Have you ever heard of 21st Century Syndrome? It's otherwise known as adrenal fatigue/adrenal burn-out, and I've got it.
My adrenals are fried, folks. FRIED. It's really not surprising, I suppose, considering what my body has endured over the last five years. For five years I have been pregnant, breastfeeding or breastfeeding WHILE pregnant. Not a single day off. Add to that three c-sections, and now 16 months of sleep patterns that would qualify as torture in most countries.
My body needs some help, so after much research I have decided to take the following steps:
1. More rest. I won't go so far as to say more sleep because that's really up to my kids more than me. Especially Baby Belle. If she can just figure out how to sleep without waking six or seven times a night, my body will benefit. In the mean time, I'm going to at least take the time to let my body rest during the day. That means that while my kids nap, I will also nap.
2. Vitamins! I'm now taking a daily mixture of iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, a B vitamin complex, vitamin C and licorice root. Also a healthy dose of sea salt with each meal.
3. More gentle exercise. I really love pushing myself when I work out, but I don't think it's the best idea while I'm trying to heal. I'll stick to shorter workouts, and try to include more yoga.
4. No more coffee. This one will be hard. Even on days when I don't feel like I desperately need coffee, I still want it! I love my morning ritual with a hot cup of coffee. But I kicked the habit back in March, and I know I can do it again - and I know my body will thank me for it.
5. Better eating. I'm trying to be as strict as possible in eating Whole30-style for the next month. My body just functions better when I eat this way. My energy is higher and more consistent. And I'll certainly need that while giving up coffee!
6. Wean Baby Belle. I know there are plenty of mothers out there just ready to give me all kinds of grief for choosing when my baby weans. I'm just not into super-extended-breastfeeding. (I'm not against it on principle - do what you want. It's just not for me.) I think I've done her a great service by giving her over 16 months of breastmilk. (She's never had a bottle, and she only had a couple of ounces of formula in the hospital while she was being treated for jaundice.) I know it will upset her - she's definitely a booby baby. But it's time. My body needs a rest!
I am hopeful about the difference this will make in helping me feel better. I'm also hopeful that it will provide the best chances of allowing my hair to grow back (though I know it's not a guarantee). Now I just need to come up with some way of reminding myself to take my vitamins four times a day!