After announcing my pregnancy on Friday, and my ‘Back to the Beginning‘ post on Monday, this is another post about what has been happening so far – in an attempt to fully chart the progress of my pregnancy and get up to date!
I suffered quite badly with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, also known as Pelvic Girdle Pain, or PGP) in my last pregnancy and ended up on crutches and I was pretty immobile. I was advised not to swim as my pelvis was too unstable and my physio was very concerned and wanted me to keep my knees together as much as possible at all times, even to the point where she recommended tying my knees together overnight! Try keeping your knees together for a few hours, it makes climbing stairs, getting in and out of cars, and even walking pretty tricky!
As I knew that it can recur with subsequent pregnancies I had been trying to prepare for this next pregnancy. To get my muscles strong so that it could be minimised, but, well, I have failed. I had been doing the exercises my previous physio gave me, and thought all was well. Then I fell pregnant. I carried on with the exercises but realised that I was now getting the pain in my pelvis. Sad face. So I stopped doing the exercises and the pain went away. Tried to do them again, and the pain came back. Not what I was expecting and definitely not what I was hoping for!
I figured maybe I was doing the exercises wrong or something, and one thing I learnt with SPD last time was that something is causing you pain, don’t do it! It’s not like other conditions where it gets worse before it gets better, or you can push through the pain.With SPD, it get’s worse, before it gets even worse! So I stopped the exercises. The pain stopped for the most part but still popped back intermittently which meant I was worried about what that meant for the rest of my pregnancy!
The physio I saw privately when I was pregnant before is on maternity leave so I can’t see her to ask for advice. I needed to find a new physio. I went to see a lovely physio at about 6 weeks pregnant, who filled me with confidence. She felt some of my previous exercises were quite hard and may put pressure on my pelvis, and basically confirmed that if they are causing the pain then I should definitely not do them. We did some very simple exercises and apparently my legs, back and even arms are all quite weak which is why my pelvis is under so much pressure (bonkers really).
The exercises were so simple they seemed daft but I could feel them working and was full of confidence when I left her. But, she said to me that if I was in pain the following day as a result of the exercises, that there may not be any exercises I can do to prevent it getting worse. The following day I was in huge amounts of pain and my spirits slumped. I went from feeling completely positive and optimistic to abject misery and negativity.
What I should have done, was call her and talk to her right away, but, I was afraid. Afraid of what she would say if those ridiculously simple exercises had caused me so much pain. Afraid that she may reiterate what she said before, that if they caused me so much pain, there may not be anything I can do to prevent it happening. So I haven’t. I have buried my head in the sand. I know it’s daft, I know it could be said I am being a martyr and making the problem worse by not getting help, but I don’t know what to to do for the best. Do I go back to her and see if she can do anything? Or do I try somewhere else? And if they can’t do anything, what then? I’m scared and so I am being daft and hiding from it. My head is firmly in the sand because I don’t know what the solution is.
I am writing this 2 weeks later, at 8 weeks pregnant. I have been in pain basically every day. It’s intermittent and some days are better than others. I have been trying to be more aware of how I sit, and stand and basically do everything, to try and put as little pressure on my pelvis as possible. But with a toddler, it’s nigh on impossible. How can I be the mum I want to be, when I can’t sit on the floor, I can’t kneel, I can’t carry him, I can’t bounce him on my knees, I can’t crawl around with him to play games? I’m struggling at his tumble tots class and don’t know how long I can carry on taking him. I hate it and feel really unhappy about it. The fact that it is so early in the pregnancy and that I can’t blog/talk about it makes it even harder.
I’m struggling with the housework as it is now hurting when I do the hoovering, and again, crawling around cleaning floors and bathrooms is painful. I know I should call her, or someone else but I still can’t bring myself to do it. I have my first midwife appointment this week so will go down the NHS referral line. Last time I didn’t suffer from the SPD until a lot later on in the pregnancy and by the time I got the appt at the hospital I was already booked in for a C section, so I cancelled. This time I may fight to get a cancellation appt or something to get in as early as possible. I’m not sure if they will be able to do anything else to help though. I just wish I knew what I could do.
I have been feeling really down about it and I know that to some extent it is my fault, for not getting my head out of the sand. But we have so much other stuff going on in our lives at the moment (with operation garden renovation, and all the dramas surrounding my flat and our tenants) that it is easy to push this to the back of the queue and get on with everything else. I have been in tears quite a few times with the pain (and hormones no doubt) and with having to ask hubby to do more about the house as I am already finding so much of it physically difficult. I am wearing support pants every day to hold myself together as clearly my muscles aren’t doing the job on their own. The pants help but aren’t exactly comfortable and I just worry they are masking the problem, and that they aren’t making things better in the long run.
I need to make a decision and go to the physio, or find a new one, but at least do something. Time to get my head OUT of the sand. I am not an Ostrich, and repeat!
The update to this post is that I did dig my head out of the sand and called the physio. Full credit to her for her honesty, she admitted defeat and confirmed what I had thought, which was that I needed to see someone with more specific experience with SPD/PGP. So the hunt is on for another physio… stay tuned!
Do you ever bury your head in the sand, or are you stronger than me and face your problems head on?