Who knew you could rhyme mastitis? Word.
Trying to balance the art of fitness, motherhood and my sanity
Who knew you could rhyme mastitis? Word.
‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ John 11.
I am not really a religious person. I used to be but life happens and things were thrown in my path to question my young faith and I let the questions win. I didn’t want to believe that bad things were happening because it were part of some grand plan. I lost people I loved and I couldn’t balance it with a God who was meant to be so kind. I know faith isn’t as black and white as that but my teenage arrogance wanted it to be and my belief dissolved. Flash forward about…15 ahem…22 years and this quote from the bible really stuck with me the last few days. I have been following for a while now a family in America whose little girl was very poorly and very sadly recently passed away. Reading the words her mother wrote to describe the love for her and the health battles she was going though were so powerful and as a mum myself, my heart ached for this family. Yet despite all the pain and the sadness, this woman writes of hope. She writes of letting the hope in during her grief and allowing them to sit side by side. Her absolute faith in her God is unwavering and I am in awe of that. The comfort I can feel from this complete strangers words talking about her own grief has surprised me but her words feel like oil on my aching heart. Today marks 2 years since my Mum passed away. Quickly and unexpectedly to sepsis following a very short bout of illness. So today has been tough. It’s Easter which was my Mums favourite holiday and with us being in lock down I have been unable to spend today with my family, to just sit alongside someone in my grief. I have been half living in my head, recalling the day as it happened, back in hospital trying to digest this impossible information I was being told. The other half has been drinking in my children’s faces, watching their joy at finding chocolate baskets and painted rocks hidden around our garden.
I am searching for the hope. I am finding and clutching onto things that give me comfort. Messages from family members and friends who remember and loved my Mum. My children who look at my swollen eyes and ask if I’m sad about Grandma with a tenderness that is so soothing. A glass of wine to take the edge off my emotions and allow me a different head space for a while. 2 years ago when she first died, I searched for hope too. I remember asking others who’d lost someone if I would feel like this forever, if this pain would be this unbearable and even though I couldn’t see it yet, I took great comfort in them telling me that it wouldn’t. Grief evolves and never gets easier just different.
I know now that this is true and you can function again. I can feel happiness and joy and excitement. I can laugh and I can look forward to things. My grief lives alongside my life, it’s part of who I am but I am living.
And now today, on Easter Sunday of all days I am finding comfort in the bible. I’m always open to what speaks to me and maybe I’ll explore that path of faith again in whatever shape it takes but what I’m trying to say is this is giving me hope. Someone else’s belief and words are lifting me on such a dark day. During this unprecedented time we are currently living through I need it more than ever. They are providing me comfort and for that I am grateful. If I could rewind the clock and speak to myself 2 years ago, I would whisper that there will be hope again. There will be light again. In new ways that you haven’t known before but they will be there. Breath, talk and do whatever you need to find something to hold onto. But it will come. There is always hope. X
I am Beyoncé. Standing tall, legs wide, super hero stance. This has become one of my adopted mantras when I’m wobbling. I’m clearly not actually Beyoncé. But when you feel like a shrivelled up, pencil drawn scribble, stepping into this hot woman’s shoes in my head makes me straighten up a bit. I wonder who Beyoncé imagines she is when she’s having an off day?
I hadn’t realised until I started writing today that July 2019 was my last post. Time as always has no bearing on my thoughts anymore. Weeks pass, months too and I still think something that happened months ago was only yesterday. And when I posted in July, things in my head were not great. And if I’m honest, they’re still not. Life feels a bit of a survival game right now. Imagine Wipeout. You know the best game show that was ever on telly. I always wanted to go on that….anyway, I digress.
So Wipeout is my life. I’m powering on. Got my helmet on, knee pads and my grief has spun me around 16 times on a metaphorical roundabout and then pushed me off to tackle the terrain of the obstacle course like nothing happened. I jump onto the inflatable slide. This bits not too bad. I get covered in gunk but I don’t care, I’m just moving but don’t need much effort. Then comes that sucker punch wall. I try my best to hang on but my grip is slippy and then woah…gall bladder needs removing! I’m back on the wall, edging forwards…ouch right in the throat…absess needs draining….it’s ok I’m back on it now…jab to the stomach…sickness bugs x3, tonsillitis, poorly babies for what feels like an eternity, tag teaming temperatures, sleepless nights, doctor runs. Wash my hands, I’m back on the wall. Grip is better then BUMFFF…husband rushed to hospital coughing up blood…I’m in the mud puddle and my helmets all wonky. I drag myself out slowly, I stink, I’m so tired but this won’t beat me. Hospital runs, school runs…just keep the feet running, walking, pulling up through the mire and soon it’ll dry and release me and I’m off again…sprinting to the next obstacle.
