Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ouch, Pregnancy, Ouch.

So, there's this thing called "round ligament pain" that pregnant people might get around 18-22 weeks. A ligament attached to your uterus stretches and irritates a nerve. Here's what books/websites say about it: As a result, you may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen or even an occasional brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides — especially when you shift position or at the end of an active day. The ligaments that support your uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but call your practitioner if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes severe.
Well, what the websites and books don't say is that it can double you over in gasping pain that lasts a lot longer than a few seconds. This happened to me last Saturday night while in the NYC subway and last Sunday on and off through dinner. After dinner we called my doc because what I was feeling didn't match the descriptions of RLP. The pain lasted even when I was still and struck out of nowhere when I was sitting. I was worried it was contractions or that the placenta had separated. The doc said it was probably fine, but to come to the hospital to get checked out.

Everything looked good at the emergency room, and we even got to find out the baby's gender. It wasn't hard to miss on the ultrasound.

The doctors at the ER said it was probably round ligament pain. Fine, but why was it so bad? I told myself it hurt worse and longer because my stomach is tight so the uterus had to work really hard to stretch. Even though I feel dumb for going to the emergency room for something normal, I'm glad I did, because I also read that "The sharp, jabbing type of round ligament pain shouldn't last longer than the few seconds in which you're changing position or getting up. Don't hesitate to call your caregiver any time abdominal aches or pains continue after a short rest or are accompanied by:
• Severe pain or cramping, or more than four contractions in an hour (even if they don't hurt)"
I was sitting in the car on the way to the emergency room writhing in pain, so I think it's ok that I went.

I went to work Monday and had no problems. Moved around all day, no pain. Tuesday I stayed home because my voice was tired. I sat around all day, then out of nowhere, as I was sitting innocently on the couch, I felt my stomach start to cramp. "Oh no," I thought. Then the pain struck. "Ow, OW!" I shrieked, trying the "raise knees to make pain stop" technique I read about online. The pain came again. "Ow ow ow!" I moved to the floor and curled up (that helps normal stomach cramps) but it kept hurting. The pain was so bad I felt like I was going to throw up. Then, 20 seconds later, it stopped.

I gingerly got ready to leave for a meeting, got in the car and started driving... then the pain struck again! What the HELL? I was driving through spasms, panting and squirming in my seat. A few minutes later, it stopped. I felt one little twinge during my meeting, then nothing for the rest of the day. I called the doctor and made an appointment for the next day. At the appointment, she checked me out and assured me that, "Oh yes, the pain can be so bad that it can drop you to your knees."
Me: "Well then why don't the books tell you that?"

Since then, my stomach has felt a little crampy occasionally, and I felt a sharp pain or two that quickly went away. Nothing of note, except after the doctor I went to Target and it happened there. I scared the crap out of another shopper. I'm hoping that my body has gotten used to the pain and senses it less. Also, I think the ligament got a good stretch because my stomach finally grew a little bit this week. I still don't really look pregnant, which is A-OK with me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Now that is some scary pain! Pregnancy brings on the strangest things you'll ever experience in your life. Different for everyone, but nuts just the same. Hope that this never happens again!

So what are you having?