I Broke My Ass

Monday, September 27, 2010

It was almost perfect.

I was thisclose to having an absolutely perfect labor, delivery, and postpartum experience.


It turns out that, on her way into this world, Miss Nora broke my ass. In other words, her little head--when it was coming down through my pelvis at lightning speed--fractured my tailbone.

I just have one word for it, really: Ouchie.

So now I am the weirdo carrying around a special ass pillow wherever I go. I just bought it today, and now I can't imagine trying to sit without it.

Without going into tremendous detail, my postpartum recovery has been pretty easy. Except for this tailbone business.

Following Nora's birth, my first complaint was about pain in my tailbone area. When the nurses made me lift my hips up off the bed to change the padding underneath me, or when I got up out of bed, I was struck by a lot of pain in my tailbone. I told them as much, and they said that a lot of pressure is put on the tailbone when you push a baby out, and because Nora came out so quickly, they said that I probably bruised it.

Throughout my time in the hospital, every time they asked me about my pain, I always mentioned the tailbone. I really didn't experience much discomfort where you'd think you'd have discomfort after a baby, despite suffering from a tear. (And no, I don't know the 'degree' of my tear. I don't know anything about it, except that I had stitches, and that it took a while for the doctors to do them. When I gently inquired about it, asking "Is it bad?" the doctor looked at me and simply said, "Um... she tore you." He didn't elaborate, and I took that to mean I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.)

The funny thing is that the entire time I was in the hospital, when the nurses would come in to do my vitals, they would always ask, "How would you rate your pain?" (on a scale of 1 to 10). The first few times they asked, I laughed so hard, because childbirth had just handed me the WORST pain I had ever felt in my life. To ask a woman to rate some simple soreness after THAT is just crazy.

Anyway, I never had an ice pack. I never needed Tucks pads. I barely used my peri bottle. I didn't have any trouble or pain from going to the bathroom. I was all good, except for the stinkin' tailbone pain.

Even so, things seemed to get better as I recovered in the hospital, and in the first few days we were home. But then the discomfort in my tailbone came back with a vengeance, so I called my doctor's office as Nora was about to turn 1 week old. I said that my tailbone pain was still pretty significant, and didn't seem to be getting better. The nurse said that a bruised coccyx can take some time to improve, told me to keep taking ibuprofen, and said that I should avoid sitting on it. Because yeah. THAT's easy to do. Especially when you have a newborn baby that needs to nurse every few hours. Ugh.

Then, last week, I started to feel a "clicking" when I'd sit down or shift my weight while sitting. Like I can feel the bone moving in there. Ewwww. It was then that I became convinced that my tailbone is officially fractured. The clicking is accompanied by some pretty intense pain shooting through the area. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

The continued pain (with no improvement) + clicking = broken tailbone. I was sort of hoping that my doctor would insist on an x-ray just so I could have photographic proof of my broken ass (I mean, come on... that's one for the baby book!), but alas, there is nothing that can really be done for a broken coccyx, so it's pretty pointless to x-ray.

I talked to my doctor's office again today and they recommended getting a coccyx pillow to help ease the pressure on the bone while I'm sitting. I had to make a special trip to a medical supply store to get one, but $15.50 later, I AM SO GLAD I DID.

My doctor said that I should expect my tailbone to be healed by the time of my postpartum appointment (six weeks after the birth, so a little less than four weeks from now). Thank goodness.

If, for some reason, it's not healed after six weeks, I will be referred to an orthopedic specialist.


Dude. Let's hope that's not necessary.


Jen September 27, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

Hilarious post. I'm glad your recovery is going well other than your butt bone.

Stephanie September 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

I broke my tailbone when I was a junior in high school and my OB said it will most likely break again during labor. I'm glad to hear the pillow helped, I will probably buy one before giving birth so I have it when I get home!

Katie September 27, 2010 at 8:46 PM  

I can't help but laugh (sorry!) hehe but I'm glad the pillow is helping and I'm happy you have a smile on your face, too!! =D Hope your bum gets better!

Mrs. B September 27, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

Haha. I am glad to hear your recovery is going mostly well! I hope that tailbone gets better soon...(since I've heard all about it between you and my sister...ouch!!)

Enjoy your new seat!

Gaynor September 28, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

Oh no; glad you are recovering well! Funny post but im sure its not funny for you!

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 9:11 AM  

So glad that your recovery is going well other than your tailbone! I broke my tailbone in college and I understand your pain! Driving in the car was the worst for me I always had to sit in some weird position haha. It does get better fairly quickly though!

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 11:44 AM  

Oh no! That sounds horrible! (My tailbone is hurting in sympathy.) It's great that you have such a good sense of humor about the whole thing, though. I hope it heals up quickly!

Eric's Mommy September 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM  

OUCH! I hope you heal quickly. I have lower back and tailbone pain from getting thrown off of a horse 3 years ago, not fun.

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM  

I, too, broke my tailbone when I gave birth, and I cried when I finally got my pillow like that, it felt so good to sit. Changes your life, doesn't it? My doc said, and it turned out to be true, to give it 12 weeks, so don't despair if it's not all better by 6 weeks. It *will* get better, it just takes time! Many congratulations on the safe arrival of your beautiful little one - I love your blog!

Candice September 28, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

Ok I admit, I laughed at the end, but that whole clicking business made me cringe a little! OUCH! :)
I have one of those pillows too for a herniated disc, they are wonderful!

Emily September 28, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

hahahaa the last couple of lines is amazing!

Hopefully it'll heal fast :)

Natalie September 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

ahhh I've heard of a lot of crazy things from my sister who is a nurse but never a broken ass :) I hope it heals quickly! And can I just say you look GREAT for having a newborn!!

Heather September 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM  

Thanks for laughing WITH me, everyone. (You know, instead of AT me.) What good is a broken tailbone if you can't have a little fun with it? :)

Stephanie--That is what I'm afraid of. I'm assuming that if this happened once, it's likely to happen again. So for the next kid, not only do I have to worry about giving birth in the front seat of my car, but I have to worry about snapping my tailbone again? Oh man.

*Katie*--Car seats are RIDICULOUS. You better believe I'm using my special pillow in there from now on. :)

Anonymous--Yes, the pillow is life changing. It doesn't take away ALL pain, but it helps oh-so-much. Whoever invented this little pillow with a hole in it is a freakin' genius.

Heather September 28, 2010 at 3:51 PM  

Anonymous--One more thing... I certainly hope it improves drastically by six weeks, but if it doesn't, I'm happy to have your 12-week number in my head, too. When I first started researching and asking around, I kept seeing all these horror stories about six months of healing, and someone else told me that their coworker still suffered from coccyx pain and her son was FIVE YEARS OLD. Yikes!

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

Ha! I almost wrote that whatever you do, *don't* google "broken tailbone" or "tailbone pain," because, well, you'll end up weeping and certain that you'll never heal and will have to sit in special chairs forever. Apparently, it's fairly common in childbirth (why no one warns you, I don't know), but the upside is that it doesn't have to happen with each subsequent pregnancy. Plus, there's the plethora of jokes you get to make about your daughter kicking your butt right from the start! I'm still a little creaky (and my peanut is 9 mos.), but I can plop down cross-legged on a wood floor, no problem. You'll get there!

Clairebear,  April 23, 2011 at 12:29 AM  

I'm 5 weeks post partum and everything seems to be healing no problem but my tailbone is still agony. I didn't have any diagnosis I've just coped with pain, but I also get clicking sensation and find it difficult sitting down unless have pillow under bum. Sounds like I've got same problem. I'm annoyed that I've got 6 wk check up in few days and still sore. :(

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