Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Those Terrible Last Few Weeks of Pregnancy

I'm back from vacation, and happy to report that I did NOT go into labor while out of town!

However, I now have reason to hope that the baby will arrive as soon as possible.  Yesterday in the late morning, I began feeling a lot of strain in the ligaments and muscles near my pelvis.  I know this happens from time to time in pregnancy, as the body loosens up to prepare for labor.  But as the day wore on, it was becoming more and more painful.  By afternoon, it was so bad, I could barely walk.  This was especially difficult, because I had a billion things to do yesterday - washing the mountains of vacation laundry, stocking up on much-needed groceries, taking Sly to an important appointment, etc.  Luckily, I had mostly finished the first two tasks before it got really bad.  But by the time Tom made it home (with dinner in hand!), I was just lying incapacitated on the couch.

Very fortunately, I happened to have an appointment already scheduled last night with the midwives.  I described the pain I was having, and she said it could be one of three things: I was starting to go into labor, my body was having normal ligament-related pregnancy pains, or I was having less common symphysis pubis pain.  After examining me, and pressing various places to see what would make me yell, she concluded that it was a combination of the latter two.  Ugh. 

The symphysis pubis is a little stretch of cartilage between the pelvic bones.  As the pelvis spreads in late pregnancy, it can sometimes be felt as a sharp pain in that area.

The midwife tells me that the only real "cure" is to give birth, and that even after that, it will still hurt for a while.  Man.  I can't imagine feeling this way for two (or more?!) weeks.

 She wrote me a referral for physical therapy, which can sometimes help.  I did make an appointment with them for the end of the week.  But I'm so close to my due date now that I don't know how much it can help.  Apparently, they can give women a special girdle to wear that basically squeezes the pelvis back together.  The midwife also suggested a few exercises/stretches to try last night.  I couldn't even manage to get my legs into the positions, and ended up crying in extreme pain on the floor, and needing Tom to heft me back up.  I just feel so helpless right now.

I think I could deal with this better if I didn't have Sly to look after.  It's one thing to let go of my desire to keep the house clean and get dinner on the table every night (which is especially strong now, with all the "nesting urges").  But I can't just stop taking care of my son.  It's been difficult to do everything I need to take care of him. 

I also worry about what this might mean for the labor itself.  I mean, if it already hurts this much now...and if it's already difficult just doing simple motions like turning over in bed, or putting on shorts...how am I going to get this baby out of me without fainting from the pain?  Yikes.

Everything else was good at the appointment, at least.  My blood pressure is great, baby's heartbeat is great.  She is head-down, though facing the wrong way.  I'm supposed to do lots of hands-and-knees positions to encourage her to turn (please do turn, baby!).

I'm still two weeks from my due date, but my hope is that baby comes sooner!


  1. Sending prayers for a quick and safe delivery.

  2. Praying for you! Hope she comes soon.

  3. I had similar pain toward the end of this pregnancy, although it wasn't as bad as you describe. Your midwife probably recommended this, but the pelvic rocking I learned in childbirth class really helped me. It got the pressure of the baby's head off of that spot. And it might help that baby turn, which could also help the pain. If you are able, try doing about 20 (or until you get tired) at mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and before bed. Start out in a crawling position with your arms and back straight, then slowly relax your lower back so the pelvis tips forward. Relax a few seconds and then slowly come back. Prayers from me too that you feel better soon!

  4. I've had inflammation of the SI joint before and it was excruciating and completely debilitating. I couldn't do anything until the steroids kicked in. I can't imagine combining that with pregnancy and the summer heat! You have my sincerest sympathies and prayers!

    Was Sly early or late? I can't remember. Second babies are more likely to come early, though, from anecdata, so I hope that is true for you!

  5. Blarg. My sister had symphysis pubis pain during the last third of her pregnancy and it sounded TERRIBLE. Hang in there!

  6. Just saw this - glad you're improving but I'm praying anyway. "The only cure is to give birth" are my least-favorite prescriptive words!

    Hoping you're already in labor and, thus, the point is moot.

    Praying for a quick labor and happy mama and baby girl :0)

  7. I am so glad that you took the time to write about this. My daughter is in her 35th week and this severe pain started a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the midwife she saw essentially blew off what is happening. My daughter has an appointment with the ob/gyn tomorrow and we are going to talk to her about this. My daughter is no wimp and she is in tears in pain a good part of the time.

    1. I hope your daughter is able to find some help! I did visit a physical therapist, and she gave me a lot of advice and explanation about the problem. Knowing what motions to avoid, and some exercises to do really helped a lot!

  8. Thanks Christine. Thanks to the internet we were able to find a couple of things that she could do to take the edge off of the pain. I wasn't much help because I never had this issue with either of my pregnancies.