Nursing and Caring For An Infant when you have Food Poisoning

I was feeling uninspired lately. Life had become routine. It was boring in the best way possible. Then, as I sat down to watch the debate Sunday night, I suddenly felt nauseous. Was it the creepy orange dude lurking behind Hillary and his angry interruptions making me sick or was it from the cheap glass of wine I just finished?

I shut off the TV and went upstairs to go to bed but before I could do so, I threw up. Sorry for the TMI. Over the next 12 hours, I would be back in the bathroom every. single. hour.

I quickly google-diagnosed myself with food poisoning.

I nursed Tommy (because yes, he still wakes up at like 4 am) in between vomiting sessions since food poisoning I thought was not contagious and KellyMom said I could.

I took a class at the Little Lovage Club in February that was like a new mom support group, and the moderator asked all of us, “Do you have someone to call if you are sick and can’t take care of the baby? Do you have someone near by for an emergency?”

I remember thinking at the time that I could call Nick’s or my mom, but both are a 2+ hour drive away. We also live in a two bedroom city condo without parking. Our guest bed is in Tommy’s room. It’s not the most visitor friendly spot. For the first time though, I needed my emergency help.

I called the pediatrician in the morning and they agreed Tommy would probably be fine nursing but use milk from the freezer if I could. He and the nurses also really emphasized washing my hands.

Monday morning was luckily a holiday and Nick was able to take Tommy to the office for a few hours while I slept in trying to get some sleep and rehydrate. I blamed the food poisoning on either a “gone bad” glass of wine, lettuce from the farmers market or a raw nut dessert recipe I was testing.

Tommy refused the thawed milk Nick tried to give him, which I brought back in my Milk Stork box damnit, and so I nursed him anyway.

Then at noon a friend texted me asking if I had been sick…

Apparently 17 and counting people who attended the same wedding as me in Wellfleet, MA had been sick and they were trying to figure out what happened. The wedding was perfect. I had so much fun. The food was delicious and I didn’t get hung over thanks to a great bar. It was a gorgeous venue, as well. This wasn’t the bride or groom’s fault and I don’t want to make this post about that. It was bad luck on their part. Other weddings in Wellfleet had the same misfortune that weekend.

Of course, I’m the only one from this photo that got sick but 40+ other people did too.

wedding picture

Now, I was freaking out about what kind of food poisoning it was, could I pass this on to my son, when would I feel better and who was coming to my rescue when Nick had to go back to work on Tuesday if I didn’t feel better?

I knew I couldn’t ask my close friends as most have to go to work or have kids and I didn’t want to risk them getting sick in case it was norovirus. I hadn’t even thought of this until my Mom suggested it. The fact that symptoms didn’t appear for 24 hours was odd. Wellfleet was one of a few towns in the Cape and Islands that did not have an imposed shellfish ban on Monday due to a toxic algal bloom, so I assumed I got it from a raw oyster and thought I might have amnesic shellfish poisoning after reading the news online.

Luckily, Nick’s mom was able to come down and help on Tuesday and my mom would be coming down on Wednesday. If you do not have an emergency person, GET ONE. You do not want to be scrambling when your head is in a toilet bowl. Taking care of an infant with flu like symptoms is truly the worst!

I assumed I had a basic oyster food poisoning but nope I was wrong. Noro f’ing virus. Yep. That disgusting virus from the cruise ships. Turns out, you can catch it from oysters. It’s food poisoning but it’s also contagious. Awesome… I did not learn this until Thursday at 5pm est.

I feel lucky that I never really left my house and cancelled all of Tommy’s activities.

I frantically called my pediatrician again and was reassured that breast is best. My body is already building antibodies to help Tommy fight off the virus and my milk would be his best defense.

Today they announced that the very popular Wellfleet Oysterfest would not have raw oysters. This festival attracts 15,000-20,000 people each year. This is a huge blow to the small cape community that’s taking place this weekend. They have not said why or how it happened. At least 75 cases and counting have been reported from restaurants and weddings in Wellfleet this past weekend.

For the first time in awhile, this series of unfortunate events inspired me to write. Life was anything but routine this week. If there are any lessons to be learned in this, they are…

  1. Have someone you can call if you are not able to care for your child in an emergency. If you don’t have family near by, ask a friend or have a sitter service you trust like Summer Sitters.
  2. You can and should continue to nurse if you have food poisoning. Just wash your hands. Shower or change the clothes you were in when you got sick and bleach the sh*t out of the bathroom and anything you touched. Don’t prepare food for others.
  3. Food poisoning is no joke and I’m staying away from raw foods for a long time.

And if you are wondering about Nick, he is fine and so is Tommy. Nick also had an oyster but because he has “superior genes,” he did not get sick.

mommy and tommy

P.S. Tommy was 9 months on Wednesday. Ironically, I weighed in the lowest in 4 years. I guess the real secret to taking off the baby weight is a good stomach bug. <- please note the sarcasm -> Also weird, we already shot a video for next Tuesday on how I did lose my baby weight by 9 months. The answer is not a stomach bug.

P.P.S. We used the amazing new service to get to and from the wedding called Skedaddle. If you ever need a bus for transportation, I highly recommend checking it out for sporting events to Foxboro, a ski trip, a summer beachcomber trip or wedding. They mostly do shared rides but you can do a private route too. We had a blast as you could see on my SnapChat (@OfficialSFit) :) Also, dress is BCBG by Rent The Runway. It was my second winning rental this year and only cost me $35 to rent.
skedaddle bus

Nursing and Caring For An Infant when you have Food Poisoning

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3 Comments

  • Christen
    Reply

    Being really sick with an infant is THE WORST thing that has ever happened to me. I had the worst case of food poisoning while on vacation and caring for my 2 1/2 month old baby. It was horrible and almost 6 years later I think I still have PTSD from it. Not to get into too much detail, but I was so sick and my daughter hadn’t even started using bottles so my husband had to physically hold her onto me to breastfeed. We got through it but that really was my crash course into motherhood.

  • Caroline
    Reply

    Glad you’re feeling better! I learned the hard way that food poisoning can happen up to 72 hours after eating the “poisoned” food….I always thought it happened in the immediate aftermath!

  • Lindsay
    Reply

    Speaking of weddings…when is yours? :) Glad you are feeling better! The dads always seem to get by without getting the bugs us moms pick up.

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