Pregnancy with fibromyalgia diaries, week twenty three stuff got real!

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Week 23

As a third time mama doing pregnancy with fibromyalgia I have been sharing my journey in case it helps you.

When I was pregnant for the first time in 2013, I would have loved to hear another mamas experience, read a book or take a course to help me cope.

In the absence of these things, I created my own.

Please note that some of my links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Here’s my week 23 pregnancy with fibromyalgia diary.

A brief overview

At week 23 baby is the size of a large mango. I experienced a bit of a growth spurt over the weekend (I show you the bump)!

Bubby is kicking up a storm which helps me to know he’s all good.

I am off work sick for three weeks as the symphysis pubis disorder has really run me down. Walking, sitting and sleeping are difficult.

I am still super thankful to be sleeping better than before low dose naltrexone.

Pregnancy with fibromyalgia diaries, week twenty three stuff got real!

Talking about pain relief:

9 Inexpensive Items I Use to Fight Fibromyalgia –here is the link to the Deep Heat I mentioned

Essential Oils for Pain Relief and a Pain Cream I am Loving -here I mention the essential oil pain relief cream I’m using

My Favourite Five Pain Management Mechanisms – Pregnant or Not!

I also mentioned my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, available now.

Don’t forget the Facebook group Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

Do let me know what pain relief options you are utilising during pregnancy with fibromyalgia!


Want more information about coping with pregnancy and fibromyalgia?

Sign up to my free course

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Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 7-13

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia The First Trimester Diaries

During my second pregnancy I wrote diaries here on the blog to share what my experience was like in case other people with fibromyalgia were curious. I would have loved to know I wasn’t alone with my symptoms during my first pregnancy – and that is why I started this blog, wrote my book, created the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook group and now am videoing my diaries.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 7-13As I’ve frequently mentioned in posts and videos the this pregnancy, despite the symphysis pubis disorder, it’s been a far better experience than my first two. It’s all thanks to low dose naltrexone improving my sleep, pain and fatigue levels. I started in a better condition and am continuing better.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Week Seven

 

 

 

 

I experienced a few weeks of rather bad nausea and fatigue which is all very normal.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 8-9

 

 

 

 

 

I went from very nauseas to very hungry (it was no joke, no food in tummy meant nausea big time!)

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 10-11

 

I started to get more tired, the 17 month old has been growing his double teeth and so has woken every night from week eight ongoing (still at week 16!). The symphysis pubis disorder (SPD) turned up *sigh*.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Week 12

 

 

 

We had the nuchal scan (screening for genetic disorders) and I outline some ways I am managing the SPD.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Week 13

 

 

I discuss the confusing matter of simultaneously being thankful that this pregnancy is not as miserable as the last two and upset because my much adored gains from LDN have started to recede (less sleep, more pain, more fatigue).

If you want to learn more information about pain relief during pregnancy, then check out my 15-page printable PDF Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Micro Course Workbook. It goes through the existing information about pain relief during pregnancy, my experiences, a list of natural pain relief options, a list of further reading, a template to make your own pain relief plan (pregnancy edition) with space for notes and the brand new Advanced Pain Relief sheet with links to research about medicine use in pregnancy. I have gathered the information and created these printables to make it easier for you to make the best decisions for yourself- it took me years to get it all together.

So that’s all the videos from the first trimester. Week 14 will go up next week (I’m posting approximately weekly) so do subscribe to to my YouTube channel to be alerted about those.

Feel free to come and join the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook group where we chat trying to conceive  pregnancy and nursing with Fibromyalgia.

Don’t forget to check out my video about coping with early pregnancy symptoms and fibromyalgia.

Find my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia here for everything I have researched and learnt about pregnancy with fibromyalgia. pregnancy and fibromyalgia def ed angle

Check out my course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia – it’s a full five module course for planning the best pregnancy possible despite Fibromyalgia including a module on pain management. I am experimenting with offering the course for free with the option to purchase my book (technically the textbook) and/or the workbook which is available in my Etsy store. Find more information about the course here.

