Things people say to you when you’re Pregnant with a Chronic Illness

People love to give advice & impart their wisdom as soon as they know that you are pregnant. Even when you don’t ask for their advice, they give it anyway & the same goes for their opinion. It’s not just your family or friends hitting you with their fountain of knowledge but strangers also like to pipe in & get their voice heard.

There’s been some strong opinions on my Vegan/Vegetarian lifestyle & suddenly people are concerned about my protein in take & the lack of meat in my diet. Will that not affect the babies bones? Will the baby grow OK without meat? Just some of the opinions that have been shared with me on the matter of diet.

The most challenging views are from people who think that having a chronic illness means that I have lost the right to have a baby. Some of the following views were expressed at Chronic Pain group, needless to say I never returned after that session.

 

1- How have you managed your pregnancy when your in constant pain?

2- How will you manage when the Baby is here?

3- If you’re struggling just now with fatigue, just wait until the baby is here!

4- What if your Baby has the same health conditions as you? Do you really want that for your child?

Firstly, having a chronic illness I’m aware of what I can & can’t manage & I have great support from my Husband. I can’t look into the future, so I’ll have to wait until the baby is here until I know how I’ll manage. Fatigue is a big part of my Fibromyalgia & Arthritis so I’m well aware of the impact it has on me & the things I need to do to manage. And last but not least, of course every Mother wants their baby to be healthy & we don’t know if our Little One will have any conditions, let alone any of my conditions.

I never blamed my own parents for my diagnosis of Arthritis & Fibromyalgia & never been hung up on “why me”. I’m a stronger person for living with a chronic illness, I’m proud that I’ve overcame barriers & I hope to bring my own child up as strong & resilient, regardless of their health.

People just love to share their opinion. I’m glad I’m not easily offended.

New Year Goals

As much as I had my health struggles in 2017 & was challenged by them, I did manage to have a good year & achieve my goals. I done things my anxiety told me that I could never do such as going on my friends hen do to Liverpool, travelled to New York & Philadelphia & completed & passed my masters dissertation.

When I think back to this time last year I was filled with self doubt & riddled with anxiety. My mind would remind me of all the things I couldn’t do but I challenged this thought process & achieved my goals which I am incredibly proud of.

My goals achieved in 2017

1. I became Vegan in January.

2. Completed & passed my dissertation.

3. Went to Liverpool on my friends Hen Weekend.

4. Graduated from Uni with a Masters in Career Guidance & Development.

5. Gained confidence to write & started blogging.

Goals don’t have to start at the beginning of the New Year & throughout the year I set new goals & took a little longer to achieve some of them than expected but I done it. I had a great sense of achievement & goal setting helps me stay focussed throughout the year.

My goals for 2018

1. Complete another Veganuary & follow a vegan lifestyle.

2. Continue to write & share my health journey.

3. Learn mindfulness techniques.

4. Be more active.

5. Read more books.

Looking forward to 2018 & I am ready for the next chapter in my life.

Veggie vs Vegan

I was never a big meat or dairy fan or so I thought! I went in and out of veggie life while I was a student but never stuck with it. The year before I got married I went on the Paleo diet and when I look back I am ashamed at the amount of animal products and meat I ate.

 
Last October I revisited the veggie lifestyle after chatting about it in work with a colleague. Eating meat was making me feel horrible, I had no energy and felt bloated. Meat made me feel like this for so long yet there I was, still eating it! I coped well with the transition to vegetarian life and it was much easier than I expected.

 
I decided to take it to the next level in January as part of Veganuary – Vegan for January. As a vegetarian I was doing it for my health but at the same time I continued to eat dairy products which didn’t sit well with me. I was more than happy to take the Vegan for January challenge. If you ask people about going Vegan, they always tell you that they couldn’t give up cheese or milk but for me I happily left them behind. Sure, I liked how they tasted but when you open your eyes to what goes into these products and the hurt it’s caused to make them, it’s enough to put you off!

 
I went vegan for a healthier life, for my health and for the animals. I now have more energy, don’t feel horrible and no longer bloated. It’s had a positive impact on my health conditions too and I feel more confident and have more energy.

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September 2016 compared to May 2017. I look and feel so much better.

Vegan for Life & happy for it 🙂

 

5 Things that help me manage Fibromyalgia

Today marks the last day of Fibromyalgia Awareness week and I wanted to share the five things that help me manage my fibromyalgia. Last November, I was struggling with the pain but particularly with depression and anxiety. I didn’t feel happy anymore. I felt hopeless and lonely and I didn’t see a way out of my situation. It took me to the darkest place I have ever been and I now try everything in my power to manage my Fibromyalgia and mental health.

 

1. Physiotherapy; pacing & learning new ways to manage the pain on a physical and psychological level.
2. Telling people how I feel when I am having a bad day.
3. Recovery & Self-care days.
4. Keep active & keep moving.
5. Vegan Lifestyle. Best decision ever!

 
My life with Fibromyalgia is by no means perfect just now and I hope for a day that my invisible illness doesn’t control my life. Right now, I’m appreciating the good days and thankful for the support network I have.