Last year was just a bit shit really. We all seemed to have terrible runs in health. From July onwards we never really got more than a clear week then another weighted pendulum came swinging at us and knocked me off the balance beam again. But you just carry on. What’s the choice? I am Beyoncé.
Then Christmas. The second one without my Mum. It was harder than the first in so many ways. Less shock padding the cell and more hard edges to bump into. Everything seems perfectly normal looking around but it all feels wrong. The loss hits you in ways you least expect. Texting my sister to announce the online Christmas shopping slots were open, hit me like a wall, something we and my Mum got excited about each year. Buying gifts for everyone but not for her. Missing the pile of thoughtful Mum bought necessities, new mascara, diaries, ridiculously expensive candles. Nothing that I couldn’t live without but items that made life a little nicer. Mum touches. Missing my Mums touch. Her hand on my face. Her arms around my babies. Her voice on the phone. Her face. Just her. I miss all of her.
New Years Eve. We huddle together under the pretence of a party and I try my hardest to get drunk. But with three little ones to follow and then settle in someone else’s house proved as always epically exhausting. And the champagne kept wearing off every time I had to run upstairs and cuddle someone to sleep. For the 13 minutes I was downstairs, miraculously at 12, I danced maniacally, downed another glass then gave up and fell into bed quite relieved it was all over.
So 2020. I am still here. Still Beyoncé on the days I need her. Just now Beyoncé on beta blockers. To help with the heart palpitations I’ve had since losing my Mum and to hopefully stop the whirring, endless mental thoughts that literally made me feel I was losing my mind last year. And we are only 8 days into this one so it might still be lost at this point. Together with the medication, I’m clinging to the things in my life that hold my head above water. My babies. The three people who are literally made out of sun beams and fill my eyes and my soul with pure joy. And dancing. Teaching my classes is so much more than my job, it’s therapy and a tiny part of my week where I get to reconnect with who I am pre babies, pre marriage, pre grief. And wine. And my family. And blue cheese.
So, I’m onto the big red balls next. (If you haven’t seen Wipeout before, I’m gonna sound like a right weirdo). I’m a little scared but I’m running at it. I’m gonna jump and hope I bounce off each one with the elegance and aplomb of Darcy Bussell but as I imagine, judging on last year and my non existent ballet skills, I may hit the first one, bounce off at a funny angle and belly flop straight back into the mud. I’ll get back out again, don’t worry. It might just take a while and if I’m gone too long, call Beyoncé. She always knows what to do.
37. Female. Married, happily (mostly, who we kidding) 3 perfect children. Owns a house. 2 cars. Job I love. Bathroom cupboard with a light up door. On paper all is good.
In my head, it’s foggy. Confused. Erratic. Busy.
Some days I feel productive, I own this. Let’s start a business! That thing I made last Wednesday I could sell them on Etsy and become a crafting genius. Then some days, I can’t move. I stare at things for a long time. I try and write or tidy or frame photos and I’m really going to but then I don’t. I stare at the laundry on the bedroom floor and will myself to carve out some time to make my bedroom nice so I could relax in it. But then I need a coffee and that carved time just dissolves. And then I’m disappointed. Mostly in myself.
Some days I write meal plans. I get out recipe books and vow to make dinner most nights rather than defrost it. I get on a roll, order the ingredients, excited to have superfoods in my shopping basket again and they sit in the cupboard and the fridge. Dinner time comes and I want to cry.
The worst days are the ones when all the emotions in me all collide for top spot. Happiness, frustration, perfection, anger, patience, sadness, guilt. Fast, fast emotions. They explode off each other. I hear all the noises, all the time. Everything’s out of place. Everyone’s annoying me. I feel awkward and cross. It all fizz’s up and then goes off like a firework in my brain. Not the pretty kind of firework you get at Disneyland, no, the really shit ones that make a massive noise that makes all the children cry and then has 3 spots of blurred, disappointing colour. Then come the tears. Lots and lots of tears.
