This pregnancy continues to be my most interesting pregnancy to date. Boring would be fine with me, but "interesting" give more opportunity for growth, doesn't it?
I blogged about our midwifery Cookie Day at the capitol a couple weeks ago. I didn't mention how thrilled I was at my energy level and the fact that I walked all the way around all four floors of the capitol building, taking the stairs between levels. That's probably because the exhertion that I was initially so excited about had some not-so-great consequences. By the time we stopped for lunch, I was experiencing an irritating burning sensation under the surface of my skin to the left of my belly button. I asked my midwife about it, and her guess was that it was my diastasis. I have never had pain from the diastasis before, so this was a whole new sensation. The fact that that evening I could feel where the diastasis had "spread" from its previous gap of 1 1/2 fingers wide (the spreading was right around my belly button where I felt the burning), pretty much confirmed her assumption that the pain was from the diastasis.
On Saturday, I started having the same burning belly pain that I did at Cookie Day. I had a pretty active day around the house, and the burning started while I was on my feet for an extended period working on supper. Saturday night and yesterday, I was very careful about not doing much, in order to not put extra pressure on the area. I was standing for a while before supper while helping to dish up the kids' plates at our buffet-style supper at Dad and Mom Smith's. The burning started again and I sat down right away. I have remained a bit sore in that area, and feel the beginning of the burning sensation if I do much of anything active.
This development is very disconcerting to me. In a way, even more so than my various mystery pains. I think that's because the mystery pains are "maybes." I can't do much about them, which somehow makes it simpler to put them in the Lord's hands. But this... this isn't a vague maybe. It's a definite physical "event" that has palpable and lasting consequences that have the potential to be more than cosmetic. And at 28 weeks, I'm very aware that my belly is going to keep growing and putting more pressure on my abdominal wall.
I feel the need for a plan for how we're going to deal with this and try to prevent the diastasis from spreading further. Jonathan has told me that he'll put me on bedrest himself (actually, "tie you to the bed" were his words) if we can't figure out a plan that works for preventing further separation.
Here are some of our ideas so far...
~ No lifting anything heavier than 5#
~ Limit standing/active work to 10 minutes at a time with a conscious and determined effort to prioritize/let things go.
~ Dr. Mary (my chiropractor) has some special tape that we have used before with great success for supporting weakened muscles. I don't know how tape on the outside can have so much effect on the muscles inside, but it somehow does. I'm planning to have her apply this kinesio tape at my next appt. and see if it helps. Our hope is that it will help to keep the muscles from pulling further apart without the heat and possible negative effects of the maternity belt. The downside to the tape is that it usually falls off around Day 4 and my appts. are once a week.
~ We're wondering about going ahead and using a maternity belt for the days in between the tape coming off and my next appt. I don't really care for them, but if it keeps things from spreading more...
~ After the baby is born, I will be focusing on exercises that will strengthen my abdominal wall and hopefully pull those muscles back together. We've read that the first six months post-baby are the most critical time for this.
~ My current pilates exercise routine is up in the air right now. Once this flair-up has subsided, I'll get back to the pilates and see how things go.
So, there's my latest pregnancy news. Your prayers are treasured, and resources/input are always valued.
A Song of Ascents, of David.
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.