01/09/2013 19:20 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

31 Weeks Pregnant: Nerve Attack

31 weeks pregnant: Nerve attackAlamy

I've been really very blessed so far with this pregnancy by all accounts - in addition of course to the fact that I was lucky enough to get pregnant fairly quickly at the age of 35.

Physically though, it would appear I've had it pretty good too, compared to some of my women friends and family. There has been no indigestion, no constipation or piles, I've enjoyed more than my share of generous nights' sleeps and I've even managed to retain my ankles so far.

I do think, though, that in addition to good genes, a healthy lifestyle which includes lots of green leafy veggies and plenty of fibre as well as a fairly rigorous daily exercise routine have all contributed to me feeling as well as I do. That is, until yesterday morning, when all my chickens came home to roost in an undignified explosion of feathers and squawks.

I was walking back from my morning swim as usual, woolgathering a bit about what I needed to do for the day, when I felt a sudden, sharp spasm in the left of my lower back, causing me to double over and lose my breath completely. Whoa, I thought, what have I done? Have I just put my back out? That's what I thought had happened as I attempted to stand upright again. It appeared that I was unable to. At all. In fact, in order to move ahead in any direction, I could only shuffle forward by concertina-ing myself in half (face facing the pavement) and scuttling sideways like a crab.

What a sight - a heavily pregnant woman doubled over and moaning in the street at 8 o'clock in the morning! I was however lucky here on two counts – one, that P was with me, and while he did gallantly offer to carry me home (I did consider it), it was too painful for me to assume any other posture than the bent over crab. He was also able to reassure a couple of concerned passersby that I was okay and he had it under control. And two, that I was only about 200 yards from the flat and could (and did) make it back to our front door, albeit slowly and with much groaning.

Actually, by the time I was able to lower myself gingerly onto the sofa, the spasm had passed and I was able to move into another, more comfortable position. I was left with a dull ache in the lower back, my bottom and left leg. Rather than having "put my back out", I later had confirmed by my books, mother and the internet that what I was experiencing was a pinched sciatic nerve. This nerve runs down your spine, lower back and leg, and when your womb is in a certain position, the nerve can get trapped and cause spasms and aches. Because your uterus is much larger and heavier in pregnancy, you are more likely to get "sciatica" as time goes on and your bump gets bigger. Relief can be found in making sure you get plenty of rest (such as mid afternoon naps) and applying heat to the area with a wheat bag or hot water bottle.

So, it would seem that even I am not immune to those pregnancy surprises anymore. In fact, I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better...

What are/were your worst physical symptoms during pregnancy? How did you counteract them?