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Friday, May 20, 2011

The sick mother’s guide to surviving the flu…. (and breastfeeding tid-bits)

{cheesy male announcer voice} Are you a mother of a newly crawling infant? Are you being plagued with the virus from hell? Are you a stay-at-home-mom being the sole caregiver for your child? Are you unwilling to pass the plague around by asking for help from a loved one? Then do I have the solution for you!!!

Follow these simple steps to ensure the happiest baby and the speediest recovery!

Step number one:

Secure a living area where you can control what your child can get into with minimal supervision or exercise.

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Make sure your living area is stocked with plenty of toys and entertainment.
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Give up on the extra work of cloth diapering and give into the simplicity and ease of good ole’ fashioned throw-aways.

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Stay in your jammies all day.

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Keep plenty of feel good food close at hand.

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---don’t forget the amazing baby heroine known as “puffs” to keep your child happy for hours on end. (bad mommy…he ate way too many of these yesterday)

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Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

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Make sure the dogs have some form of entertainment. Otherwise, you will end up with this

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Feed your child the easiest and fastest food that leaves no room for plague contamination by eliminating skin to food contact. Also, derail all progress you made with helping the child to not be so addicted to ‘binky’.

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Don’t fret one tiny bit that you backslid from the difficult accomplishment of breastfeeding only 3 times a day (not an easy feat) back to on demand 5 or 6 times a day just to avoid having to physically exhaust yourself by soothing the baby by other means. (seriously, I’ve been so weak I black out when I stand up).

Teach your child cute but useless words and tricks to fill the many hours in the day. (he learned “uh oh” and drops things specifically so he can say it)



{cheesy announcer voice} Follow these simple steps to find the fastest way out of any virus, disease or plague you may find yourself beleaguered by.


On another note, Breastfeeding. I adore it. I love it. I will miss it when it is gone. At the same time, I’m ready for us to wind down with it. We haven’t had the easiest time of it and persevered through many obstacles that women just don’t persevere through. See here and here to read about our clampdown-bite reflex and thrush. I feel accomplished. I feel proud. I feel so happy for having made it to my goal (1 year old which we will easily make it to and probably past due to this flu setback). My OB and pediatrician both encouraged me to make it to one year saying that is the best thing you can do for your baby. After research, I decided that was a good age and they knew what they were talking about.

I’ve been a stickler about keeping us down to 3-4 feedings for a few months now. Most days, he was content with just 3. I was about to phase out the middle feeding as he is almost 11 months old and give him a gulp or two of whole milk along with his lunch. Then, I was going to phase out the morning feeding a few weeks later when he was about 2 weeks shy of his birthday and cut out the night feeding within a few days (after) of his birthday. Then DIET CITY!!!

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little nervous about this decision now. One reason is because that is only 6 weeks away. It already makes me sad and nostalgic. Though its been hard, they have been the sweetest and most bonding times we’ve had. This decision is made easier by the fact that he is so mobile now that our nursing sessions take FOREVER because he keeps trying to crawl/roll/scoot away and then comes back after a minute or two. I’ve learned to set aside that time to enjoy his personality and watch him learn but it does rather put a halt on any progress made around here because I have 3 hours of the day where I put a full stop to anything I was doing; plus the 30 minutes of non-milk food I feed him after each nursing session. I’m not easily motivated so its near impossible to jump back on the progress train after sitting idle for an hour. I do focus on him completely during that time and, as a stay at home mom, that is my sole purpose. I am here to focus on him, facilitate his learning and cultivate his imagination.

I truly enjoy these nursing times but, for someone who is struggling to not be depressed, getting nothing done around here doesn’t help. Plus, I find myself getting frustrated with his nursing habits which is a clear sign that its time to stop (for me at least). They say a child will do the exact things he is doing when they’re ready to begin the weaning process. So, the way I see it, we’re right on track.

