iVillage editor Alana House confesses …
Remember the '80s song, 99 Luftballons? That was the theme song for my pregnancy. Except the balloons were purple. And they were in my pants.
I have never written these words until now. In fact, I will need to take several deep breaths before I do … OK, I’m ready … no, I’m not …
Ah, bugger it, I’m just going to type them and be done with it.
Vulval varicose veins.
Ever heard of them? I hadn’t until I was six months pregnant.
I'd complained to my obstetrician about terrible pains DOWN THERE when I got up in the morning. It felt like my nethers were going to explode whenever I got up from a sitting or lying position.
Presumably all vaginal examinations had ceased by that stage. The obstetrician simply listened to my symptoms and gave his verdict: symphysis pubis disfunction. Or was it diastasis symphysis pubis?
I can’t quite remember.
This is how Baby Center describes the pubis stuff: “The two halves of your pelvis are connected at the front by a stiff joint called the symphysis pubis. This joint is strengthened by a dense network of tough, flexible tissues, called ligaments. To help your baby pass through your pelvis as easily as possible, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which softens the ligaments.
“As a result, these joints move more during and just after pregnancy, causing inflammation and pain, known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD.
“A related condition is diastasis symphysis pubis (DSP), in which the gap in the pubic joint widens too far.”
Whichever it was, I was given a referral to be fitted for a special belt to hold my pelvis together.
So off I waddled to the belt maker who expressed concern that perhaps I wasn’t a candidate. But, as a non-medical practitioner, she wasn’t keen to take a peek. No worries. I wasn’t all that keen on a strange, non-medical practioner peeking either.
The belts were pricey so I decided to waddle back home and get my husband to take a look. I had an ENORMOUS belly by that point, so there was no chance I’d be getting a stickybeak.
He remains quite scarred by what he saw. My nether regions were in quite a state. Gigantic and PURPLE. He faintly suggested it might be better if we never had sex ever again.