The Final Stretch

10 Jun

I wanted to post some thoughts as I hit the final stretch of this pregnancy (38 weeks today!), and with any luck, the end of my journey with SPD. I understand I’ll probably be dealing with after effects of this for quite some time, but I continue to pray that the pain virtually goes away within the first 24 hours, or at least the first two weeks, after this baby is born.

I have continued to stay off the crutches, but I still have days that are better and ones that are not so fun. This past weekend was super rough. I had a burst of amazing energy at the beginning of last week, combined with (relatively) little pain after a good two weeks with little pain. But by the weekend, I had a) likely over done it and b) the combination of intense pressure from the baby and contractions had caused a flare-up from the SPD. It’s lingering today, but is better. With the amount of pressure and contractions, I’m hopeful that this baby will make his entrance sooner, rather than later! Continue reading

Off the Crutches!

30 May

I didn’t want to post this too prematurely, just in case things turned back, but I was able to come almost completely off the crutches at the beginning of May (about 34 weeks). After my last fall, things had gone downhill to the point where I was using the crutches 98-100% of the time, and I was depressed. With this knowledge, we rented a wheelchair for a weekend, and took a shopping spree. Apparently, this must’ve been something I needed- by the end of the week, I was walking. I weaned myself back down to 10% crutches use by the end of the next week.

Good timing, since that same week, my daughter fell off the monkey bars and sprained her foot, and she needed my crutches for several days. :/ Now, I have had a weekend where I over did things, and ended up using the crutches for a day and a half, but otherwise, it’s been amazing. Even turning over in bed wasn’t such a challenge.

We guesstimate that either baby shifted, or hormones changed just enough. I’m just thankful for the relief. Pray it sticks through the end of the pregnancy! Almost there!

Q&A Regarding SPD

20 May

A gal on the BabyCenter SPD Board asked a few questions after being placed on disability leave at 28 weeks along, including: what do you DO now? How do you cope? Is there anything that can make this easier?

My answer was involved enough that I thought it deserved to be posted here, so enjoy!

Continue reading

Fall Fail

26 Mar dunce

Whoops, hadn’t realized that it was nearly three weeks since my last post… Apologies if you were waiting on pins and needles for the next one! (I doubt you were, but give me that one moment, ‘mmkay? ;))

Up until this past Saturday, I had been settling into something of a normalcy, doing a bit of sewing, a lot of feeding my internet addiction, and babywearing research (I had always wanted to strap my daughter onto me when she was itty bitty, but I had no idea there were other options out there that didn’t hurt my back! Now I know! There are a ton of options, which makes me excited. Making baby wearing carriers has also been a bit of what I’ve been sewing. Now I just want baby to get here so I can use them!).

Up until this past Saturday, while I’d had a consistent, nagging pain from my hips, it was at a low hum that was generally manageable (always better on Tuesday morning/afternoon up through Thursdays, since my chiro appointments are on Monday mornings- the only exception to this appears to be Tuesday evenings, which involve lots of travel and activity).

Up until this past Saturday, I could actually feel like perhaps, as long as I didn’t start overdoing it too much, this whole SPD thing might be getting just a little bit better. The intense twinges of pain were becoming fewer, having a whole day of bad was getting very infrequent, and of course as much as I hated it and all the activity restrictions it was at a point where I could generally live(ish) with it and could even do just a little bit more housework here and there.

Continue reading

The New “Normal”

5 Mar

As of the past little bit, I’ve been working on settling into the new “normal.” Does that mean I haven’t overexerted myself at all lately?

*Laughing*

No, it just means I’ve been working hard on accepting where I’m currently at, even if that means knowing I’m not going to leave the house for a couple days, the dishes aren’t going to get done, my daughter’s going to end up eating pizza rather than a home-cooked meal. I haven’t entirely succeeded, but I’m fighting it just a little bit less than I had. (It’s now at 92.8% fighting, rather than the 98.8%… so improvement. ;))

Unfortunately, along with that can come apathy, depression, and all their friends, so I’ve gotta be careful about that.

I’m excited for my OB appointment today, because it’ll be the first one I have with my actual doctor since this whole thing began. The OB office very nearly had me seeing another doctor today, but luckily it all worked out for me to see mine. I have a form filled out for the temporary handicapped parking permit, which kinda makes me feel (#$^%^) inside to even write that and know that I’ll actually need it. The few times I have gone out and haven’t gotten a parking spot close have been kinda scary, wearing me out way too fast and the weather (don’t get me started on the WEATHER)- in case no one had noticed, it’s still winter… and this year that has meant LOTS of ice.

