It was a good day for my new pain cream from Elizabeth at Bunguin Babies to arrive. I’d been experiencing very sore wrists and hands to the point that I could hardly function. The vacuuming had been torturous.
As I have recently said, I’m just beginning in my journey with essential oils and this cream – infused with essential oils – was a very good primer.
It has shown me that a simple, homemade cream can be a soothing, first-level pain relief option.
Please note that some of my links may be affiliates links, I may make a small amount at no extra cost to you.
This quote from Healthline shows the benefit of lavender: “Researchers in a 2015 study found that lavender essential oil can be an effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory.”
The article also lists further research around the benefits of essential oils and some things to note. One thing I’d mention, is that this article suggests we’re looking to alternative pain relief because medicine doesn’t work – I’d try alternative before medicines any day!
I’d been playing with lavender and chamomile- a delicious bath oil that I found soothed neck pain when applied. My theory of the essential oils is that they help reduce that top layer of pain first- the layer caused by the stress and fatigue of having the initial pain. This is also a theory I have about meditation.
The essential oils simultaneously massage the senses, particularly smell and soak into the skin to do their work.
Having a list of pain relief options is always a good idea. I utilise my heat pack constantly so that doesn’t need to be on my list. I also stretch often. But when the pain gets to distracting levels, I’ll start with essential oils.
I have used this pain cream on my arms, hands, low back and neck. It feels soothing as you rub it in. And you don’t necessarily need to be able to rub it firmly if you’re too sore for it to work. This has become my first line of defense before I escalate to Deep Heat (a non medicated heat rub) or medicines.
It’s a very good start before you delve into essential oils yourself or if you just want a ready made option.
Being in New Zealand, not all of the brands that are available internationally, are available here, but I have found this brand – Edens Garden – and want to try them. They use pure, therapeutic grade oils (and were inspired by the beauty of my home country!)
Find my free printable report Essential Oils for Natural Health and my other reports here on the Resources page .
Peppermint – for headaches, nausea and general tummy upsets.
Lavender – for general calming, sleeping, and pain relief. Research has shown this to have analgesic and anti inflammatory properties – just what we need.
Lemon – helps with mood, house cleaning and nausea.
For a special mix set to get started they have lavender, peppermint and lemon together.
I just combine mine with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply to the area I need it, or put some in my bath or diffuser. There are so many ways to utilise these natural goodies.
Do you use essential oils? Can you please share your favourites?
For more information:
Five lessons to get you started fighting fibromyalgia, including new bonus module on pain management.
Low dose naltrexone came on my radar last year and after consuming all of the research and anecdotal evidence about its impact on Fibromyalgia, I earmarked it for my major experiment post-baby (I had baby W last December).
Donna Gregory Birch, a well-known Fibromyalgia writer who explains how LDN works: “in low doses (typically 1-4.5 mg), naltrexone enhances the body’s immune system by boosting the production of endorphins, which in turn promotes healing and lessens inflammation.
Research has been showing promising results. Dr Jared Younger started with a tiny study and found positive results, approximately 65% of patients experienced clinically significant results. He’s doing a bigger study this year.
As a member of an active group about what works for Fibromyalgia and two groups about low dose naltrexone on Facebook, I have seen many testimonies from people with Fibromyalgia experiencing changes due to LDN ranging from mildly beneficial to miraculous. There are also those for whom it does not work or they do not try it for long enough – this is not a quick fix for most.
Further information on how LDN works is well explained in this article, which includes many links to research.
If I could experience a 30% (this is considered clinically significant and therefore as success) decrease in pain and fatigue, my life would change! I could be a mama, a wife, do my work and have some form of a life outside that and not pay with such significant levels of pain, fatigue and other side effects of the Fibromyalgia.
I can only share research and what works or doesn’t work for me. We are all unique and react differently. If you’re interested in LDN then read the research/information and then discuss it with your doctor.
I have been reluctant to post this update, I was waiting for something solidly quantifiable but in lieu of that I’ll give you my anecdotal evidence that it is working.
Around 8 months ago I began taking low dose naltrexone and have slowly titrated up to a dose of 4 milligrams. It took me about six months to get to 4 milligrams as previously my body couldn’t cope with that level, I experienced vivid dreams and flare ups of ulcers and cold sores each time I tried to titrate up too fast. I may try 4.5 milligrams later on.
