Lately, several people have found my site searching for information on the pain they are experiencing during pregnancy. I am interested to know what kind of pain you are having, and what your doctor is telling you about it.
My pain started in my back between my shoulder blades, around 22 weeks. It still exists in my back, but about 2 weeks later, migrated to my upper abdominal area and has progressively gotten worse.
It feels like a burning sensation - all the time - right under my rib cage and down the center of my stomach. It is concentrated just right of center, but radiates all across the top of my abdomen. At its worst, it localizes to a point and feels like a knife stabbing me. This has just started in the last few days, and happens whenever I move, change positions, walk, etc.
I have had blood work and a sonogram done on my gall bladder to check for infection and stones. According to both, I have neither. I have tried stretching, which only makes the pain worse. I have taken extra-strength Tylenol, which does not touch it. The back massager helps alleviate the back pain, and reduces the abdominal pain temporarily, but not for long. My doctor - who is at a loss for what is causing the pain - prescribed me Prevacid, in case it is a stomach/acid reflux issue, which only made the acid reflux worse. I have stopped taking it. I've also received a referral to a physical therapist in case it is musculo-skeletal, but since the pain is continually increasing with every movement, I have put that on hold. I am scheduled to see a GI specialist next week, who I expect will do little to nothing since most tests require anesthesia or something else harmful to the baby.
It is getting difficult to get comfortable when I sleep. The only position in which I am really semi-comfortable is on my back, and being 28 weeks along, I am supposed to avoid sleeping in that position. Sleeping on my side (either side) feels like something (gravity?!) is pulling/stretching my insides to the floor, and sends the stabbing pain feelings shooting through my rib cage.
I know I am not supposed to be comfortable in my 3rd trimester. But! This pain started in the 2nd, and anyone to whom I explain it looks at me as if there is something very not right about the location of my pains. Of course, my doctors look at me as if I am the only person on the planet with this kind of problem, and are thoroughly perplexed at what could be the problem.
I find this extremely annoying and aggravating. Finally, after going to my doctor for the 3rd time complaining about this, they have prescribed me Tylenol 3, which is allowing me to sleep and is taking the edge off the pain. But it is neither alleviating it altogether, nor does it identify what the freaking problem is. Plus, I really don't want to be feeding my baby T3's on a regular basis.
Regarding the baby, he seems to be fine. His heartbeat is clear, he looks perfect on the ultrasounds, all signs point to this is not affecting him. THANK GOD!
So, please, if you are having similar issues during your pregnancy (or know someone who is), please share them with me, and let me know what your doctor is telling you about it. What tests have they done? Have they reached any conclusions? Do they seem as dumbfounded as mine do?! How do you feel? Is the pain similar, different, similar but different? I would definitely like to know.
All the best...
Edited 2/2/2007 to add:
I went for a consultation with a chiropractor today. They do work with many pregnant women, but usually because of the lower back pain experienced during pregnancy. I made sure they understood that what I am feeling is "not normal pregnancy pain".
Of course, they cannot do x-rays, but he felt my spine and noticed a definite curve in the middle section of my back, which is putting pressure on the opposite side and causing the extreme pain. He put me on a table that has a break-away section for my pregger-belly. He mashed around, particularly in the sensitive areas, which were really hurting today. Within a few minutes, my back had popped several times. He said that's all he wanted to do today, and was actually surprised that my back popped like it did given that it had been locked up for the past four months.
Ladies, I stood up and IMMEDIATELY felt relief in my abdomen. The burning sensation was not there at all. It's the first time I've not felt it in months! It was almost strange.
He told me that it would not be a permanent relief, and that it would probably take a few adjustments for it to last. He also said that my back will probably get sore again because it's so used to being in that cramped position, and will tend to draw back up. I am scheduled to see him again on Monday, as well as have a pre-natal massage at the same clinic.
The relief in my abdomen is enough to make me do cartwheels! Doc was very understanding to my pain, and could immediately tell that something was not right. He also said that many times, our posture has so much to do with the intensity of pain we feel, and that although not super bad, I could improve upon that as well. Course, being pregnant, we're prone to poor posture.
It's been almost an hour, and my abdomen still does not hurt, burn, feel numb or have stabbing pain. My mid-back/shoulder blade is hurting again, which I expected. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.