Taking a day off

Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Wednesday night, my body felt like it was shutting down.  I had dreaded flu-like symptoms - chills, achy bones, fatigue and a horrible headache.  I was in bed by 9:00.  After a near-sleepless night (thanks mostly to a teething baby), I didn't feel much better yesterday morning, so I called for a day off.  I'm learning that being a mama doesn't really afford "days off" in the sense that I've always been used to, but I still managed to put rest at the top of my list for a day.  We stayed in bed as long as possible in the morning and finally found ourselves a bit of breakfast just after noon rolled around.  We played on the couch when we were awake, grabbed some fresh air on the front lawn for a few minutes and both went down for naps a little after lunch.  By about 4:00, I was feeling so much better.

Since having Avienne, I've been in this same situation more than once before.  Nursing mamas need to be rested, well-fed and well-hydrated - all things that sometimes seem impossible to accomplish.  At the beginning, I had no idea how important this was and a found myself at the doctor's office a couple of times to clear up a bout of mastitis.  I had been keeping it in the back of my mind that I needed to have a good meal, drink lots of water and make sure to take naps with Avienne - particularly on those days when I'm feeling rundown.  But, after a few months, when things started to come easier, my milk supply was well-established and we had somewhat of a routine down, I got a little lazy.  I'd been skipping breakfast and not thinking about lunch until the 3:00 hunger pangs struck.  I'd grab a water in the morning and forget about drinking anything again until lunch.  And any spare moment I've had to myself, I spent cleaning, getting online or working on some sort of project instead of napping.  So, it all caught up to me.

After calling it an early night again last night, I woke up this morning feeling almost back to myself again.  I still have a few lingering symptoms of a breast infection, but I'm hoping they'll go away by tomorrow.  Motherhood still feels like a huge experiment in trial and error for me.  After this last episode, I'm going to schedule a day or two off every week to rest up and reset so I don't end up in the same situation again.  I'm still learning how to be a good mama and take care of my baby, but I can't forget how to look after for myself in the process.

My sweet girl taking care of her mama.

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