For now the effects that I have noticed are:
slightly more stamina
slightly better sleep
slightly less fatigue and
slightly less neck pain – from an average (which changes over a day as well as the week) of 4-7/10 down to about 3-5/10
Anyone who has been following my blog for a while would know that my neck is the area I struggle with the most. With that a little more in check, the fatigue is a close second.
I don’t think my functionality has increased however the quality of my life while performing all that I do has increased. When I do overdo it or have a bad night’s sleep the pain will increase. The heatpack is still my best friend, the computer is still my neck’s nemesis and I can’t hold it for too long in one position – but it’s better than before.
I still have hope that as we edge toward the one year anniversary that I’ll experience more miraculous effects. For now it is definitely worth the $30 a month I pay for the perscription.
This combined with meditation and gentle exercise, paying attention to what I eat and trying to limit stress have been the best things I could do. I hope that when I start working I will be able to maintain half-time hours and not return too much closer to the previous pain levels.
I’d love to hear your experiences with LDN. I’ll write an update when we get closer to a year.
For more information
Low Dose Naltrexone is one of many ways that I manage pain. This printable contains the chapter of the same name from my book along with some templates for making your own plans. I created this series for those of us who are not able to consume an entire book right now, or who want to work on one thing at a time.
After a week of intensified Braxton Hicks contractions, escalating back and hip pain and other excellent end of pregnancy symptoms, I was glad to make it to week 36. At week 36 baby’s lungs are better prepared for the outside world and he’s mostly ready.
Week 37 is considered term. Nu came at 37 weeks and 4 days, for which I was profoundly grateful as I was exhausted and in so much pain by then.
Sleep deprivation is like putting Fibromyalgia on crack. It makes sleeping even harder, you lay awake in pain for hours at night and spend all day in pain. The fatigue is unrelenting. I’m trying to severely limit the Panadiene as the midwife said we don’t want it building up in my system before birth.
Late pregnancy symptoms are uncomfortable for anyone. The heaviness of the belly, the constant bathroom stops, the back ache, menstrual like cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions, alternating hunger and nausea, fatigue. At least these are for a finite time. Though I am a little jealous of those who know their end dates (inductions and cesareans)!
Unfortunately, we found that my iron levels had completely depleted and I had to quickly have an injection at week 37. It certainly explained why I had been so exhausted, lethargic, nauseas and in so much pain. Within days of the injection I felt so much better! It was amazing, I hadn’t realised how sick I had gotten.
I managed to spend the day out with my family and walk more than I had in weeks on the Saturday of that weekend. On the Sunday I managed to meet a friend for coffee and wander around the mall with Nu in tow (I had been too exhausted to consider wrangling him out of the house). It was really nice.
I had a show and a little mucus coming away over the weekend after 37 weeks ticked over and had stronger tightenings which made me a little excited. I couldn’t wait to meet my boy.
At week 38 we began getting ready for Christmas and put up our tree and took Nu to a Christmas Fair. It was really lovely as he’s beginning to be able to understand and get excited with us. My stamina had greatly decreased by then, Nu saved me a lot of the late pregnancy symptoms by arriving early. I hoped we wouldn’t get too far into December as I wanted baby to have his birthday separate from Christmas and my back needed him out!
I have shared this journey so that people can see what if is like for this mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy, find it in my Pregnancy Diaries page here.
For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:
Sign up to receive my free micro-course: Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge, Tips for Early Pregnancy Symptoms, Natural Pain Relief Options in Pregnancy reports and more.
Week 34 was characterised by fatigue, pain, menstrual like cramps, many Braxton Hicks contractions and growing excitement. My body was definitely gearing up for the last weeks and delivery.
Pacing became necessary. 30 minutes of activity in exchange for a rest with the heat pack.
My neck, which had coped so well previously, started to get quite stiff and sore. After a day of doing too much on the computer (finishing two assignments for my bookkeeping course and scheduling two blog posts) I experienced pain levels of 7-8/10 with a severe headache causing nausea. I am quite proud of my coping mechanisms – once Nu was in bed I had a hot shower, used the TENS machine on my shoulders, and heatpack on my neck. After coming off my one Panadiene per night in preparation for baby’s coming (and wanting to avoid any potential breathing issues from the codiene, very low risk) I allowed myself to have one. This all enabled me to get to sleep. I did wake every half an hour at first, but then managed a three hour block in the middle of the night, before lapsing back to frequent waking. For me, for this pregnancy, this was quite good. I did have to take it quite easy for next few days.