I’ve officially begun to hate (HATE) getting into and out of the car. My belly had a bit of a growth spurt last week (I have now hit the point of I-Can’t-Hide-This-Pregnancy, which is awesome on the one hand, but means too that I’M BIGGER AND THE BELLY GETS IN THE WAY.). I have to lift one of my legs with my hand to turn in the seat, so my abs and hips don’t have to bear the weight of both legs AND stabilize at the same time. It hurts mightily if I don’t.

I do also have to keep being mindful of staying “active.” I cannot just park it on the couch all day, or I’ll regret it. But I also cannot get off the couch in order to pick up the house. I’ll regret that, too. It’s a bit of a conundrum! Get up to do… what?

I’m working my way into a few new sewing projects, hopefully I can maintain some balance between doing too much and not enough by having that hobby. Of course, that involves a trip to the fabric store…and I just put myself back at square one. >:( I’ll figure it out!

Various Random Thoughts and Resources

25 Feb

First of all, this: SPD sufferers birth stories

The link above is a 3-page thread that has several different ladies sharing their birth stories, and the SPD varies from intermediate to severe degrees for each of them. The thing to learn from this is mainly that giving birth doesn’t have to be terribly scary, but it’s also nice to see others “commiserating.” I am bummed that it’s a year and a half old thread, I wish the SPD board on BabyCenter.com was more active.

Secondly, I put myself out again this past Friday: all I did was get up from the couch, but I felt the PS area and hips SCREAM (one hip was apparently higher/more out in front than the other) although the pain didn’t actually last for more than just the moment it happened. The hips did this weird “wobbly” thing when it happened. I’m not even sure how to describe it beyond that. I was able to get around without the crutches until I went out for lunch, where I should have brought the crutches in and didn’t. While eating and chatting after I sat in a fairly uncomfortable bar chair for 2 and a half hours, and then it was all downhill from there. I was in a ton of pain later in the day, to the point that I couldn’t really enjoy the awesome meal and band we went out to see. I started to do okay on Sunday morning, finally, and actually went shopping a little bit with my daughter later in the afternoon (I used the crutches, I didn’t want to test walking that far and there was just enough pain while shopping that I’m glad I didn’t). Saturday was a very tough day for me emotionally. I was tired, in pain, mad that I had “hurt” myself again, and my pregnancy hormones must’ve been at an all-time high, because I was raging and depressed and teary all at the same time. I wanted to go shopping, be with people, stay away from people (especially my family), didn’t want to go anywhere because it just seemed like too much effort, etc. I was a mess. Gotta love those pregnancy hormones! I’m lucky that I *usually* don’t have the mood swings.

Third, by today I was feeling well enough to try a workout again. I’m now sitting at a grand ol’ total of one “productive” workout a week! *Sarcastic fist pump* Hopefully I won’t be quite so sore tomorrow, since I won’t be getting an ASTYM treatment from the PT.

So, here’s what I did (sorry, no pictures this time):

2×3 Stability Ball Wall Squats (more like a 1/4 squat, as I couldn’t come down very far, but I would hold the 1/4 squat for ~10 seconds).

2×15 Push-ups off the wall (the barre was unavailable, so I worked with what I had!)

*Again, I cycled between these two exercises before moving on.*

4×10 Seated Chest Press Machine

*rest 45 sec between sets

4×15 Seated Back Row

*rest 45 sec between sets

3×60 sec Hangs from the pull-up bar (~15 seconds at different width holds: wide, narrow, palm in- this was more for grip strength, but I’d love to see what kind of pull-up I can work up to- if any- by the time June rolls around. I was able to do a few last summer, but didn’t keep up with training the pull-ups throughout the morning sickness period and have lost it all. If nothing else, preserve that upper body strength!)

*60 sec break between sets

~5 minute break, seated on a comfortable chair, as my hips were getting unhappy at that point.

Various times/reps Stability Ball Rollouts/Stiff armed plank on knees

Various reps Pelvic Tilts (it was not very many, as I could tell my body was pretty much done.)

So again, the entire workout had my hips completely stabilized or not in use but dang if those seats aren’t just uncomfortable enough to cause issues. I’m lucky that my gym has a comfortable chair nearby to be seated in. I didn’t break a sweat again, but at least those muscles are seeing more use than just propelling me along on the crutches. This time, I avoided lower body exercises after the 1/4 squats because I could feel some irritation and didn’t feel secure enough in pushing anything, especially since I was feeling pretty good this morning! Hit up the chiro after and am a bit sore now, but am trying to stay active and that helps alleviate some pain.

