The first eight weeks can only be referred to as epic. The first four weeks were spent entirely in the dark, the fifth was the week I suspected and then confirmed it. Weeks six, seven and eight were characterised by strong emotions, strong fatigue and strong nausea. It was hard.
We weren’t expecting it, so there was a lot to negotiate there, dreams for the next year or so to let go of. New visions to reorient ourselves to. In amongst this is a persistent fear about the high chance of my partner being made redundant next July.
On top of all this, I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. So I have a real anxiety around how I am going to cope in the last stages of pregnancy and when I have produced the child. For the first three months we will have maternity leave, so we will be paid nearly three-quarters of my earnings.
But after that it gets tricky.
I am going to have to try to keep this child alive, keep myself healthy and work at least 20 hours, if not 25, in order to keep our young family fed. This is without childcare. So, instead of napping when baby does, I will have to be working, or cleaning.
As far as the nausea of the first eight weeks, I managed to tackle that with a set of three special acupuncture treatments with my physiotherapist. It cost a bit of money and the points for treatment were rather painful for me, but it was worth all of it. Now, if I manage the fatigue (sleeping as much as possible between 9.30pm – 7.30am and resting in the afternoon), my neck pain and keep my stomach fed every two hours, I can avoid the extreme ill feeling.
I am now counting down the four weeks until the second trimester. I imagine the joy of being “my old self”. So, I’ll still be tired, but not as profoundly. Unfortunately, with the relative safety of the second trimester, the time will come to tell our family.
While having managed to continue to walk my dog most days, I haven’t had the energy to do my pilates or yoga, so I am also looking forward to being able to add that back into my schedule.
I am also looking forward to when I can share my news with people. Despite everything surrounding this pregnancy, the pain, fatigue, nausea, life-change and anxiety, I want to claim this pregnancy as what it is – one of the best occurrences in a woman’s life. My partner and I have created a life. I want to celebrate that. I want to celebrate baby when she/he arrives.
So I want to share my journey as a mum in my late-20s with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, who is looking to set up and run a home on a budget, keep the spark alive with the love of my life and work.