RSS

Tag Archives: SPD

39 Weeks…

So, yesterday was the start of my 39th week of pregnancy.

image

Today was actually the first due date I was given, but then after our 12 week dating scan they pushed it back to the 7th. I’m still kind of hoping that he might decide to come today (or at least start his journey) whilst also panicking about it.

I’m not sure if I’ve said already but I’m starting to liken this whole pregnancy thing to queuing for a popular rollercoaster on a busy day. You spend hours being excited and scared (but in a good way), and getting impatient with all the waiting…then you start to feel a bit uncomfortable and like you could do with a bit of a sit down (okay, a LOT of a sit down). All of a sudden, the wait is over and you’re the next person into the car, and you start to panic and wonder if it’s too late to run for the exit.

It’s terrifying, but I also can’t wait. I’m bouncing on my swiss ball as I type this. And I’m finally starting to get my head round the fact that there is actually a baby in that big massive belly of mine…

…on Sunday night he was pushing a foot out on my right hand side, which was kind of freaky. I pushed it back in and he immediately stuck it out again…and so we started our first game together. I think he was enjoying my giggling too.

So…39 weeks, and where am I now?…

Well, my belly button is STILL an innie (hooray!), but I think that’s because of the chub/swelling. If I didn’t have so much padding it’d totally be out and making itself known.

I’m incredibly swollen. We’re talking EVERYWHERE here. I get up in the morning and my legs (especially the left one) look normal but if I press on my shin for a few seconds I leave a monumental dent, which goes to show that I’ve been swollen for so long that I can’t remember what “normal” is anymore.

None (NONE) of my shoes fit me anymore. I’ve been reduced to wearing a pair of men’s flip flops from Primark. Not that it matters because I can’t walk that far anyway.

My SPD is getting worse all the time (the reason for my not being able to walk far) and I can’t do anything that involves leaning forwards. I still do bits of washing up and emptying the dishwasher etc, but it’s agony within seconds. When we do get out of the house I have to try to tuck my tailbone under as I walk to stop the dreaded pelvic aching, and I walk at about a fifth of my normal speed (frustrating for me and Luke).

I am VERY breathless most of the time, which I think is a combination of being very unfit and having a baby squashing my lungs. I’m looking forward to the “lightening” feeling that I’ve been promised. It’d be nice to be able to breathe and eat a proper sized meal.

My snoring has become epically bad. I can’t even describe it. And the drool…oh my god the drool. I have taken to sleepingon a flannel because at least that way I can swap it out halfway through the night and don’t have to sleep on a soggy pillow…

But! It’s not all bad! I can still get in and out if the bath on my own, and I’m quite proud that at 39 weeks, with all this swelling AND the five and a half stone I’ve put on, I can still shave my own legs and bikini line.

I’ve also stopped putting weight on (FINALLY), which I think can be put down to two factors…1) I can’t eat more than a few bites of something and then I’m full for HOURS, and 2) dragging my huge self around burns a buttload of calories.

Weirdly, I’m sleeping far better (we’re talking like THREE HOURS in a row here) and peeing in the night far less. It must be the way the baby is lying but I’m not going to question it too much. I’ve had three nights of *almost* normal sleep and I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

These may all be small victories, but they’re victories nonetheless. And I’m celebrating them!

As for signs of labour, well I’m getting LOADS of Braxton Hicks and crampy period pains, as well as those weird back contractions. I’ve had a few of those that have gone all up my spine and into my scalp, and they’ve been quite unbearable. I also had what I think was a proper contraction yesterday: it started in my back, spread across my belly, and felt a little like the gripping feeling you get when you have a dodgy tummy…but I’m not going to let any of it trick me into thinking anything is actually happening.

I clearly have a body that likes to practice a LOT before the main event…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Struggling – A Post In Which I Bewail My Lot…

I am upset that I’ve not been updating my blog as often as I’d like…

Unfortunately I have been suffering a LOT with swelling and pain and general down-beat-ness, and I’ve let feeling sorry for myself get in the way of writing.