Baby seemed to burrow himself lower in week 34. When I sat down it was like he was sitting in my lap. There were occasional stabbing pains down low and more painful Braxton Hicks contractions. One night I woke with one that required breathing to get through. Each afternoon and evening seemed to bring a flurry of them, whether walking or resting (though I was mostly walking at this time and herding the 2.5 year old through the evening routine).
With my Whooping Cough vaccine down, week 35 ticked over and the birthing centre tour taken, all that needed to happen before I was ready for baby was for two weeks to elapse. I wasn’t sure when to hire the baby carseat (I didn’t want it to sit in the car, unused for four or five weeks). But, apart from that, I had everything organised.
I found some relief with a lavendar massage oil on my low back and glutes (and my whole back whenever I could talk husband into a massage) before bed. On the nights my neck was making it hard to lie down I used a menthol massage cream. My heatpack, pelvic tilts, child’s pose, meditation, stretching, resting, good food and lots of water got me through the difficulties of late pregnancy.
For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia
Sign up to receive access to my free PDF reports: Tips for Managing Early Pregnancy Symptoms, Natural Pain Relief Options During Pregnancy and my free micro course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge.
I am sharing these posts from my pregnancy with baby W last year to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Unfortunately it’s taken me nearly a year to edit and post these. Find my Pregnancy Diaries page here
I was in a period of waiting. Of feeding my family, cleaning my home, organising my stuff. Of resting and stretching and trying to be well despite sleeplessness and the pain of carrying an extra 9kgs.
Despite all the difficulties of pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, I was trying to mindfully inhabit the present. To enjoy the moments of sitting on my couch and hearing the birds play in the trees. To enjoy snuggles with Nu. To embrace this period of slow.
12 minute pregnancy yoga clips helped me to stretch and open my cramped back and hips. Meditation helped me to rest and relax and make it through the afternoon. My physiotherapy appointments became a little more frequent to help support my neck and shoulders.
Baby’s movements became more painful as he stretched the limits of his shrinking (relative to his size) home. He seemed particularly busy at rest time, bedtime and once Nu went to bed (and I sat down).
I was lucky enough to try biofeedback therapy after being on the waiting list since my pain clinic appointment earlier in the year. I love having tools that I can call on to help myself (stretching, meditation, trigger point work etc.) And so this furthering of my meditation work was useful.
At week 32 my immune system seemed to go on hiatus, I got another bad cold that I couldn’t shake and turned into an infection requiring antibiotics.
As my sleep worsened further, I found it harder and harder to get up in the morning. Much of the day was spent dragging. Somehow I perked a little in the afternoon and after dinner.
I found myself getting really riled up when people suggested that my third baby would be a girl or that I “had” to have a third so I might have a girl. I knew I could not do this again. My back would probably hand in its notice. My emotional well-being couldn’t survive it. I had plans for my health, for my work, for my life that are on hold. I can’t try any new medicines (herbal or otherwise) until I finish trying to nurse the baby.
In order to support my rest I finally started watching Grey’s Anatomy season 12 (not actually a good idea as I cried in most episodes) and rereading Middlemarch (George Elliot). I find comfort in rereading my favourite classics, I also got out my worn copy of Pride and Prejudice to begin my annual (sometimes biannual if I need the perking up!) reread of that.
Something about seeing my baby again and learning that he was perfectly average in size at week 33 enabled me to relax into the last weeks. The fundal height measurements had been placing him in the 20th percentile which was much smaller than his big brother and I had worried I had done something to cause this. Knowing he was 2.1kg made me feel proud and even more excited that my baby was growing and coming soon! With escalating back, neck and shoulder pain it was a nice reminder of why I was doing it all.
I am sharing these posts to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Find my Pregnancy Diaries page her
I couldn’t believe my baby was coming sometime in the next 7-10 weeks!
This pregnancy was such a different experience to the first one, for which I was so grateful. It was challenging and I was pretty sore and tired (and there’s more to come) but I tried to savour the good bits. To remember the feeling of my tiny baby moving within me, to know I was growing a human life. It’s amazing.
A lot of my to-do list had been ticked off for baby. I was not prepared to go out for long shopping trips anymore. Most of what’s left was to prepare what I could in advance to make life easier.