The fun fact on all these days is that there is no pattern. I don’t have one then the other then the other so I can plan what might help. I have a few a days of blankness. I remember nothing. I retract from all things social. I’m paranoid I’ve upset someone. I look like someone whose had a really good night out but a terrible morning. My make up seems to absorb into my skin and I’m all weird looking.
Then I have a great day. I look pretty and can make conversation with anyone. I make a Superzing house with working lift for my son and create a colour coded sensory learning game for him and my baby girl. Yes I did that.
Life feels good and I think I’ve turned the corner but my head is still whirring and I can’t turn it off. My heart races and I sit on an evening, finding myself on the edge of the chair.
It’s exhausting. For the first time in my life my mental health is not good. It’s scary. It’s to be expected really. My mum died in front of me, unexpectedly and like a wounded trauma victim I’m still staggering around only just now noticing that the back of my head got blown off and I’m bleeding out. However, I was trained by the best. My mum was a nurse. She taught me not to panic. Control the bleeding and get help. So I am and I will. My head will never be the same again but I’ll buy a nice hat. Back to the paper.
37. Female. Parent of 3 young children. Wrung out. Grieving. Knackered. Lost who I am. Elated if I have clean underwear. Angry. Grateful for what I do have. Sad. And the bathroom cupboard with the light up door…it’s broken. The fucker.
Grieving when you are actually in it is completely different to what you think it will be. Not that I spent a lot of time in my pre grief life thinking about it but in those random moments when I did I figured it would be horrible, I’d cry and feel loss and that I would follow a pattern of grief, neatly moving into the next phase and feeling stronger each time. After a year or two, I’d have grieved a significant amount of time and be on the road to recovery, seeing the positives again and moving on.
The reality of grief is so so different. It’s multifaceted, complex, messes with your body clock, your time management, your routines. It changes the way you hold a conversation, how you look and see other people. It changes the internal fabric of who you are and once it has happened there is no going back to the person you were before.
11 months in. Most days it feels like a prison sentence to which there is no end. The phases I imagined don’t start and stop one at a time. They jumble up and as I think I’m done with one it comes back to visit me and knocks me over again. The anger is terrifying. I never had much of a temper before but now I explode about things that I would normally have never reacted to. There’s days when I’m manic, singing songs at the top of my lungs and play acting funny voices for kids. Then there’s days when the shock hits me again and I feel the panic rising up inside of me. How can my Mum have died, my Mum? How can I know that I’ll never see her again? She’ll never bath my children, never host a Sunday dinner, never be on the end of the phone when I need her for advice, to share news or just to chat. The pain I feel on these days is like nothing I have felt before. It feels dark and scary. I feel like someone has taken the wind out of my lungs and is squeezing me a little too hard. It physically hurts inside my chest and my heart races. Yesterday this happened when I was watching Moana with my 6year old daughter. There was an open space in my numbness, like something had cleared the fog I’m usually in where I can function and the pain rose up and was raw and totally overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying and my daughter wrapped her arms around my neck and comforted me with beautiful words, telling me she missed Grandma too and that is was ok to feel sad, we had each other. Words I often to say to her when her own sadness bubbles out.
At the moment I’m sleep deprived, stressed and juggling family life and my grief sits over all of this like a blanket. I remember describing it like a huge snow fall when it happened. Everything went silent in the world and we hid away. Then the snow melts and the mess and the pain and the noise emerge.
Don’t get me wrong, I am coping. I actually feel happy again sometimes and I look forward to things. This becomes an odd sensation as the guilt then seeps in mixing with the determination to survive and that internal narrative becomes a fight of which emotion is stronger that day. But I am having good days and I’m learning to accept them and the happy they bring to me.
Grief feels lonely a lot of the time. I have a wonderful family and support network of friends, it has nothing to do with that but your own individual grief is something you walk with alone. No one feels exactly like you and no one can make it go away. But I’m realising the more I reach out and talk or write or dance the easier the load is momentarily on my heart. And I’ll take that too.
I want to start being more accepting of myself and how I feel. One of the reasons I’m writing this post. It’s ok to be me. It’s ok if I feel angry some days and it’s ok if other days I feel really happy. It’s ok if I want to write a blog on how I’m feeling if it helps me and it’s ok if sometimes I don’t want to write at all. I’m in this now and will be forever, my life is steadily adapting to the new. And I’m doing it for me and for my children and for my family and for my Mum. She was the strongest, bravest woman I know and it’s her legacy I want to continue for my own children. I will carry this pain but the days I can share it or ease it will get me through.
