I woke up early on Friday morning, excited about the day ahead and my plans to see several promising houses with my realtor. At 6:30 a.m., checking out houses on my laptop, I noticed my right hip felt a bit tight. By 8:30 a.m., it was all I could do to fix breakfast for James Michael.
When James got home from running the morning classes at the gym around 9 a.m., he found JM in his highchair and me crumpled beside him in a chair with silent tears streaming down my face. The sciatica I experienced on my right side three weeks ago was back, and with a vengeance. He tried to help with massage and even attempted stretching my right side out on the floor.
But the pain was too intense and stretching was impossible. I was writhing on the floor, sobbing and nauseous from the pain, just hoping it would let up. Poor JM had no idea what was going on. He tried to come sit on my belly and chest while James was working on my right side, but his feelings were hurt when I shifted him to the floor. He even laid his head down on my chest, the sweetest thing ever. He could tell his mama was in a lot of pain.
At some point, maybe 9:30 a.m., before I even knew what was happening, James was on the phone with 911 and an ambulance was dispatched. Because we live in a second floor condo, a firetruck was also dispatched. I managed to make my way down our outside stairs with the help of the firemen, and was then strapped onto a gurney and loaded into the ambulance.
Meanwhile, James was frantically rounding up JM and followed us to Northside Hospital, calling my mom on the way so she could come pick up JM. In the ambulance, the EMT gave me oxygen and tried twice to put an IV in my hand, with no luck. I would never ever recommend getting an IV in an ambulance. You can imagine how rough the drive is, and how much that needle moved around under my skin.
Once we got to L&D, they checked the baby to make sure he was OK. Thankfully, all is well in my little womb. And thankfully, I knew very early on I wasn’t in labor because there was no pain in my midsection, only on my right side.
After two more attempts at an IV from my nurse, she called in the professionals, thank goodness. The guy on the IV team was amazing. I barely felt a thing and he got the IV right in on the first try. Apparently, the fifth time’s the charm. I will definitely request someone from that team when I go into labor with Baby #2.
They gave me Percocet, but it did nothing to relieve the pain. I had ice packs on the inside and outside of my right leg and buttock, hoping they would somehow numb the pain. Then they gave me fluids and Fentanyl through my IV. I started feeling a bit loopy minutes after the Fentanyl started, and it was quick to take the edge off of the pain, though there was no masking it completely.
As a pregnant mom, taking any kind of medications besides Tylenol was very nerve-wracking for me. I asked a million questions before allowing these drugs, despite the amount of pain I was in. I will say that this has been the worst pain I have ever experienced–worse than when I broke my leg years ago and worse than when I was in labor (before I got an epidural).
It seems I have a muscle strain and sciatica, so my mind started reeling comparing the similarities of when the sciatica hit for the first time three weeks ago and this instance, despite it’s greater severity. As James and I talked through it, we think the trigger might be workout elements that involve my glutes, which I never fully built back up after the birth of James Michael.
Three weeks ago, I did a workout with 80 tire flips (250lbs) two days before the sciatica hit, and this time, I did deadlifts (85lbs) and goblet squats (25lbs) the day before the pain hit and 95lbs squats two days before. Anyone familiar with CrossFit knows that these weights are super light, but apparently they were still too much for my body. So moving forward, until this little baby arrives, I’m not doing any deadlifts, squats or similar movements. I realize that these muscles will only continue to atrophy, but at this point I have to keep the health of the baby and my own health top of mind.
James, the ever-mindful trainer, lovingly said, “Well, between baby #2 and baby #3 you’ll just have to hit CrossFit hard and really focus on rebuilding your strength.” I smiled back at him and said that the biggest obstacle to me working out as much as I want/need is time–time for me. But he promised to help me figure it out and find balance after Baby #2 gets here.
Now don’t get me wrong: I know that compared to the average woman I’m in good shape. But what’s so crazy is when I think back to the kind of shape I was in while pregnant with James Michael. I remember doing 155lb front squats when I was 20 weeks pregnant with him with no problem, and I can’t even imagine doing that kind of weight now. But things change, priorities change. My health takes a back seat to the health and well being of my baby, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
For many people, chiropractic adjustments offer the best relief for sciatica. Because my chiropractor isn’t open on Saturdays, I made an appointment with another practice out of desperation yesterday, and was sorely disappointed in the results. I think the practice is more used to well visits from clients, and the chiro wasn’t able to unjam my right hip. So my chiro managed to squeeze me in during lunch tomorrow. I’m hoping that I’ll be back to normal after this visit, and can hopefully avoid any other extreme sciatica issues if I avoid doing glute exercises.