Pregnancy Diaries 2018: The First Trimester of Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Surprise! We’re having baby number three. It was indeed a surprise, but here we are! During my first two pregnancies with Fibromyalgia I shared my journey. Since then I have written many articles, tips, a book and a course.

Now I can share my third pregnancy! This post is a round up of the first trimester.
Pregnancy Diaries 2018 The First Trimester
Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Baby development

A ton of physical development happens in the first trimester, baby had been conceived, implanted and developed all organs. They went from a speck in their dada’s eye (so to speak) to a fully formed miniature human.

Symptoms

The hormone overload that is growing a baby hits hard during the first trimester. I first knew I was pregnant by sore breasts, low back pain, bloating and mild food aversions.
Knowing the hormones usually hit me hard enabled me to prepare.

Early Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia
Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent
Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book 

I had my ginger lollies, peppermints, teas, acupressure bands and snacks ready.

The fatigue, as always, is a whole other story. I am always super grateful for meditation when I get so exhausted and my sleep becomes more disrupted.

I managed stiffness and discomfort in my low back, hips and shoulders with my natural pain cream and yoga stretches such as downward dog, forward bend and child’s pose.

I was super thankful for the low dose naltrexone making such a difference for me. I looked back at my nine week diary with my second pregnancy and I was in a lot of pain already and was taking codeine just to try and get some sleep. This time I was only using essential oil pain cream a few times a day and Deep Heat in the night. I was also still achieving a few hour blocks of sleep despite Wyatt waking multiple times with his double teeth coming through and peeing.

At week 10 my pelvis started to get a bit achy (reminiscent of the symphysis pubis disorder which caused miserable pain levels in the third trimester with Wyatt) and my physio confirmed that it would hopefully calm down again once the uterus had “popped” up from behind the pubic bone in the next couple of weeks. I have spoken about SPD in my most recent pregnancy diary videos on my YouTube channel here.

What’s happened

In addition to a busy nearly four year old, I had a newly walking one year old. Active is a good adjective to describe our life.

We also went to Hawaii! It was my first flight longer than four hours. It went pretty well with good planning.

I started a new job! The job is good, the nausea in the first week was not. The intense hunger in the following weeks was much more manageable.

Look out for the next updates as we go.

In the meantime you can

sign up to newsletter
Join the conversation in the pregnancy and fibromyalgia facebook group.
pain relief in pregnancy with fibromyalgia

Pain Relief in Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pain relief is a big issue for those who live with chronic pain. It becomes an even bigger issue during pregnancy. For those of us whose symptoms worsen during pregnancy, it’s a minefield.

Author’s Note: This article appeared first on The Mighty

pain relief in pregnancy with fibromyalgia

My fifth tip for pregnancy with Fibromyalgia is to get a pain management plan in place – preferably prior to becoming pregnant.

There are some medicines that are categorically unsafe for pregnancy. There are a lot of medicines that they just don’t know enough about, performing experiments on pregnant women, particularly involving something that may harm a baby, would be unethical. So literature relies on data provided by pregnant women. This website Mother to Baby  provides fact sheets, access to professionals about medicine in pregnancy and more.

The first thing to do when considering pregnancy with a chronic pain-based illness would be to discuss plans for pregnancy with your doctor. With my first pregnancy, we didn’t talk to the doctor before conceiving, and then when we were discussing the only medicine I was on (amitriptyline) I nearly had a panic attack at the thought of going off it. My doctor called a specialist and they agreed that the benefits outweighed the potential risks – for me and my unique situation.

Sleep is a big battle for me, I enact a long list of sleep hygiene tactics every day; take a low dose of amitriptyline at 8pm, take a low dose of naltrexone (I only started this after I had my second baby, prior to this I would take pain medicine at this time) at 9pm, get into bed with my heat pack, do a body scan meditation, and if I’m lucky, fall asleep for a few hours at a time. A good night sees me fall asleep relatively quickly and only lose an hour to awake or restless times. It would appear that the second the pregnancy hormones enter my body, sleep runs away screaming. Pain also becomes a much bigger issue when I have to lie on my side (as you must once baby gets big enough to put pressure on an important vein when lying on your back).

