Yup, I’m Choosing to Split My Pubic Bone Again.

Oh my lovely pubic symphysis, how I wish you would stay whole.

This is not something I ever dreamed I would be silently chanting in my head during pregnancy.  This is my second time around, so I was prepared for the third trimester swelling, the insufferable heartburn, the peeing every five seconds – ho hum, really.

Believe it or not, I actually split my pubic bone giving birth to my first son.  His big ole’ head was stuck as I pushed for a good 2 1/2 hours.  He was finally vacuumed out, but not before the damage had been done.  I was unable to walk, and an ex-ray revealed that I had in fact split my pubic bone.

Pubic Symphysis Separation.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction.

Crappity crap crap with a side of shake your fist at the sky.

With the help of pain meds, physical therapy for a couple weeks, and a doting husband, I was able to walk again just fine.

I believe the physical trauma may have contributed to my bout with PPD.

But I honestly took the approach that this second time around would be much easier, because I already experienced a whole hell of a lot the first time.  I was looking forward to my piece of cake pregnancy and delivery.

But, at 24 weeks I found out that the chances are great it will all happen again.

In fact, the pubic bone has already started to separate.  At 36 weeks, I’m wearing a support belt, popping Tylenol, hobbling when I have to, and laying around a lot on my side like a sad sad sea lion.

We are trying our best to make it to 39 weeks.  Then I have a choice.  I can have an elective c-section… or we can strip the membranes and induce labor.  Of course, I can also wait until the baby decides to come on his own… but he will just grow bigger, and the damage will be even greater to my body.  The c-section is major surgery, but could keep the splitting of the bone to a minimum.  Labor and delivery increase the chances of some major separation of the bone.

Yet, I am choosing splitsville.


This is probably my last baby.  This is my last chance to “experience” childbirth.  I wanted it to be all natural – I even flirted with the idea of a home birth.  I may not end up being able to do it without pain medication, but ultimately, I want to be a present as I can.

Been there done that.  I have at least already done the whole physical therapy, dealing with the pain thing.  I know that the first couple weeks are excruciating, but that I can also completely recover.  My husband is taking off work, we have family traveling to come and help, and we know somewhat what to expect.

I have issues.  Having a c-section terrifies me.  I have never been cut open. I have some anxiety issues, and cannot stand the idea of not knowing or having control over what’s happening to my body.  I can just see myself screaming at the doctor to put my organs back in and get her hands the f*ck out of my body.  I’m almost positive that the minute I go numb and they put that divider up so I can’t see, I will lose. my. mind.

I desperately want to hold and nurse my baby right away.  I can’t explain it, but I have a fierce need to have that baby placed on my chest as soon as possible.  I don’t want to wait to be closed up.  I don’t want stitches in the way of holding him to nurse.

I know more women who have had c-sections than have had vaginal births.  You would think it wouldn’t be such a big deal to me.  If it were an emergency, and my baby or myself were in danger, it wouldn’t be a question.  But my doctor has left it up to me.  The recovery time shouldn’t (hopefully) be very different.  It’s simply a matter of what kind of pain, physical trauma, and recovery I’m willing to deal with.

So, I guess the main reason I’m choosing to split my pubic bone is…




bad ass,




PS- Okay, the pain meds are also REALLY good.



You might also like

Comments (35)

  • Alison@Mama Wants This 11 years ago Reply

    You are totally one crazy bad ass mother and I’m in awe of you! Just the very idea of a splitting pubic bone is enough to give me nightmares for a week, you’re so brave.

    A friend told me about her 2nd C-sec, she said she was actually more nervous than the first time as she actually knew what to expect, which is the opposite of what I thought it’d be. That made me think, with my 2nd time, I’ll choose a natural birth again too, despite a less-than-ideal delivery.

    Good luck to ya!

  • Margaret 11 years ago Reply

    So with my last baby (who ended up being 10lbs & 22″) I was on bed rest for 23 weeks. At 36 weeks pregnant I was released to modified & at 38 it was a free for all. After laying around for 23 weeks then suddenly being able to attempt to carry my big ass baby, the body was not too pleased. I kept telling my husband it felt like someone was taking a baseball bat to my pubic bone! Now I know what that was! I never mentioned it to the doctor (stupid) & luckily it never fully separated. But the pain was excruciating! I’m hoping & praying it doesnt happen to you again! Hang in there!

    Margaret (@goodbadfamily)

  • You know what? It’s your baby. It’s your body. It’s your choice. And although I’d probably make a different one, my issues are different issues than yours…and I applaud your choice to do what’s right for you 🙂

    And I’ll be sending loads and loads of positive thoughts your way when he starts to make his way into this world.

  • Wow, you are really brave! I commend you though, for knowing what you want and going for it. Too many times, women are pushed in a direction they may not really want by the doctors or midwives when they’re having a baby. I never even knew that it was possible to split your pubic bone, and I can’t imagine how painful it must be. But I share your fear of the c-section. And I kind of distrust medical personnel after my botched epidural with my first baby that left me with chronic pain. I wish you all the best and hope that the baby comes more easily than everyone’s expecting.

