So at 37weeks I woke with excruciating pain from my back all down my left side into my foot. I couldn't walk properly and had to crawl up the stairs on hands and knees. Certain movements were out of the question and simple things such as picking my toddler up hurt like crazy! Had I pulled something in my sleep? was the baby sitting on a nerve?
When I booked in to see my GP a few days later as it hadn't improved (If anything it was getting worse!) She tested my reflexes and tried to raise my left leg - I had less than 20% liftability! She discussed the pain with me which started in my lower back on the left, ran through my hip and left bottom cheek and all the way down my leg, into my ankle and had given me pins and needles in my left foot a few times, also my leg had felt like it was giving way and the pain was constant but peaked every now and again with movements as white hot pain in my hip and ankle.
My GP declared I had Sciatica brought on by the baby's position and at almost 38 weeks the only cure is to give birth! Pain killers and anti inflamitaries normally used to treat sciatica are too strong to take in pregnancy and at this stage, by the time I get an appointment with an Osteopath, well, baby would be here. It's kind of a pat on the head and get on with it dear situation. She did mention a good support belt - I bought the Nexcare maternity support belt for £35 from Mothercare in Bromley - It feels very supportive but does nothing to help the pain or movement. It's soo supportive it actually becomes uncomfortable and feels like it's adding extra pressure to my bladder, I think it's because of the baby's position. To be honest, it was a waste of money but I was desperate to try anything!
She's been fully engaged for weeks! - I\ve been told this is unusual for a second baby! My midwife actually said that the reason I'm suffering sciatica is beacuse the baby has been engaged for quite sometime, it's the pressure of her literally forcing my hip apart! - Lovely!
Sciatica in pregnancy can often be confused with Pelvic Girdle Pain which is similar, the pain starts in your lower back, and runs through your hip and bottom, often on one side like sciatica but the main difference is that Pelvic Girdle Pain doesn't extend further than your knee!
A midwife at the Oasis suite at the Pruh showed me a few exercises to do and I've been warned it can take a while to fully recover from sciatica.
During very early labour, I had this strange feeling of pressure that got so painful I thought I was going to throw up, then baby moved and the sciatica eased off!
12 weeks after giving birth, its all normal mostly and has been since the day before I gave birth, but every now and again I get the odd twinge or dull ache in my hips and lower back.
Emma in Bromley x