But then this flu hit. I am so amazed at what God has equipped our bodies to do. Cole and I have been plastered together this entire flu with constant contact, cuddles and care and he has not displayed one tiny bit of this infection. I knew that when the mommy gets sick, her breast milk fills up with the exact antibodies needed to fight off the infection so the baby has the best defense. I honestly didn’t expect that to be as effective as it is. This was the first true sickness since I have had him and not a single symptom did he get. Amazing. He is almost 11 months old and has not had one sniffle or tummy ache this entire time (knocking on wood). That is a true testament to the power of breastfeeding. I’m a fan. I’m sold through and through. So, knowing this, do I really want to take away that defense for him? Obviously, I can’t breastfeed him his whole life but what are the risks of taking this away when it is perfectly acceptable for mothers to breastfeed their child for years. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not backing out of my decision but I am sad about the benefits we will be passing on. I’ve thought about continuing to nurse but only pump and give it to him through his cup but I have a terrible pump and don’t have it in the budget to purchase the one I truly need to keep up with that demand. Also, I am ready to shed some weight which I have not been able to do while breastfeeding.

I made a deal with myself when I was pregnant that I would do whatever it took to breastfeed. I wouldn't fret about what my body looked like because I was doing what I needed to to support life. In those first two months, I struggled with supply. Looking back, I don’t think I had as little as I thought I did because I took the normal ‘evening fussy period’ for hunger cries. This paranoid fear, however, caused me to eat. And I ate and ate and ate. The rule is to add 500 calories for a breastfeeding mother (according to my OB and my post-partum book). I did that and Cole still cried in the evenings. So I tried eating more with much success. That success could have been from the extra calories (unlikely) or it could have been my body finally responding to the demand. Regardless, I ate way too much. I was drinking an ensure shake, a piece of fruit and some type of carb in the middle of the night…every night for the first two months. Its no wonder I packed on 20 libbies. After that, I eliminated the middle of the night meal but I still was eating way more than the recommended caloric intake during the day. I was finally making enough and, in my depressed and exhausted state of mind, I attributed it to the food amount. So, I ate like that for months. I am currently 50 pounds heaver than my first trimester weight. I am using that point because I shedded 17 unnecessary pounds in those first few months and was closer to my goal weight. Even then, I was still 10 or 15 pounds heaver than where I wanted to be. 50 pounds. Quite a lofty goal. I have several game plans in mind and will update you when I get to them but still, that is no small order.

Obviously, I am ready to start getting my body back. I’m ready for certain lady parts to return to a manageable size. --side note. I sat in the Kohl’s dressing room for over an hour last week balling my eyes out because even their largest size bra did not fit me. This was my first attempt at buying a bra post-partum because I had a gift card and needed to stop wearing those nursing tanks that have no support. Seriously, I have worn those every day since he was born. My mom said they look like I have a uni-boob. They’re so mashed in here from my effort of minimizing their perceived size that they smoosh together into one solid mound all of the way across (I truly hope no males are reading this. If you are, I am so sorry. Girl talk.) I had at least 3 Kohl’s employees ask if everything was okay. I sniffled my reassurances and started afresh with new tears as soon as they were out of ear shot. Needless to say, it was a terrible experience. I miss my body.-- I am ready to pack up these fat-jeans forEVER. I’ll keep them because I plan to breastfeed all future children but I won’t stress so much about the supply in the beginning and I will count calories the entire time. Hopefully I will never need them. This will never happen again. Double digit pant sizes, goodbye. I will photo document my weight loss journey with befores, durings, and afters. You’re talking to a classically trained ballet dancer who spent umpteen hours in the studio each week sweating it out. I miss that. Not to mention, I have a serious knee injury that has only been worsened by the added weight compacting down on it every day. I pray that when I get these added 50 pounds off of it, it can stop pestering me constantly.

So, anyway, you are now apprised of my breastfeeding game plan. I hope this goes as I have planned but, as with mostly everything else, I will have to be flexible as things never go as I plan.

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I'm a new wife and an even newer mom. I have a secret dream to be super-mom. I love to craft, cook, dance and fill my life with as many adventures as possible. I'm slightly crunchy granola but enjoy a good steak. I'm right brained and type B (with some type A tendencies). I thrive best when I get to use my creative juices. I dabble in photography and party planning. I play piano and have a dream to learn the cello. I want to make the most of this one, short life I find myself living.

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This blog was originally intended to be a personal journal of my pregnancy journey and all that that entails--shared with only a few close family members. It was a way for me to keep them posted on all things baby and occasionally post a picture of my growing torso so they could see the progress. After several posts, I started to get hooked on other blogs and became motivated to attempt to do more with mine. We'll see how it goes....







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