Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries: The Delivery

It’s been nearly a year since I had my second baby. It has taken this long to touch up and post all of my pregnancy diaries! You can find all of these posts on my Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries page

The deliveryMy birth story wasn’t exactly what I wanted but it was better than the first one.

32 hours of extreme back pain and painful contractions produced a beautiful 3.1 kg baby.

I couldn’t get to 4 centimetres dilation at home like you’re supposed to. I managed to wait until 3 centimetres at which point I needed help. We found out in the end the reason for the pain and lack of dilation that baby had the cord wrapped around him three times, probably stopping him from engaging.

It took a lot of intervention to get him down and out, but I managed to do it without a cesarean.

While it was a long, hard, painful labour, I can clearly recall the care of the many professionals I encountered, my midwife being the lead. I felt looked after and that my baby was being carefully monitored. The after care, during which I haemorrhaged, was also spectacular. This is what I remember the most from my experience. And it was dramatically different from my first labour, for this I’m grateful.

We spent a night in hospital, where I had fluids and an iron transfusion, and a night at a maternity centre. My pain levels in my low back and glutes were through the roof until we got home and I could move freely from comfortable bed to comfortable chair (and take pain killers less rigidly, but still according to instructions). It wasn’t until I saw the physiotherapist at four weeks that we realised I had symphisis pubis disorder which meant my pelvis spread too far, presumably due to the prolonged back labour. This caused severe pain at first and gradually reduced to mild with reduced range of movement and lots of pelvic tilts.

As it is with childbirth, so it is with fibromyalgia, we are all different and we can’t look for “normal” because there is no normal. There are patterns, but there’s no normal.

We must learn to listen to our body and trust that little voice that guides us. It can take some time to hear it, as there are plenty of louder voices itching to tell us what to do. But, if we pay attention, we will know what to do.

I knew I couldn’t cope any longer and that the pain was abnormal for so early in the labour. I will always be thankful that I pushed to go in and that the midwife listened.

Likewise, I am so thankful that I learned to hear my little voice and to regard myself as the expert with my experience of Fibromyalgia. And as the result of listening to this voice in labour is a healthy baby, the outcome of listening with Fibromyalgia is much better health.

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Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), Fibromyalgia & Me

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)Low dose naltrexone came on my radar last year and after consuming all of the research and anecdotal evidence about its impact on Fibromyalgia, I earmarked it for my major experiment post-baby (I had baby W last December).

Donna Gregory Birch, a well-known Fibromyalgia writer who explains how LDN works: “in low doses (typically 1-4.5 mg), naltrexone enhances the body’s immune system by boosting the production of endorphins, which in turn promotes healing and lessens inflammation.

Research has been showing promising results. Dr Jared Younger started with a tiny study and found positive results, approximately 65% of patients experienced clinically significant results. He’s doing a bigger study this year.

As a member of an active group about what works for Fibromyalgia and two groups about low dose naltrexone on Facebook, I have seen many testimonies from people with Fibromyalgia experiencing changes due to LDN ranging from mildly beneficial to miraculous. There are also those for whom it does not work or they do not try it for long enough – this is not a quick fix for most.

Further information on how LDN works is well explained in this article, which includes many links to research.

If I could experience a 30% (this is considered clinically significant and therefore as success) decrease in pain and fatigue, my life would change! I could be a mama, a wife, do my work and have some form of a life outside that and not pay with such significant levels of pain, fatigue and other side effects of the Fibromyalgia.

I can only share research and what works or doesn’t work for me. We are all unique and react differently. If you’re interested in LDN then read the research/information and then discuss it with your doctor.

My updates

Low Dose Naltrexone: An Experiment
Low Dose Naltrexone: Update 16 Weeks

Now

I have been reluctant to post this update, I was waiting for something solidly quantifiable but in lieu of that I’ll give you my anecdotal evidence that it is working.

Around 8 months ago I began taking low dose naltrexone and have slowly titrated up to a dose of 4 milligrams. It took me about six months to get to 4 milligrams as previously my body couldn’t cope with that level, I experienced vivid dreams and flare ups of ulcers and cold sores each time I tried to titrate up too fast. I may try 4.5 milligrams later on.

 

For now the effects that I have noticed are:

slightly more stamina
slightly better sleep
slightly less fatigue and
slightly less neck pain – from an average (which changes over a day as well as the week) of 4-7/10 down to about 3-5/10

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while would know that my neck is the area I struggle with the most. With that a little more in check, the fatigue is a close second.