I had been daydreaming/visualising about how it would be better than last time, without a prolonged labour experience, without being left without my husband in the first days, without my son being sick and needing to be back in hospital after three weeks…The difference this could make. I also had a list of the things I could try while nursing and after that in order to support my health – including rhodiola rosea for energy and adrenal support.
Nursing was occupying my thoughts. With Nu I really struggled, he was sick and a lot of problems arose with that, it also hurt (my nipples were ruined and my actual breasts ached so badly – I cried when I had to go and express). I hated it. It did not help my experience of the first six weeks of motherhood.
This time I was hoping that a better start, the baby being well and a different baby would make a difference. I was hoping that baby will latch well, drink well and not be resolute about going to sleep after one minute! I was also hoping that the entirely different situation will give me some leeway in the pain and energy levels. I had my double expressing machine, nipple cover, cream and ice packs ready. I was going utilise the six weeks my husband is home to really make a luxury out of feeding – go and lie down comfortably with my heat pack and potentially a guided meditation to try to make it a rest at the same time.
My lower back/hips continued to feel rather sore, almost like they were being sawn off. I had found that not taking a walk (in addition to my 8000 incidental steps per day), doing pelvic tilts and yoga stretches on all fours made a difference. As did lying on my side but leaning slightly back on my maternity pillow when in bed. Heat pack, warm showers and arnica rub helped.
Meditation continued to be a life raft. 45 minute body scans with my heatpack about lunch time made a huge difference to my pain and energy levels. The days I couldn’t lie down were quite difficult.
From the day that 30 weeks ticked over, all of a sudden, I felt blinded by exhaustion. By the evening I was in a lot of pain and so tired I felt ill. I had to crawl into bed as soon as Nu was in bed to lie down. Lying down helped, but being in bed for so long made my low back and hips very sore by the early hours of the morning. Being proactive (and knowing at 27 weeks my iron levels had been at the bottom of the normal range) I scheduled an iron injection for a boost. This wasn’t without troubles, it is painful to get the injection and for the day after, and it also leaves a bit of a stain (I still had a stain from where I got it last December). But it actually made all the difference in the world.
I was simultaneously counting down, taking it one day at a time and enjoying my time with Nu.
I thought I would share this journey, as I did with the first, to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Find the rest of the diaries here.
Following the onset in week 22 or so, my low back and hip pain became worse. Sleeping was difficult, I had to start the night with a hot water bottle and as the night progressed it got harder to ignore. By 5am I wriggled around trying to get comfortable more than I slept. The morning was spent trying to mobilize and push through. My midday liedown became challenging for relaxing enough through the pain to rest and as the afternoon and evening wore on the pain became worse.
I tried third trimester yoga videos on YouTube (this one’s a goodie), used my heatpack religiously, took Panadol and Panadiene as sparingly as possible and attempted to pace appropriately. It felt like the business end of pregnancy came far too early!
I tried to really focus on eating nourishing food such as Bircher muesli, soups and salads. I also took a pregnancy multivitamin and probiotics to support my body.
The fatigue was reasonable (but difficult) given the battle that sleep had become. My body was heavily exhausted but I woke every one or two hours, sometimes more. Getting up was hard, but two year olds wake when they wake and you can’t ignore those loud “mama, mama” calls!
My tiny passenger seemed to make use of his growing space, simultaneously kicking and punching high and low. He always let me know he was there, growing nicely, getting ready to come.
The short Gestational diabetes test was not as awful with better planning this time. I ate a proper breakfast and took reading materials. Though the sugary drink made me feel dehydrated all afternoon!
Unfortunately the results were not good, so I had to do the glucose tolerance test…I had to fast for 10 hours and go to the lab at 8am (with no breakfast or coffee!), have a blood test, drink the same sugar drink, sit for two hours and have another blood test. I was quite unwell with it and so had to lie on the bed in fetal position to stop from vomiting, but I made it! I was pretty wiped afterwards and so hard a very quiet afternoon.
I was super pleased to find the results were “perfectly normal”!
At 28 weeks I crossed into the third trimester. With midday naps, pacing, good food, good supplements and regular physio I felt like I was coping quite well despite the battle that the nights brought (including dead arms every hour). The low back and hips were not so bad when I didn’t overdo it, the upper back was not so forgiving and I did get some regular spasming which wasn’t fun. Lying down with the heatpack, taking Panadiene and meditation helped.
