|From 5 Minutes for Parenting|
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.