My belly is SO big now that I can barely sit up comfortably on anything other than my Swiss ball, and even sitting on that for longer than about 20 minutes is agony on my poor pelvis. I am spending a lot of my time lying down on my side and watching films instead of doing anything productive.

In the past 5 days I have managed to do all the baby’s washing, pick up the last things I needed to be “ready” (I’ll never be ready), pack a labour bag and get some music on my iPod (so I’m almost prepared for the birth now!), but I’m yet to get everything I need in my hospital bag. I’m really hoping that the birth will be straight forward and we can come home a few hours after because I’m not sure I’ll ever be prepared for a stay in hospital. How am I supposed to know how many sleepsuits he’ll need? How many vests? Will I want to wear clothes or will nighties be okay?…IT’S TOO HARD…

Unfortunately, doing anything remotely useful means standing on my feet (which then swell to the size of Christmas hams) and so necessitates a day-long rest afterwards. On Tuesday Luke and I trawled the town centre for the last bits and pieces we needed (or so we thought then anyway), and I was rewarded with an evening of feeling as if I were falling apart, a bout of vomiting and a night of acid reflux. Oh the joys. Luke was convinced that I was going into labour (that’s when I started packing my bags like a maniac) but I totally wasn’t.

…I am getting back pains, period pains, stabbing pains in my cervix (TMI?…maybe, but I’m trying to be truthful about my pregnancy, so yes…stabby cervical pain of doom) and I CANNOT SLEEP…I’m just hoping that all of these are signs of impending labour, and not that this is how it’s going to be for the next 2-4 weeks…oh please, don’t let this continue for the next four weeks…

I spent the first 8 months of my pregnancy checking, fearfully, for blood every time I went to the toilet…now I’m checking for it hopefully.

All we can do is wait.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Weighty Issues…

Before I begin…this is quite a personal post, and quite a hard one for me to write. I’m doing it anyway because, a) it might exorcise some demons, and b) it might help someone else who’s feeling the same way as I am now and could do with knowing that they’re not alone. I feel quite alone in feeling this way at the moment.

Here goes…

I have always always struggled with my weight and I’ve had issues with food since I was 15. To cut a long story short, I’ve been big (over a size 20) and I’ve been little (size 6) – I’ve been bullied and mocked for being fat, and complimented and praised for being skinny. Consequently, I associate being overweight with feeling worthless and unlikeable.

(note: This issue is about my OWN self image…I do not think that overweight people are worthless and unlikeable. On the contrary, I see beauty and worth in everyone…just not in myself)

So…onto the point…

When I fell pregnant I was 10 stone 2 lbs and about a size 10, a weight and size that I maintained up until about week eight when I suddenly had to eat ALL THE CARBS to stave off feelings of nausea and misery. Five weeks later (and one stone heavier) my nausea subsided and my SPD began…I carried on eating terribly (cake, cake and more cake) and suddenly I was in too much pain to keep up with the amount of physical activity that I was used to. I knew what I was doing to myself (what I am still doing to myself on occasion), but I just couldn’t stop over-eating. I think it’s a bit of a shame spiral – I feel bad so I eat, and then I feel worse so I eat some more…and on and on and on…

…other people helped to make it ok by saying “You’re eating for two!” (even when I know that’s a ridiculous untruth), or “If ever there’s a time to eat what you want, it’s now!” (no, no it isn’t…this is the time when I should be looking after myself, not giving in to myself and my gluttony)…

Aside from that though, even when I’ve been “good” and eaten healthily (and not excessively) I have STILL gained at the same rate. It’s disheartening and has made me think that I should just eat whatever the hell I want as it won’t make any difference anyway.

Now I’m 29 weeks pregnant (tomorrow) and I’m tipping the scales at 13 stone 8 lbs.

I’m HUGE.

