Symphysis What?

Mom and Dad finally got to meet the OB today. It was a very quick visit. He began to examine Mom and said “Oh boy.” Then he said he’d be back in a few minutes to tell us what was going on. Turns out Mom officially no longer has Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Now Mom has Diastasis Symphysis Pubis which means her symphysis joint has widened more than the normal range for pregnancy of approximately 9mm. Yikes! Unfortunately, just like with SPD, there’s nothing to do about it. 🙁

Poppin’ and Lockin’

Mom had two straight nights of pop free sleep but it was a short-lived success. The popping has come back with a vengeance for the last two nights and it’s worse than ever. Since there isn’t a single position that Mom can sleep in without feeling pain in one place or another, night time is the worst part of Mom’s day.

Unfortunately, the morning isn’t that much better. It takes a few minutes for Mom to rotate her legs out of the bed and get herself into a seated position. If she moves too fast she’ll put weight on her pelvis before she’s had a chance to get it properly aligned and that means a whole world of pain. When she finally does get out of bed, it takes a while for Mom to get her land legs back and to get used to changing weight from one leg to the other.

On top of all that, walking has been especially painful today. Usually walking is only painful if Mom accidentally takes a step that is too big or if Mom steps onto or off the sidewalk the wrong way. But today every single step hurt and that’s a first.

Mom’s midwife said it’s time to send us to an OB to see if there’s anything that can be done to prevent this from getting too much worse in the next three months. So now we just have to wait to find out where we’re getting sent.


I am pleased to announce that Mom didn’t wake Dad up with a scream of pain one single time last night. For the first time in I can’t remember how long, Mom made it through an entire night without popping her pubis symphysis joint once!

Mom has been sleeping almost exclusively on her right side for weeks now. Pregnant women are supposed to avoid sleeping flat on their backs because that can put too much pressure on their Vena Cava and cause all kinds of problems. After a few hours, Mom always wakes up with severe knee, hip, and shoulder pain on the right side and when she tries to adjust she inevitably pops her Pubis Symphysis joint. Mom used to be able to roll over to her left side for some relieve during the last few hours of sleep but now the SPD is making that nearly impossible.

However, last night Mom and Dad propped Mom up with pillows so she could sleep on her back in a reclined position and it worked! Mom did have to change positions a few hours before it was time to wake up because her hips did start to ache but it was much easier to sleep on her side for just a couple of hours at the end of the night then it had been to spend the majority of the night on her side. Hopefully this reclined position will work out for the rest of the pregnancy.

Getting Concerned

You may recall that Mom was diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction back in November. Mom has been receiving treatment at Rivera Family Chiropractic and it helps to relieve some of the pain temporarily but, between appointments, the pain is getting worse and worse. The likelihood of permanent damage is supposed to be quite low, however, the look on the chiropractors face when Mom mentioned a new symptom was cause for concern.

A while ago Mom noticed that her Pubis Symphysis joint would actually pop, like when you crack your knuckles, but not from anything she was doing intentionally. It could be a slight movement, or the stretch of her arm, or even a tiny sneeze – all kinds of small things were causing this little pop to happen but it only happens when Mom is in bed. At first it was just a couple of times a week but, for a while now, it’s been happening at least once a night. Lately it’s been happening with more frequency and a bigger pop. So much so that every time it happens Mom is fearful that this will be the time that she finds herself paralyzed. So at her appointment this afternoon, Mom described this to her chiropractor and the look on the chiropractors face really scared Mom.

The chiropractor said that she really wished she could X-ray Mom to see what the symphysis was looking like but she was sure the midwife would never go for it because she may need to put Mom on bedrest soon if the SPD keeps progressing. She also agreed that Mom should ask the midwife for a prescription for a mobility scooter.

Honestly, this is starting to get a little scary.

Diagnosis: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

The Pubic Symphysis is a small but crucial joint at the very front joining the pubis bones of the left and right sides. It’s a very strong cartilaginous joint (to be precise it is secondary cartilaginous). This joint allows very little movement. Towards the very end of pregnancy and through labor and delivery the relaxin hormone is released which loosens up the joints and allows them to stretch so the baby can be delivered. For some unfortunate women, the relaxin hormone is produced much earlier than needed and this can cause the condition Mom has called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction.