Today I am with my youngest, my baby girl, 13 months of smiley, squidgy, pure joy loveliness. I look at her face and I feel happy. I look at her and I see my Mum and I know I will survive this. Today is an ok day and I’ll take that.
It’s been a while since I wrote. I’ve been wanting to and I’ve tried a few times and then I’ve stopped. However, lately, the urge to write has become quite annoying like a nagging toothache that just won’t go away no matter how I try to ignore it. I’m searching, to share my experience, find others who have felt this way and survived. I’m learning to find my new identity, what it feels like to be me. The before version of myself no longer exists and now I’ve been metaphorically pushed into the next phase of my life, I’m trying to get a footing and walk again in these new slightly heavier shoes. I think that’s the primary reason I started to blog, to share my experience and find comfort and release in connecting with others.
To be honest I don’t even know what I’m wanting to write. Words don’t have the same meaning anymore and I struggle to make sense of how I’m feeling. 12 weeks ago my world was ripped apart and my heart was broken when my Mum died suddenly and unexpectedly in front of me following 24 hours of illness. She was there, present, alive, breathing and then she wasn’t. She was my Mum, my bestest friend, the centre of our family. She was woven into the fabric of my daily life, we text, spoke and saw each other all the time. And then she disappeared. That’s the thing with sudden death. It’s sudden. You don’t see it coming and then on a Thursday when you’re getting dressed as normal, unbeknownst to you in two hours time your Mum is going to die and they’ll be nothing you can do about it.
I’m writing now to reach out. To anyone, anywhere who has lost their anchor too. I’m 36, I have three beautiful children aged 5, 2 and 6 months, this shouldn’t have happened to me. I wasn’t ready. My children weren’t ready. We had so much more to share and rejoice in and now I have to learn to do all that without my Mum. I feel like a child again in many ways, I needed her guidance and that reassuring hand to help me in the only way your Mum can.
Grief is nothing what I imagined it to be. Not that we like to think about losing someone close to us but I thought I would just cry. And then stop for a bit and cry again. I thought normal life would cease to exist and I would just crumble. For me, in the initial days and first weeks I cried a lot. We hibernated and clung to each other. As time has continued to pass which it weirdly and continually does, each day brings new levels of emotions that I never knew existed or could even start to describe. Some days I cry and sob and yearn to pull the pain out of my body and the next day I’ll function and laugh and gain strength from the memory of my Mum, the pragmatist, ever strong and matter of fact about life and death. She was a nurse all her life, always the carer, a gift she was born with to make you feel loved and looked after. She shared that with everyone she came into contact with and I sometimes think of the hundreds of patients my Mum will have nursed and the comfort she would have provided them.
Today I feel a peace, sat watching my baby sleep, at the side of a lake, the rustle of the trees and the chatter of the birds overhead. It’s a rare window for me to sit and be still before the current of my life whisks me away again to chaos and noise and distraction. I’m riding the waves and sometimes I manage to keep floating and sometimes the water fills my lungs and I can’t breathe. Whatever happens each day I just get back up again and keep moving.
My Mum lost her own Dad suddenly too, at my age. I had just turned one and my brother and sister were 11 and 9. I’m taking strength from the fact I know my Mum survived that, she told me when I was older that you don’t ever get over losing someone, you just adapt. Your life grows around the hole they leave and you learn to live alongside it, eventually the pain moves and isn’t the main emotion of the day. At the time I didn’t have children and she said it was us that got her through as she had no choice but to get out of bed and change nappies, play games and cook tea. Having three of my own now I truly understand what she meant. Their faces and smiles pour oil onto my aching heart and I keep going for them. Maybe one day that will spread to me doing it for myself too. My Mum said ‘You live for the living’ when someone dies and that is what I’m trying to do. x
We are now four weeks into having three babies in our home and it has flown. I lost week three completely and was in total denial as Tuesday rolled round again signifying our new girl was another week older.
This also means that I am four weeks into being totally sleep deprived, four weeks into breast feeding – hitting the milk really establishing again as we reach a growth spurt and my nipples want to drop off. Four weeks of eating like a student, minus the booze, carb loading and stock piling chocolate. I’ve discovered how gorgeous pasta tastes if you run it through butter first, yeah thats right I eat pasta with butter.
