Wednesday, February 23, 2011


There are times when the loneliness of pregnancy is overwhelming, when I long to be in school this semester, when I long to be able to go to an office and chat with people... but then there are times like today.

My unstable pelvis, let me show you it.

I've been in a lot of pain recently; pain that I didn't think should be happening at 17-18 weeks of pregnancy; pain that involved certain unmentionable areas of me that didn't seem should be hurting quite yet. So I called my doctor, like any sensible pregnant lady confronted with the fact that their groin hurt like hell whenever they moved should do. The doctor, responded in kind, and said, sure, come on in for a checkup between your regular OB appointments.

So I went for the checkup yesterday, and as far as my doctor and I can tell, I have something called symphysis pubis dysfunction. It's not all as cheery as What to Expect makes it out to be, so here's the brief version:

When women are pregnant, there's lots of hormone action going on. One of the hormones is called relaxin, which does pretty much what it's name says--it relaxes all the parts of you that need to move to accommodate the baby in pregnancy and birth. But sometimes your body produces too much relaxin, at which point your symphysis, your pubic bone, decides that it would be a lot of fun to move away from the other bones in your pelvis. This leads to instability, a LOT of pain, and the fun sensation that something is totally, totally wrong. I should be clear that it's not the bone itself which is separating, but the cartilage on either side of the bone that is expanding and getting inflamed, thus causing lots of pain.

But it's not enough to get rid of the inflammation, since pregnant women can't actually take most drugs that stop inflammation in pregnancy; they're bad for the baby's circulatory system. And inflammation isn't the sole cause, because then the pregnant woman gets to deal with the fact that she now has an unstable pelvis, and will continue to have one until her body ceases to produce relaxin after giving birth.

Yeah, it sounds like a bundle of fun, doesn't it?

I was seriously bummed about it yesterday, but it doesn't seem quite as bad today. It poses some complications for giving birth, but it's mostly in what positions you can safely give birth in. And the pain during the pregnancy can be partially alleviated by lots of core/pelvic muscle physical therapy, which I will be embarking on as soon as I can get an ortho prescription for it.

But yeah, it's times like this when not having to get out of the house on a regular basis is actually beneficial, since I can't walk without pain and I'm supposed to stay off my feet as much as possible. I'm also supposed to find a comfy position to sit in, but so far, I'm only comfortable when hugging a body pillow between my legs while lying down. Being lonely sucks, but being able to stay home and rest when you need it is far better than the alternative.

See, I'm looking on the bright side, right? =)


Tory M said...

Heh - I literally feel your pain, Ms. Rappaport. I'm 31 weeks+ with twins and I've had the same problem for about as far back as you mentioned being. Add in carpal tunnel with no ibuprofen and I'm eager to be done with this.

Congrats on the baby though and I hope your pregnancy continues going (otherwise) well for you!

lishacauthen said...

Well, this stinks. Don't you dare try to soldier through. Pamper yourself outrageously. Sending good thoughts for you and little one.