pregnancy

"I was in pain for years after childbirth. Then recently, a doctor referred me to get an X-ray."

Four years ago I had a beautiful baby girl.

I was 36, so was considered a geriatric pregnancy but other than going 10 days overdue and having to be induced and a bit of tearing on delivery, it all went pretty well without a hitch.

But after all the swelling went down and the scars healed, I started to get to know my new post baby body, and realised something wasn’t right.

pain after birth
"I realised something wasn’t right". Image: Supplied.

There was pain. It radiated from my pelvis out and across my hips, it was constant, coming and going in waves of stabbing intensity. It got worse after physical activity. I could no longer sit for extended periods of time and when I stood up, lightning bolts would shoot out from my lower back.

It made sitting down to breastfeed difficult and sitting down to play with my baby on the floor wasn’t even an option, I had to lay down.

pain after birth
"It made sitting down to breastfeed difficult." Image: Supplied.

I went to see a physio thinking I’d pulled a muscle. What I didn't do was seek out a physio that specialises in treating women, which was a mistake. I was informed it could be an issue with my sciatic nerve. The physiotherapist performed acupuncture which would relieve the muscles for a short time but inevitably the pain would return within a day or two.

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I visited two GP’s. The first told me that it was due to my lack of exercise and if I lost some weight, it would help with the pain. The second told me to buy a donut pillow to sit on and take some Nurofen to see if it gets better. By this stage it had been two years.

Listen: How to get back in the mood for baby number two. Post continues after audio.

Four years down the track and I’d had enough. We moved house recently and at the end of the two days I could barely stand up straight and rolling over in bed was so painful I was dreading turning in for the night even though I was exhausted.  I went to another GP who finally sent me off to have some x-rays.

This is what your standard coccyx bone looks like.

pain after birth
Image: Getty.

And this is mine, it's dislocated.

pain after birth
Image: Supplied.
pain after birth
Image: Supplied.
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The coccyx bone is connected to the sacrum or the bottom of your spine, by the amphiarthrodial joint. It allows some very slight movement of the tailbone but in a lot of cases it fuses with sacrum. During childbirth, your coccyx can be bruised, cracked or dislocated like mine was.

It’s also an anchor point for many of the tendons and muscles in the lower part of your back which is why when it’s damaged, you can get pain across the area.

I’m yet to finalise my treatment plan but the options aren’t glamorous. The same way you might have seen a doctor manipulate a shoulder or hip back into place on a medical show on the tele, when your coccyx is dislocated the doctor has to manipulate it through your rectum.

pain after birth
"Don’t sit back and just deal with pain." Image: Supplied.

So just when I thought the invasive fun of childbirth was behind me, it ended up being in my behind!

Moral of the story is, don’t sit back and just deal with pain, keep asking for help and finally you may hit on someone like I did who can discover the cause and put an end to years of discomfort.

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