I mentioned in my go-get-your-flu-shot post that we as mothers are so busy with our babies — feeding, changing diapers, running around for their doctors appointments, etc. — that it’s easy to forget about our own health and well-being. I had been dancing up to four times a week, 1-2 hours a day right up until the day I gave birth, and went I back at it at 5 weeks postpartum feeling great. Then 4 months later I suddenly became extremely exhausted after just one hour, to the point where I would be so inexplicably dehydrated until I went to bed. If I didn’t get enough water into my system (which was hard, because my stomach was literally sloshing around with all the water I was guzzling), I would wake up the next day with a migraine at 8am, throw up nothing but water at noon, and be out of commission in bed until about 5pm. That happened three times to me — once when my parents decided to visit so they were able to help me with the baby, and twice I just brought Winter into bed with me all day and she did fairly well.
A kind parent-baby instructor approached me and asked if I was feeling ok because it looked like I’d lost a lot of weight. A couple months after giving birth, the scale revealed I’d dropped 10 more pounds than my pre-pregnancy weight. I was wearing some perhaps not the most flattering clothes that day (skinny jeans and a baggy shirt that made me look like a Tim Burton claymation character), but I told her that I hadn’t been feeling awesome and I had been thinking about booking a physical. She encouraged me to do so. I contacted my gynecologist, but they didn’t want to see the whites of my eyes until a full year after delivery for a physical, and when I mentioned my migraines, they didn’t want to touch it with a 10 foot pole. I thought surely, it would be post-partum related? Maybe the baby, being older, was nursing more, and I needed more fluid intake to compensate? I made an appointment with my doctor, which involved a month wait. I went in for some blood work ahead of time, and got a call a few days later that everything turned up normal.
Ever since I was in college I drank water like I lived in the desert, to the point where one doctor warned me that I could deplete all my electrolytes and die like some athletes have. Yes, he told me I could die! And I was anything but athletic in college. I drank tonnes of water, and peed more than anyone I’ve ever worked with. Before I became pregnant, I dreaded how much more I’d have to consume and expel once I was pregnant.