I have pelvic girdle pain

Image posed by model.
Image posed by model. 

With my penguin shuffle, my reluctance to part my knees more than a few centimetres, and my inability to walk to the end of the street, I don't recognise myself.

On some days, the crippling pain means I am in agony just climbing the stairs, getting out of the car and even getting out of bed. I can no longer push my son around in his buggy, I can't take him to the park alone, and I can barely lift him out of his cot.

I am suffering, I am told, from pelvic girdle pain.

Kiran Chug
Kiran Chug 

My pregnancy wasn't meant to be like this. It wasn't meant to be memorable for the excruciating pains which don't go away. It wasn't meant to confine me to weeks of immobility. It wasn't meant to prevent me from spending precious quality time alone with my toddler before the birth of his sister saw our little family grow.

Pelvic girdle pain, my doctor explained to me last week, can be experienced by pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy, but often eases completely after delivery. As the body's ligaments relax to prepare for birth, the pelvic bones can become misaligned - causing varying degrees of pain.

I've been experiencing some pain since about 26 weeks, but it is only in the last few weeks that it has really become excruciating. I am now 33 weeks so still have some way to go. Later today, I have my first obstetric physiotherapy appointment, and I'm hoping this brings me some relief. My doctor, who I believe with all the optimism in my heart, has assured me that physio often helps.

The pelvic pain, which can be agony, has made me realise though how lucky I am to have so much support around me from my family. It is incredibly frustrating not being able to do all I want with my toddler because of the pain. I feel like we've lost some of our independence as I can no longer manage outings with just the two of us.

Even being left alone at home with him can be a struggle. I feel terribly guilty for him - this wasn't how I envisaged spending these last weeks together before his sister was born. But then, the pain also makes me realise how lucky I am to have so much help.

The pain has also made me feel guilty in another way. I truly wanted to enjoy pregnancy. I know that I am fortunate to be pregnant for the second time - and I often catch myself thinking I must be the luckiest woman in the world to be having a second child. So complaining about a few aches and pains along the way - particularly when I know my baby is growing well and looking healthy - sometimes makes me feel guilty.

You see, even though I didn't particularly enjoy my first pregnancy, I felt very well apart from morning sickness and then until getting pre-eclampsia at about 36 weeks. I was very active, walked a lot, continued with frequent yoga classes, and tried to keep up many of the activities I had enjoyed before becoming pregnant. This time round, with a 17-month-old boy at home to look after, becoming so immobile has come as a shock. It has, to be brutally honest, made me miserable. And that's what I feel the most guilty about. Because, at the end of this pregnancy journey, I will hold my baby in my arms. I might be experiencing horrendous pain now, but the feeling of guilt, that I have no right to complain, doesn't go away.

Kiran Chug moved to London earlier this year and is expecting her second child. You can follow her on Twitter @kiranchug.

This story originally appeared at Essential Mums.