My thighs rub together now, and when I look in the mirror I see joints of ham where my arms used to be. My bump is beautiful and I love it for the most part (even though it is BIG for 29 weeks), but I do not love the fatty “double bump” that hangs from the bottom of it. I have chins, plural.

Luke is very supportive. He tells me that I’m beautiful and that I’m not fat, I’m pregnant…but I am quick to point out that I am not pregnant in my legs or my arse. I can handle the bumpiness of pregnancy, it’s just the excess weight that I can’t deal with, and looking in the mirror often sets me off on a self-depreciating rant…but his words and his affection always make me feel better.

Other people, however, are a completely different story…People who know when I’m due vary their reaction to my size between “Are you sure you’ve got your dates right?” and the ever hilarious “…have they checked to see if it’s twins?”, and until I left work I was constantly having this conversation with well-meaning people:

WMP     “How long have you got left?”

Me:        “Two and a half months.”

WMP     “REALLY?!” *visibly staggering back, presumably so they can see all of me at once…or perhaps avoid being crushed by my belly*

When you’re pregnant you are suddenly public property, and it’s amazing how free and easy people are with their comments on your size.

If I’m honest, other people’s opinions (well-meaning or not) have been the main catalyst for me feeling this way. It’s not their fault at all…I’m sure most pregnant women can handle these comments in a much more well-balanced way. If I was just large with child I’d probably still get annoyed sometimes…but because I have issues, and because I feel like I’m so grossly over-weight, I take everything to heart in the most extreme way possible. Now I’m at home (and not in the public eye so much) I don’t get a daily update on what other people think about my pregnant body, but I’ve replaced their voices with my own.

I just can’t help bullying myself over it.

According to all the books and a pregnancy weight calculator I should have put on about 35lbs by the END of my pregnancy. I know that every woman and every pregnancy is different, but I have surpassed that by a good 13lbs (lets just call it a stone shall we?) and I feel just awful about that. This is NOT the way I envisioned my pregnancy…

…I thought I’d stay active, be healthy and have a neat little bump that grew (slowly) with the growth of my unborn child. I did not expect to feel like a great hulking troll who can’t walk up the stairs without getting out of breath and who grows steadily larger with each mouthful of cake. I’m trying to make light of it here, but I’ve sobbed for hours over the way I look and feel – I’m beating myself up over this on a daily basis and my self-confidence has taken a massive nose-dive. I’m embarrassed to even meet up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while for fear that they’ll think I’m disgusting for letting myself get this big this quickly. When I do see them I often feel the need to draw attention to my weight-gain straight away, just to get in there before they do.

Thankfully, I seem to have stopped gaining weight now, and over the last week I have actually seemed to be losing a pound or so every few days. It makes me feel a little better about myself, but I think it’s mostly because I physically can’t fit as much food in me anymore. See, even when I get a handle on myself and start seeing a positive change I still put it down to an external (or internal, in this case) force rather than my own efforts.

…and I am making an effort. I’m doing more (gentle) exercise, and I’m watching what I eat more. I don’t think I can (or should) lose a stone in the next 11 weeks, but if nothing else I can try to keep myself from piling on even more weight. I am hoping that after our boy is born and my SPD (hopefully) relents, breast feeding and exercise will bring me back to a size and shape that I am happy with.

At the moment I am, more often than not, very sad about how I have let myself go…but then our baby hiccups or moves a foot or a hand, and I suddenly don’t really care very much about how I look or feel…at least for a while. All I can hope is that once he is here in the world I will be so in awe of him that I can completely put aside how much my own self-image affects me.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SPD (Pt. 3) – Where I Am Now…

I’m 26 (almost 27) weeks pregnant now and have been suffering with SPD/PGP/PGD for about fourteen weeks.

As I’ve said before, the pain has mostly been in the right-hand side of the back of my pelvis, but in the past few weeks I’ve regularly felt it in both sides. I’ve also experienced some pretty sharp pains in the ligaments at the front of my pelvis too. Some days I’ve gotten up and I’ve not even been able to bend over the sink without being in agony and work, with all of the bending and stretching that my job entails, has been getting unbearable.

