Relief from pregnancy back and hip pain

As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been suffering from back, hip and butt pain since I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I’m not in the medical field, but from doing sports and practicing yoga my whole life I have a basic understanding in how reactive our muscles are. So I figured all of my pain was due to my shifting pelvis and the weight I was gaining. What I didn’t know what how it all related and what to do about it.

back pain pic

My first stop on the road to relief was a chiropractor who was comfortable working with pregnant women. Dr. Kevin Moriarty is amazing; the other practitioners in his office call him the wizard! If you live in Southern NH and need a chiropractor I highly recommend him. The good news is that he was able to identify that my hips were out of line by about the length of a thumb nail. He was able to do some basic manipulations that helped to realign me. The bad news is that the realignment wouldn’t stick! So after a day or so I was right back where I started.

Enter the most fabulous massage therapist I’ve ever been to, Rhonda Cavers. What impresses me the most about Rhonda is how knowledgeable she is. She explained all of the muscles and nerves to me and how they were being affected by the pregnancy. I feel so much relief after my visits with her. Unfortunately, just as with the chiropractic treatments, it was short-lived.

The most recent specialist I’ve started visiting is a physical therapist. Kelly at Hands on Healing Physical Therapy has helped me achieve some longer term relief. Beyond the scheduled treatments, she has provided me with an arsenal of stretches and exercises I can do at home. Also, I would recommend inviting your significant other to one of your appointments. Kelly showed my husband how to help me do some of the adjustments and stretches and it’s made a big difference. It’s a little tough stretching on your own with a big belly getting in your way!

Besides using this combination of professional treatments, there are a few other suggestions I wanted to mention that have helped me with the pain:

– Icing your tailbone/sacrum/hip area and using some numbing gel (I use China Gel)

– Portable back massager to help coax the muscles out of spasm

– Pregnancy belt (I use the Gabrialla maternity support belt)

– Pregnancy belly lift tank top (I use the BellyBra maternity support tank)

I hope that some of these suggestions help you. My pain isn’t completely gone and I wouldn’t expect it to be. However, I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be able to sleep on my side again! If you have any questions please let me know. I’m not a medical professional, so definitely talk to your doctor/midwife before trying anything.


A teaching moment for him…but I sure did learn a lot!

Sometimes the small teaching moments with our kids can become “ah-ha” moments of our own. I stumbled upon one of these today. Cole was having a typical three year old tantrum before naptime. When I finally got him into his bed he wanted to talk about all the things that made him sad. He’d had plenty of time to feel what he felt and now I wanted to help him move on from it.

“Cole, instead of talking about the things that make you sad, let’s talk about the things that make you happy.”

As he started to share his happy list with me (his stuffed animal Piggy…ice pops…Caillou…etc.) a light bulb went off in my head.

I’ve always been pretty good at shining a happy face out to the world, but behind closed doors I’m not always all that happy. The truth is I’ve been pretty overwhelmed since finding out we are having twins. Most people have their fabulous times and challenging times and this is just one of those challenging times! I need to take the advice that I gave to my three year old. Instead of focusing on the things that make me sad and overwhelmed I need to make more of an effort to remind myself of the things that make me happy. Although my list definitely doesn’t include Caillou, I certainly have a lot to be thankful for and long line of things that make me happy, starting with these two handsome guys!

Greg and Cole at lake

Grateful for these teaching moments. I sure do learn a lot…and hope he does too 🙂

The pregnancy stuff I could do without


I’m sure I’ll be able to relate to this snarky meme even more once the twins arrive, but it still strikes a chord with me now. For the moms of more than one child out there – how many times did you hear the words “Every pregnancy is different…” uttered from friends, family, and even strangers. A lot, right? I had no idea how true that would turn out to be.

My pregnancy with Cole was pretty easy on my body. Emotionally, I was a train wreck because there were complications that came up related to his health. That’s another story for another day. My twin pregnancy has been just the opposite. I’m totally psyched that they’ve been growing well and looking perfectly healthy. But man oh man has it been tough on my body! The reason I want to share my challenges is not to complain, but to hopefully help another mom who experiences something similar. Sometimes, it’s nice to be reassured you’re not alone!

The nausea started around 5 weeks. Being a stay at home mom and living with your face in a toilet bowl is not ideal. My fondest memory of this time takes place in the bathroom with my 3 year old who followed me in there as he often does. His new favorite game was mimicking the sound I was making and proudly shouting, “Look, Mommy, I’m getting sick like you! [Houaaaah]” Boys are so sweet, aren’t they? 😉

At 12 weeks my midwife prescribed me 4mg of Zofran. I’ve heard Zofran doesn’t work for everyone, but thankfully this magic, glorious pill helped me. It didn’t completely take away the constant sick feeling, but it took the edge off and made it easier to be somewhat productive again. My nausea slowly lessened and then stopped between 18-20 weeks. So here is a message for all of you pregnant gals out there who are being told that morning sickness will end around 12-13 weeks, but yours doesn’t. Hang in there and you’re not alone! Eat whatever you can keep down and work with your doctors/midwives to make sure you’re staying hydrated. I seriously ate McDonald’s fries all the time because it settled my stomach. Whatever.

