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Second Trimester, The Second Time

The second time around I truly found a distinction between the first and second trimesters, a real diminishing of symptoms. The nausea vanished, the more extreme fatigue receded and my low back pain eased. For a time.

second-trimesterThe relative lack of stress, limited work hours and the totally different place in my health journey all helped immensely. I had my coping mechanisms well in place. I already had a plan for coping with the third trimester, labour and the first weeks.

Sleep, of course, was difficult as my neck and shoulders hate (with a capital h!) lying on my sides. Every time I changed position, which was often, I woke. But meditation around lunch time for 20 or 30 minutes really helped me to cope.

Nu was really excited and shared the journey with me day to day, so that was really special!

Here’s what I did to be well:

  • Energy Revitalisation Formula – a general multivitamin to support nutrition for those with Fibromyalgia, any pregnancy multi is a good idea
  • Making better food choices – once I wasn’t so sick
  • Exercise as I could – this meant walking 20 minutes several times a week, being generally active (using 8000+ steps a day) and some gentle resistance work (superman, pelvic tilts and lots of pelvic floors)
  • Stretch – often!
  • Heat pack – not only does it ease pain, but I had to sit or lie down with it for it to stay on my neck or back.
  • Sleep and rest – bed at a good time, meditation about lunchtime
  • Journaling – taking time to write “mama notes” documenting the toddler and the pregnancy
  • Physio – every 2 weeks

As the trimester progressed and sleep deteriorated (due to worsening back pain) it did become more of a slog. But a heavy dose of acceptance helped – pregnancy is a trying time for any body, it is finite and I do all I can to help myself.

It also helped to be able to say things like, “these are my last first kicks,” “this is the last time I will have to cope with pregnancy-caused backache” and “this is my last second trimester”!


More information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

definitive edition pregnancy and fibro
My book is everything I have learnt and researched over two pregnancies.
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How I Decided to Have a Second Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Having a baby is a tremendous (and rewarding) undertaking, particularly when you have chronic pain and fatigue. My first pregnancy with fibromyalgia was extremely difficult. It was so hard that I really didn’t think I would have a second (let alone a third baby!)
This post was written prior to having my second baby and I have since had a third, I have edited it a little but it retains much of it’s original text.
how i decided to have a second baby: pregnancy with fibromyalgia

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!


IF I decide to have another baby I will be making my physical decisions.

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:

Pregnancy:

  • 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.

After:

  • 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.
This list is long but not exhaustive, I just thought that I could share it, in case my hard gained knowledge helped another in their pregnancy and/or planning. Also, because this has become a place in which to express my views and not deal with people, who don’t understand the fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue element at all, commenting.

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.

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24 Weeks

Time is disappearing at an alarming rate. I am just three weeks out from the third trimester and from what I have read, I don’t want to get there too quickly!

image

My little boy has become more and more active as the weeks go by. My little tenant loves to let me know he is there, especially when I have just lay down or started attempting to meditate after yoga.

As much as it has made me more in awe of this process I am going through, and reinforced why I am doing it, his little movements have also helped him start his bond with his father. My love likes to sit or lie with a hand or his head on my belly when we are relaxing together in the evening. It is the most amazing thing to see his reaction when baby prods at him.

Pregnancy is simultaneously tiring, painful, scary, awe-inspiring and ultimately bringing me around to a fuller sense of the world and my part in it. 

When I see tiny baby clothes I get such a sense of excitement for when I can snuggle with my little boy! When I see other babies, I get a tingling sense of joy for the fact that I will soon have one of these!

I have had some of those excruciating calf cramps that have woken me up in the early hours of the morning, the first one panicked me and I was practically hyperventilating as I tried to remember how to relieve it!

I have been super hungry. Super tired. Struggling to sleep comfortably for more than one or two hours at a time. So I am trying to actively remind myself to take it easy and rest more frequently. This is hard to do when I am getting married in three weeks, but I am trying!

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

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19 Weeks…It’s a Boy!

I fell down.

One Sunday morning, a few weeks ago, I woke up to pain in my left side and lower back. As the day wore on it became intense. In tears, on the phone to my midwife, I was told it was probably a pulled muscle. I took a Codeine and lay on the couch, vaguely watching TV.

After a painful physio visit the next afternoon, it was confirmed, I had pulled muscles in my lower back and left hip, which in turn had tripped my very tight glute muscles.

Since then, I have recovered slowly, but in dealing with the extra pain and resulting fatigue, I have fallen down. I haven’t been coping. Between the pregnancy and those injuries, sleeping is very difficult. I can only walk the dog for around 15-25 minutes at a time and have had to give up my mat Pilates routine.

In addition to this, I have been planning my wedding, for February 2014.

So I am planning a wedding, working, gestating, attempting to be healthy and am desperately, soul-achingly exhausted – and no one seems to get it.

