Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hypermobility Strikes Again

I am learning that hypermobility in pregnancy is not a fun or a good thing.  Actually, it really kind of stinks.  Things are going downhill in ways that I really couldn't have imagined or predicted.  Not that it surprises me, but still I was hoping things wouldn't get to bad.

My joints have gone haywire!  My knees now bend totally backwards occasionally, my ankles are floppy useless things, and my pelvis has decided to just disengage from the whole rest of my body.  Luckily, my OB is a wonderful person and has sent me to physical therapy for the last several weeks.  Because it was an OB doing the referring I got in with an amazing therapist (and her intern) for pelvic problems.  These two ladies are crazy booked up, and I am very happy to get to see them roughly twice a week.
They have been working on the pain side of things, and just trying to keep things from getting to out of hand.  They have been concentrating on keeping my pelvis attached to the rest of me.  I joked one day that it felt like my spine and hip bones were separating from each other and that they had this weird pulling sensation.  They said that that is exactly what is happening.  Ok, cue the freak out!  

This is what the pelvis looks like.  The sacroiliac (SI) joint is where I am having the most problems.  It is literally pulling away from the spine due to the hypermobility and the increase in hormones from the pregnancy.  Normally, a person wants this separation so that a baby can have a bit more room to come out.  Unfortunately, it feels like my body is trying to spread out to allow a baby elephant out instead of a human.

This laxity is causing some major problems.  I am really unstable standing up or walking.  I have had it give out on me, and I have hit the floor (or tub) a few times and have several other near misses but caught myself on something to stay upright.  I have no strength for lifting my feet up either.  Trying to get dressed in the mornings is turning into a comedy of errors and I look like one of those weeble-wobble punching bags bouncing around trying to stay upright.

To combat this instability the PT encouraged me to get an SI belt.  I tried out a  Serola Sacroiliac Belt in the office and decided that it seemed like a good idea.  I was warned that Bug might not like having the belt on at this point of the pregnancy because it will be squeezing around his head.  But, if that turns out to be the case I can use it after he is born to pull my hips back into place and provide the stability I need then.

I have also been working on exercises to try to add some stability.  Apparently, it is normal in pregnancy to have your glutes stop working to their potential because of the hormones causing laxity.  This means that two little tiny muscles are doing all the work of holding the pelvis together and making walking at all possible.  I am very thankful for those two tiny muscles, but they sure HURT!  They are so tight and painful that the PT can barely touch them to try to work them out.  It isn't fun when we get to the massage part of therapy.  I was worried that they were so sore because I wasn't doing enough of the exercises or homework, but they told me that it is just part of the hypermobility combined with pregnancy.  Those poor little muscles are just going to get tighter and more painful as things go on. Oh, joy!

Besides the exercises and homework therapy they have been encouraging me to take some of the water aerobics classes that are offered at the gym that is part of the hospital I am using for almost everything.  I was trying to hold off from joining the gym until after Bug came because I didn't want to pay for it and I thought it was going to be crazy expensive.  It was more than I wanted to pay, but having done several of the classes now, I am glad I did it.  The gym has a heated therapy pool that they use for the PT side of things, and that is where some of the water aerobics classes are taught.  The classes have been good so far and it is nice being in the water and not aching as much trying to move.  It is weird in some ways though because I am generally the youngest person there by about 20-25 years.  It is also awkward to have to explain EDS to people and that I am 8 months pregnant, because I don't look old enough to have joint problems and I am still not looking crazy pregnant.  The other odd one is having the instructor say "just do a normal range of movement."  Ummmm, what is normal supposed to look like?  In the water I am even more flexible because it doesn't hurt and I can't hear the cracking/popping joints.  I had a friend tell me I should find the oldest person in the class and just do as much as they do.  It seemed like a good idea until the oldest lady was 90 and was clearly a "mover and shaker".

I have also been having some skin problems.  I have been bruising more than normal, which honestly I didn't think possible.  It is a very bad sign when you find a new bruise and wonder where that came from.  Also, I have been having my skin tear and cut very easily.  That is a slightly newer problem.  I was taking a shower today and looked down at my legs... it looks like I have gone several rounds with a weed-whacker.  I have also been dealing with my shoes eating my feet alive.  My feet are swelling because of the pregnancy, but I now no longer have any shoes that fit without leaving new cut marks on me.  I know my skin is fragile normally, but really this? 

Stretch marks have started to be an issue, too.  This isn't a vanity thing!  I am covered with stretch marks already because of weight issues and the EDS making them more common - they are on my arms, hips, chest, and legs.  Now, they are showing up in places that I have never had them like my waist line and around my back.  I am mildly worried with all the foot, ankle, and leg swelling I am going to start getting stretch marks there.  These new ones are really uncomfortable and kinda hurt.  I have been using Curel Life's Stages Nurturing Comfort Moisture Cream -Pregnancy and Motherhood that AJ got me for Christmas, since it has collagen in it.  I keep hoping it will help with the lack of collagen, but I don't think it is going to be that easy.  I don't generally put much confidence in the hype of such lotions and potions, but the uncomfortableness has made me willing to try things.  It isn't the normally itchy stretch skin that I am used to, but more of a ripping pain sensation.