Four weeks also means no mans land in terms of how I’m feeling mentally. Let me explain. The early days after you’ve given birth, you’re sore and recovering from what is a massive physical and emotional experience. This is still very fresh in everyone else’s mind too so help is given and you have people holding the baby so you can sleep or ease yourself into a bath whilst you nurse your aching body. Once four weeks hits you’re starting to feel much stronger and the obvious symptoms have passed off. I no longer look like an elderly cowboy for example when I get up from sitting down for too long and going to the toilet is no longer a terrifying experience. However and it’s a BIG however, inside my brain someone’s hit the panic button. Everyone’s running around in there, hair unbrushed, spilling cold cups of coffee shouting ‘how are we going to do this???’ ‘How on earth do we all get dressed before it gets dark?!?!’ and ‘I have to leave the house?? With three children??? On my own?!?!?’
There is a little voice in there who is currently sitting in the corner and pipes up every once in a while trying to reassure me that I can do it and how hard can it be but she’s quickly silenced by the stressed me who yells in her face ‘ You have wet hair and no socks on, baby number 2 has done a massive poo and baby three is due a feed any minute!!!!’
I am in a constant mental battle with myself which when I think about it started at the end of pregnancy when I realised labour was imminent. I slid from ‘I’ve totally got this, I am a warrior and shall birth this baby with power and positivity’ to ‘who are you kidding, I know how much it hurts, I’m going to ask for an epidural a week before my due date just to be on the safe side.’
During my labour it continued as I breathed through contractions one second thinking ‘I’m in full control of this pain’ the next second thinking , ‘make this stop! someone punch me in the face quick!’
And now I’m in this blurred middle phase of not quite being fully recovered and on my mum game again, waking up some mornings feeling like I could clean out the playroom and bake a cake to standing on the stairs or with my head in the pantry assuming ninja cry position.
This, for the uninitiated, is a way I have learnt to let off the boiling over lid without emotionally scarring anyone else in the house. My emotions become overwhelming and too much to contain but I’m setting up a fresh game of train tracks so Percy can chase Gordon so I make a quick getaway on the promise that we need snacks and I cry, full throttle, into the cupboard/staircase/tumble dryer. And it’s not pretty crying, not that I think I ever do that anyway but this is full on face contorted, slavering, snot filled crying my eyes out sobbing. Only with no sound. I’ve absolutely nailed Ninja crying so no one else need know. It usually only lasts around ten to fifteen seconds then I blow my nose, wipe the tears and resume the frenzied chase with the engines and my son. Please don’t be alarmed by this by the way. Feel free to use it if you’d like as I find it does just take the edge off my stress so I can function again. I’m breast feeding so I still don’t have the support of wine or bottled beer come tea time.
I did manage to make it out of the house today in the daylight, with make up on, all children alive and not crying to do my favourite Saturday activity of Starbucks drive through and I didn’t need to Ninja it up so things are definitely moving on and I must be getting stronger. I didn’t manage a shower though and my huge bum beans (my cute name for the hemoroids) are still partying hard but you gotta take your wins where you can in this game.
The biggest win of them all though has to be my babies, they don’t care about how unwashed their mother is or if my tummy still looks as though it’s harbouring a baby. They kiss me when my teeth aren’t cleaned and dance like they’re in Ibiza whilst I play songs about pyjamas on my phone. Our newest addition is still in the squidgy, fist clenching, drawing her knees up every time she’s picked up phase and smelling her face is my heroin.
And so, from being trapped in week old pyjamas to conquering bedtime with three, feeling desperately confused to just how much food, dirt and kinetic sand can be on my dining room floor to smashing out three loads of washing in one day (and not one load got left behind in the washing machine for three days) to managing to boil actual potatoes for tea rather than living on cereal forever, the battle continues. One which I know I will win, one sob into a cupboard but wearing a clean pair of knickers at a time.
Had a funny couple of weeks. Felt I was managing well with the old pelvis and writing the blog was keeping me positive and I’d had some lovely comments from readers who have found it helpful. Then I got a comment not so positive and it really knocked me. Now normally I would shake it off and move on but think because I is all hormonal and that, I just couldn’t let it lie. It’s nattered at me, made me question why I’m writing and weirdly made me wonder if I should be sharing my positive PGP journey rather than just writing about the bad stuff (I did this in pregnancy number 2). But then I thought you know what? Stuff it. Why should I stop writing due to someone else’s negativity?