By week 29 I was focused on organising the last of baby’s things so that I could rest more later, reading up on labour and enjoying my last weeks with Nu as an only child. This child brings me such joy and I really revel in the fact that he’s super rough and tumble but always has a kiss and a cuddle for his mama.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a useful supplement to consider for fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue. It has a wealth of support behind it and I have personally found benefit from it. I share all of this below.
Some of the links are affiliate links, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend what I believe in.
MSM is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is meant to help with pain in the tendons, ligaments and muscles. It is also said to help with energy, post-exertion malaise, and for cellular energy (to support mitochondria). In New Zealand it is one of those nutrients the soil is now depleted of.
The benefits of MSM
Dr Axe outlines six benefits of taking MSM, including joint pain, digestive problems and muscle pain and spasms (a biggie for me):
“Research suggests that MSM can act like a natural analgesic, helping prevent and treat muscle aches and pains, throbbing and swelling while improving range of motion and mobility.”
The article goes on to state that, “MSM also restores the flexibility and permeability of cell walls within muscles, which means nutrients can pass through the tissues more easily, facilitating repair work faster and removing lactic acid, which causes that “burning feeling” following exercise.”
This is great for people with Fibromyalgia, who often feel greater post-exercise pain – I often get severe pain in my lower body for up to three days post exercise, if I have overdone it.
“Digestion is the biggest energy requirement of the body (Approximately 70-80% of your energy is spent on digestion each day). MSM increases the absorption of nutrients so that the energy expenditure on digestion is vastly reduced.”
This is good news for a person like me who doesn’t tend to take the nutrients from food efficiently, using iron as an example, despite a healthy level of iron rich foods I cannot keep my iron levels up without regular injections. Also, any efficiency in energy is a bonus for people with limited energy levels.
“Preventing and reducing symptoms of autoimmune diseases by supporting reduction of chronic inflammation.” and supporting “Your body’s electron transport system, as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells.”
This is important as there is a lot of noise about supporting our mitochondria. Ari Whitten believes mitochondria are the key to overcoming chronic fatigue. He has a fantastic free masterclass that I highly recommend signing up for. It is a little information-dense so take your time with it. While COq10, D-ribose, PQQ and many other energy enhancing supplements are usually recommended (and are not cheap) – MSM is often left out.
Below I share how MSM helps me.
MSM and me
I began taking MSM (this is what I used) in July 2017 as this was when I began to suspect the pain in my neck was actually Myofacial Pain Syndrome – painful, severe trigger points that recur no matter the treatment. Trigger points are usually considered separate to Fibromyalgia but there are some doctors who believe them to be part of it (like Dr Liptan).
After a Google search for potential side effects, potential benefits and checking any interactions with my current medicines (amitriptyline and low dose naltrexone) – I decided to try it.
It took about six weeks to build up in my system. At this point I noticed a slight reduction in pain, perhaps one pain point on average in my neck, which is actually a big deal for me. This helped reduce the number of severe headaches and I didn’t have any other pain relief for several weeks.
I began with tablets, they were big! I had to take one tablet two times a day, and it was difficult swallowing them. So when I finished the bottle, I ordered a powdered version. During the wait the symptoms returned. It took another few weeks to feel the benefit of the powder. It is much less of a burden to take the powder, half a teaspoon dissolved in a cup of water (which I skull) is really easy for me.
A minor medical event, separate to the Fibromyalgia occurred in August which set me back. I am going to keep the low dose naltrexone and MSM going for the year’s experiment and I have just added moringa powder (which I will report on later) – moringa is a good source of protein and amino acids, as well as iron and magnesium which is said to work well with the MSM.
After finding the mitochondria research trail again as my third baby began nursing less and less (making me feel more comfortable adding in some natural supplements) I began taking MSM again. It makes sense to me to help support the many mitochondria with my energy crisis. I will let you know how it goes after several weeks.
I’d love to hear your experience with MSM, please share in the comments.
Grab your MSM powder here (do always check for interactions with your medicines and supplements and check with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing):
By week 21 my burgeoning bump had taken over! Forgetting my new size, I brushed against things and banged it a few times before learning (that can hurt!). At week 22, I wondered how I could possibly grow for 16-18 more weeks.
A nice, healthy, detoxifying, warming drink I fell in love with was warm lemon (juice of half), honey (1 tspn) and tumeric (1/4 tspn).