I don’t think my functionality has increased however the quality of my life while performing all that I do has increased. When I do overdo it or have a bad night’s sleep the pain will increase. The heatpack is still my best friend, the computer is still my neck’s nemesis and I can’t hold it for too long in one position – but it’s better than before.

I still have hope that as we edge toward the one year anniversary that I’ll experience more miraculous effects. For now it is definitely worth the $30 a month I pay for the perscription.

This combined with meditation and gentle exercise, paying attention to what I eat and trying to limit stress have been the best things I could do. I hope that when I start working I will be able to maintain half-time hours and not return too much closer to the previous pain levels.

I’d love to hear your experiences with LDN. I’ll write an update when we get closer to a year.

Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries Weeks 36-38

pregnancy diaries 36.38After a week of intensified Braxton Hicks contractions, escalating back and hip pain and other excellent end of pregnancy symptoms, I was glad to make it to week 36. At week 36 baby’s lungs are better prepared for the outside world and he’s mostly ready.

Week 37 is considered term. Nu came at 37 weeks and 4 days, for which I was profoundly grateful as I was exhausted and in so much pain by then.

Sleep deprivation is like putting Fibromyalgia on crack. It makes sleeping even harder, you lay awake in pain for hours at night and spend all day in pain. The fatigue is unrelenting. I’m trying to severely limit the Panadiene as the midwife said we don’t want it building up in my system before birth.

Late pregnancy symptoms are uncomfortable for anyone. The heaviness of the belly, the constant bathroom stops, the back ache, menstrual like cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions, alternating hunger and nausea, fatigue. At least these are for a finite time. Though I am a little jealous of those who know their end dates (inductions and cesareans)!

Unfortunately, we found that my iron levels had completely depleted and I had to quickly have an injection at week 37. It certainly explained why I had been so exhausted, lethargic, nauseas and in so much pain. Within days of the injection I felt so much better! It was amazing, I hadn’t realised how sick I had gotten.

I managed to spend the day out with my family and walk more than I had in weeks on the Saturday of that weekend. On the Sunday I managed to meet a friend for coffee and wander around the mall with Nu in tow (I had been too exhausted to consider wrangling him out of the house). It was really nice.

I had a show and a little mucus coming away over the weekend after 37 weeks ticked over and had stronger tightenings which made me a little excited. I couldn’t wait to meet my boy.

At week 38 we began getting ready for Christmas and put up our tree and took Nu to a Christmas Fair. It was really lovely as he’s beginning to be able to understand and get excited with us. My stamina had greatly decreased by then, Nu saved me a lot of the late pregnancy symptoms by arriving early. I hoped we wouldn’t get too far into December as I wanted baby to have his birthday separate from Christmas and my back needed him out!

I have shared this journey so that people can see what if is like for this mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy, find it in my Pregnancy Diaries page here. 

Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries Weeks 34-35

fibro mama pregnancy diaries 34.35Week 34 was characterised by fatigue, pain, menstrual like cramps, many Braxton Hicks contractions and growing excitement. My body was definitely gearing up for the last weeks and delivery.

Pacing became necessary. 30 minutes of activity in exchange for a rest with the heat pack.

My neck, which had coped so well previously, started to get quite stiff and sore. After a day of doing too much on the computer (finishing two assignments for my bookkeeping course and scheduling two blog posts) I experienced pain levels of 7-8/10 with a severe headache causing nausea. I am quite proud of my coping mechanisms – once Nu was in bed I had a hot shower, used the TENS machine on my shoulders, and heatpack on my neck. After coming off my one Panadiene per night in preparation for baby’s coming (and wanting to avoid any potential breathing issues from the codiene, very low risk) I allowed myself to have one. This all enabled me to get to sleep. I did wake every half an hour at first, but then managed a three hour block in the middle of the night, before lapsing back to frequent waking. For me, for this pregnancy, this was quite good. I did have to take it quite easy for next few days.

Baby seemed to burrow himself lower in week 34. When I sat down it was like he was sitting in my lap. There were occasional stabbing pains down low and more painful Braxton Hicks contractions. One night I woke with one that required breathing to get through. Each afternoon and evening seemed to bring a flurry of them, whether walking or resting (though I was mostly walking at this time and herding the 2.5 year old through the evening routine).

With my Whooping Cough vaccine down, week 35 ticked over and the birthing centre tour taken, all that needed to happen before I was ready for baby was for two weeks to elapse. I wasn’t sure when to hire the baby carseat (I didn’t want it to sit in the car, unused for four or five weeks). But, apart from that, I had everything organised.

I found some relief with a lavendar massage oil on my low back and glutes (and my whole back whenever I could talk husband into a massage) before bed. On the nights my neck was making it hard to lie down I used a menthol massage cream. My heatpack, pelvic tilts, child’s pose, meditation, stretching, resting, good food and lots of water got me through the difficulties of late pregnancy.

