IT HAPPENED TO ME: You've Heard of "Back Labor"? I Had "Crotch Labor"

No one ever told me that I could have contractions solely in my crotch.
Publish date:
July 20, 2015
IHTM, labor, delivery, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, Craigslist Killers

I always wanted to be a mom. I never thought about being a manager of a staffing company when I grow up, it’s just what I do to pay my bills. Being a mom was something I chose to do for fun.

Pregnancy itself isn’t known to be fun, but I was having a blast with all the compliments in the beginning. Everyone told me I was “glowing”; the truth was that they’d just never seen me not hung over before. Gestation was a good look for me.

Everything was going swimmingly until I fell down the stairs and hurt my tailbone at 20 weeks.

To this day, I don’t know if it got broken or if it was just bruised. They couldn’t X-ray me because I was pregnant. I spent all this money going to specialists, but no one was able to tell me anything I hadn’t already read on the Internet. It hurt to sit, and sitting was what I did all day at both of my jobs.

At 30 weeks pregnant, I was running on the treadmill (I know, I’m a crazy person), and when I was finished, I could not lift my one leg off the ground. At all. I dragged it upstairs and somehow managed to get showered and dressed before planting myself on the couch to wait for a lovely couple from Craigslist to come and buy a changing table from me.

I won a changing table from a contest on some lame message board for expectant mothers. I’m surprised I won because I never win anything, and everyone on that message board hated me because I don’t forbid my husband to masturbate.

Anyway, some Craigslist couple was coming over, and my husband was still asleep. I thought maybe this couple was going to kill me and cut my baby out of my stomach, because that’s what people from Craigslist sometimes do. I wouldn’t be able to run from the crazed Craigslist couple, because of my injury.

Fortunately, my husband woke up before the couple came, because I would not have been able to answer the door. When they got here, they appeared really confused because they had been communicating with me, and I never mentioned my husband. They seemed scared to come in when my husband greeted them. They couldn’t see me because the couch wasn’t in view.

Once they came all the way inside, they saw me creeping on the couch, and were probably wondering why I didn’t get the door or say hello. They probably thought I was hiding because I was going to stab them. In the end, the changing table was purchased, and no one was stabbed.

I missed work the next day and made a call to my midwife, who referred me to a pain specialist, who then referred me to a physical therapist who specializes in pregnancy-related pelvic pain. I diagnosed myself with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).

I had many of the symptoms: trouble walking, trouble rolling over in bed and getting out of the car (any movement where my legs separated). My hurt tailbone was likely the culprit, because all of those bones are connected. The injury, coupled with the pregnancy hormone Relaxin, resulted in this miserable condition. I read all I could on SPD, and became really sad about my future.

It seemed like a lot of people did not recover after pregnancy, and were actually made worse by childbirth. Several accounts mentioned barely being able to walk up until labor and delivery, but coming home completely incapacitated after childbirth, having to leave the hospital in a wheelchair!

I read numerous things that said rest is best, and many more things that said resting will make it worse. I was confused, in pain, and wanting to get this baby out of me, while also being terrified that labor and delivery would cripple me for life.

As my due date approached, I started having the signs you’re supposed to have: mild stomach cramping, change in discharge, change in bowels, etc. The stomach cramping gradually got stronger and started to have a pattern of every 10 minutes.

I was told not to go to the hospital until the cramps are too strong to talk through, and/or if they’re 5 minutes apart for one hour. Much to my husband’s chagrin, there’s nothing in the world can get me to stop talking, so I would never meet that first criterion. The 10 minute contractions persisted for 4 days. On the 3rd day they started to get lower…and lower…and lower. The contractions were no longer in my stomach; they were in my crotch.

I had heard of “back labor” before, but never “crotch labor.” No one ever told me that I could have contractions solely in my crotch. I assume this had something to do with my SPD.

The crotch contractions picked up steam, becoming more and more painful, but mostly still 10 minutes apart. I hadn’t slept for more than an hour nap here and there for 4 days, so it was time to go to the hospital and ask for an induction or assisted suicide; I was fine with either option at that point.

I told my husband that I was worried we’ll get sent home and it will be embarrassing or annoying. We debated whether or not to even go, but I’m so glad we did. As soon as I got in the car, my crotch implosions started coming 4 minutes apart.

At the hospital, they hooked me up to a monitor to check my contractions. I wasn’t quite dilated enough for automatic admission, so they were going to leave me and check again in an hour, but then my water broke.

There was no question about whether or not I wanted an epidural. I had labored at home for 4 days and just couldn’t take it anymore. The epidural gave me fast relief, but the relief was short-lived.

I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to poop. My husband was falling asleep, and I barked at him “I have to poop! Really bad! Google this!” He groggily offered the results of his search: “The baby is ready to come out.”

We alerted the doctors, who told us we are crazy, and there’s no way I’m ready. They wouldn’t even check me. Minutes later, the anesthesiologist came to check on me, and my whole body was shaking, from holding in this big poop. She asked me what was wrong, and when I told her, she ran out of the room to get the doctor. At her urging, the doctor checked me, and said “Wow! You really are ready to push! I’ve never seen someone dilate so fast!”

Because I had an epidural, I could not feel my contractions. They had me hooked up to something that was supposed to detect them, but no one could pick them up. I wonder if it’s because they were in my crotch, and not my stomach.

Because we didn’t know when the contractions were, the doctors were letting me push whenever I wanted. My husband was so excited to meet our baby. I was so excited to shit on the bed.

Seriously, I was only interested in pushing that shit out. It was so painful to hold in. They kept asking me if I was having contractions, and I’d just lie and say yes, so I can push out my poop.

After 45 minutes of determined pushing/pooping, my baby was born and she was wonderful. My relief was immediate, and I’m happy to say I’m among the lucky women who are completely free of their SPD post-partum.

I will be forever indebted to the person who took my crotch pain away. I might have given her life, but she gave me a world without pain. And an excuse to shit on a team of nurses and doctors.