I started to think more about the birth. After a 20 hour posterior (baby facing the wrong way causing severe back pain) labour with Nu, I was really keen for a nicer birth story. The news that second labours tend to be shorter and that those who have had posterior labour previously don’t realise they’re in labour until fully established gave me some confidence! I was planning all I could to save my energy and to avoid the stress of the first few days that we had with Nu. The first was that my husband doesn’t leave me, if he had to go, I had to go too! The second was that I know the signs of back labour and if it occured again, I would ask for intervention sooner.
A steady low back ache developed again at week 21, disturbing sleep and making the day more painful. A heatpack, pelvic tilts and child’s pose were somewhat helpful.
The only thing that really helped was reducing my activity level, aiming for 8000 steps or less. I could manage this for most of the week, but on weekends it was more difficult. There’s always too much to do on a weekend and it’s always been difficult to keep up with my husband. Another hard lesson in pacing.
We named our wee boy and the sweetest sound is Nu saying his name and talking to baby through the bump.
At week 23 I felt like there was a lot going on physically. I was put on antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis. My low back and neck were troublesome, to say the least. And I began getting Braxton Hicks contractions. It was time to admit that I was quite pregnant! The countdown may have begun for the end.
I thought I would share this journey, as I did with the first, to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Find all of the posts and more at Pregnancy Diaries and Resources.
Sign up to receive access to my free resources which include the PDF reports: Tips for Managing Early Pregnancy Symptoms, Navigating Pain Relief in Pregnancy and my free micro course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge. This is part of the first module of my full eCourse Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.
The time to give up sleeping on my back came too soon! The night became a rather long struggle of tossing from side to side and waking up to dead arms. My back, shoulders, neck and glutes all yelled at me all night, no matter how I arranged the pillows. Even my meditation/daily rest became difficult due to positioning.
It didn’t help that Nu began really testing the boundaries and took extra energy to manage. Though, he was still very excited about baby, from 18 weeks he talked often about the next scan when he would see the baby dance.
At week 19 Nu got a really bad cold and was clingy and not sleeping well, which was really difficult. My pain issues from sleeping on my side and Nu waking me in the night and very early several times, made coping very hard.
Not having to sit at my computer for several hours four days a week really helped my neck and back. The work I did do seemed to flare it up a bit faster due to the lack of sleep.
It wasn’t all bad news, due to baby being tucked in the back it took a while for movements to become more frequent and obvious (which is the best part of pregnancy, until they wedge a foot in your ribs) but when they came it was reassuring.
One thing my second pregnancy taught me, is that the times my body craves coffee are actually the times I need rest. Having a two year old means I can’t always indulge in a full lie down meditation, however I can sit with my heat pack for a time. It makes such a difference. I can go from miserably exhausted, barely keeping my eyes open, to relatively normal after 30-45 minutes of good meditation.
Plus a 10 minute lie down can make a difference – relax (I use a variety of pillows); Close your eyes and count (in 10, out 10, in 9, out 9 etc) until zero; slowly imagine each body part relaxing (right hand thumb, first finger, second finger etc); lie for as long as you can gently breathing.
I saw an obstetrician at week 19 to confirm that my midwife could keep managing my pregnancy with me. When discussing pain relief she said she’d need to refer me back to the pain clinic, when I expressed my feelings of disappointment with the most recent doctor I saw there, she said that I may get a different doctor. *Sigh* She also said that Fibromyalgia doesn’t affect pregnancy, or vice versa. This stunned me. Pregnancy reduces sleep and places stress on the immune system and body, and Fibromyalgia is worsened through reduced sleep and stress on the immune system and body. The entire body is connected. You can’t have something happen in one area (eg. The uterus) and not affect other areas (eg. The back, neck, shoulders, hips, glutes, sleep system and immune system). So I felt like it was just me and my research in a 20 week endurance event. But I was used to that!
We made sure that my husband and Nu could attend the 20 week anatomy scan – again the baby was very busy so it took some time to capture all the pictures. We waited with baited breath to be told it was a healthy baby boy! Nu took a few hours to warm to the idea that it was a boy. I talked myself into it over the next day. Husband was happy.
I thought I would share this journey, as I did with the first, to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Find all of the posts and more on my Pregnancy Diaries and Resources page.
Sign up to receive access to my free resources which include the PDF reports: Tips for Managing Early Pregnancy Symptoms, Navigating Pain Relief in Pregnancy and my free micro course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge. This is part of the first module of my full eCourse Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.