I have shared this journey to show what it is like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy, see my Pregnant Diaries page here. 

Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries Weeks 31-33

fibro mama weeks 31-33I am sharing these posts from my pregnancy with baby W last year to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Unfortunately it’s taken me nearly a year to edit and post these. Find my Pregnancy Diaries page here

I was in a period of waiting. Of feeding my family, cleaning my home, organising my stuff. Of resting and stretching and trying to be well despite sleeplessness and the pain of carrying an extra 9kgs.

Despite all the difficulties of pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, I was trying to mindfully inhabit the present. To enjoy the moments of sitting on my couch and hearing the birds play in the trees. To enjoy snuggles with Nu. To embrace this period of slow.

12 minute pregnancy yoga clips helped me to stretch and open my cramped back and hips. Meditation helped me to rest and relax and make it through the afternoon. My physiotherapy appointments became a little more frequent to help support my neck and shoulders.

Baby’s movements became more painful as he stretched the limits of his shrinking (relative to his size) home. He seemed particularly busy at rest time, bedtime and once Nu went to bed (and I sat down).

I was lucky enough to try biofeedback therapy after being on the waiting list since my pain clinic appointment earlier in the year. I love having tools that I can call on to help myself (stretching, meditation, trigger point work etc.) And so this furthering of my meditation work was useful.

At week 32 my immune system seemed to go on hiatus, I got another bad cold that I couldn’t shake and turned into an infection requiring antibiotics.

As my sleep worsened further, I found it harder and harder to get up in the morning. Much of the day was spent dragging. Somehow I perked a little in the afternoon and after dinner.

I found myself getting really riled up when people suggested that my third baby would be a girl or that I “had” to have a third so I might have a girl. I knew I could not do this again. My back would probably hand in its notice. My emotional well-being couldn’t survive it. I had plans for my health, for my work, for my life that are on hold. I can’t try any new medicines (herbal or otherwise) until I finish trying to nurse the baby.

In order to support my rest I finally started watching Grey’s Anatomy season 12 (not actually a good idea as I cried in most episodes) and rereading Middlemarch (George Elliot). I find comfort in rereading my favourite classics, I also got out my worn copy of Pride and Prejudice to begin my annual (sometimes biannual if I need the perking up!) reread of that.

Something about seeing my baby again and learning that he was perfectly average in size at week 33 enabled me to relax into the last weeks. The fundal height measurements had been placing him in the 20th percentile which was much smaller than his big brother and I had worried I had done something to cause this. Knowing he was 2.1kg made me feel proud and even more excited that my baby was growing and coming soon! With escalating back, neck and shoulder pain it was a nice reminder of why I was doing it all.

I am sharing these posts to provide a sense of what it’s like for a mama with Fibromyalgia to do pregnancy. Find my Pregnancy Diaries page her

The Whole Health Life – A Review

whole health life

Image from GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32885166-the-whole-health-life?from_search=true

In The Whole Health Life Shannon Harvey shares her learning from a ten year journey as a 20-something journalist diagnosed with an autoimmune illness living a fast-paced life to a 30-something healthy mama of two.

Of course this appealed to me, it’s a blend of research and personal story. It is an easy to read, compelling, evidence-based case for following the steps in The Whole Health Life.

Being healthy in this crazy, busy, modern world is not easy.

For journalist Shannon Harvey, finding a solution to this problem became personal when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that had no known cause and no known cure. After being told by her doctor that she could end up in a wheelchair, she realised she had to take action. – synopsis from Goodreads

I loved this book! As a person who has been fighting Fibromyalgia for over ten years and has done a lot of research, I had previously found most of the lessons outlined in the book, but also further avenues to explore.

The chapers are the key steps in the Whole Health Life, these are all the main concepts in coping with Fibromyalgia, other chronic illnesses or just living healthily in general.

Stress

This step discusses the effect that modern life has on our body, chronic activation of the fight or flight response, and how meditation and mindfulness can help counteract this. Like the author, I have found meditation to be enormously helpful in my journey, not only for catching up on some deep rest from lack of sleep, but for calming my nervous system. I used to get anxious so much more easily and it would be more difficult to relax. Now I have the tools to calm down – breathing, focusing on the moment, and checking in with my body.

Belief

This is an interesting area of study. Our beliefs, positive or negative can effect our physiology – if we believe a medicine will work, there is evidence that this enhances (or creates) the benefit. I firmly believe that a realistic but hopeful mindset is key for coping with a long term illness. If we were to have our hearts broken with every new change or medicine we tried, we’d become pretty hopeless and this would in turn effect our health. If we have realistic hope that we can change our life, that we have control, then we will get much further in our journey to wellness.

