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Pregnancy and an Umbilical Hernia: Part 1

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When I was pregnant with my second son, I began to notice that from time to time, the area around my belly button was tender. When I asked my doctor about it, he told me that it looked like the beginning of an umbilical hernia. There was nothing to worry about. I rarely even noticed it being sore and forgot about it.

Almost four years later, I was 9 weeks pregnant with my third baby and awoke one morning to a pain in the front of my stomach. The front of my belly was sore to the touch and I experienced discomfort anytime that I moved. I knew that something was wrong but I was faced with a problem, our family was scheduled to leave that day for a trip.

As I finished packing for the trip, I moved slowly and tried to ignore the pain. My husband reminded me that I was the only one that knew how bad the pain was and would have to decide if we should cancel the trip. It was December and we were taking our boys out of town to the Polar Express. The train tickets and hotel reservations were made nearly a year in advance, already paid for and non-refundable. It was a Sunday. My only option to see anyone about my pain would be to go to Urgent Care and probably spend the entire day exposing myself to sickness as I waited to be seen. I took a deep breath and decided that I would wait to call my doctor until we returned in a few days.

As we drove out of town, the pain grew worse. Anything that caused me to use my stomach muscles, was painful. Sitting up. Trying to look in the back seat. Getting out of the car. When I looked at my stomach, I noticed a bulge just above my belly button. It looked like my belly button did when I was just weeks away from giving birth. Only this bulge was above my belly button. I began to worry, what if something was wrong with my baby? After several hours of driving, we arrived at our hotel and I decided to call my doctor’s office to leave a message for the doctor on call.

It was not my doctor that called back and she couldn’t give me much information without seeing me. She was able to reassure me that the pain most likely was not something wrong with my baby.

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I would recommend asking your doctor what you can expect in recovering from your surgery. Everyone heals differently but hopefully your doctor can give you a good idea based on your situation. You may have driving and lifting restrictions for a period of time. This could help you make your decision. If you begin to experience more pain, please notify your doctor! Best of luck with your surgery!

May 31, 2009 - 9:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi and thank you for sharing your story! I have an umbilical hernia, most likely had it through my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies. Baby boy #3 is now 15 months old and I have finally been diagnosed with the hernia. I need to have surgery, but I am in a similar position that you were in. We are schedule to fly to Washington State (we live in New York) at the end of June for two weeks. We are visiting family.
My problem is: do I have the surgery before hand? Which makes it more difficult all around since it is the end of the school year for my two older children. Plus it only leaves two weeks of recovery before we go away.
Or do I wait for the surgery until after and risk an emergency situation. I know that that I have to make the final decision, but it helps to know and hear what others are going through.
Of course, in the last week, it seems like it is more painful. Not progressively painful, but it seems like it hurts more now than a month ago before I was officially diagnosed. I'm half believing that it's all in my mind- that all of a sudden I can 'feel' it.
Thanks for sharing and any comments are welcome!

May 28, 2009 - 8:33am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.