I am sitting here at the corner of VERY pregnant and not ready to not be pregnant.
About two months ago, I was walking across a parking lot on my way to my car and, out of nowhere, my crotch LIGHTS UP. I’m talking shooting pain straight up the middle and down my legs. In that moment, I thought, “THIS is was they mean by lightning crotch.” Good night, it hurt. And it kept hurting. And then the next week, I started having extreme sciatic pain down my left leg. And then the lower back pain started. And before I knew it, I was limping around in an exaggerated pregnancy waddle and could barely put pants on in the morning. My dear husband was oh-so-kind and helped me quite a bit: going up and down stairs, taking my pants and socks off, getting me off the couch (or, heaven forbid, FLOOR), etc. T assisting me with every day things became so commonplace that my 18-month-old son started mimicking T and tried to help me off the floor. Very sweet but not super effective.
Anyway, all this ended up being diagnosed as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or SPD. This is where your body does too good a job of relaxing all those ligaments and your pelvis gets out of alignment. Specifically, the cartilage between the two halves of your pelvis get very angry right at crotch level and is exacerbated by activities where your legs are spread and weight-bearing (squatting, picking up a kid, getting down to the toilet…), you have all of your weight on one foot (stairs, walking, putting pants on…), you push anything (stroller, grocery cart, closing a door…), and my personal favorite, rolling over in bed.
While I am still dealing with this, chiropractic care has been my life-saver and has relieved a huge chunk of the pain I was dealing with every day. More on that later.
The point here is that pregnancy can be hella hard. Morning (all day) sickness, ligament pain, stretching skin, constipation, tight clothes, giant belly. It all can be SO HARD to cope with. Throw in a huge amount of extra hormones and you have a serious recipe for a mental breakdown, cue the floodgates.
There is a thought that I have seen travel amongst mamas experiencing these insane symptoms and changes. Some of these specific mamas have had a hard time getting pregnant or a hard time staying pregnant. Some of these mamas have an unexpected pregnancy. Some planned it all out. Some are any combination therein. The thing I hear is this notion that they should only ever feel grateful for their pregnancy. They feel guilty for even contemplating a negative word about a pregnancy symptom like it will somehow erase some of the love they have for this growing bump.
Let me go ahead and lay it out: YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS.
Pregnancy can suck. It can be so hard to cope with. That is the honest truth. And verbalizing your discontent does not, I repeat DOES NOT, take away any bit of the love or excitement you have for your pregnancy. You are growing a human. A HUMAN! That is freaking amazing and your body is doing some serious work.
I think letting out those negative emotions is good. Talk about them. Find someone to commiserate with. Keeping it all dammed up, terrified of someone thinking you aren’t grateful for your baby, can be detrimental to you, mama. Find a person who understands and will let you talk and complain and vent. Don’t know anyone? Holler at me. Girl, I’ve been there. I am there.
Your body is a master artist creating a perfect work of art. Your brush hand is going to cramp up, your back will get sore from sitting at that canvas. Does talking about the pain in your finger or the stiffness in your back take away from the glory of the artwork? No. No it does not. Your pride and joy in this little life you’re creating is not damaged by hating the backaches and the exhaustion. Your love for your developing child is not diminished by a whine about how much your belly itches or your boobs hurt.
You, mama, are allowed to complain about pregnancy. You, in all your life-giving glory, are allowed to complain. This is hard work.