Things I’ve learnt during my first 100 days of motherhood

It’s funny how time takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve got a little life depending on you for everything. And how easy it is to get so wrapped up in your own world of snuggles and cuddles, late night feeds and hours of walking or rocking that little angel, all the while praying that they’ll fall asleep so you can rest your weary eyes.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (2)

Days seem to slip away as you stare at tiny eyelashes, smiling at contented sighs and feeling your heart start to melt as five little fingers curl around one of yours. As that little head rests softly on your chest and cuddles close to you, heat and heartbeats shared.

So it’s with some amusement and much love that after the first 100 days of motherhood, here are a few of the things that I’ve learnt:

* The motherhood glow is real – though I have a sneaky suspicion that mine was caused by cuddling a beautiful little furnace – during the 40°C heat wave we had.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (23)

 

*Mommy brain is also a real thing. Ever had it? No? Well, it’s the sort fog that draws over your brain as you stare in awe at your little gift at 3 in the morning as they nuzzle into you, and then you try to form coherent sentences to your significant other at 7am as you cook breakfast over a hot plate, despite having been awake for close to 24hrs. Oh what fun that is. Now repeat it every day for close on two months.Yep. There’s a peek at mommy brain for you. Also, I feel mildly cheated of this fortitude back during the odd all-nighter.

* Post pregnancy hair loss is a myth – or at least it was for me. I never once woke to strands on my pillow, or wound up having my drain clogged by clumps as a horrified friend informed me I would. Boy, did I feel smug about that one. Instead, what I did find was that my sweet little dumpling loved to reach up and tug with her tiny fists, which though adorable also slightly terrified me as it hurt to have her yank out single strands out of my head where they were firmly attached. She started to do this all. the. time. And it was so painful!! Seriously though, aside from tugging by my little darling, the rest of my hair stayed firmly where it belonged on my head. Smugness intact. 😉

*Friends will pop in almost daily to visit and meet your little angel, which is great because it’s good for them to start learning who their aunties and uncles are (and let’s face it, adorable baby snuggles and cuddles are too good an opportunity to pass up on regardless of heatwaves).

 

Amelia Growin (5)

*You will never be afraid of any kind of bodily fluid your little one may provide. Which is both heartwarming and terrifying considering the coming years and the dreaded potty training. Luckily, there are many, many, many moons still to go before that happens.

*Baking mini breakfast cupcakes with bacon and cheddar, spinach and feta, and carrot and cinnamon, becomes a soothing and a lovely way to grab a snack in the morning if you don’t have time to do a full breakfast of any kind.

* Washing and arranging tiny, cute outfits doesn’t get old – or at least, just over 100 days into motherhood, it hasn’t yet. It still brings a smile to my face as I tip in those teeny tiny little pants, tops, dresses and blankets into the washer and run it through the rinse cycle twice. Because since she’s inherited my sensitive skin, I can’t be too careful.

*Gummy smiles are the cutest things in the whole world. Especially when you realise that they look like an angelic Nights Watch member  … you doubt? Humph. You know nothing Jon Snow!!!

Amelia Growin (10).jpg

* Possibly too TMI but at some point everyone will ask you if you can tell when your milk comes in. To anyone wondering: yes, yes you can definitely tell when your milk comes in. Though it’s name “Let Down” may fool you into thinking it’s some kind of gentle process – in the early days, it’s not. Instead, it’s a thousand tiny fire-hot needles stabbing you that lead to you knowing when your milk for the baby has arrived. Yay.  Word to the wise: feed the tiny human asap because engorgemegive is an even worse feeling  … (I told you tmi). However, it doesn’t last forever and it really does settle into a normal ‘feeling’ of “oh, the milk is here” after the first two months or maybe I’m just cursed special.

*Taking photographs of those moments, along with other moments is a great way to pass the time and make memories to cherish. If you ever find time to print them for that album and scrapbook.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (8)

*Sleep deprivation may make you cranky, but you’ll find ways around it that work for you which sadly, usually don’t include sleep. I found drinking something after every feeding session, coupled with having something to eat every three hours did wonders at improving my mood throughout month two (those midnight snacks were sooo good!!). What did I drink, you ask? Well Schlehlens tonic with water, apple juice and rehydrate sachets for one, along with healthy dolings out of coconut water, regular water, water with lemon cordial and that single, aromatic first cup of coffee. Oh coffee! I miss you so …

*Watching your partner cuddle your sleeping child suddenly becomes the most magical sight in the whole world. Especially if they both snore softly together.

