Thigh Pain in Pregnancy: Only for Whimps?

Before I got pregnant with my first child, I had been around lots of pregnant women.  My sister, sister-in-law, and most of my friends all had babies long before I did.  Probably because I held out until I was in my late thirties before even considering having a baby.  The delay wasn't just because I had a career I loved and didn't want to leave even for a minimum six week maternity leave.  It also  wasn't because I didn't have a husband until I was thirty-five, although I did feel it only fair that if I were to suffer any pregnancy related miseries I have someone to blame it on.  Someone who was stuck with me legally, that is.  The pregnancy related miseries were a big part of my reasons for waiting so long to get pregnant.  I listened to the moans and groans of those expecting with mounting fear.  Back aches.  The constant need to urinate, especially in the middle of the night - not just once, but three or four times.  Swollen feet, swollen ankles.  Morning sickness.  You name it - I heard them all.  Except for one.  So I was a  bit surprised when, during the course of my pregnancy, I experienced little in the way of morning sickness and bodily fluids ballooning my extremities out of proportion.  What I did experience was constant, constant thigh pain during my pregnancy.  You heard right - thigh pain.  In pregnancy.  During the entire last two thirds of my pregnancy!

  When the pain first began, about the end of my first trimester, I thought maybe I had pulled a muscle or something.  But the pain persisted and didn't go away like normal pulled muscle pain does.  I felt silly making an appointment with my obstetrician just for thigh pain.  So I tried researching thigh pain in pregnancy on the internet.  I didn't think I'd find much, but I was wrong.  Apparently there's quite a lot of thigh pain in pregnancy going around!  It can range from something really severe, to what is basically the equivalent of a pinched nerve, which is what I had.  Sort of like sciatica in the thigh.  I read this is often caused by conditions such as weight gain or pregnancy.  It seems to me those two conditions are highly related!  And to top it off, tight clothing can aggrevate this, causing more pain and tingling.  This was just great to hear, as I had been trying to avoid wearing maternity clothing for a while.  Nothing shouts weight gain louder than wearing maternity clothes!  Have you ever seen sexy maternity outfits?  Neither have I.  Of course, as I got bigger I didn't look as hot and sexy as I used to anymore, so at a certain point it didn't matter. 


  I gave in and bought maternity outfits.  Why is it that people who design maternity clothes always think a maternity top needs a huge bow?  The dresses and tops make me look like I'm a huge Christmas package! And by the time I gave in and started wearing the maternity outfits, I was much bigger, which also increased the thigh pain in pregnancy.  I tried all the suggestions issued by my doctor along with those listed on the internet by women who experienced the same thing during pregnancy.  Sleeping on my left side.  Sleeping on my left side with a pillow between my knees. Sleeping on my left side with a body pillow.  Massage, prenatal yoga, a pillow top for my mattress, ice packs on and off twenty minutes at a time - the list was endless.  The thigh pain in pregnancy would get so bad I couldn't sleep well each night, and when I complained to my husband, he had the nerve to say it was nature's way of preparing me for all those sleepless nights once the baby was here!  I think I slugged him with the ice pack.

  Just when I thought I couldn't take any more thigh pain in pregnancy, something wonderful happened that made the pain go away.  The baby was born.  And those sleepless nights my husband joked about?  He's got them now, along with some thigh pain of his own.  Once I feed the baby at night, and in the middle of the night, I'm done.  I'm asleep.  I let my husband have all the fun of changing the diapers and walking the baby when he cries.  At least this way, he's too tired to notice I'm not yet back to my pre-pregnancy shape.  And not only that, I believe I shouldn't be one of those selfish new mothers who want to do everything for the baby all by myself.  Share the joy, and share the pain.