  • Nancy Kowalczyk 11 years ago Reply

    We will be praying for you and the little one. Have a safe and happy delivery Jennifer. Welcome that new little boy into your family and life.

  • Alexandra/The Empress 11 years ago Reply


    I have often said and thought this:

    that a traumatic birth/labor/delivery can trigger PPD.

    I was in labor 13 hrs. that never progressed. They ended up vacuuming, and 103 rectal stitches and layers in later: I delivered. I mean, I will spare you the details, but I couldn’t sit on a toilet for 2 mos.
    Yes, that’ll bring on some blues: pain, eds, wincing, can’t walk…or…yeah.


  • Jennefer 11 years ago Reply

    You are a Bad Ass Mama … and Woman. And I love you.

  • Milaka 11 years ago Reply

    Good for you! Yes, it sounds crazy and painful, but you know what is good for you and your family. You know what you want. You are informed and you have set up a support system. I’m saying prayers for you that it all goes smoothly.

    I had a horribly rough delivery with Princess (kid #1) – no pelvic bones involved, but LOTS of stitches in a place I couldn’t see without a mirror, plus I damaged a nerve in one of my legs with the 2 1/2 hours of pushing so I had no feeling in that leg for about a week. I was on crutches during that time. Buddy (kid #2) decided to break his own water at 35 weeks. I was in labor for 4 hours, pushed three times and there he was – all 7 lbs 5 oz of him. Stitches? Yes. I panicked when I saw him bring out the suture kit, but he assured me that it wasn’t bad. Sure wasn’t! During that recovery I never went to sleep with an ice back between my legs! And the next afternoon I walked down the hall to see Buddy in the nursery. Walked BY MYSELF! 😉

    I just wanted to share a bright and cheery second delivery story! 😉 You can do it. And you’ll be fine!!!!

    Jenni Chiu 11 years ago Reply

    All cheery birth stories are welcome! Thank you. Xoxo

  • Elita 11 years ago Reply

    You don’t sound crazy to me at all! I totally get why you would make the choice you are. I had no idea what was going on with my pelvis til you answered me on Twitter and I have the same thing going on. My first pregnancy was so easy, until the bitter end (42 weeks, 3 days to be exact) that it never occurred to me that anything would go so wrong at 39 weeks. Like you I am gobbling the Tylenol, doing my pelvic thrusts and wearing my Moby wrap as a belly support. I know my baby will be here any day now and if I have to do physical therapy to put myself back together, so be it. If it’s any consolation, I talked to other moms on Twitter who had the same issue and all of them ended up having quick, easy births! Hopeful for that for both of us!

  • Mrs. Wonder 11 years ago Reply

    I can understand the fear over cesareans. It was the only thing I didn’t want, and the trauma and depression I had after having one lasted well beyond my hospital stay (my first time in a hospital since my own birth). I’m glad your doctor is on board with your choices, and impressed by your bad ass-ness. I hope you have an easier birth this time.

  • January 11 years ago Reply

    My first baby’s birth was a nightmare though no bones broke I won’t go into details except that my sons head was HUGE and he weighed 9.6 (pushed for 3 hrs – fun times). Anyway, needless to say I was terrified about my second being just as horrible. It wasn’t. At all. And there was minimal size difference between my boys too. So. Just keep positive and I wish you THE BEST of luck! And yes, you are one crazy bad ass Mutha. 😉

  • Jennifer 11 years ago Reply

    I literally just cringed in my chair and did that butt tuck thing where you squeeze your checks together. I mean, holy mother OUCH! I think it is awesome that you have a doctor that is letting you decide which route you want to go, and I’m sure that no matter what happens you will come through with flying colors. Eventually.

  • charity 11 years ago Reply

    Haha, i’m with Jennifer. My body is not liking this post.

    You are a total bad ass.

  • Mama Bear 11 years ago Reply

    I am amazed and know not what to say.

    Except that you ARE badass.

    And it IS your body.

    And you know you have the right to change your mind. Or not. Or, and I’m pretty sure the law will back me up on this, bite someone’s face if that will help get you through.

    And for the record, I’m the opposite of bad ass. (Good nose?) I practically demanded that they put me under to pierce my ears. And still cried.

    Love you.

    Mama Bear 11 years ago Reply

    In fact, for the record again, if you let me know when you go into labor, I’m gonna go ahead and take some general anesthetics ok? Think of it as my way of helping. Because I care.

    Jenni Chiu 11 years ago Reply

    Biting someone’s face will DEFINITELY help. I’m going to try it tonight just to test your theory.

  • Susan 11 years ago Reply

    You can do it Chickie! You’re one tough lady…a good example for your boys. I can’t wait to hear the heroic birth story for this one! Just remember to not be too headstrong about it; so, listen to what the doctors recommend when it comes down to it.

    I too needed physical therapy and couldn’t sit on any hard surface for at least 2 months. I don’t think it split all the way though since I could hobble. It was rough but it will all come back together more or less:) The human body is amazing that way. But WHY do these kids have to have such big heads?!