Amelia Growing  (14)

*Tiny finger nails are deadly weapons that give you the human equivellant of paper cuts. One minute you’re happily chatting with your tiny person in arms, the next your finger (or arm, or face, or cheek) starts to ache and there’s a tiny red line going down it from the talons of terror (not even joking). Cutting them while your child is asleep is the only safe way to do it that I’ve found.

*Soft sighs of contentment into your neck make everything worthwhile.

* My little lady had colic – and while it seemed to last forever, it does finally pass. It’s not pleasant (in the rocking in the corner crying with them way) but it does become more manageable over time. While my daughter didn’t have it as badly as some babies, it was a series of late night unsettled cries that were pretty impossible to soothe. Long story short, we finally realised that she had a dairy allergy and after I eliminated all milk products from my diet for a few weeks (which also cut down on the amount of gas Amelia had), her nightly cries pretty much vanished. So if your baby suffers from colic, and though it’s not a popular solution nowadays, chat with your paediatrician about doing an elmination diet if you breastfeed or switching to a different brand of formula and see if that helps. Because being told by everyone you know that it’s normal for all babies to cry when your gut says somethings wrong means ignoring convention and going with your instincts.

Amelia Growing  (16)

* Cradle cap is the most annoying thing in the world once the tiny white bumps (milia) have done their rounds on your babies beautiful skin. After trying baby shampoo, gentle brushing, olive oil, and even aqueous cream to remove it, nothing worked and it was as stubbornly staying put as ever. Eventually I tried coconut oil which cleared it up in a week! I seriously can’t recommend it enough as your first option.

*You can never have too many spare nappies in the car, despite however many you pack in the diaper bag. Likewise, another pack of baby wipes and a spare outfit in the car can’t hurt.

*The baby superman pose of arms being held high above the head when sleeping doesn’t get old. And somehow seems to grow more adorable the longer you gaze at it.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (17)

*There are plenty of people who’ll give you advice, from the lady in Woolworths to the parking attendant. Best scenario: Take in all advice graciously and apply or disregard it as necessary, especially as you know your baby best and what will work with your lifestyle.

*You will at some point think that your child looks like a cranky old person and you’re not wrong. They definitely get that “what do you think you’re doing, whippersnapper” look in their eyes a lot once they start focusing.

*That first bite of those forbidden foods you couldn’t have while pregnant are so. So. SO worth it. Here’s looking at you, sushi.

Amelia Growing  (21)

*You’ll never forget the first bathing experience you have with your baby. Mine had a look of wonder on her face as I put her in the water and she started crying when I took her out. It made bathtime so much easier than originally anticipated and it’s now an activity we both love at the end of a long day of play.

*If your baby is sticking out their tongue, they’re most likely hungry. If you’re wrong, they’ll likely be hungry in 20 minutes. It’s how it goes.

*If you’re inclined, read up on baby language (also called the Dunston method)  which consists of five basic cries: neh, heh, ah, eair, eh. For our little girl, it helped a heck of a lot in the beginning when trying to figure out what could be wrong. It could also have been complete hogwash and I’m just completely and utterly  in tune with my little angel, so there’s that too. 😉

Amelia Growing  (8)

*When you leave that hospital room and the comfort of people checking in on you, to go out into the world with your precious gift and start the journey of being mom and dad, at some point you’ll realise, “I’ve got this”. It’s not a wondrous, terrifying journey anymore but a happy, comforting reality of daily diaper changes, cuddles, playing, feeding, bathing, laughing, crying and cuddling. You’re in a place where time doesn’t matter and the points you assign to various things don’t mean anything (yep, I’m a huge Who’s Line fan).

Because in the end, as long as your baby is growing well and you’re doing fine, you really can say to anyone who asks how you are: “I’ve got this”.

