I am a “feed your baby” kind of Mom. I don’t care if it’s boob or bottle, every Mom should be making the best decision for her, that way she’s happy and the baby is happy. A Mom can make much better decisions for her family if she is happy, so whatever it takes them to get there, I am all for it. My husband and I follow the mottos, “whatever works” and “don’t judge us because we won’t judge you.”
That being said, I’ve nursed all of my children. It didn’t necessarily come easy to me (I have dealt with mastitis, bleeding nipples, extreme pain, a baby waking every 45 minutes to nurse, clogged ducts, the list of pain seems endless) but I still did it. Why? Because that’s what is easiest for me. With my memory problems, I always knew it’d be easier for me to just nurse wherever I was in order to have a bit more flexibility with NOT FORGETTING A BOTTLE, which has honestly always been a huge fear of mine. I compensate due to my memory problems and this is one way I compensated. I can’t forget my boobs, so here I am, five months in nursing our third. Speaking of forgetting baby essentials when you leave the house, I always keep an extra diaper bag in my car for emergencies (with diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for baby and you, plastic shopping bags (for dirty clothes or kids that get car sick) and other random items that I’ve deemed a necessity.
My recent hiatus from blogging? A super long bout with mastitis that turned into a breast abscess that resulted in several trips to the doctors, conversations with Lactation consultants, and an ER visit. I have always been susceptible to clogged milk ducts when I nurse, so I am keen on keeping my boobs soft and massaged. The minute I feel one coming on I start microwaving a wet diaper (with water!) for 45 seconds to a minute and use that to massage the clog. Moist heat seems to be the trick for me (along with ibuprofen, nursing on all fours, hot showers, and staying hydrated). Those are my go-to’s and after 24 hours I generally feel tons better. For whatever reason this time around, none of this worked. I woke up on a Wednesday in excruciating pain- it wasn’t just in my breast it was all over my body and when I stood up I saw stars. The sheets were damp from me sweating, yet I’d wake up shivering from being cold. I called my OB and then said to do all of the things I was currently doing and if it got worse to call them back. I felt so terrible I didn’t argue, but I was thinking to myself, “this can’t possibly get any worse?!”
It got worse, and I went to my OB’s office the next day, leaving with a prescription for an antibiotic and an unclear diagnosis of mastisis. It wasn’t “typical” bc I didn’t have a red rash on my boob or a fever (at least not in the office) but it sounded like it. Never mind the fact that I was chewing Motrin and Tylenol like candy, which would have masked any fever I had, and the cocktail of over the counter meds still did nothing for the pain.
I was on the antibiotic for 24 hours and was still in agony. I called my OBs office back and an Angel of a nurse was in touch with me all morning to see how I was doing and getting me all sorts of phone numbers for places to ultrasound my breast and Lactation consultants to speak to. I found a place that would do the ultrasound that afternoon and I rushed there, it was a Friday afternoon and I thought they’d be able to do something. Nope. After the ultrasound I was sent home and told my OB would likely get the report on Monday. This did nothing for my pain.
Fast forward two sleepless nights later and a trip to the ER, and I am the lucky patient with a breast abscess. A complication from a breast infection/mastitis that has allowed me to beat the odds, and land myself into an elite 5% population whose future resulted in aspirations and a breast drain. My experience (still ongoing and very, very, painful) will be detailed in another post, because right now I am still being treated and my main focus is trying to gather as many tips and tricks from my fellow Moms about what they do when they are so sick that they can’t care for their kids.
I spent over a week (and counting) in bed. Seven long, painful, when I stand up I see stars, days in bed. And I am so very grateful for my Mother and husband who picked up all of my duties and kept our household happy and fed, not to mention took care of me. We also had a sitter help us out, and she’s like family, so I felt comfortable having her come over and watch the kids and seeing me in the state I was in. I have been so ill, however that I am embrassed to have other sitters in the house seeing me like this.
So fellow Moms out there, what do you do when you are down for the count and can’t care for your kids? Please share your tricks! The bigs definitely watched wayyyyyy more TV than I normally let them (and it killed me even more because the weather was gorgeous and perfect for outdoor activities) and I had SO much help. It got me wondering, what the hell would I have done if my mother wasn’t off of work? I know a babysitter is an option but I was in such rough shape that I really didn’t want anyone to see me like that. We have Amazon Fresh to thank for our groceries being delivered, and local restaurants for all of the take out we have ordered, but what else should I be doing to make this easier on myself? We are drowning in laundry (despite my mother staying on top of it for me) and I feel like we are living in a mess. So please, share ALL your secrets.
Be well. I’m working on it. xo.