If being sick sucks, and being sick in the summer supersucks, then being sick in the summer while pregnant supersucksalot.
I know I've been lucky. I've been very healthy throughout this entire pregnancy, and during all of my monthly appointments, all of the doctors have remarked how smoothly everything is going: the baby's heart rate, ultrasound images, weight gain, blood pressure, all of the test results --everything.
So when I felt a sore throat coming on Sunday night, I tried not to panic. Instead, I slurped down a red popsicle to numb the ache and went to bed early.
No luck. I woke up Monday with a full-blown sore throat, two very swollen glands on the left side of my neck and an infection in my left ear. My being pregnant didn't really change anything other than my level of worry. I'm not the type to quickly reach for over-the-counter remedies stockpiled in my medicine cabinet, and calling my doctor is even more rare. Usually someone has to force me to go against my own will. So not being able to take anything wasn't really that much of an issue.
Fortunately, I had the day off and opted to lay low, take lots of naps, stay hydrated and hope for the best. Jerry was wonderful and did everything from bring me oatmeal in bed to make a run to the store to stock up on some easy-to-digest staples for the house.
The next morning, miraculously, I was feeling much better. The sore throat and ear ache were gone for the most part, but I was left with a lingering bout of indigestion that made me miserable for the rest of the day.
I kept somewhat confined to my bed, trying to immerse myself in J.K. Rowling's colorful imagination, but the roilings in my midsection had me running for the bathroom almost as soon as I regained some level of comfort again.
It was unbearable. On top of the gurgling in my intestines and an upset stomach from as little as juice and crackers, the baby was kicking and moving furiously. It felt as if a war was being waged inside me, completely independent of anything I was doing. I had no control over any of it -- the growlings, the sputters, the kicks, the flips and punches. I just looked down to see the sporadic lurches poking out of my skin while trying not to vomit what little I had managed to force down that morning.
The only good thing was the baby's movements, as uncomfortable as they were with the added bowel issues that day, were comforting. I knew she was okay.
I kept a close watch on my temperature and managed to go to work in desperate effort to save my few sick days for maternity leave. I got ill a few times in the bathroom, but sent out a silent thank you to the individual who had the foresight and authority to put a couch in there. Even five minutes on it here or there has saved me from having to take refuge in my car or consider going home on more than a few occasions.
Today has brought even more improvement. My throat and ear feel almost back to normal and my stomach felt strong enough this morning to attempt a bowl of cereal. So far, so good. But I'm certainly not taking my health for granted.
I know I won't be able to protect her forever, but I'm sure going to try to do my best. Especially while she's still a part of me.