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Amelia’s First Christmas

Hey lovelies,

Is there any time of year that’s more magical than that of Christmas? For me, not really. I love the lights, the festive cheer, the happiness on peoples faces as they get to unwind and enjoy a few days off with loved ones, and this year is even more special because of the tiny angel we’re sharing it with!

Amelia is now just over 2 weeks old and I’m so completely and utterly in love with her it’s almost ridiculous! Her tiny hands, perfect nose, beautiful eyes … I could go on and on. 😉 I’m not sure how it is with most new parents but we feel quite lucky to discover that Amelia likes routine. She wakes and watches us and her surroundings – and her favourite thing other than me is the bedroom fan (who’d have guessed?!). She likes to breastfeed every two hours before falling into a tiny puddle of snores that I call her milk coma, and then the cycle is repeated every 3 hours without fail. Though I do long to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time, I can’t consider not having her cuddled up close to my chest as I breathe in her soft, warm baby smell that just makes my heart feel so warm and glowy – and fit to burst!

I know you’re probably wondering how Christmas this year went, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures from Amelia’s first Christmas. We tend to run around every year and see family, so the pictures below are of our Christmas at home, our Christmas at granny and grandpa, and our Christmas at ouma and oupa. ^_^

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I hope you had a happy Christmas everyone and that you’ll have an incredible New Years Eve too.

Welcome Amelia

Hi lovelies,

Sorry for the delay in getting this up, but it’s been an incredibly busy last few days as hubby and I finally got to meet our beautiful little girl! Though it was via an emergency C-section and not a natural birth as planned (despite an 11 hour labor), I’m really over the moon at finally meeting my little girl!

My little angel (C) Rambling with Rose

Instead of keeping you in suspense, here are a few photographs to tide you over, until I have time to update properly. 😉

Born at 5 minutes to midnight (C) Rambling with Rose

Being prepped for surgery and cracking jokes (C) Rambling with Rose

Getting to hold my daughter (C) Rambling with Rose Amelia being checked out (C) Rambling with Rose The wonderful surgical team (C) Rambling with Rose Holding Amelia after her first feed (C) Rambling with Rose Daddy and daughter (C) Rambling with Rose  Our little super girl!

This tiny little angel has definitely brought a whole lot of love with her! ❤

What’s in my :: Hospital Bag?

It’s funny to think that I used to be a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kinda gal, as being pregnant morphed me into one of those incredibly over-eager ladies who packed and repacked (and repacked and repacked) the hospital bags for baby and I … “just in case”.

While I plan 100% to bring my little girl into the world via natural birth, pragmatically anything can happen between my plans and her actual birth, which is why I’ve also packed items that would come in handy should an emergency C-section occur. It’s funny to realise that a lot of what I’ve packed in here for me doubles as some of my travel favourite items, so read on to have a peek.

 

Labour Bag

  • Oversized black t-shirt and mini skirt (because I really don’t want to end up in a hospital gown)
  • Nursing pillow – in case I decide to contort into a variety of shapes while feeding baby McBean
  • Socks – I hate, hate, hate having cold feet and want to have the option to warm any cold tootsies during my stay … though I do plan to have  a pedicure in a cheerful colour that I can stare at while pushing
  • Music – I focus really well when there’s music playing, and have a labour playlist already put together with a combo of soothing classical, trippy new age, dubstep and heavy rock … depending on my mood
  • Earphones – in case I can’t play my CD then at least I can still listen to music on my phone
  • Camera – I plan to document my whole journey to show my beautiful little girl one day, so a camera is kinda a given to be packed :p

Snacks:

  • Homemade date balls – these will come in handy for energy, just in case the labour goes on for ages.
  • Pomegranate seeds – I’ve read up and apparently pomegranate seeds are highly recommended for preggy mamas in the last few weeks before birth as they have protective properties in the event baby’s oxygen is cut off. While this could be completely untrue, I do quite like their taste so have been snacking on these like crazy.
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea – I’m planning to make a batch for my refillable water bottle on the day, but so far I’ve been sipping it for the past week and it’s flavour-wise, it’s not all that bad (and is a nice change from Rooi8os).