I’m also going to work on doing many more random “mini workouts” throughout the day if I’m feeling up to it. I truly am done with the whole “rest it off” thing and want to preserve the muscle I haven’t yet lost!

How the Hips Work

21 Feb

The Physical Therapist essentially released me from her care today, after giving my adductors a super intense ASTYM treatment (inner thigh muscle massage technique is the best way to describe it, except it can be REALLY painful). She’s pretty sure I’ve got this handled. Again, she stressed keeping those crutches close. While discussing how the PS area doesn’t want to stabilize with all the pregnancy hormones, I realized that most people she encounters honestly do not know how the hips work. I knew how, and I still learned plenty from her.

So here follows my attempt to show how the hips work, so you can have a better idea of WHY getting the pain level down is more than just a temporary comfort issue for SPD sufferers. Continue reading

SPD Workout #1

20 Feb

So, the Physical Therapist gave me permission to lay the crutches to one side yesterday. She wants me to keep them handy and nearby, and use them if I get any pain (ANY pain). Also, exercise restrictions were lifted! Whoohoo!

So I was able to actually do a “workout” this morning. Nothing much, didn’t even break a sweat, but at least some upper body muscles were able to do some work. The one thing to remember: even getting on and off a machine can aggravate the hips/pubic symphysis.

Also, I’m not usually a machine-type person (actually I tend to avoid them like the plague, because having your body stabilize itself during exercise is a great thing- usually). However, the key with keeping my SPD under control is to keep from forcing my hips to stabilize anything.

Now, since I’m only going off my own experiences with SPD for this workout, if you follow it, please be a judge of your own pain levels. Some of the stuff I do may aggravate yours, or I may be pretty limited in what I can do compared to what you may be able to! So use the guidelines on my “Treatment” page when trying exercise yourself, if what I’m doing does not work for you. But unless your PT/physician has put you on total exercise restriction, continuing to move even with SPD is a good thing. Exercise will help prevent atrophy of the muscles, and may help your recovery from birth. I know for me it helps my entire body sane. Already by Monday, I could tell my body was starting to mutiny! Continue reading

Coming Off the Crutches

17 Feb

I’m not officially off the crutches until Tuesday (day after tomorrow), as my physical therapist wanted to err on the side of caution this past Thursday (the one week anniversary of being on the crutches), but for the past two days, I’ve been able to navigate around the house crutches-free and relatively pain-free (yippee!!). (See the bottom for an explanation of how I navigated on the crutches.) The timing couldn’t be better for that, since I can feel the other muscles in my body starting to put up a fight with the severe movement restrictions I was on.

Now, granted, my house isn’t terribly big, and my hubby shooed me out of the kitchen entirely each time I came in to help with cooking or the dishes (as he so eloquently put it at one point, “Get your a** back on that couch”- how many people have husbands like that?! He’s a keeper, I tell ya), so I wasn’t doing a whole lot beyond limited walking between the couch and the kitchen/bathroom areas. But still, I am considering this a win. Continue reading

Giving Birth with SPD Part Two

17 Feb think

I’ve already addressed in an earlier blog post about how I’m fairly worried about the birthing process while having SPD, but here’s the best resource I’ve found on it so far: Pelvic Pain by KMom. If you are ready to read a virtual book, I highly recommend reading the entire article found here. In fact, if you read zero other resources I’ve got listed on this site, please read this one thoroughly!

However, this specific section deals with just the birthing process. Don’t let it freak you out (it’s got my mom completely psyched, but hopefully I’ll get her calmed down prior to baby’s arrival, since she’s supposed to be my birth coach!)

The key takeaway points are this:

  • Try to avoid the epidural if at all possible.
  • Avoid the “classic” birth position, on your back with your legs spread, and especially avoid having your legs brought up to your chest while spread.
  • Try to give birth in alternate positions, such as kneeling over the bed, side lying, or a water birth.
  • If you can, make sure baby is in an optimal position for birthing. Sometimes babies whose mothers have SPD will be malpositioned. This results in a longer delivery that may cause complications. One technique that seems to help make sure babies are well positioned for birth is to visit a chiropractor who is skilled in the Webster Technique (you can view doctors in your area by clicking here and choosing “Webster Technique”). Continue reading
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