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    Worried about Being a Parent w/Fibro
    jeremy1010 posted:
    Hi all, I'm curious for your honest thoughts on this front. I am expecting to be a first-time father this August, which is pretty cool, but my biggest concern I have (which hits me on a daily basis) is how I will deal with the lack of sleep at the beginning. I try to get about 7.5 hours of sleep a night now since I realized my fibromyalgia is considerably worse when I slept less.

    Since I notice sleep has a major effect on my symptoms - when I don't get enough I feel unwell enough & have a pretty unproductive day - I'm petrified how it will be after the baby arrives. I run a small business with other people counting on me (not to mention my wife), and to just drop out of the workforce due to being unable to function for a few months is hardly an option.

    Was this something you dealt with? Is there anything at all that kept you sane during that period? Thanks *so* much for your counsel and advice here.
    dakotaspirit1957 responded:
    Hi Jeremy... Being a first time father is scary enough on it's own without throwing illness in there... Yet I know how you feel... I had cancer treatment to go thru the second time when my first son was born.... I also got ill for the first time when my third child was born... With special needs... being premature and low birth weight... Also by then my second son was having health problems and I was on my own as I just left an abusive husband... When it rains it pours...

    I always tell a scared parent to bond with their children any way possible... I bonded with mine 90% of the time by spending time with them in my bed... reading... watching movies... having picnics... cuddling,... watching them sleep next to me... touching their cheek when they are infants.. tickling their feet... playing attari until the attari attitudes canned that project lol... .

    cuddle your child... make bodily contact with the child... hold the childs hand... Let the baby know it over rules the pain you are feeling even if you can't go to the basketball game... You still care enough to hear all about it.... And will dream about the bac>sket he/she made... Let them know the pain may keep you from going but your heart and soul are with them and always is.

    My daughter was my premature baby and she once told me she had it better then her brothers... They could remember the healthy me and always wanted me back... T
    he only got glimpses of me that way and it never lasted... So she loved me the way I was... I hurt when my 30 yr old daughter told me that... But I would have hurt a lot worse had she resented me for not spoiling her and letting her know she was number one...

    Yes we had our problems... Mostly because they had their duties and chores... Well... When Mommy felt like she could she did them thinking it gave them a break from helping her out all the time... Then they got lazy and she got sick and it was hard to get them to help again... We went thru 8 years of counseling because Mommy wasn't able to accept her illnesses and did crazy things like throw wheelchairs at
    dr's and refused to take care of herself properly... And thus wasn't able to take care of them..

    Oh we all fought together to kill my cancers.. We all ganged up when they said I was an unfit mother instead of sick... And the judge was easy to sway with all the dr's testimony... But He was easier to sway then me.. I wanted to do things that hurt me ... inevitably did... and the kids and I both suffered... Then when my oldest was 11 and my youngest was 6 cancer and endometriosis almost killed me... It was a life changing threat... I went and found a part of me that I was missing that was keeping me from caring enough to take care of me...
    The spirit and soul of the young child inside me that I turned my back on when I was hurt so many years ago... Me...
    And all those hugs I recieved from my children ment something... And I found the old DakotaSpirit fight to live.. My soul wanted to love again... And it did... First me... Then my children... Then a man who made a difference in my life... The first man who didn't hit me... I had the dignity the 5 year old child was molested of when she was 5 again...

    I was still ilol... Still fighting cancer... Fighting FM without a name.. Being diagnosed with MS... Being in and out of a wheelchair but at least now this time I wasn't throwing it...

    to be continued
    missist responded:
    Hi Jeremy! Congratulations!!!

    I came down with the fibro when I was pregnant with baby #2. Didn't know what it was until #4 was born.

    I raised four children--and also homeschooled them-- while married to a man who was working very hard to build his career and very seldom able to help me, often worked late and weekends. So--- just want you to know that having a debilitating illness doesn't mean you can't do what is most important to you-- but there are definitely trade offs.

    What I didn't do--was almost anything else. I didn't spend much time at all with extended family--who mainly back then seemed to be critical of my choices and not understand my chronic issues. So-I spent minimal time on that or just about anything else. I did not have a lot of resources, we were pretty broke and my idea of 'free time' was going to the thrift store without kids now and then.

    You & your wife work out a routine and be sure she understands your limits and that work must be a priority. Its going to be trying sometimes, but if you are always careful to listen to her and communicate with each other, you should be fine.

    I don't know what your faith is--for me it was crucial to pray for help, and I had some friends that were good people that I could lean on sometimes.