 

Hospital Bag for Amelia:

First up, after shopping around on my own and coming up with nothing, hubby surprised me with one of my top 3 favourite bag choices, the BabyMoov BabyChic. I fell in love with this bag for all kinds of reasons – it’s spacious, the inner dividers look like they’ll come in handy, the exterior is a wipe-and-go fabric which makes it perfect for all seasons and events, and the practical attachable changing mat, bottle pouch and dummy holder mean they can come or go as needed. I could go on, and on, but I’m certain you get the idea – it’s got everything a new mama could want and then some. The colour is a lovely neutral red and gray which means hubby can wear it too, when out and about with her, and it should last well into her toddler years (and beyond) as a bag for weekends away.

While I’m certain the hospital will have most of the items required (including a medi-clinic bag to take home), I’m packing anything and everything which could come in handy for her:

Clothing

As we’re been repeatedly told our baby girl is going to come out between 3kg – 3.5kg, I’ve packed a variety of newborn sized items -> though I’ve also packed two tiny baby long-sleeve vest and jacket, and a 0 – 3 month old babygrow, in the event she’s actually smaller / larger then predicted as this has happened to my a good friend of mine. So in her bag I have:

  • 2 x baby grows – pink and white
  • 2x vests – in white
  • 2x jackets – white and beige
  • 2x sleep suites
  • 2x footed pants
  • 2x baby socks
  • 2x cotton hats

Other items

I’ve included 2x BabySense Muslin receiving blankets in pink and stone, one soft cotton receiving blanket, and a fluffy acrylic blanket to boot. This may be overkill but because it’s summer I don’t know how warm/ cool the hospital is going to be and I don’t want to boil my baby (or freeze her) inadvertently.

Medications and Hygiene

Packing for the hospital

Most of the items I’m bringing with for Amelia’s hospital stay are sample sized versions that were supplied by Dischem when I signed up for their baby program (and received a well-stocked black and white paisley bag).

Items include:

A sample-sized sudocream, Baby Johnson’s Vaseline, Bennetts bath oil, surgical spirits, rounded earbuds, size 0 nappies and Huggies wet wipes.

A medicine pouch with a thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clippers, nail file, and a small saline solution drops. We’re totally unlikely to need all of this in a hospital, but I’m a first-time mama, so this is going to stay close, until baby is at least 3 months and I feel comfortable leaving something behind. :p

Hospital Bag for me:

So I may or may not have originally packed as if the apocalypse was coming, going so far as to include a pair of chic combat boots (a tad much, right?). But to be fair, my recent edits to my hospital bag have left me only with the items necessary for immediately after birth and to comfortably tide me over for a day or two spent in hospital. I do plan to have visitors and have packed accordingly so I look and feel presentable (each to their own on this score – I personally want my  Labello Cherry Red lip balm and eye-shadow … mainly so I look awake for the inevitable photographs).

Wearing

2x nursing bras from Woolworths

2x sports bras from Mr Price (sooo comfy to wear while I’ve been preggies)

2x tank tops that can double as nursing tops

1x black maxi skirt

1x loose cotton pants

1x black maxi dress

Sleeping

2x lace nighties (because who says you can’t look cute when you’ve just had a baby?!)

1x Cotton On Kimono nightgown (I seriously love this style so much!)

1x slippers (I refuse to walk barefoot around … it will probably be cold)

Hygiene

1x Dark blue facecloth

1x Soap and travel-sized shower gel

1x Carriwell Maternity Pads (they are giant – GIANT – scary looking things, but will come in super, super handy because regardless of how you give birth, you turn into a bit of a bleeder) 0_o (or so say those of my friends who’ve had kids) ;0)

1x Pack of Medela Nursing Pads – in case my milk comes in early and is fairly plentiful (**here’s hoping)

A small selection of makeup items

C-section items:

1x Dry shampoo – I’m a big believer that if your hair is clean and smells good, you feel so much better so dry shampoo is one of my favourite items when I go anywhere for more than a day

1x Enerjelly sweets (so yum!) in case I need to snack and can’t walk to a vending machine

1x Cleanser and toner and 5x cotton pads (because if I can’t go to the bathroom to wash my face, I want to be able to freshen up somehow)

1x Spearmint Chewing Gum – again, if I can’t make it to the bathroom to brush my teeth, at least my breath will smell somewhat fresh

1x Tissue pack – in case I need to blow my nose / blot my face / I run out of cotton pads

And that pretty much wraps up my list of items so far. Who knows, maybe this list will change again, but this is it for now.