Why is it that certain people aim to spread unhappiness to people they don’t know at all or have ever met? Why not just be happy for someone else’s positive experience? And maybe if you do feel like you have something to say then write your own blog rather than cut someone else’s down? Just a thought.
Anyhows I responded oh so politely, as my mum has always taught me not to rise to people like that and I tried to forget. I’m still quite new to all this so my skin has yet to grow thicker.
So here I am, still writing. It’s taken a while but I’m here so here goes.
There’s lots of stuff I’d like to share with you as it has been a while but firstly…I feel SO pregnant now. I’ve done this twice before but I think you’re programmed to forget all the little shitty bits so that humans continue to procreate. Then there’s the heart burn. It’s such a joy to be constantly trying to contain Mount Vesuvius in my throat and it erupts anytime anywhere. The old wives tale is that it means you have a baby with a lot of hair so I’m guessing my little one is coming out with locks like Rapunzel. My bump is now getting heavy and carrying a toddler, however sparingly I try but sometimes it’s unavoidable, is painful. My back is so curved now that trying to correct my posture when I remember is sweet torture as the muscles in my lower spine stretch the other way for a few seconds.
Then there’s the Rage. The pregnancy Rage. Don’t even get me started on this. I am giving it a capital ‘R’ as I think I should be scientifically recognised as a medical condition. I am the most short tempered, impatient, don’t give me your bullshit type of gal now that woe be tied anyone who dares to wind me up or *shock in take of breath* challenge me. I’m even impressing myself at my slick, cutting one liners and my new improved death stare. My heart does go out to my husband though. Sorry Johan.
There are are many other wonderful side effects like the restless legs, dry skin, bladder weakness and now frequent use of Tenar ladies but I’ll spare you the details. I just wanted to give a MASSIVE shout out to all the pregnant women out there and say f#%k me, you are doing an incredible job of growing a person and if you want to eat 2 zinger wrap meals from KFC followed by a Starbucks then you go for it…
On a lighter note I have spent part of today opening bin liners of my daughters old baby clothes and melting into a huge puddle of goo at the size of them and the memories they are reigniting in us. I can’t believe we will have a baby so small again and I’m so excited to see her face and smell her skin and have her etched in my mind forever. Pregnancy is such a strange and beautiful experience, totally wonderful and awe inspiring and also absolutely knackering and hard as hell. (I’ve also started swearing a little more, apologies if I’ve offended anyone).
And then there’s my pelvis. Any body who doesn’t want good news on this should stop reading now as I’m still waking in shock every morning as I’m ok! I have a little twinge down there every now and again and sitting on the floor is proving a little more painful now but the wheel chair has stayed firmly in the garage and my crutches remain with their cobwebs in tact. I am as you can tell over the moon with this as not only did I manage to teach Zumba up to 30 weeks, I’m functioning as best a large heavily pregnant woman can and my breathlessness is caused only by the little squidge pushing against my diaphragm not from the amount of pain I’m in. I really do put it down to the treatment I have had this time round from- name check- my physio, Ian at Back In Action in Wakefield. He was quite insistent when I first arrived that I would be ok and I really wanted to believe him but honestly I found it hard as my previous wheel chair bound pregnancies distaughted my view. But his realignment therapy and exercise approach WORKED FOR ME (highlighted here as I am not generalising in any way for any one else) and had I known about him and the physio for my previous pregnancies maybe it would have been a different story for those too. If this blog post reaches one person who thinks they would want to try the manual physio I have had then I am a happy lady as spreading the word on PGP and the therapies available is my main goal in writing this blog. Ian has kindly written some advice on the condition for any sufferers out there like me, I will post that separately once I have worked out to do it! Please have a read or pass it on to anyone you feel would benefit. Also check out the Pelvic Partnership Website – a charity set up solely for this condition – and where I found Ian’s contact details as a PGP specialist.
Right…I’m off to drink my Starbucks whilst my poorly boy snoozes. Big up all the preggo ladies out there. You are doing a sterling job. Xx
I walked in taking fairy steps to alleviate the pain in my groin and I left with normal length strides, tape on my back and a smile on my face.
