Welcome to Mommy Mondays. I swear I don't usually talk this much about bacteria and bodily functions. But on this day of the week I do, however, stick to the parenthood thing.
I'm not one of the people who treats pregnancy with a lot of delicacy. I do not follow all of the "rules." Through both of my pregnancies, I've had daily caffeine, traveled frequently, and eaten lots of sandwiches that contained deli meat and cheese.
I do not do this to be reckless or to give the proverbial finger to such concerns, I just believe that common sense prevails. Considering that women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, combined with the fact that I've had "perfect" friends birth children with disabilities and known very irresponsible people who have delivered healthy babies, I figure it's all a crapshoot anyway. I use my head, but I mostly just live my normal life while pregnant.
When I was seven months pregnant with Pigtail, I caught what I thought was some sort of nasty virus. It came on quickly. I was standing in Babies 'R Us, killing time while waiting to meet up with a friend for dinner. I was starting to feel a little ill - clammy and headache-y - but pregnancy is so fickle that I wasn't worried about it. My friend called at the last minute to cancel our plans and I went home, only to promptly fall very, very ill. I vomited all night. I had a fever and the chills and I was sweating through my nightclothes and my sheets. By dawn the worst of the fever broke, but I continued to feel very sick.
I was sick (but not as sick) for the next couple of days and I agreed with my doctor that I must have caught some sort of stomach bug and that even though I was through with the worst of it, some symptoms lingered because that's what happens when you're pregnant. Against all sound judgment, I traveled to Oklahoma with The Gorilla because I was producing a documentary there and our plans to shoot in my homeland had been on the books for weeks.
I knew almost as soon as we landed that it had been a mistake to travel. I'll spare you the gory, awful details, but my illness took a turn that included a lot more vomiting, a lot more of everything else, and landed me in the hospital for fluids as my dehydration levels were scary. When all tests came back, it was determined that my "stomach flu" was in fact something called campylobacter.
Campylobacter is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that isn't uncommon, but it turns out that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to it because of their compromised immune systems. The most common way to catch it is from uncooked poultry. A person can get sick from just a single drop of raw chicken juice.
In the days leading up to my sickness, I made chicken for dinner (handling the uncooked bird) and nibbled from a soft cheese plate (also known to carry bacteria). I also ate in restaurants at least a couple of times. So it's impossible to say exactly what made me sick, but in all likelihood it was my own kitchen chicken preparation.
I'm sharing this lovely story that resulted in hours on the bathroom floor because it's easy to recite the pregnancy "rules" (no alcohol, no sushi!) but many people don't know that one of the most common daily dishes can wreak such havoc on the body.
I don't give a hoot or holler if you can't give up your latte habit while you're gestating, but I tell all my girlfriends about my bout with campylobacter. Don't NOT eat chicken, just be aware.
Graphic vomit descriptions not what you wanted to hear on this beautiful Monday? Check back this afternoon for a happier post. Another giveaway! What can I say? Having a baby makes me want to throw stuff at my readers.