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24 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy week 24

 - 24 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy week 24
24 weeks pregnant © iStockphoto

This week I was finally seen regarding my back pain. I went for a routine antenatal appointment but this time it was with my GP.

It started the same way as usual with looking at how I was doing in terms of blood pressure, urine sample (which this time I remembered) and then a listen to my baby’s heart. All perfectly normal. Phew.

This time the GP measured my uterus, taking a measurement from the top of my bump (my head end) to the bottom of bump (my bladder). I measured 24cm which if I remember from my last pregnancy its basically 1cm per week of pregnancy.

However I am going to confirm this at my next appointment. The main aim for this appointment was to get some help with my sciatica.

So when asked how I was doing with this pregnancy, I was quick to bring up my sciatica - determined I was going to get help once and for all.

I described my sciatica as a shooting pain which went from my buttock to the arch of my foot. The immediate pain is sharp like an electric shock followed by numbness down my leg and a chronic pain which feels like severe cramp which can last from 10 minutes to an hour.

I also explained that I could hardly put weight on my right leg when it occurred and have been known to be stuck in one position when it gets really bad.

I explained that it mostly occurred when standing, usually after picking my little boy up or if standing for long periods of time. The worst is when at work as I am moving constantly and although I don’t partake in heavy manual handling I am still lifting or moving fairly awkward equipment.

It is usually after a shift that it will start and I do find that trying to walk let alone get upstairs is almost impossible. I also explained that it can occur when lying down especially if lying on my back.

Back examination

Pregnancy back pain © iStockphoto

So for the first time in this whole pregnancy, the doctor actually did a clinical examination of my back.

She got me to stand and she prodded different areas of my back. At first I was embarrassed as where she touched it genuinely didn’t hurt but then as she went lower down my back, I actually lurched forward.

“So that’s tender?” she asked, “Just a bit!”

She then got me to bend down to my toes which is almost impossible and when asked to reach down my side to my surprise I could go far on my left but had hardly any range of movement on my right.

I was then asked to lie on my back and lift my left leg in the air and I got it pretty far but when asked to do my right I couldn’t believe how little I could.

I can genuinely say it surprised me how little movement I had in my right leg considering I hadn’t had a flair up of my sciatica for at least two days.

The doctor could see there was a problem and it is really due to the excess weight from the pregnancy on my back and particularly the sciatic nerve. So she gave me a couple of options.

Option one was stronger pain relief which to be honest I really don’t want to take as I really don’t want to take anything whilst pregnant, I only very rarely have paracetamol unless I’m feeling really bad.

Option two was physiotherapy in order to try and strengthen the back and try to prevent the condition worsening, and that’s the option I have taken. I am all for hard work and prevention medicine so that’s what I am going for.

My first appointment is in a weeks time so I will let you know how it goes. To be honest it just feels good to be taken seriously and have something done about it.

As for baby, I am finding he is more active in the eveining then any other time which is really nice as it is usually when our little boy has gone to bed so my husband and I get some quality bump time.

My sister also had her little baby boy this week and he is gorgous and ever so tiny, it really has made me more excited about our new addition, however it has also reminded me of the sleepless nights that are about to start again...

But to be fair, my little one doesn’t really sleep that well now so what’s another couple of years of sleepless nights to an already sleep deprived mumma?!

Read more of Roanna's week by week pregnancy blog! 

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Roanna Dolan
03/08/2011
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