Bad Mum

Magazine

24 February 2017

Huge Welcome to...

Hi ladies, my internet is back on now so I forgive Doris! It is Friday! Wow, this week has gone so quickly, I cannot believe it is nearly March already...scary! 

So today I have a guest post from Kirsty from @winnettes again! I can relate to this post as I too had the same pain for the last two months of my pregnancy and Jake was in hospital for the first week of his life (also, had tongue tie) so I completely get how hard it really is! But I cannot imagine having that pain for months on end. 

Thank you Kirsty for being so honest and sharing with Bad Mum! 


I want to share with you...

This is a post that has been on the ‘tip of my fingers’ for a long time.  It isn’t something I really want to write but at the same time I want to get it out of my system.  There are many stories like it, I know I am not the only one but I can only write from my perspective.  

I am going back nearly four years which gives you an idea of how hard this time is to reflect on for me and to be perfectly honest I am only writing it because Hubby and I finally managed to talk about it to each other at the end of last year. 

When I was pregnant for the first time I suffered severe pain in my pelvis from about 27 weeks pregnant.  I’m not talking about the ‘normal’ aches and pains; I had searing pain with every step I took.  When I sat down I would have relief for all of two minutes before I started to ache again.  If I rolled over in the night I wouldn’t wake up because of the weight of the bump or the ‘usual’ difficulties associated with rolling in bed.  I woke up because it felt like someone had skewered me with a machete.  I struggled on assuming this was the discomfort all the books were referring to until one day at work I couldn’t do it anymore.  I worked in the hospital as a nurse so all I had to do was make my way over to the maternity unit from the ward.  A walk that should take no more than 5 minutes and that is at a serious dawdle took me closer to 20 minutes (it may have been longer!)  

After a long day spent in hospital being told I was probably in early labour; I wasn’t! Then being told everything was normal; it wasn’t! And that the pains would get better and go away; they didn’t! I was sent on my way.
 
I think this was the start of it all.  I hadn’t been taken seriously and I hadn’t been helped.  After that I saw a GP at 34 weeks who referred me to the physio department of the same hospital but after much chasing they claimed they never had the referral and I was never seen.  The next medical interaction was at my 38 week midwife appointment.  By this time I had spent close to 11 weeks in increasingly debilitating pain! By this point I couldn’t walk on my own, I needed support, I couldn’t go to the toilet in the night without being pushed out of bed and paracetamol wasn’t doing anything to help (it never really had).



I know now that I should have sought more help.  I should have screamed and shouted.  But no one seemed that worried.  No one seemed to consider the pain anything other than normal.  I thought I was going mad.  I took my remaining annual leave and started my maternity leave early after my initial hospital admission as (despite the doctors assurance I could continue in my nursing role)

Hubby and I decided it was best if I didn’t go back.  I had spent 7 weeks stuck at home on my own with very little by way of company, my friends worked, I was the only pregnant person I knew outside of the NCT and they were too new for me to be able to completely open up to.  Looking back I can see now that I was depressed.  I often wondered why I had thought this would be a good idea.  No one expected me to have children, certainly not in my twenties.  I never really considered myself particularly maternal so what was the point in all the pain?

I realised how bad I was at my 38 week appointment.  I was called into the consultation room by a student midwife (a first year; poor girl I must have put her right off).  I thought she seemed a little nervous but I couldn’t really work out why.  I though perhaps she was on her first community placement.  She kindly asked how everything was going and could she help with anything? At this point the qualified midwife was still out if the room dropping off another patients sample or something.  

For the first time ever Hubby spoke for me.  I am fiercely independent but that day, and perhaps for weeks previously, I had no words left.  There were just tears.  He started to explain as the Midwife walked into the room, all smiles and a little bounce in her step.  She took one look at me and it was as if someone had come and punched the wind right out of her.  All she said was, ‘Well this isn’t right! Tell me exactly what it wrong.’  It was kind but firm, she instantly knew something needed fixing and she was going to be the one to do it.  As Hubby explained my journey to that point I calmed down enough to talk.  I described the pain, described how I couldn’t walk, how nothing eased it anymore, there was no way of not being in pain anymore, not even for 5 minutes.  She listened and perhaps that was all I needed.  To be taken seriously.  