Okay so 18 weeks comes along and I’m feeling like a rock star because I’m not getting sick all of the time. I had even started practicing yoga again! Then BAM. The worst pain I’ve felt since child birth creeps into my back, hips and butt. To draw a picture for you. I went from this:

prental yoga

Happy pregnant yogi mom!

To this:

Mad at the world because it hurts to move mom…

I couldn’t sleep on my side (no a Snoogle does not help!) so I had to try and sleep sitting up. Mostly, I spent my nights doing zombie laps around the house because it felt better to move than to be still. My midwife kind of wrote my pain off telling me “it’s just sciatica” but I knew it was something more than that. We have to trust our intuition and if an alarm bell is going off about something you have to follow your gut. I took matters into my own hands, did a ton of research, spoke to other moms who experienced similar pain during pregnancy and made appointments with three different types of specialists. To describe what’s happening to me in a nutshell:

As my pelvis is shifting, my hips are moving out of alignment and this is causing my piriformis muscle (which is a butt muscle) and other muscles around my hip and in my lower back to spasm because they are working overtime to try and put things back where they should be.

Constant state of muscle spasm = ouchie.

As I mentioned, I’ll be devoting a whole post to this subject in order to share tips on what has been helping to provide some relief. In the meantime, if anyone is feeling pain in this area as a result of being pregnant, please let me know because I want to help!

Rant over 🙂

25 Weeks Twin Pregnancy Update

Twin onesies

I had my second ultra sound at Maternal Fetal Medicine on Thursday and it went great! When the perinatologist came in with the two growth charts he said he could have printed out just one because they are identical. Talk about twinning, right? Both babies are measuring exactly 2 pounds, which puts them above the 60th percentile. I don’t want to be a numbers freak or anything, but Cole measured really small for a lot of my pregnancy so I was relieved to see that these babies are growing so well! Whenever I eat I imagine a scene in my belly similar to Pac Man for some reason. Chomp, chomp, chomp.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat tons of protein and calcium during the second half of my second trimester to fatten up these cherubs. Besides my usual fruit, veggie, and protein shake cravings I’ve added quite of bit of meat and dairy milk to my diet. I’ve read that weight gain is especially important during weeks 20 – 24 for a twin pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association if a mother of twins gains 24 pounds by the 24th week she reduces her chances of preterm labor. I’m happy to report that I gained 23 pounds by week 24 so I was pretty close!

This pregnancy has once again reminded me how absolutely incredible the female body is. Dr. Kauffman, my Perinatologist (who is fabulous by the way!), explained to my husband and me that a certain demographic of women is more likely to get pregnant with multiples. A few of the characteristics he mentioned are: tall, overweight, and over 35. That describes me perfectly, right?? Growing these babies in my little body has been the most physically challenging experience in my life…and I still have quite a few weeks left! However, I’m so grateful for this miracle that has been given to my family. Here are a couple of 3D shots from our visit.

twin ultra sound

Facing each other

twin ultra sound

Our Baby Boy

Our baby girl

Our baby girl

A Tale of Twins: There are two in there!

By the time my husband and I stepped through the doors at my midwife’s office for our first ultrasound at 18 weeks I already knew there something different about this pregnancy. I was still taking Zofran for the nausea, the aches and pains had already settled into my back and hips, and my growing belly was growing fast. We’d heard a heartbeat on the dopplar around 12 weeks and my midwives insisted that my growth was normal, but something was nagging at me. Let’s call it mother’s intuition!

I laid down on the examination table, the tech splattered gloopy gel onto my belly and the ultrasound dopplar began to search for the baby. I looked at the monitor and glanced up at Greg to see if he saw what I just saw. Two big round balls were staring back at us. And there is no mistaking the infamous Benson noggin! Continuing to look at the screen she said, “Well, there are two in there.” And then she looked over at us, “Did you already know you were having twins?” We didn’t.

Questions started twirling around in my mind. Identical or fraternal? Two sacs or one? Am I going to be the queen amongst a king and three princes in my house? Answers started to come quickly as the ultra sound proceeded. She found our baby girl (baby A) on the right side of my belly and then our baby boy (baby B) on the left side of my belly. They are di/di twins which means they are fraternal twins with separate sacs and separate placentas. They have a very low risk of growth problems since they aren’t sharing anything besides space!

An image that I will cherish forever is seeing my two miracles snuggled together for the first time. They mirrored each other’s movements like perfect dance partners.

twin ultrasound

Through all of the excitement and well wishes that we’ve received from all of our friends and family, something my dad said to me has stuck in my mind since it rings so true. “What a life adventure,” he said. We feel so blessed to have been given these miracles that are growing inside of me. It’s going to be a wild ride!