Being Sick With A Baby

It was the night before Christmas, I was sitting on the living room floor doing some last minute wrapping when a wave of dizziness hit me. Furrowing my brow, I shook my head, drank a glass of water and shook it off. Then the saliva in my mouth thinned, my jawline started to quake and I got to my feet, running full speed to the bathroom just in time to sink my face into the porcelain.

After emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet, I got up with a few thoughts in my head. My first thought was more of a worry. I wondered if the IUD was doing it’s job, if something had possibly gone wrong and if I were pregnant, only a short three months after giving birth to my daughter.

The memory of her delivery was still fresh in my mind, my body still wasn’t completely back to normal, and I was no way ready to partake in this journey again.

My second thought was that maybe the chicken I had put in my Chicken Alfredo pasta was past it’s prime and this was my body’s way of letting me know.

My third thought was about breastfeeding. I had been told by my doctor that I could pretty much breastfeed through almost any illness. However, certain medications can affect your breastmilk supply. So a lot of the time you will have to just soldier on through certain sicknesses, if you plan on breastfeeding while sick. I am not one to take medication for a cold, but stomach related things I usually try and take something.

Diarrhea and vomiting are two things I try and put a stop to as quickly as I can, and these were two very aggressive symptoms I was experiencing.

Although digestive aids such as Tums are safe during both pregnancy and nursing, medicines like Pepto Bismol aren’t recommended for nursing moms. This meant that I was going to try and power through with lots of water, some ginger ale, a bucket and high hopes.

My symptoms started at 8:45ish in the evening. I was running to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. After vomiting for the 6th time, I started to get the chills. Cladding my thickest robe and fuzziest socks, I slowly made my way to bed. Between waking to get to the bathroom, chills, and hot flashes, I got maybe about an hour of sleep that night. Luckily, my daughter slept right through the night.

My hope was that I would wake up, stomach and bowels empty and feel more like myself.

The soft coos of my daughter roused me at around 9am. I summoned the small amount of strength I had to get over to her, but my arms were shaking. I didn’t trust myself to even attempt to pick her up. I woke my husband, told him he was on Daddy Duty, ran to the bathroom before climbing back in bed.

This was not the Christmas I had been expecting.

I spent most of the day sleeping, running to the bathroom, and breastfeeding. I had a FaceTime call with my family, my husband had gone over to bring their gifts and bring home some food.

Being as sick as I was, I definitely have some tips for you mommies with a young baby going through it.

This is one of the times when breastfeeding really came in handy. It was so much easier to just lay her in bed beside me, sleep while she ate and have my husband take her when she was done. Although, if your baby is formula fed, it would eliminate baby’s contact with you all together, allowing you to get some rest… so either feeding method provides benefits.

Breastfeeding your baby through your sickness would be giving your baby the antibodies it needs to fight off the sickness you are currently battling, and lessens the chances of them catching it in the first place.

Feed your baby until they are full so they are more likely to nap.

Drink lots of liquids. Ginger Ale can help soothe an upset stomach, water is best, and Gatorade and Powerade are good if you can’t keep anything down.

Throw out a lifeline. This is the most important thing you can do if you have a sickness you need to sleep off.

If your partner is not available to help you for the day, reach out to someone else who can. Having someone around to keep baby busy and entertained between feedings and naps will help you get all the rest you need.

Outside of those things, I would suggest making sure any medications you take don’t have an impact on your milk supply in any way if you are feeding, try and limit face to face contact with your baby (my daughter loves kisses and chewing on my face, so this was something I had to keep her from doing).

Hang in there, we may be superheroes, but we are not super human and we get sick sometimes. It will pass!

Movements At 24 Weeks

Hey all,

Anyone who has been keeping up with my blog so far knows that I have a bun in the oven and am on my way to being a mommy. Anyone who hasn’t, shame on you… you should be reading my awesome blog and know this about me by now! (Kidding!)

One of the first things I started to wonder about when I got pregnant was the baby’s movements. You are growing a whole person inside of you, and there is always some way your body is trying to remind you of that. In the beginning, those reminders are ones that have you taking your shoes off, throwing your feet off and hoping it will pass. Some of these fun things are nausea, vomiting, aches and pains, boobs that are suddenly bigger but a thousand times more sensitive than they have ever been, bloating, never-ending gas, need I go on?

Now I have known women who have hoped and prayed for these symptoms to pass as they move further along into their pregnancy, only to get the unpleasant surprise that they would be sticking around until the end. With my brother’s poor girlfriend, she was throwing up constantly, almost every day, unable to keep any semblance of food down. This lasted right up until she delivered my beautiful nephew.