More articles about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia The First Trimester Diaries
Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent
Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries: The Delivery
Pumping or Expressing for Your Baby: Parenting (Fibromyalgia or Not)

You do not have to be miserable, there’s also research that suggests that under treated pregnancy and fibromyalgia def ed anglepain can negatively affect the pregnancy.[1] So if your doctor refuses to help you with pain relief, get a second opinion. Do some research for yourself and present it to them. I provide what I did during pregnancy to be as well as possible in my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

Here are a few natural pain relief mechanisms that I enacted during my pregnancies:

·         Heat pack
·         Warm shower or bath
·         Essential oils such as lavender and peppermint (for external use only and with a carrier oil after the first trimester) – see my Resources page for my free report about Essential Oils for managing pain
·         Magnesium oil (I never got a calf cramp in my second pregnancy using this)
·         Gentle walks and stretching
·         Meditation – especially ones specifically for pain relief on pregnancy, there’s heaps on YouTube to search up
·         Massage – either for yourself, or from a partner, friend, or therapist
·         Rest and sleep as much as you can
·         Belly support belt – I had symphysis pubis disorder (my pelvis basically widened too far) and this really helped.

If you want to learn even more information about pain relief during pregnancy, then Pain Managementmicro coursecheck out my 15-page printable PDF Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Micro Course Workbook. It goes through the existing information about pain relief during pregnancy, my experiences, a list of natural pain relief options, a list of further reading, a template to make your own pain relief plan (pregnancy edition) with space for notes and the brand new Advanced Pain Relief sheet with links to research about medicine use in pregnancy. I have gathered the information and created these printables to make it easier for you to make the best decisions for yourself- it took me years to get it all together.

I always recommend remembering that pregnancy is finite, there is an end date and a beautiful baby as the pay off. I also was a bit smug in my second pregnancy because I knew that I am one of those very rare women who actually sleep better with a newborn baby than pregnant, the pain levels are just so high that sleep is almost non-existent in the final trimester. Last year, once I delivered my second baby, my bed that had previously felt as hard as a rock seemed luxuriously soft. So in those one, two or three hours that the baby was asleep – I slept like the dead, which is a very rare occurrence for me.

I really hope that this post helps you on your way to relieving some of the pain involved in pregnancy with a chronic illness.
[1] Malaika Babb, PharmD, Gideon Koren, MD FRCPC FACMT, and Adrienne Einarson, RN. Treating pain during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2010 Jan; 56(1): 25, 27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809170/


For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

This article is also available as a free PDF printable in my free Resources page.

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

 

 

Precious Knowledge for other Fibro Parents

In my quest to unearth further information and present it to those of us who need it, I am gathering a survey of fibro parents about pregnancy and early parenting for inclusion in my updated book and on the blog. 

Pregnancy and Fibro

My first book is available on Amazon now

I thought my mission would be complete upon the publication of my book Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia last November and the eCourse of the same name. But, alas, there is more information needed and I have taken the call to seek it out. Particularly in the areas of fertility, pain relief, labour and the fourth trimester (early months).
 
I’d be super grateful if you wanted to share your hard earned knowledge about pregnancy, nursing and parenting with fibromyalgia. This survey is just nine questions on areas we desperately need information on. Of particular importance are the three questions where you can give a paragraph on what you’d tell another fibro parent just starting their journey on the areas of pregnancy, the early weeks and parenting.
There are also a couple of questions about pain management mechanisms you enacted.
 
Every drop of information counts for those of us fighting to live as well as possible while pregnant and parenting with Fibromyalgia.
 
Please feel free to share this to get this spread as wide as possible. The more respondents, the more information we receive!
 
Click to take the survey here.
call for info.jpgThank you in advance for contributing to the mission, I will let you know the results of the survey.

For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

Find my pregnancy diaries from my second pregnancy, in 2016.
Find my book Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia AVAILABLE HERE

For access to my free resource page, sign up here. This includes templates, reports and my free microcourse Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge will be up there shortly.
Enroll in my eCourse Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia here.
Join the group Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia on Facebook, we chat about pregnancy, nursing and parenting with Fibromyalgia.

