Back to Back

For the entirety of Spring (and add a few weeks of Winter), my back gave me fits. OK, maybe the math works out that those few weeks of Winter are balanced by the last few weeks prior to Summer of finally seeing improvement, so that it really does “just” equate a single season of struggle, but who’s counting?

Me. I am counting.

Because it was painful and downright awful at times, to the extent of being thrown back (pun intended) several years worth of trouble, and that’s just scary because really the health of my back has come so far since I first hurt it post Baby Harrison.

Am I jumping ahead? Or behind? Or just all over the place? Let’s do a chronological timeline:

The first week of March this year, my back went off. Not OUT, per say, but just OFF, which I thought at first was just a bad adjustment at the chiropractor. Unfortunately, after another much-sooner-than-normal trip to that same office, I realized that I didn’t just have a poor adjustment – I was suddenly feeling the accumulation of several months’ worth of poor posture.

Remember all that sleeping on the couch post surgery? And all the middle-of-the-nights Trumy started doing in Jan/Feb that left me trying not to slide out of the rocking chair as I sleepily nursed him? And all those morning cat naps I took in the bean bag while kiddos watched a show while the baby slept to try to counter all the not sleeping that was happening for me? Oh, wait – I probably didn’t tell you about those, but they were the only way I was getting by those couple of months (plus coffee, of course), but when I told my chiropractor about them in April, he flat out laughed and said, “Napping in a bean bag?! What are you doing? You’re not in college anymore!”

And, no, no I am not.

This back is 34 years old now (I just typed 343 on accident, although some days, that doesn’t feel too far off), and it has been through a lot of pregnancies and sat in rocking chair to nurse, and picked up a car seat or a kid or dirty socks too many times to count in the last 7 years. In other words, mothering has been hard on my back, and while I thought I had that under control, Post Baby No.4 life combined to send me into a tailspin this Spring.

March? Sucked. My spine spent pretty much the entire month feeling compressed and like I just couldn’t find release or sit comfortably ever.

April? Also sucked. By that point I realized I needed to start countering the pain with my own efforts, which included yoga, yoga, yoga. And mostly targeted at not my low back, but my psoas which is an amazing but fickle muscle that is weakened by too much sitting and thereby makes sitting even more painful. So. Much. Psoas stretching in April. And super focused attention on my posture when nursing. No more sliding out the chair for this mama.

May? Started out still sucking. Massages were helping but hi, I can’t get one of those every day, much less every week, so still with the yoga and still with the chiropractor, who happened to ask me in May if I knew anyone with a traction table. And you know you’ve got a pretty good doc/understanding with him when I responded, “No, but I have a friend who teaches aerial yoga.” and his eyes lit up as he said, “Yes! Do that!”

So I did.IMG_1782

I tried one session and it was fantastic.And when you add that and the cupping that Ben and I started doing to each other’s backs (so not a massage therapist and neither is he, so we probably don’t really know what we are doing, but we are using these plus coconut oil and I swear the results are real), and somehow I passed a corner to where my back was no longer sucking so much.

Thank goodness because the end of the May and the start of June have included a LOT of travel and somehow, my back has been holding up OK even with flights and long drives and lots of, yes, sitting. Actually, our trips even showed me more ways to correct my posture when nursing Truman and I’ve implemented that back at home which is probably helping as well. Also, not napping on the beanbag or even on the couch, as none of it seems so great for my back, and keeping up with the yogs has been in there, too.

In fact, after the excitement at the very start of July with Wanderlust, I get to do more yoga fun here at home with a three-week session of, yes, aerial yoga! I am excited to see what the inversion does for my spine and my head in general.

As for now, I will continue to be as mindful as possible, holding out hope that I am once again on the road to recovery.

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