Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries Weeks 25-29

fibro-mama-pregnancy-diaries-weeks-25-29Following the onset in week 22 or so, my low back and hip pain became worse as these weeks wore on. 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 lie down 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 heat pack 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 toddlers 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 heat pack, 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.

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 weeks 4-6, 7-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-20, 21-24 here and look out for the rest soon!


Silver Linings and Space

silver-linings-and-spaceIf we could make the space, perhaps things would not be so difficult. If we could slow down enough, the two year old might not seem so challenging, the assignment not so daunting, the marathon training not so epic. This is completely counter to the pervading culture of rush and busy-ness. Of doing, not being.

But I’m trying to give my body some space to do this miraculous thing it’s doing. It’s growing a brand new baby. At 25 weeks I began dramatically reducing work hours as my back could no longer tolerate sitting at a computer, I was too fatigued and sore to take care of my family. With a husband who works shift work (on very long, changing shifts, day or night), that’s not on. I put mechanisms in place to save energy where it could be saved and expend it where necessary.

Next year, I’ll be trying to create the space to be a mama with two small children. I’ll lay the foundations for my new baby’s life while recovering from pregnancy and coping with even worse sleep deprivation.

After that, I’ll be trying to wedge jigsaw pieces together in hopes that I can find the right pieces of Work, Family and Wellbeing (for me) that fit together with all the others.

As a mama with Fibromyalgia I already know that my concept of space needs to be a bit bigger than those without this illness. My Work puzzle piece may not look the same once I have two children, until they are at school. My Family piece will grow. My Wellbeing piece cannot shrink if I expect the whole puzzle to work.

Fibromyalgia has made creating space a necessity.

I cannot function without eight hours of sleep, I need rest and meditation, healthy eating is important and my body pays much sooner if I am not fueling it right, it needs gentle exercise and regular physio trips, some medicine and supplements.

This is the silver lining of Fibromyalgia, I cannot become one of those people who survive on limited sleep, food, no exercise or time to themselves. My body simply won’t allow it. If I want to look after my kids, I have to look after me first. It’s not a new concept, and everyone should be adhering to it, but I have the inability to ignore it. For this, I am grateful.