Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fibromyalgia, Pregnancy, and the Pain of Finding Information

I came across a rather upsetting article last night.  It upset me so much that it's the topic for today...

Fibromyalgia, Pregnancy, and the absolute pain of trying to find correct information on it.

A long while back I decided that my goal in life would be to put as much of a positive spin as I could on any negative subject matter that I find appalling.  Finding insufficient or down right incorrect information that is slanted towards the negative side of life due to Fibromyalgia is most definitely a subject that requires a positive and informative spin.

Now don't get me wrong, people are entitled to their opinions but when it comes to writing articles or blog entries that are out there for the public to see, I'm sorry, your opinion cannot count.  As a writer it is your duty to inform people-- period.  You can put your own words into it, you can say how you feel, but by NO means should you write an article stating that there is only one way to look at things.  Nor should you write out and out lies about a subject.

The article I came across was about Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy.  It stated that it may be difficult for a woman with Fibro to conceive a child.  I'm sorry, but this just isn't true.  There is absolutely no link between the two in any article or study I've ever come across in the 5 years I've researched this disease.

The article further states some findings about Fibro symptoms being far worse during the last trimester of pregnancy.  I know of these findings.  They were done by a professional doctor, however, the study was done with only a handful of participants and doesn't really prove much.  Further more, the article states that Fibromyalgia prohibits mothers from breast feeding!  It says that right in the title of the article on Science Daily!  Again, this is just not true.

With all of this negative misinformation, it's no wonder Fibro sufferers are in pain!  I'm in pain every time I surf the web because I know that I'll have to look for the pearls of info through all the crappy sea weed of negative article writing.  It's very disheartening and time consuming-- hence the stiffness and pain LOL!

Fibro is painful and it can make you cranky due to lack of sleep.  In fact, it can make you feel like a bitch and you want to bitch about it.  That's fine.  Call your friends, family, or the hubs and bitch all you want, but by no means should you bitch so much that you wind up becoming jaded in your journal to the world.  Society is filled with enough negative crap.  No one on this planet needs more garbage...


Okay, now that I've stepped down from my soap box, let's talk about some helpful information, shall we?  There are many things a woman can do before she conceives to better her chances of having a wonderful pregnancy.

The first thing to do is to find the best OB/GYN for yourself.  There are a lot out there that are very good, kind, and considerate that listen to your concerns.  I find that this is the best kind of doctor to have when you are concerned with Fibromyalgia.  In my condition, Fibromyalgia was not considered a high risk pregnancy so I did not need specialized care.  However, this might not be the case for you if you are taking certain medications.  It is important that you disclose any and all medications to your OB/GYN and this should also include herbals because there are many things that can harm a growing fetus.

Your OB/GYN may suggest weaning yourself from certain medications before conceiving.  This is something that you should most definitely discuss with your primary doctor that aides you in your Fibro pain management care.  Though I was not on any medication at the time, I was in constant contact with both during my entire pregnancy because a healthy mom equals a healthy child.

Another thing to consider is prenatal vitamins.  These not only help baby, they help you too.  I felt much better and had more energy on the days that I remembered to take my vitamins.  Not all vitamins are created equal.  Your doctor can suggest some.  I was lucky and happened to come across some great ones and can offer more information to anyone interested if you email me.  But always remember to check with your doctor before you start anything.

Energy can be hard to come by during pregnancy because feeling sleepy is an actual symptom of pregnancy-- not just Fibromyalgia.  Some pregnancy books suggest that an expectant mother should nap when needed or go to bed earlier than normal.  I napped most afternoons during my second pregnancy and it helped me have more energy when my oldest came home from school.  During my first pregnancy, I went to bed early.  I couldn't nap because I was working most afternoons.

And also remember one VERY important thing...

Wonder Woman, though gorgeous, was just a character.  She's not real and you should not think that you can do laundry, vacuum, dust your house, write 10 articles, bake 100 cupcakes for the next school bake sale, make dinner, and fight crime all in one day.  Relax and give yourself a break.  And as a side note, a non-Fibro friend once told me that even a healthy person couldn't possibly do all that in one day, so relax.  Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and your nursery doesn't need to be either.

The last thing I'd like to remind every women out there about is actually an old saying it takes a village to raise a child.  Now I know some of you might be reading this and saying, well gee, Kim, that's nice and all, but I'm single.  Or you might be feeling that your husband won't contribute his fair share.  These are very valid feelings and should not be ignored.  In fact, they should be explored.

Every woman needs a support system when they have kids, every woman, even ones without Fibro.  Moms know what I mean because they get calls from their girlfriends with children all the time asking them to either pick up their kid at school due to car trouble or they need a last minute babysitter.  Life happens and sometimes hubby can't get to you in time to change your tire on the highway so you can pick up junior from soccer practice.  This is where you support system comes in.

A support system is anyone and everyone that loves you and your baby.  Some of them will help you with your laundry, some of them will be a shoulder to cry on, and some of them will help you with midnight feedings, but all of them will help if you ask them.  The key here, though, is communication.  They can't help you if you don't talk to them, so express your fears and some of your needs before the baby comes so they can help.  Your needs may change once baby comes and that's okay, just express yourself once your changes arise.

And don't rule out Dad.  You might be surprised as to how helpful he really is.  Dads today are very different than they were even a couple of decades ago.  Some of them would kill for a chance to be a stay-at-home dad because they crave that close connection with their kids.  Others, like my beautiful hubby, step into their Dad role the minute they come home.  Scott mostly does bath time because I find it difficult to kneel down on the tiled floor.  I'm also usually exhausted by then too and he knows this so he gladly steps in.

Pregnancy and the child rearing years are not extremely difficult for Fibromyalgia sufferers.  You just have to be a little creative, have a lot of patience with yourself, and enjoy the times you have with your growing family.  I'm not saying it won't be challenging, but anything that's worth it in life always is. 

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Kimberley
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