My Six Tips for Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

I have been researching pregnancy with Fibromyalgia for the past four years and have written about my own experiences here on the blog.

Based on my research and exprience I have compiled six tips for pregnancy and Fibromyalgia. I talk about them in the video below.

The six tips are:

1. Arm yourself with knowledge
2. Get your body into the best place possible before conceiving
3. Prioritise rest and sleep
4. Nourish your body with good food and supplements
5. Get a pain management plan in place- discuss with your doctor what medicines you cannot come off, what you can and get your natural pain management mechanisms in place.
6. Make a plan for the final trimester, delivery and first six weeks that involves a good support system.
If you want to learn more information about pain relief during pregnancy, then check out my 15-page printable PDF Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Micro Course Workbook. It goes through the existing information about pain relief during pregnancy, my experiences, a list of natural pain relief options, a list of further reading, a template to make your own pain relief plan (pregnancy edition) with space for notes and the brand new Advanced Pain Relief sheet with links to research about medicine use in pregnancy. I have gathered the information and created these printables to make it easier for you to make the best decisions for yourself- it took me years to get it all together.

For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

Pregnancy and fibromyalgia self paced course

facebook group

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.

Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia is on Sale! One Week Special

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!
Pregnancy and Fibro

On Sale on Amazon now!

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 free resources 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.

Pregnancy & Fibromyalgia The Results of the Survey

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!). 

Pregnancy and Fibro

On Sale on Amazon now!

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

My book, Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia is available now in paperback and eBook.

Fibro Mama Pregnancy & Fibromyalgia Book

Are you wondering if your symptoms will be better or worse during pregnancy? If you’ll experience a flare up after delivery? What nursing with Fibromyalgia might be like? Have you thought about what coping mechanisms you’ll utilise during pregnancy? 
Melissa shares what the research says, what she experienced in her two pregnancies and what other women shared in a survey. 

After being disappointed at the lack of information about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia when I had Noah four years ago, I set about writing up my experiences and researching as new information became available.Pregnancy and Fibro

On my Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries page, I include my journals from my pregnancy with Wyatt last year, which I edited and posted over this past year.

Recently, I told you I was writing a book about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia with my research, my experiences and the results of a survey I took.

The results of the survey were so interesting (and I don’t think that’s just me as a research nerd!) that I’ll write a post about them. It was nearly 50/50 for whether the women surveyed experienced a worsening or a betterment of their symptoms while pregnant. A whopping 70% stated that their number one coping mechanism during pregnancy was resting/napping (I wholeheartedly concur, though my resting takes the form of meditation).

I have finished my book! It’s a little exciting for me as it’s one of my life goals to publish a book.

So Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia is available on Amazon now.

I’ve written chapters on the existing literature, about each trimester, nursing, being a fibro mama to a tiny baby and toddlers and include some advice for midwives and fathers.

I’d be so grateful if you supported me by purchasing it and leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

I’d also love to hear your top tips for surviving pregnancy with Fibromyalgia because sharing knowledge is so necessary when so little literature exists.

Pregnancy & Fibromyalgia Survey, Book & Page

Fibro Mama Tools for Managing Early PregnancyAfter being disappointed at the lack of information about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia when I had Nu four years ago, I set about writing up my experiences and researching as new information became available.

On my Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries page I include my journals from my second pregnancy last year, which I edited and posted over this past year.

Now I’m writing a book!
On my new Fibro Mama Pregnancy & Fibromyalgia page I include the links to the ebook I’m writing as I publish the posts. When it is complete (and edited) it will be available for purchase, with extra content.
For now, could I ask you a favour?
Would you fill in a survey so I can add to the research available (limited) and my experience (two pregnancies makes me an expert in my experience not collective experience)? Screenshot_20171117-092641
If you’re interested in following my progress in writing the book, or supporting me by purchasing it when I’m finished, please feel free to follow this blog and tell anyone who could benefit by this information.
Please feel free to comment about anything further you’re curious about and I’ll do my best to research it.