Just a quick note to let you know that my book, Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia is on special starting today at just .99 cents! And it will slowly return to normal price in increments until the 12th of January. So get in quick!
So if you were curious about what pregnancy might be like with Fibromyalgia, how nursing might go and wanted some tips about each trimester of pregnancy, the first six weeks, nursing, and parenting then head on over to Amazon. My book is only one of two books about this, so I’m really proud to provide some information in an otherwise nearly blank space.
Don’t forget to check out my Pregnancy Diaries page for all of my pregnancy diaries from when I was pregnant with Wyatt last year. I also include the birth story and a diary entry from the first month.
I also provide freeresources on my page of the same name – eResources that I have made for you, some key chronic illness blogs and my favourite books (these links are to Goodreads).
May I ask you a favour? After you’ve read my book could you please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads? This way we can ensure more people who are fighting Fibromyalgia and pregnancy can find some information.
To stay up to date and receive a free copy of my eBook Fibro Mama Tips for Managing Early Pregnancy Symptoms – sign up here.
What a year! My second baby has been in this first year, learning to roll, crawl and, now, trying to walk. My first has been in this third year, learning and growing so fast.
I’m in a period of healing, that phase where you feel like things could get better. The low dose naltrexone (LDN) seems to be helping with stamina, pain and fatigue. I’m not sure how far it will go, but I am grateful for a renewed sense of hope.
Despite extended sleep deprivation due to the baby with reflux, I have coped excessively well. I’ve also had a separate health issue that drained on me for more than two months and I managed to cope and keep going forward despite it.
I began low dose naltrexone in April. After nine months and many dose varieties, I am holding at 4mg with improved stamina, slightly reduced fatigue and a slight difference in pain levels. I look forward to further improvements.
MSM supplement has been a useful addition to my arsenal. It is supposed to help with muscle, tendon and ligament pain in addition to healing the gut.
Magnesium oil right before bed around my neck and shoulders. I’ve taken magnesium for a long time, and it’s nice to not have to take it in tablet form.
Moringa powder provides 18/20 amino acids in addition to being a good source of iron and other nutrients. I am not very good at remembering to take it as it’s best taken with juice or in a smoothie – I dislike juice and I usually share smoothies within my three year old.
After dealing with symphisis pubis disorder for several months after having Wyatt last December, I am pleased to be walking 20-30 minutes a few times a week (it’s a time thing with two small children, I’d love to do it more). I’m also back to my sun salutation sequence whenever I can.
I’m looking at going back to work and am trying to find something that won’t demand too many hours, too much energy. I am looking forward to it.
A life goal
I accomplished a life goal when I published my book Fibro Mama: Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia. Since I was a young teenager, I have loved writing. When I wrote my life goal list up in my early twenties (doesn’t everyone do this, write it up physically?), publishing a book was on there. As I researched and shared my journey with pregnancy for the past four years, my mission became to help even one person not feel so alone in this vulnerable time. Now that I’ve felt some concrete results of the past several of real work on my health – I’ve compiled a large list of things I do to manage my illness, and I will be writing about this in a book due out early next year, Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue & Insomnia
It’s very exciting, I’m so glad to be able to share this journey with you.
I hope you have a restful and lovely Christmas holiday period and a happy New Year.
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Some of my links are affiliate links, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase using these links. I never promote anything I don’t 100% support myself.
To supplement the existing research and my own experiences, when writing my book Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, I conducted a survey. The results of the survey were so interesting (and I don’t think that’s just me as a research nerd!).
I sent out the link to my social media networks and received 22 responses. There were nine questions, including a free text box for any comments about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia and/or any advice for other mamas.
It was 50/50 for whether the women surveyed experienced a worsening or a betterment of their symptoms while pregnant.
I was less surprised to find that 70% of respondents experienced a severe flare up after the birth of their baby.
A whopping 70% stated that their number one coping mechanism during pregnancy was resting/napping. 25% said heat pack. Ordinarily I would have agreed with the heat pack, but for pregnancy my number one coping mechanism was rest in the form of meditation.
The most surprising response for me was the spread of answers to the nursing question. 40% managed for 12 months or more! 20% last for six months or 12 months respectively. 15% didn’t manage to nurse. 5% expressed exclusively.
As I shared in my post about Nursing with Fibromyalgia, I managed eight weeks of exclusive expressing with Noah before I had to give up. It was an awful, pressured time. I hated it. With Wyatt I managed to get through the first few weeks and get into the groove before he developed reflux. He just couldn’t keep my milk down. Thankfully I knew it wasn’t all or nothing and managed to mix feed with thickened formula until my supply completely dried up at 12 weeks. This was a far more positive experience. Though it was very draining for me both times.
These results confirm the (little) research I found – the experience of pregnancy and nursing with Fibromyalgia is as diverse as people’s general experience with Fibromyalgia.
You can’t guarantee pregnancy will make you better or worse. You can’t know if nursing will work out for you. But you can arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to support yourself. This is why I have written this blog and my book. To try to help fill this knowledge gap.
Some comments from mamas for you:
“Don’t push yourself too hard! Listen to your body!!” Jennifer “One of the hardest 9 months of my life but another reason now to keep going and fight!” Mindy
“1. My son is 10 months and we are still breast feeding, hoping to go long term.2. The two hardest things for me have been lack of sleep, and being forced to sit in the same position for long periods of time while nursing, or while my son slept. I kept five different pillows on the couch, and used them to prop myself and him up at every angle. Really helped.” Megan “My advice to any fibromite who wants to have a baby…stay active, eat healthy, and follow your providers instruction to a T. Get plenty of rest. Have a nest you can go to, with all of your comfort items, so you can hibernate when necessary. I hope your pregnancy is wonderful, but if it isnt, you will have an adorable little one to help you through life.” Catherine “Make sure you have a support team because after the baby your body will be in a flare up from the birth, hormones, lack of sleep and stress. It can last a short time or a long time. My flare up lasted almost 2 years.” Sabrina “Don’t let fibro hold you back from being a mother! Take one day at a time, be kind to yourself and look after yourself too.” Kelly “I wish I had known about epsom salts when I was pg. Nursing helped me fall asleep more quickly- I think it is oxytocin related. I wish I had asked for more help- more specific ways that someone could help. Laundry, folding, shopping for groceries, more frozen meals. Looking back, I was so scared of letting Fibro “win” I didn’t take enough time to truly take care of myself (easier said than done with a newborn).” Christine “go into pregnancy with as much information as you can, and make sure you have as much support as you can, if i did it over i would make sure i had as much help in place as i was able.” Patricia