When Peggy over at A Mother'Secrets asked for new posts on the subject of Pregnancy Lows, I have to admit to taking a huge breath in. I mean, seriously Peggy, how many posts can I submit? If it's not morning sickness, or bleeding, or the fear of miscarriage, then it's heartburn, leg cramps, sleepless nights, exhaustion, scary diagnosis during scans. The list of things to complain about during pregnancy really does go on and on and on.
I have a feeling that if you enjoyed your pregnancy, then you're one of the lucky few.
I hated being pregnant. In my case, it was nine months (or nearer ten as both mine were almost two weeks overdue) of pain and torture. I've already written about pregnancy weight and how depressed I felt at putting on five stone, but that wasn't all. During my first pregnancy, particularly, I suffered constant daily pain in the form of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or SPD, where too much of the hormone 'relaxin' is released. What happens as a result of this is that the ligaments literally 'soften' in preparation for childbirth and the front part of the pelvis comes apart.
What that meant on a practical level was that it was excrutiatingly painful for me to open my legs. And no jokes here, please. That couldn't have been further from my mind. Save from sitting down and not moving, there wasn't much I was able to do. Every activity caused me pain, from walking and climbing stairs to turning over in bed at night and getting in and out of the car and bath.
Although anyone can suffer from SPD, I always felt like I was predisposed to it. It may be a joint and ligament problem, but the root cause is hormonal. And for me, that came as no surprise. A few years earlier I had been diagnosed with a pituitary tumour (something which Liz from Living with Kids has also experienced). The pituitary gland, which is situated at the front of your brain, controls all the hormones in your body. Although benign, the tumour had begun to press on my optic nerve and following a course of drugs, had failed to shrink. So eventually it was removed by breaking through my skull and literally sucking it out through my nose.
The results, thankfully, were great - so much so that I was actually able to get pregnant in the first place. However, I couldn't help but think that, as a result, my hormone production was slightly up the spout. Could my body have produced an excess of relaxin which in turn softened my ligaments just a little too much? Who knows. What I do know, though, is that whatever the cause, I spent the whole of my first pregnancy in hideous pain.
During my second pregnancy, at only two and a half months in, before I even had a bump to show for it, I was hit with the same agonising pain. I remember leaving the house one day, walking a few steps down the road and being stopped in my tracks. The pain was so bad I couldn't continue on my walk. I turned around, hobbled home and sat on the sofa and cried. To think that I had seven months of constant pain ahead of me was almost too much to bear.
But, just a few days later, I happened upon an article in a local magazine about an osteopath who specialised in pregnancy-related problems, including SPD. I made an appointment straight away. Unbelievably, I had managed to find someone who made possible all that was impossible during my first pregnancy. Thanks to him, not only was I able to move around relatively pain-free (which is just as well since by that time I had a toddler to look after), but I only put on three stone rather than five.
It's unfortunate that I hadn't had the benefit of his expertise during my first pregnancy, but I have to be thankful that I had it all. My first pregnancy was hideous, my second bearable. But, when I look at my two little monkeys, I wouldn't change it for the world. What's nine months of pain when you have an amazing little creature at the end of it all? Having said that, I won't be going through it again in the near future, if I can help it.
Babies are gorgeous. Pregnancy sucks...
hayley balozi posted a blog post
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