My colleagues have been great at making me take things easy most of the time but some things are unavoidable when you work in a busy shop. My workmates might know what I’m going through and make allowances for me, but the customers don’t give me the same concessions.

It was all making me feel thoroughly miserable, and after a chat with my midwife and GP I was signed off work for a fortnight.

During the time off my boss rang me for a chat and discussed different options with me but ultimately felt that my job wasn’t helping my condition and any other work he could offer me (office-based, with lots of sitting) was only going to make things worse. Reduced hours was another way we could have gone, but I usually found that I was in pain within 30 minutes of getting to work, so that didn’t seem like a viable option either. He suggested that I speak with the doctor to get her honest opinion of how I should proceed, and reassured me that he just wanted me to do the best thing for me and my baby.

I spoke to the doctor again a couple of days ago and told her my options…she said she thought it’d be best to sign me off for the duration of my pregnancy.

So here I am, at home, being taken care of by my incredibly patient husband. I feel terribly guilt that I am not at work and that I’m letting my colleagues down, but my boss has been awesome and I can’t fault his support.

As for taking care of myself…I’m still doing the prescribed stretches, and I’ve started antenatal yoga in a bid to loosen myself up a bit more (whilst also getting stronger). I’m also waiting to go back to see Jane the physiotherapist at the hospital for some more massage.

I just want to make sure that I am capable of giving birth to our baby. It’s going to be hard enough as it is without the pelvic girdle pain. I know that life isn’t perfect and that I might not get the natural labour that I’m planning but I want to do everything I can to make sure that pelvic girdle pain (of all things) doesn’t get in the way of my birth plan.

I’ll do my best to keep you updated…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 7, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction!…Pt. 2…

So! In my last post I said a bit more about my referral to the Pelvic Girdle Pain clinic at our local hospital…

When I realised that I was attending a clinic for women with PGP I started to panic that the midwife had gotten it all wrong and that I’d be thrown out. The doctor had told me I didn’t have it (silly girl that I am)…my pelvis wasn’t clicking, I wasn’t in pain most of the time. All I needed was physio and I was convinced that he was right and that they wouldn’t be able to help me, but I went along to the clinic anyway…

So there I was, thirteen weeks pregnant and sat in a room with seven other women…seven other women with very noticeable bumps. They were FAR further along in their pregnancies than I was (cue yet more worry that I would be outed as a faker) and, after we each gave a little background about our lives and how our pain was affecting us, I discovered that I was the only one still in the first trimester, and the only one to have no other children to run around after (panic worry panic panic).

One by one, we were all taken aside to be assessed and shown how to best support our pelvises (pelvi?) with a tubigrip bandage. I was asked to lean with my palms against the wall of the cubicle and raise my legs while the nice physio lady checked my pelvis for movement. Twice. Then a third time.  Then she said she’d be referring me to the consultant physiotherapist because she didn’t think that I had the movement I should have had.

Of the eight of us, I was the only one who was asked to stay to make an appointment…perhaps this was my punishment for my fakery?

In the week between my appointments I wore my tubigrip with varying degrees of success. It’s a pretty huge piece of bandaging and we were told to wear it doubled/quadrupled up (as we needed) over our pelvis and hips, like a little bodycon miniskirt, and under/over our clothes as necessary (for example…put it on UNDER your dress or top, but OVER your tights/trousers/leggings). We were only supposed to wear it during the day OR at night (never both in the same day), and were warned to cease wearing it if we noticed their baby’s movements slow or lessen (although this was just for the others – and my future reference – as they were all WELL past feeling their babies move and I was barely past my 12 week scan).

It felt amazing to have my pelvis supported by the bandage, for a while…but as time wore on I just felt utterly squashed, and it not only seemed to cause my tummy to ache, it also made me suffer more regular attacks of round ligament pain (note: this link is a good description of RLP as well as SPD) which is a completely undesirable trait in an item that’s meant to ease discomfort.

