Back Pregnancy

6 months pregnant after back surgery

bump collage

Woo hoo 6 months down and only 3 months to go!!!

I can’t believe that I’m already 6 months pregnant, Baby G is officially due 3 months tomorrow. This pregnancy seems to be flying by to me, I’m sure that it didn’t go this quickly with the first 2 children. I think this is for several reasons;

  1. I’m not as worried about every little thing this pregnancy. This is bizarre seen as I’m having more problems this time round. In a weird way I’m actually enjoying being pregnant. I know this is going to be the last time and I’m just more relaxed about the whole thing.

  2. Having a 6 & 8 year old already means that I’m constantly busy. With all they have going on they have a much better social calendar than I have. Also because they’re older now they are more independent and can help me. I know if I had a toddler at this point there’s no way I’d be coping.

  3. Blogging – I started this blog to follow my pregnancy and parenting journey having had spinal fusion. Writing down my experiences and meeting some lovely people via the blog and social media sites has really helped me enjoy this pregnancy and is making it go really quickly.

It seems like only yesterday that I found out that I was pregnant. I was completely over the moon although a little bit worried about the effect this was going to have on my back. At first I put these thoughts out of my mind and concentrated on getting to the 12 week point. If all was well with the baby I could then think about back issues.

I then started looking for information and stories about pregnancy after spinal fusion. I really couldn’t find much information. This is why I started BacksnBumps to share my story for any other women who are in a similar position. Although every pregnancy is different maybe reading my experience will help give them some reassurance.

Here’s my take on the first 6 months of being pregnant;

Morning sickness

Illustration depicting a sign with a morning sickness concept.

The first trimester was mainly blighted by the morning sickness that I was suffering. I didn’t experience this with the boys and I felt quite drained by the whole thing. At the very beginning it was really hard to hide this from friends and colleagues. More so to find excuses why I wasn’t drinking frozen cocktails to my close friends, I think they guessed pretty early on! The morning sickness continued on and off until about week 17/18 when I finally started to feel more human and more like my old self.

Heartburn

Heart Burn Spelled Out with Capful of Pink Medicine

With both the boys I had awful heart burn from about week 20. I would always have a bottle of Peptac with me. Top tip Peptac is identical to Gaviscon but about a third of the price, just ask your pharmacist. This time I haven’t suffered from the acid reflux symptoms but from week 7 I’ve had the gastric pain in my stomach and under my ribs. Maybe it’s because my stomach is extra sensitive after taking all the medications for my back over the last 3 years. I’ve been taking omeprazole daily since week 7 and this has pretty much kept it under control apart from the other week and my little hospital trip.

Back pain

Pregnancy spine problem concept

When I was pregnant with Ben I remember the first 15 weeks I had really bad back ache. My womb leans back quite far and until the baby popped forward it was really sore. I was expecting this to happen again during the first trimester but it didn’t. Either the back surgery has solved this problem or the nerves and sensations in this area just aren’t as sensitive anymore. I had some aches and pains in weeks 11/12, my pelvis wasn’t in line and I was having some loss of sensation in my leg. Due to the back problems I’ve had I wasn’t overly worried about this. I know for me it was a nerve getting compressed and that with some rest and physio it would get better.

Throughout the second trimester I’ve had the usual aches and pains that I’ve managed with paracetamol and heat packs. This is no more than I was suffering before I was pregnant and to be expected. I am concerned this will change in the third trimester as I start to put on more weight and my bump gets even bigger.

This was my biggest area of concern when I found out I was pregnant. Not only was I worried about the pain that the pregnancy could cause but I was also worried about how my changing body would affect my back long term. I had my metal work removed in February 2015 and fell pregnant 10 weeks later (oops). I was concerned that the bone grafts they put in place wouldn’t fuse properly if the pregnancy affected my spine. Well 6 months on and this doesn’t appear to be the case. I’ve had no more serious pain that would indicate there was something wrong and although I’ll need to have an Xray after the baby is born, so far so good.

Weight Gain

pregnant woman

I’ve been concious to watch what I am eating during this pregnancy. Obviously I am going to put on weight and I am certainly not dieting. What I am doing is trying to be sensible about what I’m eating, the more weight I put on the more pressure and strain it will put on my back. So far I’ve put on about 11lbs in the first 6 months. I did lose quite a few lbs in the first trimester due to the morning sickness so this has probably evened things out.

This time round my bump is much bigger though, maybe it looks this way as my spine curves more and pushes the bump out. Also my back muscles aren’t strong at all, I’m not standing in a very good posture like a ‘normal’ person.

Pelvic Pain

During the third trimester of my second pregnancy I experienced SPD. I was expecting that towards the end of this pregnancy I might experience the same type of pain. Unfortunately for me this has been the biggest problem that I have had during this pregnancy. Talking to my physio and doctor it may be due to the back surgery. Where my spine is fused at the base of my back it is not going to move. This is a good thing from a spine point of view. What this means is that the only thing that can move to accommodate the growing baby is my pelvis.

