I’m doing it! I’m gonna give birth (to a stone).
As crazy as it sounds, I am actually somewhat glad that I went through this experience. I can better relate to my sisters whom combined have a total of seven children. Their conscious choice of getting pregnant and going through that pain again and again amazes me!
I do have to remember that I am fortunate. My pain has only lasted a total of 15 hours or so over a period of a few weeks. Oh, I was extremely nauseated and somewhat disabled during these continued episodes. Yet, from what I understand, it still wasn’t morning sickness lasting for several months in a row.
It bothers me though that planning out my pain, through long-winded conversations and worries about the future, was not an option. The conception of my pain began in the middle of a crowded Super K-Mart. I didn’t get the chance to contemplate – now or later?
“Try to look on the bright side,” I would assure myself. My pain doesn’t make me gain lots of weight and won’t stretch my skin to its limits. I won’t end up with breasts that are so tender no one can come near me. I can sleep on my stomach whenever I want. My pain only needs the attention of a painkiller every so often. Not food and clothing, education and love. I’m not compelled to worry every minute of the day about my pain. It won’t be around for at least 18 years or longer. (At least I hope not!)
I sincerely love my nieces and nephews. They haven’t caused me any discomfort. I cherish every moment I spend with them and enjoy watching them grow. They are the wonderful, precious gifts my sisters have received for their pain. Miracles.
I am relieved that my “miracle” finally appeared. Although, I have wished I had a little more to show for my pain than an itty bitty stone in a bottle. Then . . . reality sets in again. If every time I went through one of these “stone” episodes, it’s supposed to be like having a baby, then I would be the proud mother of five.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly love children. But let’s be honest. This really isn’t a true comparison, is it?