…AND it made trips to the loo a spectacularly massive effort…

It didn’t really help. Sure, the compression felt good, but it just wasn’t supportive enough to really do anything for me. I was still feeling like a fraud at this point as I obviously didn’t have SPD…no wonder the bandage wasn’t working for me…

At my second appointment I met Jane, the consultant physiotherapist.

We had a chat about how I was feeling and my past history of injury and pain (I had a pretty heinous fall to my right knee while skating that put an end to me playing roller derby and seems to have squiffed my whole body up), and then she checked the movement of my pelvis and legs. It didn’t take long for her to decide that my pelvis was blocked (tight/rigid) on the right hand side and she then set about trying to free it up a little, which ended in a massage (the best bit by far).

She also showed me how I could free my pelvis myself at home by lying on my back on the floor, bending my right knee up (foot flat on the floor) and relaxing my left leg over the top of it, using the weight of my left leg (and the firmness of the floor) to stretch out my right-hand sacroiliac joint. After doing this I can also try to give that side of my pelvis a firm massage to help it relax even more.

At the end of the session I still felt like a big fat phoney, but Jane assured me that my doctor was wrong and that I am suffering from SPD. As well as doing the exercises she gave me I was also supposed to go back for another session, but work commitments got in the way and, over 10 weeks later, I still haven’t managed to go back…

…more about that another time…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction?…Pt 1…

Or: A more detailed account of why the GP I saw is an idiot…

(Or: I like to repeat myself for the sake of clarity…)

I was around 13 weeks pregnant and just starting to get over morning sickness (or constant “I feel like I’m on a boat” nausea with hardly any puking, as it was in my case) when I started to feel a pain in my pelvis.

It started off as a twinge in my butt cheek…a little biting sensation when I put my weight on my right leg that felt a LOT like sciatica. I’d notice it more when I was doing a lot of walking around, and it started to really affect me when I was climbing the stairs. Sometimes I’d be fine, but other times the sudden pain would cause me to yell out (which was quite worrying for my family and co-workers!) and sometimes my leg wouldn’t take my weight and it made me stumble.

At its absolute worst it was so intense and painful  that I couldn’t pick my leg up, let alone put it down again. Unfortunately, I happened to be in the middle of Redditch town centre and a five-minute walk from the car when I got to feel this extreme of pain. Luckily my sister was there to act as a crutch…

Looking back I also had a terrible “seperatey” pain in the right side of my pelvis when I propped myself up in bed that was (obviously, in hindsight) completely related, but that I’d chosen to ignore and put down to a crappy mattress. I was feeling a lot of random internal shooting pains in my pelvic area too.

It didn’t hurt all the time, but it began to hurt more and more often, and was always got worse the more I did. Eventually it got to the point where I couldn’t face another day of dragging myself around work, so I booked myself in for an emergency appointment with a doctor to try and get some physiotherapy sorted.  After disagreeing with me that I was suffering from sciatica or PGP, he did agree that I needed physiotherapy, but he refused to refer me until I had spoken to my midwife to see if she could refer me quicker. For reference, he handed me a list of phone numbers for physiotherapy centres in my town and suggested I call them to see how quickly they could fit me in.

If he’d have referred me as an emergency I’d have been seen by a physiotherapist in three days (which the first clinic I rang told me that the doctor should have known, what with it being his JOB and everything) so I decided to forego his “help” and put my faith in the midwives instead.

As it went, I had to wait a day for the community midwives to call me back and tell me that I’d been referred to the hospital. They said that I’d get a letter through the post to book myself into a clinic, but that I should call the hospital straight away (before the letter arrived) to make sure that I got onto a session that same week. I got booked into a clinic a week after my initial appointment with the GP and felt confident that I’d be feeling better soon…

…and then the letter arrived…

…and then I started to panic…

I obviously hadn’t listened properly to the hospital receptionist on the phone as I thought I was going to be seeing a physio about my worsening sciatica, but the letter told me that I had been referred to a Pelvic Girdle Pain clinic.

