Signs of SPD/PGP and Burying my head in the Sand

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?


30 thoughts on “Signs of SPD/PGP and Burying my head in the Sand

  1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’ve been enjoying reading your blog and look forward to updates. So sorry you are in pain though! I hope that you will find someone that can offer relief very soon!!

    • Thanks honey, it is really rubbish if I’m honest! Trying very hard not to bury my head in the sand anymore, though very glad I am not the only one to do it! xx

  2. My heart goes out to you lady! I’ve had PGP since 14 week, and it’s so immobilising! I’ve been really lucky and my NHS physio has been brilliant. I’ve been able to attend a specific exercise group which has really helped me keep as mobile as possible. The best advice I’ve had was to try and stay symmetrical, so things like hovering needed to go! I had the worst pain after doing a small amount of hovering! I hope you get good advice and find away to manage it x #sharewithme

    • Thank you and you poor thing, it’s just horrible isn’t it? Horrible getting it so early too as I know what’s to come, and it feels awful having to stop doing everything already. Really really glad to hear your NHS physio has been so helpful, I spoke to mine today and she was lovely, seeing her Monday so fingers, toes and everything crossed (but not legs, not good for the pelvis ;)) she will be able to help! xx

  3. Oh no, this sounds just awful. I can relate to not being able to play with your son, as with my bleeding, I couldn’t lift Boo at all, which upset her when she wanted pick ups and cuddles, and housework was off the agenda, as I needed to rest up. So frustrating. But, though I had an ever-present fear I could lose my baby, I did not have an ever-present pain, which sounds terrible. I really hope you do find a physio that can help you with this soon. Get on the phone today, find one – you’ll feel better for it! Take care x

    • Thank you and honestly it must have been scary for you to have that fear of losing your baby, the pain is no fun and I hate it but fear can be so much more debilitating! It’s so frustrating not being able to do things you usually just do and take for granted isn’t it? I like being an active mummy, crawling, running, playing, and not being able to do that makes me feel quite down. I’ve made some progress in terms of contacting physios, seeing one on Monday so fingers and toes crossed she can help! xx

  4. OMG Caroline how have I missed this: HUGE HUGE Congratulations on your great news. I am so so happy for you. Having two is SOOO much fun. So sorry though that you are struggling with pain. I had SPD REALLY bad too with my first. It was awful. Please, please go to the physio! It does help but I would recommed going to a different one. A different perspective and opinion can’t hurt and then you will know if you preferred the first one or second and go from there. It’s so hard tho because I am the same I waited till I couldn’t walk with SPD before I saw the doc about it. I bury my head in the sand way too often and suffer for it. Please don’t suffer. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me week 10 otherwise I might have missed saying Congrats to you until you were half way through Bad blogger friend I am! Sorry!! haha I really am so happy for you. #sharewithme

    • Aw Jenny bless you don’t worry, it’s so easy to miss things! thank you so much though, we are very excited! Shame the pain is here already though, and really sorry to hear you went through it too, it’s just horrible isn’t it? I think it’s easier sometimes to put everyone else first and ignore your own pain, but like you say it really is no good in the long run! I spoke to a lovely physio today who I am seeing Monday so I really, really, really hope she can help me. I can’t bear to think I will be struggling this much for the next 30 weeks!! xx

    • Thank you, yep they are so much harder when you already have a little one to look after and the pain isn’t helping! Hopefully it will feel better soon! xx

  5. Lucas says – Monkey lil’ dude, I hope you’ll help your Mother as much as possible. At the end of the day she’s giving you a lil’ brother or sister which is VERY cool so try and help out as much as possible 🙂 #sharewithme

  6. Ohhhhhh I know all too well about this! I am 35wks 3days at the mo and have suffered from 18wks. I’ve written many a post about it lol.
    Congrats on your pregnancy!!

    I’ve popped on over from #sharewithme and would love you to come say hi at too 🙂 xx

    • Aw bless you it is so horrible isn’t it? Very glad the end is near for you now, I’m sure I will be writing many posts about this over the next 7 months! Thank you, I will definitely pop over and say hi! Xx

  7. Just reading your post is bring back memories so strong I can almost feel the pain and my SPD was on nowhere near the scale of yours. Do everything you can to get help, do everything you can to avoid pain and at the end of the day know that it’s not forever and you will get a beautiful baby as your reward x x x

    • Oh gosh bless you, you never forget so you, so painful! Thank you and believe me I am getting ad much help as humanly possible and am clinging on to the thought of the beautiful baby that will make it worth enduring!! Xx

  8. I wish I can say that I am strong when there are problems but I crumble really. Your post is so honest. Thanks for sharing. I was trying to … compose a message that would uplift but my mind is not up to it… what I know is … you are carrying a baby and you are doing your best to make everything right/bearable like finding an specialist and you are carrying on. That in my book is the definition of strong. #sharewithme

  9. I really feel for you. I am currently watching a friend of mine go through the same thing and it is just awful to watch so I an’t even imagine what it must be like to go through. I really hope you find a way of easing/helping with the pain soon.
    Congratulations on your pregnancy x

    • Thank you, and I am really sorry to hear your friend is going through it too, it is really draining and takes a lot of the joy out of pregnancy I’m afraid! Thank you, I hope so too! xx

  10. You poor thing, pregnancy really does take it out of our poor bodies, doesn’t it? Congratulations though on your pregnancy, 2 is an absolute joy, but much harder on you as you can’t take it as easy when you have n1 to be with too. Hope you’ve found a good physio now, and I hope that you’re not overly restricted either. Much much luck to youuuu! #AllAboutYou x

    • Thanks very much Zaz, pregnancy really isn’t easy and especially not when looking after another little one, but all will be worth it when we have 2 kiddies playing together 🙂 xx

  11. I can’t imagine what you are going through. 8 weeks of pain, not being able to move with a toddler in tow and the guilt of not being the “mom you want to be”. All I can say is that you do the best you can without pushing yourself to the limit, seek out help from people around you, is there someone you can ask to take your toddler to the movement class?

    It can be so hard to stay positive but it is important to ensure that you don’t go through a downwards spiral. I was immobile in my pregnancy and to be honest I am really scared of getting pregnant again because I am alone (with my husband) in raising our son and I don’t know what I would do if I had to be on bed rest. I really admire your strength and courage and hope that you find a solution that lets you ease the pain and have some normalcy for this pregnancy.

    Angie from reasons to dress, life as a North American mom in Italy.

    • Thanks Angie for such a lovely message of support! You poor thing for being immobile, i can totally understand you being scared of getting pregnant again, I had similar fears (and still do) and it can be so hard to get past them! All I can do is try to get the help I need and hope for the best really! ALl the best to you, will pop by to say hello 🙂 xx

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