I love her suggestions such as set your mindset positively (for example, I can walk 20 minutes, rather than I can’t walk 30 minutes); pay attention to negative expectations and be wary of them; meditate to lessen the effect of worry about our illness; make a ritual around treatments to allow something called classical conditioning to take place (p93); adhere carefully to treatment plans as this aids the expectation response.

Food

Food is a minefield at the moment. There are many recommended eating plans – but research suggests the only “best” eating plan is one that we will stick to. Personally, I agree with the author’s conclusion that a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods is the way to go (p102).

Movement

We know movement had to be included, it is vital for good health. We also know we don’t need to run a marathon or climb a mountain, especially if we’d hate the attempt. Let’s chose something we can stick to. I choose yoga and, incidentally, it hits all the aspects that research identities as useful for us: “a vinyasa yoga class can get your heart pumping, your muscles stretching and strengthening, and your mind-body connected (that’s neuromotor exercise).” P131

Environment

This chapter delves into nature vs nurture and the idea of epigenetics (that your environment can change your genes). It teaches you some ways to set up your environment for better health. Can you cut the commute? I did and it saved two hours of time, energy and stress per day, Harvey writes of the same experience. Something as simple as putting a nice looking fruit bowl in a prominent place can assist you in your healthy eating goals.

Sleep

Ah sleep, the thing I try to get all night and spend all day trying to set up well! Yes the research shows how important sleep is for our health, yes there’s a heap of sleep hygiene that may help. I have ordered one of the books on her recommended reading list for sleep – Night School: The Life-Changing Science of Sleep by Richard Wiseman.

Emotions, Healthcare and Relationships are the remaining sections.

This is well worth the read if you are facing a chronic illness or just want to invest in your health – don’t get dragged into ill-health by our culture’s fast paced, burn out risking standards. Start meditating, prioritise sleep, go for a walk, have a snuggle with your partner or have an apple at morning tea time today, just start!

Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries: Week 30

fibro mama pregnancy week 30I couldn’t believe my baby was coming sometime in the next 7-10 weeks!

This pregnancy was such a different experience to the first one, for which I was so grateful. It was challenging and I was pretty sore and tired (and there’s more to come) but I tried to savour the good bits. To remember the feeling of my tiny baby moving within me, to know I was growing a human life. It’s amazing.

 

A lot of my to-do list had been ticked off for baby. I was not prepared to go out for long shopping trips anymore. Most of what’s left was to prepare what I could in advance to make life easier.

I had been daydreaming/visualising about how it would be better than last time, without a prolonged labour experience, without being left without my husband in the first days, without my son being sick and needing to be back in hospital after three weeks…The difference this could make. I also had a list of the things I could try while nursing and after that in order to support my health – including rhodiola rosea for energy and adrenal support.

Nursing was occupying my thoughts. With Nu I really struggled, he was sick and a lot of problems arose with that, it also hurt (my nipples were ruined and my actual breasts ached so badly – I cried when I had to go and express). I hated it. It did not help my experience of the first six weeks of motherhood.

This time I was hoping that a better start, the baby being well and a different baby would make a difference. I was hoping that baby will latch well, drink well and not be resolute about going to sleep after one minute! I was also hoping that the entirely different situation will give me some leeway in the pain and energy levels. I had my double expressing machine, nipple cover, cream and ice packs ready. I was going utilise the six weeks my husband is home to really make a luxury out of feeding – go and lie down comfortably with my heat pack and potentially a guided meditation to try to make it a rest at the same time.

My lower back/hips continued to feel rather sore, almost like they were being sawn off. I had found that not taking a walk (in addition to my 8000 incidental steps per day), doing pelvic tilts and yoga stretches on all fours made a difference. As did lying on my side but leaning slightly back on my maternity pillow when in bed. Heat pack, warm showers and arnica rub helped.

Meditation continued to be a life raft. 45 minute body scans with my heatpack about lunch time made a huge difference to my pain and energy levels. The days I couldn’t lie down were quite difficult.

From the day that 30 weeks ticked over, all of a sudden, I felt blinded by exhaustion. By the evening I was in a lot of pain and so tired I felt ill. I had to crawl into bed as soon as Nu was in bed to lie down. Lying down helped, but being in bed for so long made my low back and hips very sore by the early hours of the morning. Being proactive (and knowing at 27 weeks my iron levels had been at the bottom of the normal range) I scheduled an iron injection for a boost. This wasn’t without troubles, it is painful to get the injection and for the day after, and it also leaves a bit of a stain (I still had a stain from where I got it last December). But it actually made all the difference in the world.

