After one session, I was told that I likely have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), which is a condition caused by too much relaxin in the body. Relaxin is a hormone that opens up the pelvis right before delivery, but some people produce too much too soon causing the pelvis bones to become too loose. Because of this, my doctor said my right hip was about a half inch higher than my left which is causing the tearing feeling. The good news, though, is that it doesn't affect the baby at all.
I had quite a bit of pelvic pain towards the end of pregnancy with Joe, and after delivery I remember my lower back being in severe pain for months and the bones in my feet hurt until I stopped nursing at about 9 months. I didn't put any of it together, but apparently if you have it your first pregnancy, it's significantly worse and starts earlier in subsequent pregnancies. SPD can get so severe that some women are put on bed rest from it.
My physiotherapist told me that adjustments, exercises and physical therapy can really help alleviate some of the pain, but I would have to commit and put in the time. (Ah yes, time. I have so much of that...) So for the past 3 weeks, I have been going to physiotherapy for 1 hr 3x a week. James has helped a lot by picking up the slack at home & rearranging his schedule so I can attend my therapy sessions. I've been doing all of my daily exercises, wearing a maternity belt and icing like a crazy person. Thankfully, it's working. The pain has been much more manageable and I'm having a lot more good days than bad. I'm praying the progress continues.
The funny thing is, the biggest struggle from all of this hasn't been the physical pain, it's been the guilt. I am trying really really hard to not complain or even mention the pain, because I'm just grateful that I am still pregnant. I've wanted this so badly that I feel like I've lost the right to complain that it's hard. Because the reality is, I'd much rather be 26 weeks pregnant and in pain than not pregnant at all. So the second I ask James for help or I tell him the pain is too bad to cook dinner or help put Joe to bed that night, I just feel defeated. I should be able to handle this. I've handled a lot worse.
And then, those 2 short sentences consume me once again:
Just be grateful. It could always be worse.
I know it could always be much, much worse. Even in my darkest hour, it could be worse. I know that it's probably ridiculous that I'm even sharing all of this in a blog post. But I thought that maybe someone else out there could relate...maybe someone who's also struggling with the weight and pressures that those two sentences carry (because they do carry a LOT of pressure).
Please, know you aren't alone. The struggle is real and your feelings are valid. You can complain and still feel grateful. You can want something so badly and be over it at the same time. You can struggle and feel defeated about something that is going well. Yes, it can always be worse, but this shit is still hard. (At least that's what I'm trying to tell myself).
James wanted to recreate this picture we took during Joe's pregnancy.
Joe at 26 weeks on the left, little sister at 26 weeks on the right.