I am so excited to be back in this space after a challenging couple of months. The entire month of April was spent being more sick than I’ve ever been. Like ever. It started out as an unidentified virus with crazy high fevers and utter exhaustion. Every day for over a week I would wake up with a low but manageable fever, thinking today would be the day I would feel better. Then right around 4PM I would crash. Hard. My fever would spike to 102/103, and I would feel like I got hit by a truck. Alex was out of town, so I was running the show solo, along with the help of some truly wonderful friends. And some truly wonderful new iPhone apps like Postmates (delivery from any restaurant in town) and Instacart (grocery delivery). I went to urgent care two separate times in two weeks, just wanting someone to give me some answers. My virus turned into Bronchitis, which honestly seemed easier than the fever. And when Alex came home I just stayed in bed as much as possible. Nursing and napping with Poppy in my white linen cocoon. After a week or so of this, my body started reacting in the worst ways to all the coughing. Sore throat, achy muscles, and exhaustion to name a few. But everywhere I read just said Bronchitis could last up to a month, and there is literally nothing that can medically help except rest. Which is, of course, next to impossible when you are the mama to three young children. So I fought on. Alex left town again for a week, and I thought I might be feeling better. Then my fever came back. And I knew something was still really wrong. I went to a new Doctor and gave him the whole rundown. I was nursing Poppy as he examined me, and practically begging him for some sort of help, some sort of answer. And then he heard the rattling in my lungs. They took a bunch of blood and whisked me to another clinic for a chest X-Ray. An hour later he called, it was pneumonia and I needed to be on antibiotics immediately or I would have to be hospitalized. So I packed the kids in the car and headed to the pharmacy. This was a Friday night and Alex wasn’t due back until Sunday. My parents couldn’t fly out in time to make it worth it to be here for just one day, so my friends swooped in. And the kids and I pushed through. We watched a lot of movies, ordered in all of our meals, and left the house a complete untouched mess. It was survival mode. I was terrified of what the antibiotics would do to Poppy so I googled, and called pediatricians and lactations specialists. I didn’t want to mess with her tiny belly and I had heard enough about thrush to know I couldn’t possibly add that onto my laundry list of current dreadful symptoms.
The antibiotics kicked in over that weekend and I finally started feeling better. By this point my cough was almost gone and my fever was going back down, I was just so tired. For days. Then the next week at Poppy’s 6 month appointment, we found out she dropped in the weight charts from the 25th percentile to the 8th percentile. Our pediatrician knew I had pneumonia because I had talked to her about the side effects of the antibiotics before I started taking them. But I don’t think any of us recognized the magnitude of how sick I really was and how much it must have affected my milk supply. Poppy never seemed particularly hungry or fussy so I at the time I didn’t know what was happening, but clearly my body just wasn’t giving her enough. So I called a lactation specialist who walked me through what our bodies had been going through and what we should do going forward. So we have been spending the last month trying to get both of us back to normal.
In the midst of all of this, my computer hard drive was mechanically destroyed. We took the drive to three different data recovery places, but everything was gone. Luckily, I save all of my photos from my “real” camera on a separate drive. But everything from my iPhone photo stream (literally thousands and thousands of photos, the every day stuff) that saved to my iPhoto was gone. I know I know, I should have backed them up. I should have had them on the cloud. It was always on my to do list, it just never happened. And in the back of my mind I sort of just thought if anything ever went wrong someone would be able to recover everything. It was literally straight out of the Sex and The City episode where Carrie realizes she’s the only person who doesn’t back up her work. I was sad Mac’d. And I was devastated.
These last two months were the first time as a mother where I truly felt I hit my limit. I have always been the type of person who feels invincible, who could do anything. I’m always spinning a hundred plates but still eager to take on more. But this time has made me realize that I can’t do everything. I’ve learned to say no to things that I feel are pushing us all too far, and admit that I sometimes need help. My kids were so loving and caring, always offering extra hugs or words of encouragement as we ran late into school day after day. I will never forget hearing Adam say to Lake, “Mama’s just not feeling good today, I can help you with your shoes.” It was like he grew up 2 years in 2 months. And my friends who offered the kids rides every day, who would bring me coffee or feed me any time I saw them, or would come over to hold Poppy or fold a load of laundry. I love them all dearly and I cannot wait to return the kindness when they need a few extra hands.