I started feeling a little rundown yesterday. I was really tired and my eyes were itchy. I was sniffly and sneezing a bit. I thought that it was my allergies as I’ve been hearing so much about the early allergy season on the news lately. I ran so many errands today: Costco, Ikea, HomeSense, and Babies R Us and it was freezing and windy compared to last week. (By the way, did I mention that Costco was selling Seven for all Mankind jeans?When did this happen??). I was sneezing today and got that scratchy feeling in my throat and thought, “Am I sick again?”. I don’t know if this happens to other new moms, but I feel like I have gotten sick constantly over the past 9 months. It’s ridiculous! I normally work in a hospital and am around sick people all day and have never gotten sick this many times.
I have had a constant cold or sinus infection, at least once a month since being on maternity leave. My little Cubby has her third cold of the season and she had one bout of flu/fever. Am I getting sick from her? Is she a little cesspool of germs and viruses? Are we constantly passing it back and forth and infecting each other? I feel better that I am breastfeeding, so she is at least getting antibodies from me. The last time that I took her to the doctor, he had said that it was good that she was getting sick as she was developing her immune system. But, getting back to me… why do I keep getting sick?
I know people technically get sick with the change of seasons or weather change. Seeing as it was sunny and 25 degrees last week and today was cold and 5 degrees, that could make one get sick. I also know that people get more sick when they don’t rest or sleep. As a new mom, I don’t think the word “rest” is in my vocabulary. I find it difficult to take naps during the day as she is napping sporadically now and will only fall asleep if she is in the stroller or I am driving. I obviously can’t nap if I am pushing her stroller or driving her!
As for sleep, my sleep has much improved since I last wrote about weaning Cubby off of her night feeds. I had put the monitor really low and started sleeping. My husband gives her a dream feed between 10 and 11pm and I go to bed around 10:30pm. I usually sleep until 5am and then get up to pump milk for her next day’s dream feed. I then have a quick snooze and am up between 7 and 7:30am when she gets up. I am at least sleeping for 5 to 6 hours consecutively now, which is much better than 2 to 3 hours of consecutive sleep.
What else? Hmm.. stress? I know people get more sick when they are stressed out. I would say that I am a lot calmer than the first 3 months of Cubby’s life, but I still get stressed out trying to wear all of my “hats” for the day (mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend). I must say that I felt productive when I worked at the hospital. I was able to multi-task and organize my day. Now, I’m lucky if I get to eat lunch or make dinner with entertaining little Cubby all day. I don’t know if she’s high maintenance or just spoiled, but I can’t walk away to do anything without her wailing if she doesn’t see me. It gets frustrating at times; like having a little shadow that is constantly making noise. Some people say let her cry, but I find that it increases my stress level to hear her crying and wailing. Especially driving, if she starts crying and wailing when I am driving, I can’t think straight. I feel like my head starts pounding. So I guess I could say that I have more stress now than when I was at work. At work, you could always rest or take a break or sit down for a quiet lunch. Currently at home, there is no quiet “me time” until she goes to bed.
Back to the topic of getting sick more frequently on maternity leave. Is this happening to anyone else? Are there factors that I have missed? Does it get better? Please message me or comment if this is happening to you. Also, if you have any tips. I have been trying to be healthy lately; exercising, eating well, taking my vitamins, going for long walks in the fresh air. I don’t know what more I could be doing.