Thursday, 22 July 2010

Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy

Pelvic Girdle pain in all its forms, including SPD (sympysis pubis disfunction), is a curse. So many women suffer from it in pregnancy and it can be anything from annoying to extremely debilitating. I suffered from it when pregnant with Cubling, increasingly so, until I regularly missed my train home from work because I didn't manage to make the front train from the time the platform got announced (insert lots of cursing of the Scottish passenger rail system) to its departure.

My mistake then was that initially the pain was bearable and intermittent, and when it became debilitating and unbearable, I was so close to my due date that I couldn't be bothered asking for a referral to the physio. I really should have acted upon the first signs, simply because it often gets worse, and for some unfortunate ones, the pain will continue after giving birth (it didn't for me thankfully). As I went overdue, all I did was sit at home on a birth ball, feeling rather sorry for myself but also guilty for not managing to keep fit. The consideration of a home birth went out of the window because I knew if I had to be transferred, there was no way I could get down those 3 flights of old tenenment builiding stairs with that pain and labour on top.

This time, upon the first signs of any pain, I took action. Confusingly though, the type of pain I experienced was very different - what been pubic bone pain in pregnancy no. 1, one that is easily diagnosed, had become hip pain shooting into my legs this time around. Initially I thought I'd pulled a muscle by stupidly lifiting an 80 l bag of compost. When there was no improvement after a week, I self-referred to the antenatal physiotherapist, prepared to also dish out on an osteopath if needed. Whiile self-referral is a great thing, it still depends on your hospital when you get seen to. For me that meant waiting for one week to get called back, and then another two weeks for my first appointment. I was not pleased.

However, it was more than worth it and I can only recommend to anyone experiencing any pelvic girdle pain to seek treatment at the first signs. I was resigned to being in pain for the rest of my pregnancy, and that the pain would increase. It was a dire prospect, what with the pain starting at 26 weeks, and not being able to walk much more than 200 yards on a good day. Look at me now though: I'm 34 weeks pregnant and as good as pain free. I can walk for miles. I can run after Cubling again and don't depend on her willingness to stop when I say so (which she doesn't - this girl never stops, it's not in her nature). I can pick up things from the floor again, don't get annoyed about having to get up from a seat to get Cubling the milk she refused jsut a second ago because it it hurts so fricking much. Ok, I also have no excuse anymore that I can't do the dreaded household chores and pile them all onto Mr Cartside, ah well.

3 appointments, some gentle realignment and an unsightly but very effective support band later, I feel like a new woman. For the first time in this pregnancy, I feel good. Yes, I'm tired; yes I still have one head cold/chest infection chasing the next, yes; I have a definite lack of appetite but that's fine. I can walk and move and generally have fun with Cubling, do gardening, go for walks, do yoga, and simply feel more human again. Because, somehow, the thing that really got me into the lowest of moods was the constant struggle to keep that pain at a minimum, and the restriction on my life this entailed.

And that support band - it rocks. It may not be pretty (you can't see it though), but I feel light as a feather. See me skip through the rain?



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