    So excited for you guys!!

    Jenni Chiu 11 years ago Reply

    Seriously, what’s with the big heads? I blame it on the father… my husbands head is ginormous.

  • John 11 years ago Reply

    Yes, one crazy ass mother . . . but, it’s your body, your kid, your choice.

    I really, really, really hope it’s not too bad for you, though. I cannot imagine dealing with everything you’d need to deal with while recovering from a broken pubic bone.


    But please keep us updated?

  • Cheryl @ Mommypants 11 years ago Reply

    Ooh..this happened to my friend with her first baby. She was in a wheelchair for awhile after. It was really bad. But she wanted a second child, so she switched to my OB/GYN who is wonderful and helped manage the situation – and she had that second baby with much less trauma than the first.

    You go, sister. And though I’m a huge proponent of home birth – I had my second and third at home – I would probably tell you not to do it with your condition. 😉

  • Tiny Blue Lines 11 years ago Reply

    You can do it girl! All I see are patients who are content to sit in bed, strapped down by an epidural. The important thing is knowing what you want and having a choice. You are empowering yourself with the choice. And it is easier the second time around, I promise. 🙂

  • K. C. 11 years ago Reply

    I agree: your body, your choice. But I have to say, I’m offended by the whole “being present” thing. I had two C-sections, neither elective, and I was completely present and in the moment. I wasn’t in any pain; my kids were champion bf’ers. My recoveries were pretty easy without anything stronger than Tylenol. Not all C-sections are dramatic, forced-upon-women-by-doctors situations. And after all, it’s not really about how a kid arrives: it’s all about once he/she is here. (Maybe I’m just touchy because I got SO sick of other women saying they were sorry about my C’s. Sorry? Huh???)

    Wishing as little pain and as much joy as possible when the time comes!!

    Jenni Chiu 11 years ago Reply

    I think by “present” I meant I want to actually “feel” it. Most women I know who have had c-sections are awake, aware, and of “present” mind. The majority if them also did not feel forced or pressured in any way. It was their choice. It’s a shame that others have made you feel bad about your choices.
    No offense meant…
    And none taken.

  • Oh mah lord. Kudos to you for knowing what you’re going into and choosing it anyway. I had a c-section (breech baby) and it was less awful than I feared, but I’d still probably make the same decision if I were in your position. Fingers cross for you that it’s all okay!

  • Triplezmom 11 years ago Reply

    It’s your body so it’s really up to you. I’ve had 3 c-sections. I had the 2nd and 3rd ones mainly because I had to have one with the first and it was the devil I knew, so to speak. Plus, major chances of babies getting stuck and all that. You are way tougher than I could ever be!

    Jenni Chiu 11 years ago Reply

    Becoming a mom is tough – period.

  • The Flying Chalupa 11 years ago Reply

    Holy. Shit. And here I am complaining about pregnancy-related tendonitis. Kudos to you, my friend. Whatever you decide, you’ll get through it and will be holding that baby soon enough! I keep telling myself, our bodies were meant to do this.

  • Sweaty 11 years ago Reply

    Stopping by from BPNH 😉

    Woman, you are one mudderfuggin BRAVE woman! Crazy, yes, but brave! lol

    Compared to you, I’m such a little chickensh*t… seriously! I had a C-section, general anesthesia, when my daughter was born seven years ago. I’ve only got one kid, but if I had to do it again, I think I’ll have another C and GA. And lots and lots of pain meds.

    Here’s wishing you the best during the rest of your pregnancy. I couldn’t help but cringe at your description, so I’m gonna pray that you’d feel at least as minimal pain as possible. xoxo.

  • Truthful Mommy 11 years ago Reply

    You are the baddest ans bravest Mommy I have ever known. I am praying that your tailbone doesn’t split and you get through this birth as painless as possible. You went through so much with the birth of Bam that you deserve a free pass this time. Go on with your bad self. There is nothing that you can’t do because you are fucking awesome and don’t let anyone tell you differently. XO

  • It IS weird to have someone’s hands in your body…seriously weird.

    You are a badass…congrats on your decision. PT is amazing, right?

  • You are a bad ass. But I say go for it! I had an unintentional natural birth the second time, and I rocked it.


    So I say…if it splits, it splits. But maybe it will stay intact. You never know! Our bodies are miraculous things. Either way, you’re still a rock star in my eyes.

  • Si 9 years ago Reply

    May I know how large your split? I had mine separated 4.5cm! And irks a long recovery for me almost a year! Still not fully recovered yet…

  • Dani 9 years ago Reply

    You wouldn’t be saying this nor going through with this if you knew it would later cause hip arthritis and make it hard for you to care for your child for the rest of your and the baby’s life! Well that happen to me mine never closed/healed making my hip prone to arthritis from being out of alignment so long that now I dred life! Good luck I hope the risk was temporary!!!!

  • Nicole Wright 7 years ago Reply

    You are taking a lot of trouble but I have understood one thing very clearly and that is, you have a very strong mentality and you know what you are doing. My best wishes are always with you. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.