There are plenty of things I want to do before I consider trying again:
- I want to conduct some research and find some professionals who know about pregnancy with fibromyalgia.
- I want to go to a new doctor and ask for a proper diagnosis process, just to be sure.
- I’d like to write about all this here on the blog and potentially put it into an e book to get the information out there.
I totally managed to write about it all on the blog and put it into an eBook! Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book is now available! Affiliate notice: This is an affiliate link and I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using my link. All of my tips for coping in the first, second and third trimester, along with delivery and the early weeks are in there!
I need to be free to make the decision to have a second baby myself. Pregnancy, labour and sleepless nights are physically harder for someone with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. So I need to be trusted to make the decisions that will help me cope.
Why should I just cope with life? Can’t I enjoy my babies? I don’t understand the rationale of “getting it over and done with” and I don’t hold with it for my situation. Two (plus) super hard years are still super hard years, whether I give myself enough time to recover or not!
There are a few guidelines (pre research) I will follow if I go ahead with another pregnancy with fibromyalgia:
- My boy will be at an age where he is more self-sufficient, preferably in preschool (at least three years old) so that he will get enough attention and stimulation and I would get time alone with the baby. I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to deal with another baby while my boy is still a baby himself. He has been a pretty challenging baby!
- Feel somewhat physically prepared, I would have the ability to plan and get my body into a place where I am more prepared than last time. For example, I would build my iron levels and keep an eye on them so that I don’t run out of stores at week 28.
- Keep up a core few resistance based exercises throughout the pregnancy to keep my strength up.
- Stop working in the third trimester, if I am struggling like I was last time, and I would need at least six months off afterwards.
- Attempt to find a team, or at least a few health professionals who understand both fibromyalgia and pregnancy. After a pregnancy with only a physio (who was pregnant herself and unable to treat me in the last trimester) who understood, I need people to support me.
- Utilise acupuncture for morning sickness in the first trimester and general wellness during pregnancy.
- Get more done in the second trimester, so that the third trimester could be more restful and I could rest in the fact that we are prepared.
- Do my absolute best to avoid stress throughout the pregnancy.
- Take the belly support belt if I needed it, I avoided it last time at the advice of my physio, but I think it would have helped more than it would have hindered. The pain was too bad to endure again.
- Use an obstetrician, barring complications, my husband would be my key coach. My husband would know and (better) advocate for me. I would try to avoid an epidural.
- I would plan a babymoon, I would try to make the first month after labour a time for me and baby to just be, together.
- This follows from the above guide, but I would treat the first three months like the “fourth trimester” as I have seen written about. I’d want the baby to be close to me, I’d utilise a sling and, especially in the first days, have baby mainly held by my husband and myself.
- Plan and enforce the visitor rules and how to schedule family support. For example, I would have the immediate family there for only short times in the first few weeks. I wouldn’t invite other visitors for a few weeks.
- Definitely make use of the organic cotton swaddle blankets again (our favourite brand was Aden and Anais).
- I would purchase a portacot with the built in bassinet– we made do with a carry cot last time, but I have often wished we had invested in the portacot.
- Purchase a proper pushchair, I would invest in this key piece of baby ware, a swanky, comfortable, convertible infant seat, carry cot, baby seat combo. We actually ended up purchasing a City Mini Jogger when my first was 12 months old and used it through our second and third babies, it is my favourite and I recommend it to everyone! See my post Essential Baby Items.
- My husband would be just as involved as the first time. He would stay with us from the beginning (unlike the first time, when I was abandoned from 9pm – 9am) due to the rules of the birthing center. He would take turns with me, he would feed baby (hence the bottle use) and he would bond with baby, as he did with our boy. Their relationship is beautiful and it creates a sense of space for me. It’s parenthood, it takes two, especially when one has chronic pain and fatigue.
- Be more gentle with myself and advocate more strongly for myself, particularly in the babymoon phase.
- Document and enjoy it as much as the first. I don’t want a marked decrease in pictures and scrapbooks because I have double the children taking up my time.
So what did I end up doing?
We ended up having our second baby at the end of 2016 and our third at the end of 2018. I had a much better experience both times for all of my knowledge and experience. So please do search the category bar for “pregnancy” posts. I have shared my whole experience with you. You can find it succinctly in my book too.