It is really odd having skin that feels tight and painful.  I think the oddness is of a lot of things is what gets me.  I am used to bruising and having cuts, but not to this extreme.  I am used to a certain amount of pain, but not to the level that it makes me just break down and retreat from the world because I physically can't handle it.  I hate having to admit that I can't push through the pain, or I am having real trouble walking.  It makes me feel weak when it takes me a couple of minutes to stand up and actually start walking.  I cry when my knees bend backwards, my ankles fold in, or my hip pops and I almost fall down.  It is scary.  It is painful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"My Time Is Getting Big" - Week 36

When I was little I used to ask my mom if I could do something (like sit in the car not in a car seat), and I would get told I had to wait until I was bigger.  I took this to mean my time would get bigger, not me.  So, one day I asked my mom if "my time was big yet?"  This then became a running joke in our family, that from then on I would have to wait until my time was big.

I have really been thinking about that lately in the context of Bug.  It is starting to really hit me that this boy is going to be here sooner rather than later.  His time is getting big and there is nothing I can do to stop it or slow it down.  Which means it is time to start making some predictions.

This is a neat site I saw someone else use for their baby, and I thought it sounded like fun.  I would love to hear what people think is going to happen with this baby.  Either post your guess to the game site or post it as a comment.  Feel free in the comments to also make guesses on his hair color, if you think he is going to have hair, and eye color.

Here is the current information as everything stands as of our weekly OB appointment, so that everyone has the same information:

Official Due Date: 5/19/2011
Gender: Boy
Rough Weight: 5.75lbs

I am already having some thinning and dilation going on.  Nothing too extreme, but things are in progress.  Though the OB doesn't expect Bug to stay in until the due date.

AJ and I have some dates we are rooting on for him to be born.  We have no clue how accurate these are going to be, but as nerds we think these would be some really fun birthdates:

May 4th - as in "May the Fourth Be With You." - Molly's choice
May 5th - 5/5 just looks like a good number - AJ's choice
May 6th - as in 5+6=11 and it fits in with my family's birthday numbers - Molly's choice
May 7th - 5, 7, 11 are sequential prime numbers - AJ's choice

I am really rooting for May 4th because I think it would be fun to have some Star Wars themed birthday parties before Bug could officially protest against them.  Then again, if he is anything like his parents he will wind up being fairly nerdy and thinking it is a great birthday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I have really been struggling with loneliness lately.  This isn't a new thing for me, I have battled it off and on for years, but it is a weird thing.  I am content to be by myself during the days and enjoy the solitude, but once night gets here it changes from solitude to loneliness.

Loneliness versus Solitude: 

One way of thinking about loneliness is as a discrepancy between one's desired and achieved levels of social interaction,[1] while solitude is simply the lack of contact with people. Loneliness is therefore a subjective experience; if a person thinks they are lonely, then they are lonely. People can be lonely while in solitude, or in the middle of a crowd. What makes a person lonely is the fact that they want more social interaction than what is currently available. A person can be the middle of a party and feel lonely due to not talking to enough people. Conversely, one can be alone and not feel lonely; even though there is no one around that person is not lonely because there is no desire for social interaction. There have also been suggestions that each person has their own sweet spot of social interaction. If a person gets too little or too much social interaction, this could lead to feelings of loneliness or over-stimulation.[9]
I hate the feeling of being lonely.  It normally occurs after AJ has gone to bed, and as the rest of the world is starting to wind down for the evening.  I check and twi.tter a lot during the hours between AJ going to bed and me going to bed.  

The odd part is I am not sure how much interaction I really want.  I could turn the FB chat on or I could log into AIM and see who is there, but I never do.  I just want some level of passive interactions - forums or reading what is going on in other people's lives.  I love when my friends post blog post that late because it gives me something to read.  It has also made me much more likely to comment on their blogs because I do want to be a part of their lives.

I know some of the desire for passive interaction is because I am so tired lately.  I have a really limited energy supply, and I am trying to use it as best as I can.  This combined with an erratic "sweet spot" for interaction (I am an introverted extrovert) makes things interesting.  Some days a little interaction goes a long way and I am overwhelmed and others I can't get enough interaction.  

I love weekends because this is rarely a problem then.  I have AJ home and we are frequently doing things together and with other people.  I also seem to have more energy on the weekends (which I haven't figured out that logic yet).  The last two weekends I have had two wonderful baby showers.  I was mildly worried that I was going to be overwhelmed, but I wasn't.  Instead, I was left craving more social contact than I have wanted in a while. I am so thankful for the friends and family that I have.  It makes me feel very loved, and that is something I crave all the time.  If I could just find a way to bottle those wonderful feelings and be able to use them at night when the loneliness strikes I would be set.

I am very thankful that these rounds of loneliness haven't migrated into either the day light hours or into depression.  I very rarely get lonely during the day, and I have wondered if that is because I can keep myself busy during the day or have things that get me out of the house (not that I always want to leave the house).  I think having AJ come home during the earlier afternoons helps, too.  In the past the loneliness has evolved into depression, and that wasn't fun.  It took a lot of effort to break it, and honestly I don't have the energy to fight that kind of battle right now, so I am thankful it hasn't gotten that far.