This week, it took me a long time to write the post. Usually, I can’t wait to start writing and directly start when little L is at the nursery or in bed. This week, however, Luca couldn’t go to the nursery and bedtime was, well, let’s say a little bit of a challenge. Both little L and myself were sick… Luca caught the (apparently very well-known except by myself) Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD). I first thought he was just having a cold as I was ill as well and the symptoms are very similar. But no… So, this goes out to all the parents: please keep your little ones home from nursery or school when they start to get cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and a bit of fever. HFMD apparently goes around at the moment and the typical red spots on the hands, feet and inside the mouth usually show up only some days later. Kids are however highly contagious as soon as the first symptoms appear. So, this week’s post will be all about pregnancy and illness or rather about how to handle it – even if we all know that, when you have a kid or a husband at home that is ill at the same time than you, the following rule applies hehe:
The symptoms I am supposed to have in week 14 (and how I am really feeling)
Little Miss M
According to what I have read, I am not really supposed to feel little Miss M’s tiny kicks at this point even though she can already move around in my belly. And, yet, I am sure to feel a little something in the evening when I sit in front of my PC sometimes. She now measures nearly 9cm and starts to look like a real little person – especially the face. Even though the head still accounts for nearly half her total length… I would never have thought that but the first hairs can already appear at this early stage – and if Miss M is anything like her dad, I am sure they are 😉
This week’s topic
Having a cold and being pregnant
I never get sick. Really. I don’t think I have had a cold in the last like five years or so. Except when I am pregnant… I remember needing to stay in bed with a bad flu when I was pregnant with Luca and, this week, I had this great pleasure again. I know that you should be more cautious during pregnancy as your immune system weakens and you can catch a cold much more easily (did you know that this prevents your body from rejecting the baby, who is half the father’s??). But when you live in Dubai, this is just impossible. Outside it’s still hot (and we can finally enjoy the nice weather!) but in malls, cafés and even play areas, it is sometimes freezing cold, thanks to the AC that is cooling down the air to a felt 18°C! So, to all of my friends in Europe who were surprised to see me getting a cold in Dubai: yes, it is possible 😉
The funny thing is that you cannot really take any medication when you’re pregnant. Meaning that the cold, and cough, and sore throat… last for much longer. Thankfully, you can take paracetamol (of course, only in case of fever or if you really need it) but most remedies for coughs and colds aren’t really safe.
So, here’s what has kept me going during the last days:
Tea or hot lemon with honey
Personally, I love hot lemon with honey. Just squeeze a lemon in a cup, add hot water and a teaspoon (or two) of honey. Well, my GP just told me that the hot water actually kills the vitamin C in the lemon but I still love it and my mum always gave me hot lemon to drink when I was ill. You can obviously also drink hot (chamomile) tea with honey – I just don’t like the taste as much as I like the lemon. If I were not pregnant, I would add a shot of whiskey to the tea, together with the honey and a squeeze of lemon – and it would taste better hehe. It really is one of the best remedies and should be used at nighttime. But, since alcohol is off limits at the moment: no whiskey.
Ok, so, this is getting a bit disgusting but I swear it helps clean your nose when the latter is congested! Fill a small glass with lukewarm tab water. Add half a teaspoon of salt. Mix. Over a sink, rinse one nostril with the salt water while you hold the other one closed (you need to “sniff the water in”). Repeat and then do the other side. If you have a bulb syringe to squirt the liquid into the nostril, it’s even better.
You can also use this saltwater mixture (well, obviously a separate one) to gargle. This can help when you have a sore throat.
Try to get some vitamin C
Oranges, pineapple, mangos, kiwi, red bell peppers, broccoli… Eat them and plenty of them. Try to get some vitamin C in your body to give your immune system a boost 😉
Eat chicken soup
When I was ill during my first pregnancy, my mother in law brought me some self-made chicken soup. And, it really helped! Of course, it is much better if you prepare a “real” chicken soup with some chicken and fresh vegetables but I am convinced that a chicken stock cube also helps. Add some oats (might sound funny but it’s actually quite good – and helps!) and you have a meal.
Drink plenty of water
This is anyways important when you’re pregnant, but especially when you have a cold. Try to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. At least 2l!
Yup, this week is all about being sexy when pregnant haha. No, but seriously, I am not joking. Keep your feet warm when you’re inside your apartment. At least, in ours, the floor is always quite cold. So, wear socks – and a light scarf.
Stay in bed (if you can)
That’s most probably the best natural remedy because, when you get some rest, your body has more energy to fight off germs. But who has time to spend an entire day in bed, especially when you’re a mum? Anyways, for the lucky few who can do it: stay in bed! It does miracles 🙂 If you cannot stay under the covers, try at least to take it easy and to take a rest when you feel tired.
Personally, I would not purchase any over-the-counter medication during pregnancy. And I would avoid medication whenever possible. But you can ask your gynecologist for some remedies that are safe to take. Mine told me that I could take some Forza Plus lozenges and some Forza Throat and Mouth spray (both contain Manuka Honey) as well as some paracetamol, if necessary, for a brief period.
The good news is that having an ordinary cold does not harm your baby – even if you’re feeling super miserable. The second good news is that the cold will go away eventually 😉 The third good news is that you will completely forget about your own cold as soon as your little one gets ill. I had so much to do with little L this week, using the nebulizer, cleaning the nose, trying to convince him to eat and drink a little bit, that I totally forgot about my own cold. Ok, to be totally honest, it reminded me every evening that it was still there… And I sometimes fell asleep on the sofa 30 minutes after I had brought Luca to bed. But hey, during the day, I was nearly fine 😉
Little L and me are finally feeling a bit better now. I can’t wait to spend some time outside and enjoy the beach weather again!!
Must haves for Miss M
A girl is a girl is a girl 😉 While my husband is already afraid of all the new things we will buy (I would even say “need to buy”) for little Miss M, I can’t wait to start shopping for a baby girl! There are so many absolutely beautiful clothes and accessories for baby girls! And the vintage inspired, hand-made headbands of Desert Roses are definitely part of them! They are made of the softest lace and elastics, pearls and delicate fabrics and can even be customized if you wish! They are available in the following retail outlets across Dubai & Abu Dhabi: Pitter Patter (Dubai Mall, Yas Mall, House of Fraser AD), Favourite Things (Marina Mall) and Bumble Bee (Dubai Mall). You can also find them online on Instagram and Facebook.
Hi there! I’m Tani De Gregorio. The one behind this little blog. ‘Our big Dubai adventure’ started about three years ago when I quit my job in a multinational in Switzerland to follow my husband to sunny Dubai where we are living now with our two little munchkins, Luca (3) and Maëva (nearly 2).
This blog is not about the glamorous life of an expat wife. There’s just too many baby wipes and too few high heels in my life for that.
Instead, it’s about our daily adventures in the sandpit. About motherhood away from home. It’s about the kids. About fun things for them to do. Things you might not have heard of otherwise. It’s about workshops. And cool places to explore. In this amazing city we call home. At least for a little while…