Meanwhile, my baby has been growing furiously! I felt my little flutter ball the other day for the first time and then saw him yesterday in the anatomy scan.

Yes, we have been blessed with a baby boy! Feeling and seeing him makes it feel worth it! It is so amazing. I can’t wait to meet him.

I just wish I could focus all of my limited energy on preparing for him. He is my priority.

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

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Week 14

My neck has been uncomfortable for my whole pregnancy (yes, 14.5 weeks of 5-7/10 pain every day). So on Friday I went for a massage, unfortunately they thought that due to my pregnancy they shouldn’t use the usual pressure. Needless to say, I went away with almost as tight shoulders and neck as I went with. With chronic pain and fatigue, caused by chronic tightness in these muscles that I use frequently (especially for work), the only method to release the muscle (and therefore gain some respite) is deep tissue stimulation.

Due to my increasing pain over the weekend, last night I slept very poorly. I do have an appointment with my physio on Wednesday and I am counting down to it. Also, I am counting down to the end of the pregnancy, when I can have something stronger than paracetamol again!

I confess, I had been hoping to keep the maternity clothes at bay with belly bands (that cover my open pants button and keep my pants up). Most of the time, I am more bloated than pregnant, so I prefer to have nothing around my waist. It feels rather early to contemplate maternity clothes though…I am so pleased that I mostly work from home, so I can sit here with my pants wide open or live in tunic tops.

In unbearably cute news, I bought my first item that wasn’t a big-ticket, budgeted one…a tiny hat! It is mint green with a knot at the top, I can’t believe my baby is going to fit into that little thing.

We met the midwife this morning and heard the heartbeat. Due to belated shifts in timings for the scan (by the radiology company), my partner hadn’t made the scan appointment, therefore he hadn’t heard baby’s heart beat yet. That tiny, rhythmic beating, engenders such hope, such happiness, such contentment. I was so glad to share that with him. We are now on the countdown to the anatomy scan in four or five weeks!

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

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So Much Has Happened!

The last week and a half have been massive! I was awed by seeing my baby by my 12 week scan on the Thursday before last. Then on the Saturday, as a birthday present from my love, we went over to Kawau Island (off Matakana, North of New Zealand). The water was deliciously blue as we were shown around the edges of the island by boat, before being dropped off by the Governor’s Mansion.

We walked through a track in forest land to a remote beach…where my love proposed!

It was the most beautiful, romantic proposal I could have imagined. I was blown away. Of course, I said yes!

We then spent the week touring the upper parts of the North Island, as I had never been past Matakana previously. It was beautiful. A whole week, mostly alone with my love, to be calm and just enjoy. We experienced the richness of New Zealand’s history in Russell, at Waitangi and in various historical properties around the areas we traveled.

In the middle of our trip, the pregnancy clock ticked over to 13 weeks. Over the past week, I have noticed an improvement in my fatigue. I am still tired, but then I have chronic fatigue so that’s usual, but I am no longer desperately tired from the moment I wake. I no longer crave a nap at 10am or in the afternoon. I am back to afternoon rests (with a book or an episode of a TV series) and I can read before bedtime again! My eating has also settled down. I am still hungry regularly, but I am closer to my usual eating habits, which is great as I have put on a bit too much weight with the fatigue, pain and nausea.

So it is all very exciting!

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It’s a Boy! 19 Weeks

This is an old post when I wrote diary-like entries during my first pregnancy when I found myself alone with not even doctors who understood what might happen to me. One doctor suggested I ought to be feeling better (which I most certainly was not) but what an odd, uninformed thing to say! For the most recent pregnancy diaries from pregnancy number two and three see my Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia resources page

I fell down (not literally).

One Sunday morning, a few weeks ago, I woke up to pain in my left side and lower back. As the day wore on it became intense. In tears, on the phone to my midwife, I was told it was probably a pulled muscle. I took a Codeine and lay on the couch, vaguely watching TV.

After a painful physio visit the next afternoon, it was confirmed, I had pulled muscles in my lower back and left hip, which in turn had tripped my very tight glute muscles.

Since then, I have recovered slowly, but in dealing with the extra pain and resulting fatigue, I have fallen down. I haven’t been coping. Between the pregnancy and those injuries, sleeping is very difficult. I can only walk the dog for around 15-25 minutes at a time and have had to give up my mat Pilates routine.

In addition to this, I have been planning my wedding, for February 2014. So I am planning a wedding, working, gestating, attempting to be healthy and am desperately, soul-achingly exhausted – and no one seems to get it.

Meanwhile, my baby has been growing furiously! I felt my little flutter ball the other day for the first time and then saw him yesterday in the anatomy scan.

Yes, we have been blessed with a baby boy! Feeling and seeing him makes it feel worth it! It is so amazing. I can’t wait to meet him.


This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.