“I feel like someone has attacked my groin with a cricket bat.” I said to my GP. “It really hurts.” I was putting it politely. Actually, I felt like screaming. I do feel like screaming. The constant throbbing in my pelvic region these last few weeks has been responsible for a severe lack of sleep, regular tearful interludes and a small fortune being spent on maternity cushions.
Further discussion and a short examination from the GP resulted in a diagnosis of SPD. The GP said she would try to arrange some urgent physiotherapy at the hospital, but with five weeks to go, I did not hold out much hope. Recent experience has shown that it takes two weeks for a letter to even leave the typing pool at my GP’s surgery.
I took matters into my own hands and on the advice of a friend visited an Osteopath. This relieved the pain somewhat as did the addition of a most becoming maternity belt. Helpfully, this came with no instructions, yet, it seems that as long as you look like a weight lifter, and said belt is holding up one’s belly with suitable support, it’s doing the job properly.
Taking weight off the pelvis as much as possible is reputed to be a good thing, so finally, the birthing ball was inflated and has since been put to use (as well as serving a secondary purpose as a giant football). All these things helped slightly, but the pain was still there, nagging away in the background. It was therefore a great relief when the community midwife took pity on me last week and put in a separate referral to the physio. Thankfully this seemed to travel at missile speed and resulted in an immediate phone call and an appointment two days later. My initial visit didn’t cure all ills, but it did help, and I was given some helpful suggestions to deal with the pain ( a pregnant woman always should have a packet of frozen peas in her freezer, apparently), and the reassurance of some ongoing treatment.
I’m trying very hard not to focus on how dreadful it can feel, especially during the long, dark sleepless nights. And certainly, I’m not thinking about how on earth I’m supposed to ‘push through the pain’ to bring my watermelon sized baby into the world. No, I’m not thinking about that at all.
My little man has become a dichotomous little devil in the past few weeks, I am struggling to understand him. On the one hand, he wants lots of cuddles and asks constantly; "Do you love me, Mummy"? I tell my sweet boy I love him so often, I’ve been surprised he’s even felt the need to ask this. But obviously he does. I’ve also noticed that after a period of improvement, his little hand is now continually creeping back inside my top at every opportunity for a reassuring breast fondle. I think he senses that change is finally afoot; that the little person is coming. The hanging of new curtains, the assembly of the cot, the hustle and bustle of preparation are all starting to make EB's pending arrival real for him. Perhaps the prospect of being a big brother is more daunting than I thought.
I’m also finding that he can make the leap from being a sweet little boy to teenage-esque behaviour in one fell swoop. I’ve witnessed more defiant behaviour in these past couple of weeks than I can ever recall before. He is normally a good boy, I can’t fathom what it is. Preschool influences? Insecurities about his forthcoming sibling arriving? Being a 3 year old? On all counts, it’s exhausting.
We have the best days when I haul my sorry self into action and make sure we’re doing something; a focused activity or play date. It’s just that I find it so tiring. I feel disappointed with myself, that I’m finding these last few weeks hard, and not making the most of every last precious moment together. People give you lots of advice about how to deal with introducing your child to the new baby, or, how to cope in those first two weeks, but what I’d really love is some advice on how to entertain your child and keep harmony in the last few weeks of pregnancy, when really, all you want to do is rest.
How did you manage in those last few weeks?