That very strong and tough cartilage joining the pubis bones has loosened up significantly causing my Moms pubis bones to wiggle in and out of their socket with the slightest provocation. It causes Mom a lot of pain. Regular chiropractic treatment helps to relieve some of it temporarily but there isn’t any cure for the condition. Once I’m born, Mom’s body should stop producing relaxin and Mom should be OK. That is, as long as there’s no permanent damage. The likelihood of permanent damage is supposed to be quite low so no one is too worried about it right now.

“A related condition is diastasis symphysis pubis (DSP), in which the gap in the pubic joint widens too far. The average gap between the bones in a non-pregnant woman is between 4mm and 5mm. During pregnancy it’s normal for this gap to widen by 2mm or 3mm. If the gap is 10mm or more, DSP is diagnosed. It’s rare, and can only be identified by X-ray.”

What it all boils down to is that this is a serious condition that will hopefully resolve itself but definitely as to be monitored just in case it becomes a bigger issue. Fingers crossed that Mom is in the majority and has no long-term problems!

More information:

Goodbye Crazy Doctor Lady

Today the crazy D.O. said a scar on Moms eyebrow might be making her butt hurt. She also kept trying to convince Mom and Dad that they should switch to a raw vegetable diet. She insisted that we’d be getting plenty of protein from the vegetables and that anyone who said you can’t get enough protein from a raw vegetable diet was under-educated! Needless to say, the midwife disagreed!

On the way home when Mom was on the phone with the birth center she asked for the number of the chiropractor they recommended. Thankfully Rivera Family Chiropractic accepts walk-ins and Mom and Dad were able to stop in on their way home. The chiropractor also thought that this stuff about migratory pain from scars was a bunch of nonsense. He can’t take x-rays because that would be harmful for me but he thinks regular chiropractic adjustments will help Mom out. At this point Mom is willing to try anything.

Third Time’s A Charm?

Or not. While Mom does feel better immediately after each visit, the relief only lasts a few days. The actual pain is getting worse, the amount of time Mom needs to sit in a chair before the pain gets aggravated is getting shorter, and the amount of time Mom needs to recover from aggravating the pain is getting longer. It’s not looking good here.

Mom borrowed a copy of this PH Miracle for Weight Loss book that the doc wants her to read and try. Mom’s going to ask the midwife to look at it when she has her first prenatal appointment next week but Lindsay is familiar with the diet and strongly advises against it. She says it is, by definition, a radical diet change and that is extremely ill-advised for pregnant women. What to do, what to do?

D.O. Take Two

Mom and Dad went to see the D.O. again today. Last time the appointment was really early and Mom and Dad had been up late visiting with my Auntie Leanne and cousin Jayne so Dad took a nap in the car while Mom saw the doctor. This time Mom wanted Dad in the room to hear about this miracle diet the doctor had been pushing. Good thing too because no way Mom could have convinced Dad that a medical professional was insisting that Mom could get enough protein by eating a diet consisting of pretty much nothing but vegetables!

But it gets better. Mom was discussing her insurance situation with the doc. (Mom is about to max out on her Long Term Disability which means money will be tight and Mom will only have Dads mediocre insurance instead of the two plans she’d had for the past year.) Mom told the doc she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to keep seeing her after the plan maxes out next week. The doc said she’d heard about a work-at-home opportunity on Sean Hannity’s radio show. She said she hadn’t researched it but it sounded like a great opportunity.

So now this doc is pushing some crazy diet AND Sean Hannity’s money-making schemes. Not a good sign. But at least Mom feels better after every visit.

A New D.O.

Today Mom and Dad met with a neuromuscular skeletal specialist. She didn’t have a diagnosis per se but she did rule out sciatica and found what she believe to be the root cause of the problem, a twisted sacrum. She’s going to have Mom go in once a week for osteopathic manipulations. She hopes the issue will be resolved within a month or two but she wouldn’t address Moms concerns about what extra pregnancy weight will do to the problem. She just said she expects Mom to *loose* weight because she’s going to recommend some miracle diet. Well, at least she has a plan.