Those symptoms for me didn’t last quite as long, all though when I was in the thick of it, I felt like I was sinking in quicksand and would never find my way out. I was falling asleep in moments when I thought I was just blinking, battling nausea throughout the whole day while struggling to hide it from all the five-year olds I was working with, throwing up all hours of the day and if anyone even came close to my boobs they would ache as though they were getting branded by hot pokers.

Most of these symptoms stopped at around 12/13 weeks. Sure, I still toot like a tug boat and I have a new ache and pain that resurfaces every day, but I think at this point I am through the thick of it.

At around 18 weeks and three days, something happened that made everything else seem worth it. I was lying on the couch, topless with my little bump hanging out (as is customary now that none of my shirts seem to fit the way they used to and I haven’t given in to maternity clothing yet) and I looked down and saw a small ripple move across my belly. I had been feeling little flutters and everything for at least two weeks prior to this, but my doctor had told me there probably wouldn’t be any movement that could be seen from the outside or that my husband would be able to feel until at least 20 weeks in.

Amazed, I stayed perfectly still, my eyes glued to my belly. A second later, I could see my little kiwi pushing outward, in really strong, obvious movements. Right away I pulled out my phone and tried to record it. Now, my baby decides to be shy and won’t move until of course I give up and put the phone down, then BAM! another strong hit/kick.

I had to laugh to myself in a way, because all of my ultrasounds, the technician has told me how my baby moves so much and refuses to cooperate. I experienced this first hand while sitting there, trying to record my stomach moving for about an hour.

When I texted my husband excited about the new development, he was jealous and of course spent the night trying to see/feel for himself. Again, our difficult baby refused to move. It was a playful battle, him sitting there with his hand on my belly for hours, trying to will and bribe little kiwi to move.

Now, at 24 weeks, I can pretty much time baby’s movements. Kiwi is up at about 6:20am every morning, kicking the crap out of me until about 8:00am when it’s break time. Then throughout the day, almost nothing. A few flutters here and there, sometimes when I am bending over and limiting the space in there I will get a kick letting me know Kiwi is uncomfortable. Then I get home from work, chill out and do what needs to be done, and almost nothing. Then 9:45pm comes around and BAM! WELCOME TO WRESTLEMANIA. TONIGHT, IT IS KIWI AGAINST MOMMY. THE MATCH WILL LAST UNTIL AROUND 3 IN THE MORNING! DING-DING-DING!

Now, when things become THIS routine, it is both comforting and stressful. I find myself waiting, watching the clock. I smirk to myself when it starts again, yet since I was hit with this stomach bug Kiwi has been eerily still. The mornings I would feel a flutter or two, but none of the fierce kicks and movements I had become so accustomed to. Again, the same thing was happening at night. What this meant, was I had turned into this worried monster, conjuring up all sorts of bad case scenarios in my head.

For other mommies-to-be going through this, there are a few things you can do. Down one or two glasses of ice-cold water and then go and lie on your side and wait. Usually babe will start kicking or resuming the movements you had started to feel were normal. If that doesn’t get them moving, something with sugar usually will.

I tried both of those things and although I did feel movements, they lacked the ferocity of the kid who had the Championship Belt for kicks.

For first time moms, every change seems like it is the biggest deal. We don’t know what’s normal and what’s not. From the phone calls I made to my gynecologist and my OBGYN, they stated that movements can not be considered routine or normal until 28 weeks. It is normal for babies in the womb to go through lulls at this stage, and it wasn’t much to stress about.

Easier said than done.

With little to no movement both Friday, and Saturday, but Saturday night I was ready to go to the hospital just to be sure. My husband told me to do what I felt would make me less stressed. The decision was up to me, he couldn’t tell me what was normal or what wasn’t, all he could do was support my decision either way. So, shoes on, stressed on, we were heading out the door kwhen BAM!

THE CHAMPION WAS BACK!

I sat down in a relaxed position in hopes to give Kiwi full range of the ring. Awake and ready to wrestle, non-stop powerful movements kept up for about an hour.

Whew! I let out a sigh of relief. I had been so stressed out about this, the quiet had me tied up in knots. It just goes to show that nothing in pregnancy is predicatable. I had been pretending I knew exactly what this pregnancy and these movements were about at 24 weeks, but it turned out I was doing just that… pretending.

Today, I am more relaxed and feeling good, planning on kicking my feet up and challenging the champion to a rematch!