With the final few weeks of pregnancy comes all kinds of aches and pains, not least in the hips. One writer talks the twinges she felt week 29 of her pregnancy.
It just hit the other night, and now it's a serious preoccupation: my hips hurt. Specifically my left hip. Not a twinge; not a "if-I-do-this-it-hurts-so-I'll-stop-doing-this" sort of pain. But a constant, unfriendly companion. Like the guy next to you on an endless Greyhound trip, legs spread wide, aftershave reeking, and nothing to read or ponder on his own, so always an eye on whatever you're doing. That guy. The one you try to ignore into nonexistence. That guy lives in my left hip.
I'm not so good with discomfort. In fact, I'm a whiner supreme. (That's a regular whiner with sour cream and guacamole.) "How are you feeling?" someone—like the receptionist at the dentist's office—will ask, and I'll put on a brave face for about three seconds. "Great!" I'll say. "Except that my hips are starting to hurt." (Obligatory grimace, motion to the hip.) "I just can't seem to get comfortable, you know?" And the unsuspecting recipient of my pity plea will smile blankly back at me.
If I'm shameless with people I don't know, I'm a portrait of self-pity and attention-seeking from those I'm close to. A special gift, you might say, for those I love the most. Last night, my partner Aron and I were watching a movie in bed, and I was holding the portable DVD player thing in an awkward way, which resulted in not only the hip pain still being there but now some neck and back pain, too, with the added factor of being immobilized like a beached whale, with the pillows all around and the belly in my way and the baby kicking. I flailed around for a while, whimpering, trying to get the pillows to line up perfectly, facing away from the movie for a scene or two, asking Aron for help in the most pathetic way I could. All of which he weathered with a patient half-smile. He's a good man.
Doing something about it
On the advice of my awesome doula, Michelle, I'm headed to a chiropractor today, one who specializes in pre- and postnatal women. I've been to a chiropractor before, a few months after Sylvia was born, because I had some serious pain in my back—probably brought on first by pregnancy and the loosening effects of the hormone relaxin, and then made worse by repetitively lifting and holding Sylvia without regard to how it was affecting my posture. Will my visit today cure me instantly of all discomfort? I doubt it. But it will mean that I'm addressing one of my current "issues" directly—not by complaining about it to other people, or waiting for it to decide to go away on its own. Like packing up my book and snacks and moving to another seat on the Greyhound, instead of just wishing the annoying dude away. Not that I'm giving up whining about it.