July 6, 2014
This is me, 24 years old, mommy of 2. And this is my new walking cane.
I have two beautiful, sweet little boys that I love more than anything in the whole wide world. They are 17 months apart. They have my heart. I will forever be grateful for the enormous blessing it is to be their mother.
Pregnancy gave me a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, aka Pelvic Girdle Pain. Google it if you’re interested. It was very mild when I was pregnant with my first son, Carson. I actually didn’t feel any effects of it until right after he was born, and it healed very quickly. This last pregnancy was a different story.
When I was 32 weeks along, I was walking down the hall when I suddenly fell to the floor in pain. I sat there for a while, thinking it must have been a weird fluke. I got up and walked toward Brock, and it happened again. He caught me, and I started to cry. He helped me to my bed, where I began to explain everything to him. I had felt a mild pain in that area for a few weeks prior… enough to bother me, but not enough for me to make a stink about it. I brushed it off as some weird pregnancy pain (there are lots of those), and didn’t think much of it. But this was different. This was real pain. I stayed in bed the rest of that day, hoping rest would fix the problem.
The next morning was a Sunday, and I had a lesson planned for my little Primary class. When my toddler woke up, I got out of bed and carried him to the kitchen to make him a bottle. Standard morning routine. By the time the bottle was made, the pain was back in full swing. I gave my baby a blanket and limped into the bedroom to wake my husband. I started to cry again as the fear sank in- what if this pain doesn’t go away? I said to Brock, “I can’t just go two months without being able to walk. I have a toddler to take care of, for goodness’ sake!”
But, we were sure that wouldn’t be the case. We were sure another day of resting would fix it and I’d be just fine.
Another day went by and I was not getting better. Time to do research. Time to talk to the doctor. Time to fix it. Well, we found out what it was. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or, Pelvic Girdle Pain. The best advice anyone had was Tylenol, a maternity support belt, and waiting till baby was born. None of that was very helpful for the time being, but at least this pain had an expiration date. I would have my beautiful baby, and I would get better. Everything I read, everyone I talked to, said it would go away when the baby was born. That was my ray of hope. I could make it. I counted down every day. I wasn’t allowed to lift my child. I couldn’t walk. I was confined to the couch. And I would hobble painfully around the house to get to the bathroom or get food for Carson and myself. People were so generous, and we were taken care of. Counting down till baby was born. We would make it through.
And we did! We made it! Sweet, perfect little Gordon was born, 1 1/2 weeks early. All the pain was so worth it- none of it mattered. I had my beautiful baby in my arms, and I was finally going to get better. And I did! A couple weeks after giving birth, I was walking again. It was such a wonderful, freeing feeling. I was SO happy. I was able to lift both of my children. I took them on walks every day. Life was great.
When Gordon was 4 weeks old, I was out on a walk with my boys, and the pain started to come back. I knew I needed to get back home and rest. I was so scared. I made it back, and I was okay, but I started to be more careful. I stopped going on walks, and then I was capable of doing everything else just fine.
At my 6 week follow up appointment, I told my doctor everything. I told him I was significantly better, but that the pain still came if I walked or cleaned the house too much. He told me I needed to rest more. I needed more time to heal.
Now I dare you to stay home with two babies and rest your pelvis. Especially when you’re feeling, for the most part, just fine. Well, I didn’t rest. I pushed my limits every day. When I got sore, I’d sit down. I wasn’t that stupid. But, pushing it to the point of soreness every day was not going to let it heal. No one knew I was still having struggles. I didn’t want anyone to know. I thought I could pretend to be fine and eventually it would be true, and no one would need to feel sorry for me. I was frustrated that the pain didn’t go away like it was supposed to. I was frustrated watching other women have babies and then be working out, getting in shape, and taking their kids to the park. I wanted that so bad. So I tested my limits every day, hoping each day was the day the pain wouldn’t come back. And I did think it was getting better, slowly.
But, over this past weekend, I pushed it too far. I was cleaning the kitchen, and my body fought back. I leaned against the counter in disbelief. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t take one step. I fought against my pride, and finally called out to Brock. He helped me to the bedroom. Then came the anxiety attack. A real one, like I hadn’t had in years. Anger, frustration, fear, and PAIN. No. NO. Why?!?! I stayed in bed the rest of the day, trying to find the emotional strength to be positive. Failing.
The next day was Gordon’s blessing day. It was a marvelous day. Our family was there and so wonderful. I couldn’t walk. It was time people knew that I did not, in fact, heal. Like I was supposed to. Like I pretended I did. People were so loving. It’s time to swallow my pride. My doctor referred me to a physiatrist, and I’ve got an appointment tomorrow. They said it’s treatable, and with some intense therapy, I’ll get better. In the mean time, rest is helping, and, here is my cane! I hobble around my house, taking care of my babies, and resting the best I can.
I’ve learned a new level of compassion for others, because you never know when someone is going through something. I’ve learned that we all have to have a turn needing help. I’ve learned that we’re never alone. And I’ve learned that it’s okay to lower your expectations for yourself in order to be content with what you’re able to do. I guess it’s my turn to be tried, humbled, and taught patience. And I’m okay with it, because I have also been bounteously blessed. I have two beautiful, healthy little boys, and they are so beyond worth it.
I have been blessed with the strength I need to take care of my little ones. As long as I’m able to do that, I’m okay. I can be happy. They are little angels and they bring me so much joy. I have also been blessed with an amazing husband who is my saving grace. He picks up my slack around the house. He’s the most incredible person I know. So this is me, giving up my pride. Owning my condition instead of hiding it. Hoping that one day I’ll be able to walk well, and play with my little boys. In the mean time, I will do my best to stay happy. For my boys, for my husband, and for myself. After all, why are we here except to conquer trials, grow stronger, and find happiness? So I’m gonna do that. Cane and all. Watch me conquer! 🙂