    Decide what is most important to you and your wife and cut out things that aren't and make sure you get that rest. Your wife will need some too--- which when it comes to babies-- that's a tough one-- but its really only a matter of a few months and babies sleep all night after that--some it takes longer. Pray and talk to each other, you can do this!
    dakotaspirit1957 replied to dakotaspirit1957's response:
    I remember even more special moments with my children... Talking about how I want their bonds to each other to be and to me be... And they cuddled away... I had the only teens not afraid to say I love you and kiss their mom in front of friends... Might have had something to do with the fact I was running a safe house and their friends could run to me shelter and safety... Then they were expressing the same love toward a mom they never had before... Some still call me today... Some have children and they call me grandma just like my grandchildren... Or nanny as some of my grandchildren do...

    Some kids could end up hating ill parents for they can't do for them or with them... And they have to take care of themselves and take care of the parent... My children have told me that I am loved because of it.. I included them and not excluded them with what was happening to me..

    Yes it tore my heart out to see my 7 yr old ask me if I was going to hurt forever... And I honestly told him... "Maybe...
    They think so... "... Then he crawled next to me and together we cried it out... Together... Just as we did when he was told he has FM... He is raising 2 children on his own... And I see him cuddling them a lot... Praise those babies.. Their love keeps us going...

    Your baby will be fine... Just love and bond the best you can... Don't ever worry about spoiling... In my opinion spoiling is just an overdose of unconditional love... God spoils me every day... I personally ask God to love my loved ones and the world thru .e everyday... God's love is such a wonderful "spoiling" love... A beautiful feeling...

    Love comes easy when they place a child in your arms trhe first time... Congratulations on bringing a wonderful blessing into our world... Thank you..

    I have to go wake up one of my blessings now... Take care... And believe in you... Love yourself... Free your spirit and soul to love... And your child will have a wonderful life...

    love... Jan/Dakota
    Anon_10089 replied to missist's response:

    Congratulations. My thoughts are similar to Missist. Hopefully, your wife understands your health issues and you guys can have honest communication about a schedule.

    Of course, the first couple of weeks you won't get enough sleep--that's a given. I'm sure, though, that the people you work with will understand, as they would understand the tiredness of any first time parent.

    Then, maybe you can work something out with your wife. If she can help facilitate you getting your 7.5 hours of sleep, maybe you can be available to take care of the baby in the afternoons to give her a break--something like that.

    Congratulations again and enjoy it!
    Anon_2912 responded:
    My opinon is:

    If you have to think about having a child and discuss the pros & cons, then you are not ready for a child just yet.
    dollbug responded:
    Hello Jeremy and congratulations on expecting your first baby. This will be a *great experience* for both of you. I think most people worry about all sorts of *issues* that might pop up....but I am sure that you both will work anything out which needs to be. Having a child is a different *stage* of life....and you will soon know that babies goes through so many stages also. Raising a child is a challenge but hopefully will be a welcomed challenge for you both.

    I am sure you will do fine. The unknowns for the most part is just that....but most couples just learn as they go. I hope you will remember to learn how to pace, pace and pace even more. This is really important as we, FMers, take our journey each day in life.

    Sleep is important....I know it is for me. On the days when I do not get enough sleep then it can be challenging....but regardless, we have to learn to deal with whatever we are faced with and make the most of it. So stay positive and I am sure you will be A-OK....children are gifts from GOD, precious gifts and you and your wife have been very blessed....I have 3 - 2 boys and a girl in the middle. My children are all grown with children of their own. I have 3 grandchildren and another on the way. Having grandchildren is indeed another *stage* and such a welcome one as well. So you have a lot to look forward to.

    Take care and good luck. I hope you will continue to keep us updated on how you and your wife are doing.



    My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
    BetteK responded:

    How exciting! Parenthood is the most rewarding experience in life. Embrace it.

    As to lack of sleep: EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT.

    Our first woke up for a 2 o'clock feeding the first night home from the hospital. After that he slept from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., just like us.

    Our second son woke up every night around 1 a.m. and cried continuously until 5 a.m. for his first year. (That's when the fibro began.)

    No matter which type of child you are blessed with, you will love it and cherish it. You will be the best father you know how to be. In consequence, your child will be the best baby he or she knows how to be.

    You probably have some physical limitations on your bad days. Let me tell you about my cousin, Brud. Brud lost his right arm after a childhood fall. You have never seen anything as funny and wonderful as watching a one-armed man diaper a squirming baby using cloth diapers and safety pins. Brud did it, and he never stuck a pin into his little one either. If Brud could bathe, dress, and put his little bundle of joy to bed, I'm pretty sure you can, too.

    One little hint. Babies, like adults, do better with a regular schedule. If you keep a baby up later on weekends, it will be less apt to go to sleep at bedtime during the week. (Sleep specialists say adults should keep the same schedule on weekends, too.) Don't try to keep your house super quiet for the baby to sleep. (Don't let it be filled with loud rock music either!) A child has to be able to sleep through the normal household noises: the furnace kicking on during the night, the ringing of the phone, the sound of the TV in another room.

    And above all, enjoy this child, this gift from God.


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