Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Right Answer

I have recently started practicing at a new yoga studio – which is a long, yucky story, which I’m sure I’ll share at some point – and as I’m getting to know folks there, I am often asked the question, “So, how long have you been doing yoga?”

I think this is a reasonable question, but I tend to have a terrible time answering it. I think it’s because people want “the short answer”, and I am fairly reluctant to give it. But okay, here it is:

The Short Answer: 6 ½ years.

The Not-So-Short Answer: I’ve been practicing for over six years, but I took a long break when I had my son, so I’ve really been back to practicing for about 6 months.

The-Not-Short-At-All-Answer: Well, I started practicing about 6 ½ years ago, and for about three years, I practiced regularly. Then, I went through yoga teacher training and really developed a consistent, six-day-a-week practice. I was feeling great about my body and my practice, and then I got knocked up.

So during my first trimester, I didn’t practice at all. In fact, I could barely walk across a room without needing a nap. But I practiced during my second trimester…and then not so much in my third. You know how it goes, no one wants to bend and twist with 35 extra pounds hanging out around the midriff.

Well, then my labor was horrific – which, again, is a story for another day – and I couldn’t walk for a while. No really, I couldn’t walk. Came-home-with-a-walker, not-allowed-to-be-alone-with-my-baby-in-
case-there-was-a-fire-because-I-wouldn’t-be-able-to-get-us-out couldn’t walk. So it took some time to heal from that - about 2 ½ years.

Then, I finally got some relief for the chronic back and hip pain caused by the labor and delivery, although I do still have the arthritis, but there doesn’t seem to be anything much to be done about the separation in my pubic symphysis – another labor injury.

To explain, the pubic symphysis is the joint between the pubic bones in the front of the pelvis. (For a visual, and a strange comparison to rat anatomy, click here). Apparently, my particular symphysis was stretched all out of whack resulting in the bones separating from each other on a more permanent basis.

From ivillage, “Pubic symphysis separation is a
recognized complication of pregnancy with incidence
estimates ranging from one in 300 to one in 30,000
(lucky me)
. Characteristic symptoms of symphyseal
separation include suprapubic pain and tenderness
with radiation to the back of legs (it hurts), difficulty
ambulating (can’t move much) and, occasionally,
bladder dysfunction (incontinence).

Well, check, check, and check for me on those – especially during the first few weeks postpartum. The incontinence thing has, fortunately, resolved.

So, what that means now is that where my pelvic bones come together in the front of my body – my crotch – is structurally unstable and a wee bit hurty. You might guess that this can be quite distressing during a yoga class where many times the goal is to stretch your legs as far apart as possible. But really, it’s the poses that require that you shift your hips from facing forward to opening up to the side (shifting from Warrior A to Warrior B, for example) that make me want to scream, Cheese and Rice, Can We Stop This Torture Now?

But it’s getting better every day, I suppose. I think perhaps the worst part is that when something on one’s body hurts and feels loose or unstable, one’s natural inclination is to hold it – both to stop the pain and to “shore it up” so to speak. Unfortunately, folks tend to look at me funny when I grab my crotch in public, no matter how fervently I explain it’s a legitimate injury.

Oh…sorry…right…you just wanted to know how long I’ve been practicing, and here I’ve been talking all about my hoo-ha and my need to hold it in public.

So, anyway, the short answer is 6 ½ years.


zingerzapper said...

Okay, so we had to hear all of that, not so you could tell us about your labor injuries, but so you could really explain the odd urge you have to grab your hoo ha. You know what they say... when someone gives you too much information you must be redirecting (okay, they say lying but I think you were once again trying to find a good excuse to grab the cookie!)

Zany Mama said...

I somehow knew you wouldn't be able to resist commenting on a blog about my crotch! :)

belsum said...

Princess Fannish sent me the link to this particular post. Yowza. Sounds like you must've had quite the interesting labor.

Though I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one grabbing at inappropriate bits in public. In my case it's my right hip that has to be sort of pulled out (yeah, I have to fully grab my own ass when sitting) and straightened, that due to an ancient dance injury when I was 14.

Zany Mama said...

Who doesn't love Princess Fannish -especially when she sends you a link to a blog about someone else's humiliating injuries?

Sorry to hear about your ancient dance injury. Ouch. Well, really, Double Ouch. One ouch for the injury and one ouch to your pride. I totally feel you.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, no wonder you don't want anymore kids! Labor must have been a nightmare, complete with residual post traumatic stress.
Still, this post is pretty dang funny!