Now, although I thought the doctor had gotten it wrong about my sciatica, I thought he was right in saying that  I wasn’t suffering from SPD…and so, in my hormonal-pregnant-mental state I decided that I had been referred for the wrong sort of therapy…that I was going to end up being thrown out of the clinic…that a group of pregnant women would scorn and mock me for being where I wasn’t supposed to be…

Most of all I panicked that was going to be weeks before I got the help I needed.


…coming next…The Clinic…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Why I (Mostly) Have No Faith in G.P.s…Pt.2…

To add to my post of yesterday

I’d been suffering from pain in my hip and leg which I’d thought was my sciatica getting worse (more about that another time), along with some pretty hideous facial eczema, so I called the doctor’s surgery and, although I was in for a good week’s wait for an appointment, I managed to secure an emergency appointment on the basis that I could barely walk.

I didn’t have a lot of choice over who I saw, but I made sure it definitely wasn’t the incompetent dolt doctor I’d seen before Christmas. I went in feeling quite positive that I would get some results. Silly girl.

So! I told him that pregnancy was causing my sciatic pain to get worse and he asked me what I defined as sciatic pain. I told him. He then berated me, made me feel stupid, and told me that I don’t have sciatic pain because it wasn’t travelling down my leg into my foot. Later that night, when my foot went numb, I wished that I had his home number so I could call him and make him feel stupid.

Feeling a little bruised (metaphorically), I then told him of my worry that I might be suffering from SPD, or PGP as it’s now known and he made me feel stupid for that too. All it took was a disparaging look this time.

He told me that I probably needed physio to help with the pain (the not sciatic, not pelvic girdle pain), but that the midwife would probably get me seen quicker than he could. He then gave me a list of numbers that I (that’s me…not him! ME!) could call, along with the instruction that I should ask how long it’d take them to see me if he referred me. Needless to say, all the physios I called seemed very confused that it was me calling them and not him, and they all told me that he should know that if he marked it as urgent I’d get seen by them within three days. Despite this assurance, I decided that he could shove his help up his butt and I would ask my midwife for help, no matter how long it took.

(Actually, as it was, the midwife referred me to the Pelvic Girdle Pain clinic at the hospital and since then I have been diagnosed with SPD/PGP (screw you Dr Naysayer) and they’ve done a lot to help me alleviate the (often debilitating) pain that I was suffering from…thank you midwives!)

Finally…I asked him about something to soothe my sore, dry, itchy eczema…

20150309_085430

“That’s not eczema.” said he…”That’s pregnancy acne.”

And then he gave me a prescription for a face wash that isn’t even made anymore and told me to wash my face in VERY HOT water before putting on a non-oily moisturiser.

Okay, so I admit, there IS acne there. I will give him that one. However…had he looked at my face for longer than ten seconds he would have also seen chapped skin so dry that it was actually cracking. Skin that needs oil. Skin that would NOT appreciate being washed in VERY HOT water. So I ignored the pants off him on that one too and oiled my skin up good. I can put up with the acne as long as my face doesn’t feel like a mask of uncomfortableness.

I did not like that doctor.

And that concludes my missives on why I have no faith in GPs, and highlights why I will ONLY go to my midwife for pregnancy related problems from now on. When it comes down to it, GPs are NOT specialists in pregnancy or anything that goes along with it (they’re not specialists in anything really, are they? That’s why they’re called GENERAL practitioners) so they can’t give pregnant women the best advice or the best care.


…I’d just like to add that the doctor I went to see just after I found out I was pregnant was FANTASTIC. She listened, was NICE and very supportive, and she shared in our joy. She didn’t talk down to us or belittle us, and if I ever need to see a doctor at my GPs surgery I will go to her from now on!

Not all doctors are big poopy heads, just MOST of them.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: