I’ll dive right in: my pelvis never recovered from carrying my baby during pregnancy and giving birth.
If you haven’t read part one of my story on how I developed SPD, you can read it by clicking here.
After a weekend away, I was thinking about how having pelvic girdle pain is still affecting my life, almost a year after giving birth and over a full year since I was diagnosed. I think when you have SPD, it’s very easily written off by most people as a problem that will just correct itself after you’ve given birth, but after being left untreated for so long, my day to day life now suffers.
It’s not just my pelvic area. A physiotherapist explained to me that pelvic pain radiates outwards. I used to be able to feel a stabbing pain in my crotch when I was pregnant, but now the pain comes just down my legs, around my hips and around my lower back.
I’m really conscious about my pelvis. All the time. I’m always thinking about my posture, how I’m sitting. I can never switch off and just curl up in bed with a magazine, or on the sofa with a film, with my legs under me like I used to find really comfy. If I do this, I can’t stand back up! I constantly have to think about evenly balancing my weight and making sure I’m not leaning a little one way or the other.
I can’t walk for long periods of time. This one is probably the most obvious. I had a morning out with my partner recently, just standing and walking, nothing strenuous at all and it put me out for days. A couple of hours of walking seems to write off the rest of the week for me.
I can’t carry my daughter for any length of time. She is almost a year old and pretty heavy. I’m 4’10, with a wonky pelvis. I can carry her for short amounts of time on my hip, but this means I’m stood off my centre and it hurts. I can barely carry her up stairs and I can’t lift her in her car seat carrier at all now, because between the weight of the carrier and her being so big now, I can’t even pick it up off the floor!
Sex isn’t quite the same as it was before. I was debating not mentioning this one, but I’ve always written my blog with the sole purpose of giving an honest account on living with chronic pain, so I’m including it briefly, because it isn’t something I thought would be affected for so long. You’re told you have to wait until your stitches heal, but no one mentions that you might have to consider your pelvis when you’re thinking about sex positions after having a baby, when your stitches are all healed, but you still have SPD. Luckily, I have an understanding partner, who doesn’t mind if we need to take a break sometimes, or change it up if it’s uncomfortable. Note to any expectant parents: if you have SPD during pregnancy and want to have sex, they recommend positions that require keeping your legs together, such as spooning!
I have to take painkillers for the pain sometimes. This is a big deal when you already live with a different kind of chronic pain and have decided that the medication doesn’t work for you, due to the side effects. When a doctor then tells you to ‘just take paracetamol’ whilst you wait for your physio appointment, it hits a nerve. I have worked hard to become as medication free as possible and having to take pain medication for another kind of pain can be really depressing.
I have to attend a pilates class once a week. You can read more about this by clicking here.
I can’t sit still for long periods of time. So I can’t walk, I can’t stand, I can’t sit.. You get the picture! Sometimes I’m sat on the floor playing with my little girl and I realise I don’t have a chance at standing back up on my own, after getting fairly comfy on the floor. Sometimes I’m lay or sat down in my pilates class and I realise I can’t get back up comfortably then either.
If you are struggling with pelvic pain, especially after giving birth, please contact your GP for further advice as soon as possible.
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