Any advice you can give on what you packed in your hospital bag will be gladly received in case this undergoes another edit. 😉

Country Anniversary: Breakfast at Peregrine Farm Stall

 

Heeader Country Anniversary Breakfast at Peregrine Farm Stall 1 (C) Rambling with Rose - Copy

Hello lovelies,

If you’ve noticed I’ve been rather  absent around here lately it’s because I’ve been away celebrating my 4-year anniversary in the nearby valley of Elgin.

It was a very special time, so picture if you will: autumn days, winelands flowing out over hills and into valleys, country-scented air (that smelled of pine forests, orchards, freshly churned dirt, and country cuisine), shaded green farmland and cute animals, coupled with warm sunshine and crisp, cold evenings with clear skies.

Naturally, our stay at Old Mac Daddy in the middle of all of this was a dream come true. ^_^

So since I’ve been gone a while, I’m going to show, rather than tell, you what we’ve been up to – starting with our breakfast at Red Tractor Café  (found within Peregrine Farm Stall, in Grabouw).

Though we don’t visit often, the attached café restaurant at Peregrine Farm Stall is our go-to first choice whenever we have to head over the ‘berg.

Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 2) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 3)Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 4) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 5) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 7)

The rebuilt restaurant is very airy and free-flowing (and done, we think, in a style inspired by Brinny Breeze, the restaurant at Old Mac Daddy). With friendly staff, hearty food, and an easy-to-read blackboard for those seeking takeaways, we’re happy to report that the food is divine and oh-so-fresh! ^_^

Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 8)Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 10) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 11) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 12) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 14) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 15) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 16.1) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 17) Peregrine Farm Stall (C) Rambling with Rose (edit 18)

After sating ourselves and doing a quick trip through the shop to get some snacks, we walked the grounds and viewed the mini Duncan Roses nursery before setting off to find Old Mac Daddy (I cannot wait to show you pics of this beautiful spot!) ^_^

Coffee and a Catch Up

Hello lovelies,

This past week and weekend has been a great pick-me-up.

From date night with hubby, tackling my new year’s list, and having breakfast at Cafe Knead in Muizenberg, to family bonding time and finally sorting out my spare room, writing space, and desktop, I’m feeling far more motivated now than in the past month.

The ‘great clean’ was long overdue but I’m happy to say that with two black bags full of items to be donated or swapped, and a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes I’ll actually wear (and I now know what items I need to add over the coming seasons), I’m feeling pretty good about life in general  right now. And the lack of clutter is a very, very welcome change. ^_^

Along with the wardrobe overhaul I added two pretty trays to my desk to organise my writing essentials, deleted bookmarks that I don’t need (who actually goes through the 130+ sites they bookmark anyway?) and did an email purge to ensure the websites and blogs I follow are still relevant to my interests, give me inspiration, and align with who I am and where I want to head to.

The above took an entire day to sort through, but I’m very satisfied that my digital and home detox will keep me on track in the coming months.

Though to be honest, it helped quite a bit that Eskom decided to do a mid-afternoon blackout yesterday – as there were no distractions or social media pings to waylay my day plans.

The Wardrobe Cull

Wardrobe cull round up (C) Rambling with Rose (edited)

The tips I used from A Pair & a Spare were invaluable, and if you’re planning a wardrobe cleanse, you should definitely check out her post series; it’s thorough, concise, and though a lot of it is common sense, it’s presented in such a way you look at it and go “huh, I should have done this ages ago!”.

Though I have a pile of sentimental items still lurking in one of my draws, I’ve decided if there’s anything in there I don’t reach for this summer – or do reach for it, put it on and then hesitate before taking it off again – it’s going to have to go by the end of the season (unless I learn how to do some DIY tricks – any that you can recommend?).