I was simultaneously counting down, taking it one day at a time and enjoying my time with Nu.

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, 25-29 here and look out for the rest soon!

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. 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 liedown 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 heatpack 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 two year olds 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 heatpack, 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!

MSM Supplement: A Review

MSMMSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is meant to help with pain in the tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Dr Axe outlines six benefits of taking MSM, including joint pain, digestive problems and muscle pain and spasms (a biggie for me): “Research suggests that MSM can act like a natural analgesic, helping prevent and treat muscle aches and pains, throbbing and swelling while improving range of motion and mobility.”

The article goes on to state that, “MSM also restores the flexibility and permeability of cell walls within muscles, which means nutrients can pass through the tissues more easily, facilitating repair work faster and removing lactic acid, which causes that “burning feeling” following exercise.” This is great for people with Fibromyalgia, who often feel greater post-exercise pain – I often get severe pain in my lower body for up to three days post exercise, if I have overdone it.

An article on the Shawn Stevenson Health Show website includes detoxification and increasing energy as other benefits of MSM:

“Digestion is the biggest energy requirement of the body (Approximately 70-80% of your energy is spent on digestion each day). MSM increases the absorption of nutrients so that the energy expenditure on digestion is vastly reduced.” Which is good news for a person like me who doesn’t tend to take the nutrients from food efficiently, using iron as an example, despite a healthy level of iron rich foods I cannot keep my iron levels up without regular injections. Also, any efficiency in energy is a bonus for people with limited energy levels.

MSM and Me

I began taking MSM in July as this was when I began to suspect the pain in my neck was actually Myofacial Pain Syndrome – painful, severe trigger points that recur no matter the treatment. Trigger points are usually considered separate to Fibromyalgia but there are some doctors who believe them to be part of it (like Dr Liptan).

After a Google search for potential side effects, potential benefits and checking any interactions with my current medicines (amitriptyline and low dose naltrexone) – I decided to try it.

It took about six weeks to build up in my system. At this point I noticed a slight reduction in pain, perhaps one pain point on average in my neck, which is actually a big deal for me. This helped reduce the number of severe headaches and I didn’t have any other pain relief for several weeks.

I began with tablets, they were big! I had to take one tablet three times a day, and it was difficult swallowing them. So when I finished the bottle, I ordered a powdered version. During the wait the symptoms returned. It took another few weeks to feel the benefit of the powder. It is much less of a burden to take the powder, half a teaspoon dissolved in a cup of water (which I skull) is really easy for me.

A minor medical event, separate to the Fibromyalgia occurred in August which set me back. But I am going to keep the low dose naltrexone and MSM going for the year’s experiment and I have just added moringa powder (which I will report on later) – moringa is a good source of protein and amino acids, as well as iron and magnesium which is said to work well with the MSM.

Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 21-24

weeks 21.24By week 21 my burgeoning bump had taken over! Forgetting my new size, I brushed against things and banged it a few times before learning (that can hurt!). At week 22, I wondered how I could possibly grow for 16-18 more weeks.

A nice, healthy, detoxifying, warming drink I fell in love with was warm lemon (juice of half), honey (1 tspn) and tumeric (1/4 tspn).

I started to think more about the birth. After a 20 hour posterior (baby facing the wrong way causing severe back pain) labour with Nu, I was really keen for a nicer birth story. The news that second labours tend to be shorter and that those who have had posterior labour previously don’t realise they’re in labour until fully established gave me some confidence! I was planning all I could to save my energy and to avoid the stress of the first few days that we had with Nu. The first was that my husband doesn’t leave me, if he had to go, I had to go too! The second was that I know the signs of back labour and if it occured again, I would ask for intervention sooner.

A steady low back ache developed again at week 21, disturbing sleep and making the day more painful. A heatpack, pelvic tilts and child’s pose were somewhat helpful.

The only thing that really helped was reducing my activity level, aiming for 8000 steps or less. I could manage this for most of the week, but on weekends it was more difficult. There’s always too much to do on a weekend and it’s always been difficult to keep up with my husband. Another hard lesson in pacing.

We named our wee boy and the sweetest sound is Nu saying his name and talking to baby through the bump.

At week 23 I felt like there was a lot going on physically. I was put on antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis. My low back and neck were troublesome, to say the least. And I began getting Braxton Hicks contractions. It was time to admit that I was quite pregnant! The countdown may have begun for the end.

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 here and look out for the rest soon!