Seventh grade is always a tough time to be a kid. But when you fall on Halloween and break your tailbone, it can be even tougher. I remember wincing while biting my lip when the doctor suggested I sit on an inflatable “donut” to relieve the pressure of the hard desk chairs in school until I healed. Was he kidding? I’m supposed to walk around with a floatie pillow for my ass, and sit on it? And not expect to be ridiculed?
Like I said, it was a tough time. I endured enough ridicule for a day or two before I gave up on the floatie altogether and decided gritting my teeth and/or sitting on one leg would just have to do.
It wasn’t until years later, when my son was born in ’04, that I’d experience tailbone pain again. He was my VBAC, and he was my biggest baby, and he was stuck coming out with shoulder dystocia. Besides ripping me every way to Sunday, they re-broke my tailbone just to get him out of me. To say it was a traumatic birth experience would be understating it by A LOT.
Ever since that day, my tailbone has ached in a way it didn’t before. I am not particularly sure why – it may not have healed correctly, or perhaps it was such a bad re-break that day. Nonetheless, sitting directly on my tailbone as others can do for me is impossible. Sometimes sitting on the floor for too long will make it ache. And, as you can imagine, each pregnancy since has been particularly trying in that area, nevermind the ridiculous fact that all doctors want you to do is sit.directly.on.your.tailbone while giving birth, so they can “see” the action. It’s why I labor at home for as long as I can.
With Baby Sis, our OB was a God-send. We arrived at the hospital that night with the explicit request that we only get checked, and he obliged, checking me and sending me home, knowing I knew what I was doing. After laboring and resting all night, I arrived early the next morning at 8cm, practically ready to rock and roll, and she was born a short time later. He knew I didn’t want to sit, because of my tailbone, and the entire staff was great in allowing me to ‘do my thing’ until it came time to push.
With Baby Dude, new hospital and area, I didn’t even go in and get checked when labor came on. I knew I wasn’t ready to go yet, and so I stayed home to wait for our in-laws, trying to find peace in the wee hours of the night. But Baby Dude’s position in me was quite different. I couldn’t rest at all. He was directly on my tailbone, applying pressure. These were different labor pains than what I was used to, and I was quite concerned about how this would play out for my poor tailbone.
I, again, arrived at the hospital at 8cm, but this time begging, pleading for pain relief for my tailbone. Each contraction forced him further down and made my tailbone feel like it was pulling apart, like I was being split in two like a wishbone. Despite my rockin’ and rollin’ labor-wise, the second the epidural hit and I sat on my tailbone, my dilation didn’t progress. At all. It was almost like the position I was in stopped him up like a cork inside me, and I stayed at an 8cm until I could feel again, and move myself. But this time, the pain was worse, as I had now been on my tailbone for a couple hours. There was no time for any relief, anything, it was all worn off, I was even worse pain now, and, since I moved, it was time. I pushed through that pain, through the labor pain and tailbone pain and birthed my second largest child, a full pound heavier than my previous.
I am hoping against hope this child remains a teeny one. One that doesn’t seemingly influence my poor tailbone in any way. Labor is tough enough on a woman’s body, but couple that with excruciating tailbone splitting pain, and you’ve got a nightmare.
My tailbone has never officially ‘healed,’ and it always hurts. Just last night, at my son’s Christmas performance, our family stood for twenty-five minutes waiting to enter the gymnasium. I didn’t think simply standing would affect me, but it did. This morning I could barely walk properly. My adoring husband took our children to school while I popped a couple ibuprofen and applied my ol’ trusty heating pad.
I’ve still got twelve weeks to go in this pregnancy, too. I hope all this achin’ isn’t a foreshadowing of things to come. And by ‘things to come,’ I mean, a God-awful labor.
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