Some things I learnt from doing this include:

  • I have a bad tendency to hang onto makeup that’s way past it’s ‘use-by’ date (that little cream lid with a number in it on most products nowadays stands for how long the product, after opening, is good until – who knew?!?)
  • I have a ton of dresses I don’t actually wear (several landed up in my ‘sentimental’ pile)
  • My jeans buying spree last winter (since I had only one pair then) was a good investment, but 2 pairs, of the 5 I bought, I have hardly worn due to a bad cut and fit – so into the “donate” pile they went
  • I have a ton of comfortable takkie (sneaker) shoes that I’ve hung onto despite cracks & broken soles (why?!)
  • My scarf collection (of 20+ scarves) needs to come out of the boxes and into play in my wardrobe – so any not worn or that don’t work can be gifted, donated, or repurposed
  • I’ve got plenty of great neutral items in my wardrobe. Mainly navy, black and grey – so no more dark colour additions can be added to my current wardrobe unless it’s to replace a beloved item that’s too far gone to wear in public – with brighter colours and lighter neutrals to be added instead

Writing

Writing plans (C) Rambling with Rose

Though I’ve still got a long way still to go with my novel, I’ve been trying to write at least 1000 words every three days (life’s busy, yo!), with plans to up this count in the coming weeks. I’m toying with the idea of creating a “Writing Wednesday” series, so stay tuned ^_~

 

Some TLC for body, mind, and beauty

Drinking more Tea (C) Rambling with Rose

I’ve been investing in my health lately, and with Epsom salt baths, fruit smoothies, micronutrients, a good probiotic, drinking lemon water in the mornings, and at least 1L of water a day. I can now state that my energy levels have come back in a big way (I was a tad worried I’d develop chronic fatigue but that luckily hasn’t happened).

I’ve started drinking more teas instead of that second (or third) cup of coffee – which I used to do but somehow fell off the wagon on that one – in this day and age it’s too easy to put on another coffee pot out of habit, when your body actually needs more hydration and not stimulation.

To go with the healthy inside, I’ve buffed, polished, moisturised, cleansed and started experimenting with nail polish and lipstick shades again (now that I have some motivation to make my outside reflect my inside). After my glandular fever I was sticking to moisturiser and eyeliner as my day-to-day options since having to think about what to add (lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, etc) were far too ambitious for me to attempt last week.

Sunday Plans

Sunday Plans (C) Rambling with Rose

Later, I’m heading out to a braai to catch up with friends and the full cast and crew of Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I’m going to be the production secretary for. I’ve had plenty of experience both on stage and behind the scenes in theatre, but never in this kind of capacity. It’s a little daunting, but it should also be a fun learning curve and I’ll share any tips and tricks I pick up for the theatre lovers reading this later on in the year.

And that’s pretty much my week summed up, with the continual promise of adding more posts here daily now my motivation is back.

I’d love to hear how your week’s gone, and what issues you’re tackling!

With love,
Rose

I’m Still Alive … Sort Of …

Hello lovely,

With glandular fever (aka mononucleosis) turning my usually active life into one of lethargy, long naps, and pain-filled days, it’s not an overstatement to say things have been a wee bit hard recently, especially regarding my normal habits, routines, and New Year goals.

Which is fairly ironic since my New Year plans overall were to get a handle on organising my life and planning ahead. It would seem that despite my best intentions, life is telling me to slow down. So instead of playing catch up with my pre-planned posting schedule and entertaining you with various places visited and changes at home, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of how I really have been these past few weeks. And no, it won’t be the usual “Hanging in there” response I’ve been giving out to those around me (along with whatever kind of smile I can muster up – which I hope is brave – I try to go for brave. But whatever, they get a mouth twitch and sometimes teeth).

The effects of Glandular Fever

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been fairly complacent and unenthusiastic about everything in life (barring an audition for Midsummer Night’s Dream that I somehow managed to haul myself out of bed for in the first week of my illness. As it turns out, I’ll be behind the stage as a production secretary instead of performing on it, but I’m quite happy I’ll be working with  awesome theater peeps in March – as I really am hoping to be well by then!).

Since that awful first week, which started off with odd lumps behind the head and a sore throat (which I got cortisone and hystamines for with instructions to return the following week if the bumps were still there), I’ve been unmotivated and quite literally unable to read, text friends, change out of my PJs, or do any of the normal things one usually does (and which I usually enjoy doing, like putting on a touch of makeup, running a bath, and reading in the evenings).

