Fibro Mama: Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia by Melissa Reynolds
Odd, isn’t it? A book review about pregnancy and pain by a guy! Well, I’m a dad, an Opa (grandpa), registered nurse, and a patient activist. I have Multiple Sclerosis and I know chronic illness and pain management. We had home births with a midwife at one and no midwife at another. Enough about me. I’m reviewing the book because Melissa asked me to. Thanks, Melissa.
Look, no one knows someone else’s experience, it belongs to them. As Melissa says in her introduction, “I can give you tips about what worked for me. … However, in the end, it’s you putting one foot in front of the other. That’s how we live, right?”
Lived experience and a dollar fifty will buy you a Pepsi. Lived experience + self-awareness + systems thinking + good storytelling is golden. Add brevity and it’s priceless. Melissa’s book is priceless. Took me half an hour to read it through once. I marked it up and spent a couple of hours reading it again. Here are the best parts (for me, a guy, who will never be pregnant):
- 16 natural pain relief suggestions – I use many of these myself for muscle tension and cramping. Great list. I never tried oils. I may.
- The sections about the three trimesters, immediately post-delivery, and the first 6 weeks all include sleep, exercise, meditation, and a pain management plan. They’re basic and vital. She lays it out for you.
- I can’t evaluate the extensive section on nursing except to say that it’s comprehensive and empowering. I always love the response, “there is no wrong choice”.
- Using help is big, really big. Melissa has a great care partner. She says to insist that s/he/they be allowed to be with you 24/7 whenever you’re a guest in an institution. Absolutely. Pregnant or not pregnant, fibromyalgia or no fibromyalgia, this is true.
- Last, but so not least – Tips to Cope with a Fussy Baby When You’re Sore. She’s buying minutes for you. Dad’s too.
Thanks for the opportunity to review this fine book. You can get it here.