My Health Since Giving Birth

Back in October, I called my internist to ask if he thought I could safely carry to term. (He's cared for me for more than 13 years, and I value his expert opinion.) Dr. P. guessed that my health would improve during pregnancy, but dip after I gave birth. The only question was just what that dip would entail.

Since having Roya, concerned friends and readers have inquired about my health. Quite a few have commented that I'm glowing from the joys of motherhood.

I can’t deny that I do beam when I hold Roya in my arms, and I hope that feeling never stops.

stef woods, city girl, city girl blogs

Our second day together

But, if you saw me at 3am…or 5am…or 7am, I doubt you’d say I look glowing. I look like any exhausted parent of a newborn.

On the health front, there has been a dip, but it thankfully hasn’t been a dive. (That's the best I can hope for given the fact that three of my conditions are genetic.)

So…what's been going on?

  • Within two weeks of giving birth, my migraines returned to their previous pace of twice a week, every week. Luckily, though, I can take my old reliable migraine medicine when they hit.
  • Over the past seven weeks, I’ve had more low-grade fevers and swollen glands than I’ve had in years. (That combination of symptoms typically occurs when my body gets run down.) Yesterday morning, the fever topped 101, and the added chills and body aches made it tough to hold Roya without feeling dizzy. I count my blessings for wonderful babysitters that are willing to drop everything and help us out when we need them!
  • There's evidence of degeneration in six out of seven vertebrae in my neck. Holding Roya for hours on end isn't helping my neck pain and mobility. I'll be back in physical therapy soon to try to strengthen my neck and upper back.
  • I met with my radiation oncologist back in April. During a clinical breast exam, she didn't feel anything abnormal. I'll go for a breast MRI in a few months to confirm that all is still well.
  • The only thing that has improved since I gave birth is that I’m no longer vomiting incessantly. That means that I haven’t gotten dehydrated or needed to return to the ER since April. I’ll take it!

At the end of the day, though, Roya is (knock on wood) healthy, and my medical conditions are manageable. I’ll continue to do what's in my control to stay as strong as I can, but my health taking a dip is far less important to me than her being here!

“Priorities,” I think to myself, smiling and typing with Roya asleep by my side.

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