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What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and those "aha!" moments. All with a hint of sarcasm, a dash of truth and bold European wit. Thanks for following along!

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5 Months Pregnant, The Flu & A Toddler :: How I'm Handling It


It's been quite the week in our neck of the woods. Felix caught the flu and it hit him hard last Thursday. We spent last weekend dealing with a fever, phlegmy coughs and lots of crying paired with constant snuggles and medicine. Right when I thought we were headed out of the woods, the flu hit me and it came at me like a wrecking ball!

I didn't have fever, but I had the most terrible sinus and headache pains accompanied by burning watery eyes, a very runny nose and a ton of sneezing. Because I'm pregnant, that means no strong medicine which was nothing short of a nightmare. I spent this entire past week walking around my house looking like a zombie trying to take care my sick toddler. It was rough.

I hope we're finally coming out of this -- Felix seems to be feeling much better and coughing less which is great. I'm still sick, but no longer feel like I am dying which I'll take as another win. It was a brutal 10 days of looming illness that seems to want a linger a bit longer, but hopefully the worst is behind us.

I thought I'd take a moment to write about what we tried, what helped, and what didn't when it came to trying get better because I tried almost everything that I could think of and I even appealed to social media for advice on natural remedies.

*Also, can I just do a quick shoutout to my amazing husband, who was also sick this week. He's a full time nursing student, but he managed to pick up the slack around the house and let me rest in addition to working 40 hours and being a studious student. Florin, you're the REAL m.v.p. in this story. We couldn't have gotten through this without you -- you're a real life superman. 

Here are some things that we tried --
  • constantly sipping on tea with lemon slices and honey
  • humidifier in the room
  • diffusing essential oils 
  • halls vitamin c drops
  • shots of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every 3 hours
  • elderberry syrup
  • eating chicken noodle soup 
  • sniffing medicated nasal stick
  • Vick's Vapor Rub and VapoSteam
  • etc.

What Helped Felix :: in addition to having the flu and a phlegmy cough, the little guy was also teething which seemed to make his symptoms ten times worse. Luckily, he was able to take children's Tylenol to keep the fever down because he was seriously miserable. His cough on the other hand was almost unmanageable until I started giving him Nature's Way Sambucus Immune Elderberry Syrup -- and can I just say, this was a lifesaver. Every time I felt like he was going into a coughing spell, one spoon of this stuff and he was fine within the next few minutes.

Another thing that I noticed make a different is placing Vick's Vapor Rub on his feet in addition to his chest and back at bedtime. It seemed to really calm him and then keep him asleep once he went to bed. I kept a cool mist humidifier running at night to help soften his airways and placed a few drops of VapoSteam in the water to help and he looked like he was breathing better when I went to check up on him. 

Besides all the health stuff, lots of snuggles and cuddles seemed to make Felix the happiest during these miserable sick days. He really just wanted to be next to mom and dad every second of the day.

What Helped Mama :: I tried everything and there were a few things that helped me. After the success I had with the Immune Elderberry Syrup, I sent my husband to buy some more. He came back with Nature Valley's Sambucus Original Elderberry Syrup -- to which I took 2 tablespoons 3 times daily. The next day I woke up feeling a lot better than I had been feeling all week, so because of that Elderberry Syrup has become a staple in our home.

I also boiled a big pot of water and once steaming hot, I placed the water in a large bowl, took a towel  and put it over my head and then placed my nose over the steam -- I did this for 30 minutes and it really softened my super dry nose.

I diffused a congestion essential oil blend that consisted of three drops of peppermint, two drops of eucalyptus, two drops of tea tree and one drop of lemon. This helped the house smell clean and fresh while we were all suffering -- and that gave my momma mind a bit of solace. I'm not sure it really helped my congestion because at one point, I couldn't smell anything, but I was happy knowing that the people who still had their sense of smell, like my husband, said the house smelled fresh.

I also really chugged tea mixed in with lemon slices and honey, ate oranges and everything that I had in my home that consisted of Vitamin C because that's what I normally do when I am sick. When I finally felt good enough to stand for more than a few minutes, I made a chicken noodle soup that I ate with spicy peppers and that helped clear some of my sinuses temporarily.


What Didn't Work For Us :: Before the miraculous syrup find, I tried shots of raw apple cider vinegar that a few moms mentioned helped them while they were sick and pregnant -- I did this for about a day and a half. Besides giving short temporarily sinus relief, it didn't work for me; instead, I found that the shots ended up just giving me a super sore throat something which I didn't really have before.

I used Vick's Vapor Rub daily and nightly on my chest and didn't really see the difference in my sinus congestion like I did in Felix. I did notice that the VapoSteam irritated my nose because every time I placed it in the humidifier, I woke up to blowing my nose and seeing traces of blood on the napkin. Once Felix seemed to be breathing better, I just placed water in the humidifier and the irritation stopped.

I also opted to use a medicated nasal stick which ended up also clearing up my sinuses, but I feel like those things also irritate my nose, so I didn't use it for long. What's the point of being able to breathe if it hurts when you do? It's not worth it in my opinion.

& that's how I'm currently handling it ladies and gentlemen. I'm still slightly congested and Felix's nose is still super runny, but we aren't feeling like death is knocking at our door anymore! We're at a much better place than where we were at before and we're gonna count that as a win!

Have you gotten the flu this season? I hope not, but if you have, what have been your go to "get better" remedies for these awful sick days? Let me know in the comments! 
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6 comments

  1. The flu hit my house about 3 weeks ago, and it was BRUTAL. I found that eating spicy food helped with the congestion. I added chili powder on everything I ate until the congestion finally went away. Also, boiling water in a pot and putting a towel over your head to breathe in the steam made it easier to fall asleep.

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    1. yes! spicy food and steam for the win! glad y'all are feeling better!

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  2. My entire family got the flu the week of Christmas...it was awful! I keep hearing great things about elderberry. I’ll need to stock up on some.

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    1. You really should -- it's our go to now!

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  3. Ugh...I hope you feel better soon!!

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    1. Awe! Thank you -- I'm feeling a lot better but still draining my sinuses. This flu season has been brutal!

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