Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Hard Lesson Learned

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.


Aline Carson said...

Wow Liesl- what a scary event!
I've always been so scared of that happening to me and that's why I rarely wear tampons anymore. I've heard a few stories like that and that was it for me.
Reading this also made me think that I really do need to value my life as a mom more and do the best I can for my kids and also be healthy and have some time for me. A couple months ago I used to have a maid who did laudry, cooked, and cleaned the house. It was wonderful. But at the same time I was getting stressed because she was kind of taking advantage of me. Anyway, I fired her, and in the beginning I used to want to clean everything, all the time. I was getting a little "OCD" and feeling like I wasn't succeeding, because no matter how hard I worked, the house never got clean enough, it never met my expectations. Except what I didn't know was that I had a very high expectation of what my house should look like, I wanted it to be spotless clean, all the time. After getting really frustrated I decided I wasn't going to stress so much over this, and that I would try to get the house clean and organized, but not to get too stressed if there were toys all over the house at one point during the day. I'd rather spend more time playing with my kids and taking care of them then a stupid house. ;)

And my goal is the same as yours, to drink more water and eat less sugar. Ever since my mom went to the doctor and ran some exams (and the doc told her she had too much fungus in her blood from eating so much sweets), I decided I would stop eating so much junk, because everytime I eat too much sugar I feel sick and I know it's not good for my health.
Anyway, HUGE comment, I know, but I really liked what you wrote and I wanted to comment on every little thing. ;)

Paty said...

Thanks for sharing this story and I'm glad that you went to the Dr. before it was too late. Seriously scary!!!

I also like to have my house organized but it's really hard with two toddlers in the house. I don't stress about the house looking "messy" with toys and stuff around. I try to go after the girls during quiet times or nap time and clean up the mess (although I know it will get messy again). Plus stressing out will do absolutely nothing for me, so why even bother right.

I agree with you in the importance of staying healthy not just for us but for our children, they truly need us. I have made some healthy changes in my life. I walk at least a mile and a half almost everyday, I'm trying to eat more fruits and different vegetables, and I'm leaving dessert for only the weekend. At this point, my goal would be to keep up with the current goals I have.

The Marshalls said...

I also need to take better care of my body. Being skinny (even though I am not that skinny anymore) makes me not care about what I eat sometimes. I don't think I could follow a "rigorosa" diet, but I am sure I could drink more water and eat less junk food.
Thank you for this post!

Liesl said...

I find it sooooo hard to not let the house work come first. I have to keep reminding myself that that's just how it is with young children and when I am a grandma I can have my clean organized house. Of coarse I still clean and try and keep it nice, but now I just try and let the small messes the kids make not get to me so much.

As far as a diet goes, I could never stick to a rigorous one either!!! But I could try and eat healthier and cut out a lot of the sweets. And of coarse remind myself to drink more water. Since this happened my bladder is just not what it used to be and I get bladder and urinary tract infections a lot; so cutting down on the sugar and drinking more is something that I really really NEED to do in order to not get infections as much.

Trevor, Kika, Olivia said...

i am glad the antibiotics helped and you are healthy now. I totally agree, staying healthy is VERY important. I am going through a bad and unhealthy phase now, but I hope it will go away soon!
hugs and thanks for sharing :)

Gloria said...

I had an experience when my fourth child was born 3 years ago. I didn't have a "physical" ilness, but I as hit hard with postpartum depression( wich also affects your body). It was not a pleasant experience, but I'm glad I went through it, because it made me realize that I cannot be supermom(maybe some of you out there can, but not me!).I thoght I could handle my job, my house, my husband,raise 3 boys, do everything perfectly and be happy and healthy. News flash: I can't. That's why I want to say to you young moms out there: don't forget to care of your mind too( my depression was closely related to being already very stressed), go out with friends, enjoy a hobby, have time alone, whatever it takes, relax and enjoy yourselves! You cannot give what you don't have!

Liesl said...

Gloria, I totally agree, we need to try and be mentally balanced too. I NEED to have some adult conversation during the day and read something intelligent. That's why I like this blog and facebook, it gives me a little adult outlet.