I’m the first to admit that I’m a Sally Sad Pants for the majority of my pregnancies. It’s not just the physical aspect of major discomfort, but the mental damage a seemingly exponentially growing body can have on my psyche.
The pinched pubic bone nerve is legit now. With mini Gwinn, I used ice packs, support girdles, yoga- anything I could do to alleviate the pain, I tried. My doctor didn’t have much advice to give on the issue, and it’s not exactly like you can get a massage to help this. It’s back full swing, and taking a toll on my day to day. When I roll over in my sleep, or get out of bed, or out of a car, go up and down stairs- pretty much any movement where your legs move at all- I feel shooting pain. Good times, right? Really, if it was just the physical stuff that I was combating (you know, the growing belly, the bizarrely curving spine to accommodate the baby ‘bump’, swollen feet, etc), I could probably manage this second go around the block.
But, like I’ve written about long ago on this blog, I also have body dysmorphic disorder. It’s not a commonly known mental disorder because it’s one enveloped in shame. Those of us that have been diagnosed with it (and those that haven’t) don’t want to talk about it. It’s an obsessive mental disorder that focuses on a few flaws, perceived or real, in one’s appearance. For me, those flaws that I’m neurotic about are my face and my weight. Since I’m prone to acne, particularly while pregnant and postpartum, my skin looks like a topographical map. And my weight? Well, I’m not one of those fortunate goddesses who only gains 13 pounds while pregnant. I think my boobs weigh that much now.
Is it sacrilegious to buy a burka and niqab?
Any way. I try to keep my mouth shut about it. When polite inquirers ask how I’m feeling, I refrain from saying, “Fat.” But this little corner of the interwebs is my sound board, so I’m telling you. When someone tells me to cheer up or shut up or “just think about your baby!”, it’s like telling someone with depression to “just feel better”. Do you tell someone with a broken leg to just feel better? No? That’s because it’s a “real”, physical issue. Mental disorders aren’t perceived as “real” to many. But the fact is that BDD has been crippling in many instances in my life. I’m embarrassed to be seen in public, dreading to even go to my doctor’s office tomorrow. And the last thing I need is to be shamed for feeling ashamed. Except for maybe another pinched nerve. That’s probably the actual last thing I need.