Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pregnancy Journal: I Am Falling Apart

From 5 Minutes for Parenting

By Kelly

I am falling apart.

I determined this last week when I heaved my aching, groaning self onto the couch, after a long day of single parenthood to 3.5 kids. (My husband travels a lot for business in the winter months, to unfortunate locales like Florida and Virginia and California. I am not bitter.) My back hurt. My hamstrings throbbed. I couldn’t walk to bed without that characteristic side-to-side gait of pregnant women. And I felt like the baby was perfecting his karate skills on my two bottom ribs.

Technically, I am 25 weeks right now. But I feel so much further along, like I should be counting down the days to my induction.

So last week, I did what we all do when we have vague medical questions: I took my symptoms to Dr. Google.

Thus, I have a diagnosis for “pregnant and falling apart at 25 weeks”: I have symphysis pubic dysfunction.

You can go read the technical definition, but basically, it means the ligaments in my pelvis are as stretched out as old rubber bands, and thanks to pregnancy hormones, they aren’t doing a good job of holding my skeleton together anymore. My alignment is off, you might say, and it’s exacerbated by the fact that my core muscles no longer exist to support my back and hold in my tummy. Instead, they are taking the winter off. Last week, I got a postcard from them; they were in Acapulco.

My other physical complaint right now is the near constant Braxton-Hicks. It’s not unusual for women to experience these so-called “fake contractions” in the second trimester. Medical texts say a little rest should make them fade away.

Problem is, I have a toddler to keep up with. And we live in a three-story townhouse, so I am constantly up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs. Just those two aerobic activities alone make my uterus tense into a restrictive corset that makes normal breathing and movement almost impossible.

Also? My bangs are too long. Do you think I can blame that on the baby?

I don’t mean to complain. In my house, "No Whining" is rule number one. I am acutely aware that many women would give anything to have my aching, falling-apart body – as long as the baby inside came with it. Daily, I remind myself to be thankful for this miracle, even if it does make me huff and puff as I get out of bed.

But the simple fact remains: Pregnancy is physically demanding, especially if you're 38 like me. I’m ready to meet this baby and be done with the gestating already. I want my body back.

Do you think it will be easy to piece me back together in May?

Kelly is 25 weeks pregnant with her fourth baby. In addition to the Pregnancy Journal at 5 Minutes for Parenting, you can find her blogging at Love Well.


  1. Ohhhh, I remember this. Do you see a chiropractor?

    In the meantime, take it easy when you can! LOL!


  2. Kelly, I feel your pain...literally, I am feeling so many more aches and pains this time around, and loving them because I know the end result is SO worth it. Today my growing kickboxer is attempting to take out my bladder & succeeding!

    I will send Gorilla Glue in May....try to keep yourself together until then. :)

  3. I echo Stephanie's question - are you seeing a chiropractor? My chiropractor kept me alive and (mostly) on my feet through the second half of my pregnancy.

    And I would totally blame the bangs on the baby. Everyone knows pregnancy makes your hair grow faster!

  4. Except for the part about 3.5 kids and living in a 3-story townhouse, I totally could have written this post! Everything. The side-to-side gait, the heaving and hoisting involved in getting up off the couch, the traveling husband, the chasing the toddler, the near-constant Braxton Hicks, the 38 years old.
    I, too, am falling apart. We do hit 100 days, soon, though.
    With our first, we went out for "100s Night" and celebrated like the cadets do at the Air Force Academy 100 days before graduation. Maybe you should celebrate 100s Night, too. :o) You may still feel like a puzzle that the cat knocked off the table, but at least you can start counting in the double digits! :o)

  5. Baby owes you big time. And what's with your other kids? Don't they know they owe you, too? And when your husband gets back from Shangrilah, you can explain it all to him, too.

    You are so missing out on the guilt train!!

  6. Yes, you will be put back together, and in tip top shape, just you wait. Give yourself time and grace to get there when your body gets there. You seem very healthy and responsible; you'll be amazing. Be encouraged! It can, and will, be done...and if you need to sit and fall apart and cry, that's okay, too...might help, even. Sometimes, we just have to clear out the emotional pipes to be able to see and "feel" straight again. ;-)

  7. Oh ugh.
    The never-ending B-H are bad enough. I can't quite imagine doing them with the pelvic thing-y too.
    Pregnancy is amazing, but it certainly does wear a body out!

  8. You sort of could blame your bangs on the is making your hair grow uber fast darn vitamins!

    Oh I hope you start to feel more put together soon. That stage is not a fun one.

  9. If you are interested in seeing a chiropractor and don't already have one, I have one who I consider a "trusted adviser" who practices in Bloomington. He's a Christian, too, which is an added bonus, and I think he has some sort of Valentine's Day special for new clients. I have never had low back or pelvic pain during pregnancies, for the most part, and I attribute a lot of that to exercise and regular adjustments.

  10. glad in a way that I am not alone here. I am so feeling your symphysis pubic dysfunction pain. Just rolling from one side to another at night makes me cry with pain. And Dr. Google basically says to rest and pray that it goes away after delivery. Joy. I had this with the other two pregnancies, but never this severe. I'm blaming it on being 38 and in much colder temps than what I am used to (Texas vs. Massachusetts).

    And the B-H? Wow. They literally take my breath away sometimes. Again, I blame my advanced age this time around. But they wake me up at night, and along with the hip pain and the potty trips, I feel like I am surviving on about 5 minutes of sleep per night....aggh!!

    BUT - then I tell myself that this is the absolute last time that I will be pregnant. And I know from my other two kids that about 6 hours after I deliver I will be missing movement of life inside me, and will even miss the aches and pains too. I just keep telling myself to be aware of every stage and REMEMBER it, even though it is not what I would normally call "fun."

  11. [...] was talking on the phone to my sister last weekend, lamenting my falling-apart-disease and my advanced maternal age and my weariness with being pregnant in winter. And while she felt for [...]