Sleep-Splitting Side Aches

Yes, here we go again: another post about what’s happening with my pregnant body.

The Ninth Month’s exciting new pregnancy side-effect, if you’ll pardon the pun, is this crazy sharp ache along the side of my ribs when I sleep on either side.

Both sides experience equivalent pain; it’s the side I’m laying on that ends up sore when I wake up. Sometimes the soreness itself wakes me up and it’s surprisingly painful. It goes away quickly if I’ve only been sleeping for a few hours, but after a whole night’s sleep (or whatever semblance I can get thereof), I have lingering soreness straight through the morning, as I do right now as I write this.

It seems as though the weight of my midsection is pressing my ribs down into the mattress pretty hard.

I haven’t seen any other symptoms, e.g. muscle aches, soreness in any other areas, etc, that might lead me to believe that there’s a misalignment going on. I’ve taken great pains (hah) to use cushions to arrange my body in a good posture, and until 2 weeks ago, my back and sides and hips all felt pretty good.

It was suggested to me that I try sleeping on my back but supported in a nearly-upright position. I can’t really do this — I start to feel the beginnings of dizziness almost immediately even from simply lying back in a sofa or chair. Besides that, I’ve never been able to fall asleep that way, except in instances of extreme fatigue.

It’s interesting that I haven’t had any hip pain whatsoever, which is what most women are complaining of from sleeping on their sides. I haven’t even been able to Google this problem of mine successfully — “side pain” leads to hip pain, and “rib pain” leads to discussions of how the uterus is pushing up into the front of the ribs.

My only relief so far has come from sleeping on the couch, which is very squishy. I have a hard time falling asleep on the couch, though. And it doesn’t relieve the problem completely; it merely delays the onset of the pain. I still wake up twice a night from this soreness — and that’s in addition to the mandatory bathroom breaks once or twice an night.

Oh well. It’s getting to the point where I’m thinking less about how to solve any problems and more about “just four more weeks!”

It’s hard for me to simply accept a problem without trying a solution, however. So I’ve added a hefty portion of side-strengthening exercises to see if I can pack on some of my own built-in cushioning.

Tangentially, I have an acupuncture appointment today, with the purpose of possibly relieving the night-time itching. I’m excited!

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