With my second pregnancy I had the occasional pain. Now the pain is constant. Rather than just at the front where the pelvic bones meet it also travels underneath my pelvis which is not nice. It started around week 22/23 and has left me unable to walk without the use of crutches. Due to the level of pain my doctors put me on Zomorph which is a slow release version of morphine. This has minimised the pained allowed me to continue to function and pick up the kids from school etc… Using the crutches is not so bad, I had to use them for 4 months after my first back surgery. At least people who see me out and about can see there’s a problem and give me a wide berth.

Time to stop work

I’ve now been signed off work which has helped with the pelvic problems. It means that I am resting and just concentrating on getting through the last 3 months as comfortably as possible. Although I am getting slightly bored at home I’ve got more time to read all the other lovely blogs I’ve found so that’s a positive!

I don’t want you to think that this is doom and gloom. Check out my post from last week, top 5 moments over the last 6 months.

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14 Comments

  • Reply the blended mama

    Hi Lisa, I’m glad that I bumped into your blog..I also had spine fusion surgery last year.unfortunately, I had to go through too much strain handling my toddler daughter with no help around and broke one of my rods for which I had a second surgery.its been a year and I still haven’t fused..do u have any idea about getting pregnant without the back getting fused?im 33. my reproductive age is flying by.can I even think of having another baby in a few years?.hmm.

    January 12, 2016 at 6:36 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks for leaving me a comment. I had to make sure that I had got fusion before we tried for baby number 3. After the first OP the Fusion hadn’t taken as there was to much movement with the screws coming loose and I was in constant pain. The second surgery was much better and let my spine stay stable enough until the Fusion had taken. When I had the screws and rods taken out last year my spine was in a stable position. That’s when we decided to try for baby no 3, it was a now or never moment for us as we knew in future my spine could become unstable again.
      For me it was really important to wait for everything to be stable as I didn’t want to do any more damage and the pregnancy was hard going even with a fused spine. I’m not a medical professional but I would wait until you get your back stable first and talk to your surgeon about it for their advice. You don’t want to make things worse or put you or your baby at risk. If they can sort you out it could be stable in as little as a year. Not so long to wait in the grand scheme of things.
      Keep in contact and let me know how you get on xx

      January 15, 2016 at 9:43 pm
  • Reply Lisa Cornwell (@mummascribbles)

    Wow 6 months already. I love your photos, I love seeing a growing bump! hope that your pelvic pain calms down now you are off work. I bet the next 3 months flies by just as quick! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    October 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm
  • Reply Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    Love that sequence of bump photos – what a lovely baby bump. Glad that you’ve not been experiencing more back problems this time around although sorry to hear that you’re suffering with your pelvis instead. I had SPD in my first pregnancy and whilst thankfully it never got bad enough to need crutches, it was still quite debilitating at times. Hope that you’re managing to keep the discomfort under control. Good tip about Peptac over Gaviscon, will have to remember that if I have another one!

    October 22, 2015 at 7:48 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks for the support Louise. Wish I’d taken more bump photos and done a diary when I was pregnant with the boys this will be a nice keepsake journey of the pregnancy 🙂

      October 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

    Such a useful post, thanks. Especially when I am staring down the barrel of fusion surgery in a few years. People always commented how small I was and I was even induced for having a tiny bump (despite giving birth to a 9lb baby). Now I wonder if the lack of curve to my spine was what hid my lump of a boy.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #fartglitter xxx

    October 22, 2015 at 2:55 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks for the support hope that you’re back is OK. Fusion surgery is not by any means ideal but it has in effect fixed my problem for the time being. x

      October 26, 2015 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply beth

    Ah not long to go 🙂 Will be coming back to follow your journey 🙂 Found you on #TwinklyTuesday

    October 20, 2015 at 10:40 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Beth 🙂

      October 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply kerry norris

    I can’t believe your 6 months already! I hope the pelvic pain will ease off now you’re off work! xx

    October 20, 2015 at 10:14 am
    • Reply Lisa

      I know scary stuff want it to go quickly but also need to get house finished first. Got my fingers crossed for you not long now x

      October 20, 2015 at 10:26 am
  • Reply farmerswifeandmummy

    Wow six months already!!! You’re doing so well and I’m really enjoying reading about your journey #MaternityMondays

    October 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Emma, I know only 3 months left can’t wait 🙂

      October 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm
  • Reply helen gandy

    Love your photo montage, you are looking great! I suffered with sickness and queasiness for ages with the second pregnancy and the dreaded heartburn and acid indigestion, that kicked in quite early with my 2nd pregnancy which is a bit rubbish! I hope the next few weeks go smoothly for you 🙂 #maternitymondays

    October 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm
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