The pain medication I’ve been on has helped quite a bit, especially with the swollen lymph nodes that cropped up in my wrists, behind the knees, and in my hands (which truly made me feel as if a 90 year old man had invaded my body). But, said medication also send me to dreamland in pretty short order and then there’s the (gross!) tummy troubles which I won’t go into detail about because I like you ^_~. Needless to say I’ve cut pain meds out completely since the achy joints are finally gone, as of week 2.

I have been off work for 2 weeks and under strict instructions from my doctor not to participate in anything strenuous, including but not limited to contact sports, jarring my abdomen (no tight waistbands), or heavy lifting. I have to refrain from eating rich fatty meals, citrus, or anything along those lines due to the enlargement of my internal organs being unable to properly process the foods (the main affected organs are my liver and spleen).

Because these organs are so enlarged from fighting the virus, they’re pushing on my stomach making me unable to eat more than a small bowl of oats in the morning (which is a great choice for those out there starting this), a few nuts or a slice of dry toast or cracker bread in the afternoon, and if I’m lucky, half a bowl of soup for supper – with the caveat of no onions, garlic, or cream being in it. During the first week I hardly ate at all, and tried to stay hydrated with fluids – water, tea, re-hydrating sachets, aloe and fruit juice mixes, and iced teas. Turns out, this is the recommended option during the early stages (with the mention of broth soups – but meh). Week two was a bit better, with the above mentioned items tiding me through a day, though I usually skipped supper since I couldn’t handle the acid reflux I was getting (you get super sleepy after eating and lying down is a no no for reflux – you feel like you’re dying. Really. It plain sucks).

As of week 3 I’m feeling a bit more human and motivated (though the energy comes and goes in waves like an oceans tide, or sunlight peeking out on a cloudy day, which is all too quickly gone again). I’ve found a few olives a day help with energy levels (likely due to Vitamin E), and I’m taking a probiotic and liver support to nourish my internal organs, along with drinking lots of water and teas, like ginger, fennel, and rooibos. Coffee is prohibited (and those who know me know how much I hate this, because I love my coffee!) purely since the caffeine has a negative effect on the adrenal glands.

On the plus side, I think getting into shape and eating healthily will be a breeze when I’m well again, since I’ve already lost quite a few pounds due to my stomach shrinking, and I’ve already kick started the healthy eating plan (albeit in baby-sized portions, which I’m confident will return to that of a ‘normal’ adult some time soon). So yeah, the only plus side I’ve found with glandular is weight loss.

How am I coping with Glandular Fever now?

In short, when I have spurts of energy, I feel like me again – but those usually only lasts for half-hour spans, before disappearing again; leaving me wanting to close my eyes and rest. Since South Africa only allows for 3 weeks of sick leave, for every 3 years worked for a company, and I’ve taken 10 days of sick leave already, I feel terrible having to take more … which is why I went back to work this past week.

I hung in Monday and Tuesday, took, Wednesday off to rest and try and recover, then worked Thursday and Friday morning. I was sent home before lunch on Friday afternoon because my manager could see I wasn’t myself.

It’s so busy at this time of year and I feel incredibly guilty taking time off work to come home and rest, and do little else but sleep (I think I could manage fairly well on email and do most of my work from my bed throughout the day, but that’s sadly not an option). Then again, on the other hand, it’s my health – and it’s the only health – and life – I have. So I need to start realising what my friends and colleagues keep saying is true, that “work will wait” (but I love my job!). 😦  I need rest, lots of TLC time, and to just let go and let God handle the rest.

Going into week four will be interesting. I’m hopeful my body will kick out this inconvenience and I’ll be feeling more like myself in short order (trust me, if I knew which idiot sneezed or coughed on me with this, I’d kill ’em. Horribly. Think fire ants and honey, or a vat of boiling oil). In reality, only time will tell at this point how fast I’ll recover, but I promise I’ll start posting more regularly here as my energy returns.

Have you ever had glandular fever? What have you done to cope with the symptoms, and how long did you take to feel like your old self again?