In the first edition of #PregnancyProblems, we talked about the common issues of pregnancy sleep. This time around, I wanted to talk about something I’m dealing with right now: feeling like an 80-year-old trapped in my 29-year-old body.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was pretty active. I was terrible about exercising, but that doesn’t mean I was just sitting around all day. I was a preschool teacher chasing more than 15 3- and 4-year-olds for 10-hour days. Up until about 37 weeks, I avoided most of the aches and pains I’d heard are associated with pregnancy, and I still did yoga with my students and sat criss-cross applesauce with the best of them during story time. I was go, go, go until the day I gave birth. In fact, I worked until the absolute end — went to work on a Friday and had my baby on a Sunday, fully intending to return to work that following Monday if my baby hadn’t arrived. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here or anything. Just saying… I had a pretty easy go as a 27-year-old full of stamina and spunk.
This time, it’s totally different — pretty much like I’ve aged 60 years and am stuck in an episode of “The Golden Girls.” I get shooting pains in my butt and upper thigh (only the right side… weird) and getting any sleep requires something akin to a miracle. I toss and turn all night long. But aside from that, my lower back is killing me! Killing me as in, at almost 27 weeks pregnant, I can barely get up to a standing position from the couch. At this rate, by the time I hit the third trimester I may be in need of one of these necklaces from those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercials.
The last few nights when I leave my perch on our couch to head to bed, I get stuck in an awkward position where I’m standing up, but unable to unbend at the waist — basically stuck at a right angle that I’ve come to refer to as the reverse granny limbo. The pain is intense. I read a bit about it and have learned that there are two kinds of lower back pains associated with pregnancy: lumbar pain and posterior pelvic pain. Some women suffer from both, and lucky me, I won the pregnancy lottery! Woohoo!
I know it could be much worse, but at this point it’s pretty daunting to imagine spending the next 13-ish weeks in this kind of discomfort and feeling like my body has been hijacked by a bingo-playing, Metamucil-drinking, orthopedic shoe-wearing great grandmother type.
I read up and asked my midwife, and basically I just need to stay active (Hey Barre3! Looks like you and I will be spending a lot more time together!) and doing lots of awkward pelvic tilts and rolls and cat-cows to loosen things up. On it. Let’s see if it helps… If worse comes to worse, I could always go drop-in on the chair yoga class that my husband’s 90-year-old grandmother takes at the retirement community where she lives. I’m pretty sure she’s in a lot better shape than I am at the moment.
Feel free to add any other suggestions you might have for helping me feel a little less geriatric in the comments!
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.