(Part 1 is here.)
3. For the past few weeks I'd been feeling like I needed to crack my lower back but couldn't because my stomach was in the way. It was affecting the way I ran but wasn't exactly painful, definitely nothing I couldn't run through and nothing that bothered me when I wasn't running. At the same time I was noticing an occasional sensation in my pelvis -- not really pain, it just felt like my hips or pelvis was spreading. Amanda said she'd felt the same thing so I didn't give it much thought.
Then last Tuesday I ran my normal trails in Rassie Wicker with Lauren R. and my lower back was killing me by the end of the run. For the rest of the night I literally could hardly walk -- I used both hands and the railing to make it up three stairs from the garage to the house. It was borderline excruciating to walk or even stand.
I got online and self-diagnosed it as a problem with my SI joint. Apparently, near the end of pregnancy your body releases a hormone to relax the pelvic area and prepare the joints for childbirth. Occasionally it releases too much and the ligaments get too loose and unstable.
Normally I would wait out this kind of thing but a) the pain was really, really bad and b) I am terrified of chronic back problems and c) everything thing I read said this problem could get worse with future pregnancies, of which I'm hoping for several and d) I will go insane if I can't run again soon. All in all it seemed like something I should try to nip in the bud.
After NINE DAYS of not running the pain is much better but I still can't really walk without limping. So this morning I had the first chiropractor visit of my life. He said it's definitely an SI joint issue but the good news is it should improve a lot with some specific exercises (that I have to go back next week to get -- paying another specialist co-pay, annoying).
He said I should take another week or two off from running while doing these exercises, but after that I should be able to run again (while continuing the exercises for several months). I'm sure it will be awesome running for the first time after two or three weeks off in mid-June at 36 weeks pregnant, but whatever -- I won't complain. I was sure he was going to tell me to just hold off on running until after Claire's born (which I would have ignored, but it's nice to have official approval). He also "adjusted" me and it felt great.
4. This afternoon we had the routine 34-week appointment. Starting with the next appointment (36 weeks) we'll go weekly. Everything looked fine, baby's heart rate was great, urine was clean, etc. I didn't see my regular doctor and this one told me to keep my heart rate below 140 when running, but it's a little too late to worry about that.
He also told me to try to gain a pound by the next visit because apparently I haven't gained weight in the past month, but I'm not sure if he was serious. I am an eating machine -- anyone who's spent time with me will attest to that -- and I don't know of any other way to gain weight (except to cut back on exercise ... hmm).
5. Here's today's bump!