I almost hesitate to write this post, because not everyone will need this information–but, you never know.  I think we all know someone who is pregnant at least once or twice in our lives–and what if they get the flu at 38 weeks?  They should be able to benefit from this information…so I am sharing it as kind of a public service.

Thank you.

First of all, if you get the flu this late in pregnancy, it is always good to have best friends who will send you gifts through email–gift cards, random sums of money…I am blessed to have such a friend whose gift to “help Daniel get here” was so perfectly timed, because it arrived in my inbox at precisely the moment I had decided that death would be better than continuing on with the flu and the possibility of a C-section.

My friend’s perfect gift was even more perfect because I didn’t have to make any sudden movements to retrieve it, and I didn’t have to speak (I still haven’t quite the ability to speak without rasping and coughing yet).  I could lie in agony of body and still enjoy the gift. And just knowing I have a friend like that made it hurt less.

So, thank you, best friend, for making things better and carrying me a little.  I love you.

Lesson #1:  Accessories de Toilette

When the hacking cough comes to the completely pregnant bladder, there is a really important question that needs to be answered–and quickly!

Poise or Depends or Attends? Help!

You’d Never Find One To Fit Over A Pregnant Belly


Attends Are Ugly.

Poise is the hands down winner here. Why?

Because Depends only sells plastic underwear, which are great if you have other issues, but a two week bout of intense coughing on a pregnant bladder does not warrant plastic underwear.  Also, they will never fit over a 38 week belly.

Attends are another option, but they are, for want of a better word–ugly.

Poise Uses French.

Poise is pretty and purple and paisley.

Also, Poise uses French.

That’s right, ladies.  Underneath the pad, instead of just having an arrow and the word “Front” it says “Avant”.  That’s French.  And as everyone knows, that makes it more fashionable.

So, instead of feeling the indignity of being temporarily incontinent, you can instead say to yourself that you have “Accessories de Toilette”.   And, don’t most fashionable French women have whole oodles of “toilette”?  So, it doesn’t even sound that bad.

Also, when you send your husband to the pharmacy or grocery store to have him pick up the Poise, make sure you have texted him a picture of the exact kind you want, along with a description.  A description alone won’t do.  I cannot reiterate enough that THERE MUST BE A PICTURE.  Here is a link to the official Poise products site so you can find the right product.

Lesson #2: Robitussin is gross.

Doesn’t Work And Is Too Sweet and Colored

Robitussin is gross and too sweet and does not work.  I’ll tell you what helped me.

Tea Tree Oil.

Tea Tree Oil Works

I am not kidding.  I brushed my teeth with it, I bathed in it, and I put a few drops on the floor of the shower when I got in to take a shower.  I diffused it.  I humidified with it.

I could never do that with Thieves.  First of all, I am not a thief, and somehow, I always suspect that the devil-may-care, living as an outlaw by your wits attitude of a thief probably helped in keeping them from being sick.

Somehow, It Seems That They Don’t Deserve To Get The Flu (Or The Plague)…They Are Just Too Cute!

Also, bad guys usually get away with things, you know.  Especially if they are portrayed as kind of fun-loving, goofy bad guys, and that’s how I always picture these Thieves from the Young Living Thieves oil.

Devil-May-Care-Native-Cheery-Temperment Helps Prevent Flu

I see them dressed as gypsies who aren’t really trying to be bad, they just don’t know any better.  And maybe they are wearing festive hats, rolling around in Christmas spices…

Festive Thieves

I don’t even have a festive hat, and if someone tried to put one on me while I had the flu at 38 weeks pregnant, that would end in tragedy for all.

Plus, have you tried to swallow Thieves?  Well, I guess it would put you out of one kind of misery and pain and into a whole other level of misery. Ouch.

Why tea tree oil?  Well, because when I had the flu while pregnant with child number four, I lived in Australia, and my medical doctor there told me to use tea tree oil.  Never once did he mention cold/flu OTC remedies.  Might I remind you that he was an actual medical doctor  (Australians are much more holistically minded than the crazy Americans).

The thing about tea tree oil is it is not as quick to work as, say, codeine.  Nor does it have a narcotic effect.  This was something that at a few points I desperately wanted.  But, I thought of scriptures a lot and prayed a lot for survival, and while that didn’t have the same type of effect as codeine, it didn’t have the same type of side effects, either.

If you do decide to take Robitussin in the middle of the night when you feel like you have lost your mind, go ahead.  Maybe it will help you think that you are feeling better.

Lesson #3: When you can’t recall the taste of strawberries, be grateful that you have your husband, and if he needs tips on how to help, have him watch the following clip.

In the end, he was able to try to help me remember that life would go on and there were orchards and strawberries and cream and love and laughter and that I wasn’t just “naked in the dark with nothing except the eye of fire torturing me.”  In the end, he also carried me (literally) to get up to the toilette. (Portrayed in the clip as Mt. Doom)  He is an angel.

Lesson #4: Don’t forget Lesson #3. I ended up like Jane Austen’s Emma….

He found my blue skirt.

“I love John.”

He decided to make black bean corn tortillas for breakfast for me because I said I could not eat another egg.

“I hate John.”

He gave me blessings and held my hand and got me perfectly warmed chicken broth at 2:30 am when he’d just been up at 1:15 for one of the kids.

“I love John.”


Really, just because he couldn’t make eggs at the exact perfect amount of runniness was no reason to temporarily hate him.

He was also running on no sleep, seven sick children, worrying about a transverse baby, staying home from work, and lots of dirty laundry duty.

But, I did vacillate between being angry with him and loving him.  What’s the matter with me?  I think, though, I was really just projecting.  I was really mad at the FLU and PREGNANCY but you can’t yell at THEM.

Badly Done

Badly done, Emma.

Lesson #5: Remember that you will one day be human again.

There were times when I honestly felt like I was not a human being.  Just a pile of nerves and pain and a baby holder.  And the baby was very uncomfortable.  And then, I started to wonder,

“Is there really a baby in there, or am I just the product of a moody, overly sensitive, possibly clinically depressed enchantress who turned me into a wardrobe?”

Am I Really Still A Human Being Or Not?

But, I am human.  At least, hopefully.  And, I will probably start feeling human again in about a year or two.  Until then, I can think positive and sing along:

I’ll be cooking again, be good looking again…

I’ll wear lipstick and rouge and I won’t be so huge
Why, I’ll easily fit through that door
I’ll exude savior-faire, I’ll wear gowns, I’ll have hair
It’s my prayer to be human again…”