Monday, October 29, 2012
One Hot Mama!
Before becoming pregnant, I was always cold. I hated the winter. I loved the heat of the summer. Everywhere I went I always seemed to feel a chill. During the fall and winter, I would bundle up and still feel the cold. In the summer when I'd go somewhere air-conditioned, I'd freeze. At work they had it so cold I had to have a space heater going under my desk so I didn't turn blue. When I visited my Mom I had to wear an extra layer or two of clothes. (She keeps her house FREEZING!)
Late in my pregnancy, I started feeling the heat but that was no surprise since I was carrying an extra 70 lbs and it was the middle of summer. Now that I've had the baby however, my thermostat seems to have gone up even higher. We're into Fall now and yet I'm sweating. At least it's saving me on heating. I didn't turn my furnace on until we were well into October and even with it on I keep it low anyway. It barely turns on. The fleece pjs that I used to love I now can't even wear because I sweat in them after a couple of minutes. I used to love turtlenecks. Now I can't stand them. They suffocate me. I try to wear mostly low-cut crisscross tops that are easy to pull down for breastfeeding anyway.
When I'm carrying Michelle around I figure that it makes sense for me to feel warm. After all, walking and dancing around carrying 12 lbs constantly is a bit of a workout but even when I'm not carrying her, my temperature still seems to be out of whack. I'll go out for a walk with Michelle and think "Wow, I can't believe how warm it is today!" It's bright and sunny. It seems like a spring day. Never mind that the leaves are orange and falling and we're halfway through October. It might be an Indian Summer. Then I look around at other people. They're in WINTER COATS! One woman even had gloves on and I'm perspiring in a light sweater with the sleeves rolled up! What the?! I wanted to take off my sweater and just wear the tank top. It's like I'm on another planet. Mars maybe. I hear it's warm on Mars.
Of course my Mom is in her glory because she always found it too warm and keeps her house so cold that you could hang meat. In the winter, she just doesn't turn the furnace on. In the summer, she has the air conditioning blasting. Whenever I complained about the cold she'd say "One day you'll go into menopause and have hot flashes and you'll understand!" So now she's saying "I told you so!" Seeing me sweating at my sister's house, taking my sweater off and saying "It's an oven in here!" makes her smile. Of course my sister keeps her house at a normal, cozy temperature. I used to love it. But these days it's too hot to handle. The light streams in the patio doors of her kitchen and it's like being on the surface of the sun! I guess that's why they say if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. I look around at my Mom, May and Shannon. They're all in long sleeved tops and acting normal. I'm in a sleeveless top, panting and wiping my brow.
My mother tried to tell me that I was going through menopause. I rolled my eyes. "I'm pretty sure that's impossible right now!" Now, I'm no doctor, but I'm fairly certain that you can't go through MENOPAUSE while you're BREASTFEEDING! I think that one would have to cancel the other out. I had my doctor confirm it, just so I could tell my mother she was being ridiculous. I think the doctor even rolled her eyes too when I asked. The doctor suggested my recent heat wave could be because of the hormones associated with breastfeeding and also from breastfeeding itself. It's like my body has it's own little furnace working overtime. The body exerts itself to produce milk so it's like I'm getting a workout all the time (if only I could lose this tummy flab in the process!) You burn 500-700 calories a day while breastfeeding. That's a pretty intense workout. I think that's what you lose doing the 30 day shred too. Heaven knows when I'll get around to that.
I Googled it and sure enough, other breastfeeding women have gone through the same thing. Hot flashes are common because of the hormones. So I'm not from Mars after all. It's just such a strange experience for me when I'm used to always being colder than everyone else to now constantly feel hotter. It's not that big of a deal. I just dress lighter. At least it's not summer. It can be embarassing sometimes when I'm out though and everyone else just looks comfortable and I'm burning up, my pits drenched, my forehead shining. I remember one woman I worked with was having hot flashes. Her face was red and her blouse was sticking to her. I felt bad for her but I couldn't relate to it. I was shivering and pulling my sleeves down over my hands. They finally gave us fans and heaters for our cubicles so we could create our own little microclimates in the office because some of us were too hot and others too cold. There was no happy medium.
When Michelle was a newborn people were telling me I had to keep her bundled up because babies are used to heat after being in the womb. Aside from when you very first bring them home however, babies shouldn't be any more bundled up than we are. I have to be careful with Michelle not to dress her too lightly though. She probably doesn't feel the heat like me. I've noticed she can get pretty hot when she cries though. After a good bout of screaming her face is red and feels warm to the touch. We had a nightmarish car ride home the other night where she screamed almost the entire way. Her poor little face was red as a beet. I tried to explain that there wasn't anything I could do while driving on the 401 but it didn't help. I couldn't pacify her with singing or crinkling sounds. I finally just put pieces of Kleenex in my ears. Overall though she has been behaving better.