You might be able to pick up the stitches one at a time from a lower row, I think one of the videos shows how to do it. You also might want to try to knit looser, it sounds like your stitches might be too tight to start with. Knitting too tight is common with new knitters, loosening up is easier on your hands and pays off in the long run.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper