I think it was about fifteen weeks into my pregnancy with Natan that my left hip started hurting, bad. Dr. M said it was round ligament pain, and I accepted that explanation. It was about two days into my hospital bedrest with Natan that the pain in my left hip became excruciating. The nurses said it was to be expected. After my labor with him, it hurt even more. Upon leaving the hospital, everything ached, and I was ok with that – because it was a physical proof that something bad had happened. The pain was intermittent, I don’t remember how often. It returned more regularly and in full force later in my pregnancy with Baby Man, and when Dr. K asked about pain, I just said, “oh, just some round ligament pain like before.”
At physical therapy yesterday, I discovered my pain is not caused by a pulled or torn ligament. Rather, my hip is dislocated. And has been for a long, long time. Long enough that all of the muscles nearby are so atrophied that my left leg was quite a bit shorter than my right and she could tell just by looking at my leg. I am very strong (normally). She bent my right leg and said to resist her pushing. She couldn’t make it move at all. Same thing, left leg. She barely touched me and my leg collapsed. How have I not noticed that happening?
“Goodness,” she said, “With your pelvis like that, labor must have really hurt.” She called over another therapist who went over me as well, and they both wondered how I had possibly managed to walk around for so long, but then the first therapist answered all of our questions.
“Mothers often neglect self care.”