Becoming A New Mom With Fibromyalgia

This little one joined our family three months ago. Twelve joyful, exhausting, funny, and wonder-filled weeks learning about our daughter, and learning to be parents. We’ve changed one zillion diapers, cried several times over how grateful we feel for this miraculous baby, cried several more times from fatigue, and found one cucumber put back in the cutlery drawer (?).

We tried for over six years to get pregnant, but infertility added to fibromyalgia made this a struggle. I faced challenges ranging from having a laparoscopy for endometriosis, to tapering down my pain medication. The pregnancy itself was surprising- easier in some ways than I’d expected, and harder in others. And now, motherhood with fibromyalgia…

Her magical blue eyes opening wide, the first sign of recognition sparkling in them, her first enormous gummy smiles, her squeals, excited arm flapping and kicking all make me hold my breath, trying to do nothing but enjoy each moment. When she was born, I knew my heart now resided outside of my body, with our little bear.

Being a new mom is also terrifying in the way that new love can be when you realize that your new bond makes you responsible and vulnerable to another person. This is enhanced as a parent, because there’s no back-up coming- you’re it! At six weeks her pediatrician diagnosed her with reflux and possible cow milk protein allergy. Whenever our little one squirms in discomfort, I feel her misery viscerally. Being in charge of making her feel better is overwhelming at times. In fact, learning that you can’t fix everything is a parenting lesson I have a feeling I’ll be re-learning over and over as she grows.

I’m only 12 weeks into this journey, and there is far more that I don’t know than what I do. But I already know it’s different to be a parent with fibro. How do you pace with a newborn? How can you feed or carry her without worsening neck or back pain? How do you manage those internalized expectations about being “supermom” when you have a medical condition? I’ve found it difficult to find stories of shared experiences about parenting a newborn with chronic illness. So, between the cycles of feeding, naptime, and play, I hope I can share some of the challenges and joys of navigating this adventure as a new mom with fibromyalgia.

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5 thoughts on “Becoming A New Mom With Fibromyalgia

  1. alittlemoore93 says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have just had a baby and even though it has only been just over 2 weeks, the experience has been incredible. I also have fibromyalgia and am planning to write a post about how it affected me during pregnancy and now. Just remember there is no such thing as the perfect parent. As long as your little one is happy and healthy that is all that matters ☺️😊

    • Katarina Zulak says:

      Oh congratulations! So true, just getting through the day with your little one all in one piece is a win at the newborn stage! It’s a thing I need to keep reminding myself of though 🙂

  2. Lisa R. Howeler says:

    Congratulations! I really struggled after my second. She came eight years after my first and I was so so so tired. I had horrific vertigo and she screamed all the time in her car seat. My friend thought I was lying about the car seat and the vertigo and essentially mocked me. We aren’t friends anymore for that and many other reasons.
    After I had her all the pain and stiffness got worse but I still haven’t looked for an official diagnosis. The pain was worth it in so many ways. A chiropractor helped my neck issues a ton since I had back labor that was awful! He also helped her issues because her neck had been bent all out of shape during labor. She could nurse better but she still screamed in her seat.
    My son had horrible colic and reflux. They put him on medicine and it messed up his stomach even more when he got older and he’s 16 still with some issues. I wish I had weaned him off those meds earlier but they really helped us all get some sleep when he was a newborn. I also used gripe water and it helped.
    Anyhow – these early days are awesome and confusing and crazy all at the same tome! Enjoy this because it such a wonderful time with you and your baby. ❤️❤️

    • Katarina Zulak says:

      It’s such an intense time when you have a newborn and you’re also trying to recover! It sounds like we’ve had some similar experiences, as our little one also has the same neck issues. I definitely have to take it moment by moment. Otherwise I wonder if I’ll feel this tired *forever*, but I know it passes and they eventually sleep (right?! 😉

      • Lisa R. Howeler says:

        Oh yes. They eventually sleep. Then there are sleep regressions, lol. So you lose sleep again. But trust me it will get better and it is totally worth it. Just don’t be afraid to ask other people for help or accept it when they offer so you can get some rest. Even 20 minute cat naps are soooo much help. Stay hydrated and eat protein to help with the rough days of exhaustion. That whole thing about sleeping when the baby sleeps? Totally do that. Even if you think you are being “lazy.” Doooo it! lol. It helps you survive through the days.

        I’d also invest in a carrier of some sort so you can carry the baby at all times but be sure to get one that supports the baby’s weight on each shoulder to avoid stress on your muscles and neck.

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