New Mom Injury – What a Pain In The Neck

Parenthood is filled with all sorts of new movements that were definitely not in my repertoire before having our little girl.  Daily lunges, for example, and trying to make sure I’m alternating legs when I go to change her diaper at the coffee table.  Don’t judge–it’s a 2 story house and I don’t always want to lug a soiled baby up the stairs.  Then there’s the lifting and twisting to get her out of her cradle and comfort her when I’m lying in bed more asleep than awake but willing my sluggish limbs to just move.  Then there’s the bouncing, cradling, constant hand washing, limbs-falling-asleep-snuggling, and must-sleep-on-your-back-because-otherwise-the-baby-won’t-sleep type moves.
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I’m good with all of them.  I’ve been doing really well at this whole “stay-at-home-mom” thing.  Until this morning..

It’s been usual and customary for me to hold our little Elfkin against my shoulder while I carry her around.  She’s not quite big enough to sit on my ample, child-bearing, hips–and she seems heavier when I cradle her with my whole arm, so I let her perch on my forearm and look at the world over my shoulder while I get things set and we go about our day.  This is how she sits when I’m getting things started for the day, when I’m consoling her in the afternoon, and when we’re heading up to bed.  Basically–I’ve had 11 weeks of holding her in this position and thought I had it down pat. So it’s not unusual that I was holding her that way this morning.  I had her clothes picked out and clutched in the hand that held her, her pacifier in my teeth, and was just about to go downstairs to get her bottle ready when I remembered my cell phone.  It was under my pillow because we had one of those nights where she slept on my chest… [Sidebar: she slept there for half the night because she fell asleep in a cloth diaper that completely failed to keep her wetness contained and I need to wash her cradle.]

MOVING ON.

I leaned over the bed, holding the Elfkin with my chin/cheek–as I had learned to do–when suddenly CRACK! ooooohhhhhh something was wrong.  Something was very very wrong.  Apparently the small, rather delicate vertebrae that hold up my head are not meant to also support this growing girl now that she’s 12+ lbs!  Thankfully, it was the pain of acute injury and not the burning pain of broken bones. 😉

Now, I haven’t been to the chiropractor in over a year.  There’s nothing, though, more motivating in finding a doctor or chiropractor than your body screaming at you “you done f****d up.”  After giving Evelyn her bottle, and realizing just how badly it hurt to look down, left, right, or really anywhere but straight ahead, I started seeking a new chiropractor.

This brought back all sorts of nostalgia for my old chiropractor.  I miss him all the time and wish he were around.  I could just imagine him admonishing me for being so careless with myself.  This is a completely avoidable injury.
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The new Chiropractor seems effective.  He saw me right away this morning and the girls at the reception desk took care of my little girl.  She rewarded them with all sorts of smiles and I came back to find her asleep in the woman’s arms. Meanwhile, I got an x-ray and scans, had an adjustment–my bones were all too ready to move! They were cracking just by breathing–then they did even MORE.  I was treated to a massage, electromuscular stimulation, and vibration therapy.
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The DC had another adjustment and some home exercises that he wanted to recommend, but I was in too much pain and he didn’t want to do too much too soon.  I’ll be going back on Friday, so hopefully, fingers crossed, I start feeling better.

Lesson learned, though: when moving with the little one, have a care and move with intent! I’ll be keeping my core engaged and using my legs to lift her.  I’ll be using proper squatting form/technique to lift her car seat in and out of the vehicle, and I’ll be downing much more water…

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