She said the pain was certainly never going to go away until the baby was born, that the pain will get progressively worse and that it sounded like I had symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or Pelvic Girdle Pain as it is now called.  She apologised for what I had been through and dealt with it.  All of it! Within a few minutes I had a physio appointment for that day at a different hospital, I was booked in to give birth at the different hospital and I had a consultant appointment to discuss pain relief and induction at the different hospital.
 
By the afternoon I had a pelvic support belt and a set crutches so I could walk without hanging off Hubbys arm.  The next day I saw the consultant and was given codeine for the pain and booked in for an induction at 40 weeks.  Which incidentally I don’t believe I needed, I think Ellie was coming anyway.

I will say that this time the pain did go away straight after birth, although I admit I may have been more focused on the delightful pain that comes with stitches.

I have written about all of this before but what I haven’t ever dared admit before was what happened afterwards.  Everything up to this point left me in a very dark place.  I have two bump pictures, one from each pregnancy and each taken in the hospital, waiting to be induced.  Pregnancy pain sent me into a pool of unease so I never wanted to document any of it.  The real issue was that this extended in to the postnatal stage with Ellie.  I loved her, I wanted her, I never doubted our bond.  But it wasn’t easy, she had a bad tongue-tie, feeding was nearly impossible and all the images you have of being a mother are shattered.  This is of course normal in so many ways, how can you really know what something will be like if you haven’t experienced before?  

I simply feel like I was on a back foot, handicapped at the first hurdle because a thick sheet of black had already descended in my head before she even arrived and it hadn’t yet lifted.  The first few weeks were the hardest and slowly things did improve but not before I shut myself off from the world.  Not before I had lost every part of my brain that I could recognise as me. They say a picture speaks 1000 words; well I have a few that I still struggle to look at because of the words they speak to me. 

The second pregnancy was worse with pain.  SPD started in early pregnancy and by 14 weeks it was in full swing.  I had the lot this time and by the 20 week point I could hear my pelvis click and feel it physically grinding against itself at the front. This time it didn’t get the better of me, I did scream and shout until I had what I needed and then I screamed some more to be induced slightly early.  It is not a decision I regret in the slightest because it was right for me, my family and the baby.  

The pregnancy was physically harder but I knew the signs of the darkness coming and I managed to keep it at bay.  Yes things were hard after Trixie was born, this time the pelvic pain didn’t instantly go away, something I put down to the fact that the SPD was worse.  Truth be told it still hurts now a little, particularly when it is cold.  There are certain movements my hips still struggle with and I can’t sit down for too long without them hurting.  I did speak to an osteopath about it but he said he wouldn’t fix me, not because he couldn’t but because there was no point.  He said it would be a waste of my money as any benefit he made I would undo simply by being a mum looking after young children. 

Pain is a funny beast.  The physical discomfort is actually a very small part of its effects; the psychological damage it can do over a period of time is incredible.  One thing I did learn from it all is pregnant women don’t waddle naturally, pregnant women that are in pain waddle!

We are not having a third baby, I underestimated the SPD the first time but I am not prepared to put myself through it again.  I have no doubt in my mind I risk becoming bed ridden and I know some people find that hard to understand and a little dramatic but I know my body.  

Our family feels complete, I only ever wanted two children anyway but I will admit I occasionally wonder if I would feel differently if my pregnancies hadn’t been that hard.  I guess I will never know, these are the cards we have been dealt and I accept that.  My body couldn’t do it again and there isn’t a single cell in my body that wants to try…. Not even my ovaries!


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1 comment

  1. Insightful. I too had awful pain with my last 2 pregnancies to the point where I could barely walk. It put a dark cloud over what was meant to be a beautiful time.

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