The below entry is taken from the closing pages of Tori's Pubic Symphysis Pain article collection - available to download and read in full on the platform!
My final thought for you, dear mama, is on gaining control of the narrative that surrounds your condition.
My first thoughts were that PSD is this chronic, long suffering ailment, that inevitably will get worse over time, and strip many simple pleasures from my life. I was told tales that kept me up at night, convinced a similar fate would be mine, and anxious as hell that I wouldn’t be able to do my job properly... RIGHT when I was finally recovering from surgery and driving back into what I loved most. Not a fun place to live in, mentally.
So...I made a decision, very early on in my pelvis journey, to be incredibly mindful of who I spoke to. The reason for this is because I knew that I had women in my life who, while lovely, were inflammatory - with a glass half full mindset; women who had experienced pelvic pain in an awful way. While I wanted to respect their experience, and in no way quieten them when it came to sharing their history, I also wasn’t prepared to open myself up to their energy, or horror stories, at such a vulnerable point in my own pregnancy. So I simply chose not to share that I was experiencing PSD.
I identified practical, motivated women in my life who I knew had had their own brush with pelvic pain, and asked them for their advice. I prefaced this by saying that what I really wanted was evidence backed tips, and positive outcomes they had experienced. I told them that I didn't want to hear nasty stories, or tales of woe, because I was in a pretty fragile state and wanted to keep my mindset positive.
Perhaps this sounds like overkill to you, but for me, controlling what I had filtering into my psyche about this condition was important; I’m someone who always sees the silver lining, and was a little fearful about how uncharacteristically helpless I felt when I first realised I was joining the pubic symphysis gang.
I chose to reframe the rhetoric, and gently stop people when they wanted to share a time when their pain was so bad they had XYZ happen (I’m not going to repeat the stories that made their way into my inbox or ears, because you don’t need to hear them).
Much like pregnancy in general, or birth, women LOVE to share their stories; and it’s usually the really nasty ones they have the appetite to repeat. You have the choice to not take on their trauma in that moment, and set boundaries for yourself.
It’s not easy, but stopping someone before they lick their lips, and embark on their tale that they’re WELL AWARE will scare the shit out of you, and gently saying something like ‘I hope it’s ok, but I’m actually trying really hard to stay in a positive space when it comes to my pain; so I’m asking friends not to share anything negative with me at the moment’ will hopefully help those who surround you to have a tad more awareness.
I hope these articles have helped to answer your questions about my own experience with PSD, and to ease your mind when it comes to any anxiety that surrounds your own journey that lies ahead.
I wanted to create some content that has highlights a positive outcome:
I can gladly say, a few weeks before I birth my angel, that I have successfully managed my pubic symphysis pain. In fact, on many occasions, I have not only reduced, but relieved it entirely. There are good days and bad, and sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’ll find that you’ve triggered your symptoms. But with daily habits, you can pull them back quickly, and find that you’re able to recover even when you’ve pushed the envelope.
Be proactive, get your mind right, and keep moving. Prioritise your own health above the pleasing of others. And know that rest is equally as important as every rep of strength work, or physio release you do.
You’ve got this.