A painful ordeal

It’s about 2pm on a Tuesday, and I’m at work, and I start noticing a nagging ache around the area of my left hip. By the time I walk out to my car in the parking lot at 5ish, I’m limping, in pretty severe agony, and can barely lift my left leg.

So I call my gynae, like all the books instruct. Before I can finish saying “pain in my stomach”, she says, “Go straight to the Labour Ward. I’ll tell them you’re on your way. You might be going into labour.”

Now, I know for a fact that I am not going into labour – the pain is constant, not cramp-y, and I’m fairly sure that labour doesn’t start in the left hip/groin region. And I’ve seen enough movies to know that this isn’t the way labour works – I’m not screaming, my water hasn’t broken, etc. Plus, the baby’s been moving around as usual all afternoon. In fact, I’m 99% sure that this has nothing to do with the baby, and everything to do with my poor achey body.

But of course, in the Labour Ward, their main concern is the baby and whether or not she’s decided to enter the world 11 weeks before she’s ready. They strap me very tightly into the monitor (and place the little electronic thingy, conveniently, right over the spot that is causing me all the agony) and leave me on the bed for half an hour, in a very uncomfortable half-sitting, half-lying position. The baby’s heartbeat thumps out on the monitor, distorted every now and then by the white-static sound of her movement.

After half an hour, the nurse comes back, tells me that the monitor hasn’t picked up any contractions (yes, obviously) and that the baby seems fine. I ask what she thinks the problem is and she asks if I wee a lot, (I’m pregnant – of course I do), takes a urine sample and tells me I have a urinary tract infection. I’ve had one on and off for pretty much the whole pregnancy (sorry if that’s TMI) so am not surprised. She calls my gynae, who prescribes a one-shot antibiotic over the phone, and sends me on my way.

On the way home, I can barely lift my foot enough to step on the clutch. I get home, take the antibiotic, and spend the rest of the evening in pain. Panados take the edge off for about half an hour at a time. I can’t sleep because of the ache, but keep thinking that the antibiotic will kick in and that it’ll get better.

I take the next day off. My husband stays home with me in case he needs to drive me back to the hospital. The ache is constantly there, but gets worse and worse. We go grocery shopping, and by the end of it I’m struggling to walk. By 5 o’ clock, the pain’s worse than ever, so I call my GP for a 2nd opinion – this is obviously not related to whatever infection I may or may not have down-there.

My GP hears the words “pain in my stomach” and says – yip, you guessed it – “Come in straight away. You might be going into preterm labour.”

So off we go. The GP gives me an internal exam (*cringe*) and deduces that I am probably not going into labour. (*sigh*). He reckons the pain is muscular and from over-exertion. Which is hard to believe, seeing as the most I exert myself is a half-hour walk every evening, at most. But he gives me a sick note for work and prescribes a few days of bed rest. And a Panado every now and then.

I am incredulous. I am in serious pain, and not one of the three professionals I’ve dealt with can give me an exact prognosis.

So I go home and spend the whole of the next day in bed. And when I get up – would you believe it – the pain has totally disappeared. And I feel like a new person.

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