Considering a Second, Guidelines to Myself for Pregnancy Planning

Having a baby is a tremendous (and rewarding) undertaking, particularly when you have chronic pain wordleand fatigue. 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 both pregnancy and 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.
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 it:
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!
  • I want to 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.
  • I would try to keep up a core few resistance based exercises throughout the pregnancy to keep my strength up.
  • I need to be able to 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.
  • I would like to 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.
  • I would utilise acupuncture for morning sickness in the first trimester and general wellness during pregnancy.
  • I would 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.
  • I would do my absolute best to avoid stress throughout the pregnancy.
  • I would use a 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.
  • I would 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.
  • I would 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.
  • I would 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.
  • I would 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.
  • 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 centre. 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.
  • I would be more gentle with myself and advocate more strongly for myself, particularly in the babymoon phase.
  • I would try to 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.
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2 thoughts on “Considering a Second, Guidelines to Myself for Pregnancy Planning

  1. It is SO helpful to read your blog!!! I’m very thankful for what you have shared. I have been doing lots of intense research and thinking about fibro and pregnancy over the last couple of years since meeting my husband. I also have some other problems that, combined, make a pregnancy for me either impossible or nearly so. Still, I have not wanted to give up that dream without full consideration. Hearing your experiences is helpful. What you described is similar to what I was told at a consultation with a high-risk o.b. doctor. I look forward to following your blog and chatting more about these things!

    Like

    • Thanks for your messages 🙂 so glad it’s been useful. Luckily, I wasn’t considered high risk, in fact they weren’t particularly worried about my pain in pregnancy. Feel free to ask any questions. I’m pretty responsive on the Facebook page if you want to 🙂

      Like

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