Now let’s be realistic, it still bloody hurts but it’s a lot less than it was this morning. I’m inflamed as I’ve been walking round with a misaligned pelvis for nearly two weeks but after Ian had manipulated my hips back to where they should be, my movement instantly improved and more importantly my internal fire of fight got the little tender breathe it needed to roar up again and I inhaled (correctly using my diaphragm and stomach) and smiled.
I’m not going to be pain free for the whole pregnancy, I get that but compared to the last two times I have been with child my life has been completely different. I’m mobile, I’m walking, I’m dancing, I’m teaching blooming Zumba still and I feel…and this is the most important bit…I feel fantastic. Yes I’m knackered and the heat of my acid heartburn is definitely keeping soya milk and Rennies in business but I’m staying fit and my mental health is better than ever. I’ve likened my job before to therapy and I truly believe that my classes keep me sane. As a Mum of two already this is more important to me than ever before. I had long given up work during my last pregnancy and I knew that my mind suffered as a consequence. It was a double blow of not only losing part of who I was and identified with but also stopping all exercise (which I was advised to do apart from walking which only helped to aggravate my condition) meant my mood plummeted. I was told to keep my knees together at all times, rolling over, getting out of bed, getting in and out of the car. Today I have learnt that both of these things would hinder my progress as management of this condition needs muscle balance and stability. Both of which you only get if you stay active and use your muscles.
I still feel angry about how my last pregnancies were dealt with by the professionals who are meant to be the people you rely on to know what they are doing. Hearing some of the responses people have been so kindly in touch with about their own personal stories, only feeds my frustration to the ignorance that is so wide spread about this condition and the fact so many women are in pain that could have been prevented or treated.
My own consultant at my last hospital appointment a couple of weeks ago told me I should write a book after I had explained my differing journeys of pregnancy as he had never heard of manual physio being used for the condition and felt like people needed to learn that there is treatment for it. He was a consultant. At a hospital. Caring for hundreds of pregnant women, statistically 1 in 5 of them suffering from PGP.
I am hoping to put a post together soon with the help of my physio and the Pelvic Partnership (please check them out – a fantastic charity set up to educate people on the condition) to share some of the things I have learnt which have truly made a massive difference to mine and my family’s life in the hope it might help someone else’s plight.
So I’m heading to bed, sore but positive, forever squeezing my glutes, hoping that the last 17 weeks I have left there abouts will be as mobile as they can be and I will reach the finishing line on my feet not being pushed in my wheelchair. #screwyousandra.
I had a sense it was coming. Sore back, nipping in my crotch that I was trying to ignore, pain as I rolled over in bed. Yep she’s back, f*#king Sandra. (Note: Sandra is the name I kindly gave to my PGP condition through my second pregnancy, I don’t really know why, it just seemed appropriate to name her as we became such close pals).
Now I’ve been a good girl and have been doing exactly what the physio ordered, squeezing my gluteus maximus, engaging my core, implementing my exercises but then came my pyjamas. Lovely striped, soft morning pyjamas. I rolled out of bed, baby bump now emphasising that roll as I’m starting to widen in all directions and in my sleepy haze picked up my pj trousers. Thinking I’m the spritely nymph I used to be I stood up, lifted my right knee and there it was…ouch! Followed by silent expletives as my children were watching, waiting patiently at the top of the stairs to go down for breakfast. I shuffled my other leg in and dragged my right leg to the landing. I can only describe the pain as like a hot knife running constantly in the groin every time I put my right leg down. I descended the stairs like so many times before, one at a time, good leg first telling myself this was short lived pain and it would wear off as the morning continued. Alas this was not to be. After limping around and trying to rest I had a Zumba class to teach so I enlisted the help of an able bodied friend and I stood still, cueing and waving the best I could with my arms minus any movement from my legs. Its very difficult teaching a favourite class without trying to dance as we all know Gloria was right, the rhythm IS going to get chu.
I have an emergency appointment to see my main man Ian the physio tomorrow so I am holding out all hope that he will click me back together like a little lego doll and all will be fixed again. There is a tiny little voice though saying, maybe you’ve used all your luck up and this is it. I am ignoring said voice though until I have had my appointment. However, I seriously feel like I’ve been kicked in the lady bits by a horse. Until you have suffered this pain, nothing truly does it’s description justice.
So wish me luck as I walk as best I can into the physios office tomorrow…Thursday is my next class, I could either be gently grooving again or I may have to develop a style of Zumba on crutches. Crumba anyone?