All of you know how easy it is to be too tired to think clearly, remember things, or take care of yourself. For me that was a big problem when my second baby was about 4 months old. He was born just 16 months after my first baby and needed a lot of my attention. I was constantly holding him and trying to keep my oldest out of trouble. I hardly slept, neither kids slept through the night, and I hardly ate. who has time to eat with a newborn, right? I hardly did anything but care for the two babies, and of coarse a husband as well who didn't get home until 10 or 11pm.
Well in the midst of all this chaos I started having my periods again. These weren't your normal run of the mill periods either. These were extremely heavy periods that usually required the use of a tampon and pad together (hope this doesn't get too graphic). One day after another sleepless night I went to put in a tampon like any other day. Later that day I forgot about the previous one and put another one in. After a few days I started thinking I had the flu. I felt dizzy, body aches, nauseous, headaches, chills, and couldn't think straight. Apart from feeling so miserable, I did my best to be a good mommy to my two babies until finally I physically could do no more. I laid on the sofa helpless and confused waiting for my husband to get home. At this point I honestly felt like I was dying. The whole time I thought to myself, "if I die, what will happen to my kids". Finally, my husband came home and forced me to schedule an appointment with the doctor.
The next day I saw the doctor. It wasn't long before the doctor found the extra tampon I had forgotten about days earlier. He told me I had Toxic Shock! My organs were literally shutting down. I really WAS dying! He put me on very strong antibiotics and sent me home hesitantly but did anyways because my husband was graduating that week and we were moving to another state right after. Just when I thought everything was going back to normal something else happened to me. While holding my son I experienced a minor seizure. A seizure is not a very fun thing to experience especially when you're holding a baby. The whole time I was conscious, but could not control the shaking! I was so scared of dropping my child. Fortunately I didn't drop my baby. After the antibiotics and a blessing my condition quickly improved.
After that experience I have had a new outlook on life. I don't know how to put it into words, but perhaps it was the reality of loosing my life that showed how much it meant to me. Being a mother is so much more important than it was before. I can't help but think to myself everyday what my kid's life would be like without me and how grateful I am that I survived. There is one lesson that I personally needed to learn from this experience, and that was the importance of taking better care of myself. If I don't take good care of myself, then I can't take care of others. Eating healthier along with sufficient rest is essential to motherhood. Before, I wanted to do everything myself. I wanted to be the one cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and changing the diapers. Even though I needed it badly, I was unwilling to accept or, heaven forbid, ask for help. I wanted to be a super mom! I have come to realize that I can't do that anymore.
Lets face it, we all want to be super moms because we love our kids so much! Being a mom should be an Olympic sport because it takes strength, endurance, and more endurance! Those Olympic athletes MUST be healthy to perform their best; MOMS MUST BE AS WELL!!! I know it's harder than it sounds when you have little ones, but we must find the time to take care of ourselves. Even in the Bible we find examples of the Savior taking time out for himsel. About a week ago I read an article on postpartum depression (from the Liahona-an LDS magazine) it said the following:
"It is vital that new mothers care for themselves by resting as much as possible, eating a nutritious diet, and taking “time out” with mothers’ groups or children’s play groups. In addition, because motherhood is physically and emotionally demanding, mothers should set realistic goals that allow for flexibility, remembering that “to every thing there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)."
I strongly agree with this statement! What I'd like all of you to do is to make a simple/realistic goal to improve your health in a specific way. This goal could be anything from going to playgroups, social workshops, or even a nice walk through the neighborhood. Feel free to share your ideas and experiences. I will start - I am making a goal to eat less sugar and drink more water.