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I am 1 in 5

1 in 5 people suffer with Symphysis Pubic Disorder (SPD) or Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) during pregnancy. Not many people know about it though and how crippling it can be. There is a few ladies who I have been talking to who want to raise awareness about this awful ailment. So grab yourself a coffee in your favourite mug and I will try to explain.
Here is an article I have found that explains it in more detail.
During pregnancy a hormone is released called relaxin and it does exactly what it says on the tin, it relaxes your muscles so you can give birth. Most women don’t notice this but 1 in 5 women do. Also there are some sources that relate hypermobility with SPD.
Pelvic diagram showing the effects of SPD
Gaby was around 2 years old when we went to Tumble tots. I noticed that my boys ankles turned in when he was standing upright. I mentioned this to the lovely teacher Howard and he pointed at my ankles and said I do the same. It looked like hypermobility, I didn’t realise at that point that I had hypermobility, it has honestly never bothered me or stopped me from doing anything until I got pregnant.
During my first pregnancy at around 14 weeks I was in agony, I was still working as a nursery nurse but my groin and back were so sore, actually sitting on the floor to help the children was excruciating and 9 times out of 10 I was sat in tears. Being pregnant looks so easy doesn’t it? But for me it wasn’t and isn’t.
I ended up on crutches at 16 weeks during my first pregnancy and had to leave work at 24 weeks pregnant. I rested and had acupuncture and did exercises on my yoga ball and I started to be able to walk without crutches by about 30 weeks. I was very lucky. However didn’t know that at the time. It is supposed to go after you give birth but I ended up with a lot of problems after Gabe. My coccyx kept dislocating every time I sat down and I could only sit down on a cushion or to the side. It eventually went away and it stopped clicking when I walked and sat. Its safe to say I made a full recovery eventually.
Sometimes it is true that you forget the pain that you go through during pregnancy and labour because the baby makes it all worthwhile. And it was true for me. I completely forgot what I went through with Gabe.
I am quite lucky that due to lockdown I didn’t do much anyway at the start of this pregnancy. I was isolated at home with Gabe and Andy did all of the shopping. So the SPD didn’t kick in until about 18/19 weeks. By September this year I was back on my crutches and because of the lockdown things like acupuncture and physiotherapy are not open so it’s strong painkillers or nothing. I have tried everything I bought a support belt which helped for a little while and I managed to hobble without the crutches.
But the bigger I have got the worse it has become. You see the further along in your pregnancy the more relaxin you release in time for giving birth. Last week I went to Tesco just for a few bits and I struggled to hobble around on my crutches and ended up on strong painkillers for the rest of the day.
30 week bump picture
So we made the choice to borrow my gran’s wheelchair. I will admit I hated every second of it. I like to think I am quite active normally. And not being able to get around under my own steam is driving me crazy. Andy tries to make it as fun as he can by making me laugh and smile but it still gets to me. I haven’t got it as bad as some people get it but I haven’t got it easy either.
I have heard stories of ladies being completely bed bound and not being able to walk more than a few steps. I have good days and bad days. Some days I cant walk at all and spend my day on my couch with things within reach that I will need throughout the day. I can still manage to get upstairs to the toilet and in and out of the bath. But I can no longer drive Gaby to school or walk around the shops. But it will be worth it in the end and I only have 10 weeks to go which isn’t too long. I have wanted another child for 4 years so 10 weeks I can do.
By writing this blog post I am not wanting sympathy. I want to share my story to help people to understand what it is like. In the past I have been made to feel like I was attention seeking and I was called names and laughed at. I think this is a condition that if you have never had it (lucky you) then you don’t understand how debilitating it can be for those that suffer.
A friend did say to me it’s like having a disability the whole time your pregnant and I couldn’t of said it better myself. You see he has seen it first hand because his wife suffered quite bad with it through both her pregnancies so he understands.
I wish I could enjoy being pregnant especially as this is something that doesn’t come easy for me as most of you will know if you have read my other blogs. This is something that I feel 4 in 5 people need to understand.
So next time you see a pregnant woman on crutches or in a wheelchair she’s not doing it because she is being over dramatic or that she’s not good at being pregnant, she would honestly rather we wandering around with her bump proudly on show, rather than feeling like she is being ripped in 2 with every step she takes.
Thank you all for reading and if you can please spread awareness as much as you possibly can and hopefully in the future it will be recognised as a temporary disability. xxx

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