Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Mastitis

Mastitis is a bitch. An evil, horrid, sadistic bitch.

I am at the end of day three of a war with mastitis. It’s not my first battle with it either.

The first battle, in 1999, I won. It crept up on me with little warning one afternoon. I had a red lump and a really, really sore breast. I had no idea what it was, but it really hurt, so I went to the doctor. Of course, my doctor was fully booked that day, so I saw Dr. Little instead. She is lovely and she reminds me so much of Jamie Lee Curtis…anyway, she told me it was a plugged duct and that it can change to mastitis very quickly, which then could cause my breast to abscess, so she gave me a prescription for antibiotics, circled the lump in black marker and told me to come back the next day. She warned me that if I suddenly felt like I had been hit by a mack truck, to have Hubster fill the prescription, STAT and go straight to bed. We made our appointment for a recheck the next day and went off on our merry way.

Well….

At precisely 8:00 that evening, that mack truck hit me HARD! I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out, I was shivering and my whole body ached. Honestly, THAT quickly. I was fine two minutes earlier. So, I checked my temperature and sure enough, I had a fever. I told Hubster, who was resting comfortably on the couch that the mack truck had arrived and that he had to go and fill my prescription. He bitched and moaned and crawled off the couch to go and get my meds, while I moaned and suffered on his couch. Two days, high fevers, lots of advil, tylenol and antibiotics, nurse-pump-nurse sessions and SO much pain later, I was feeling semi-normal again, but my milk supply had dropped drastically. Middleman wasn’t nursing as well as normal because apparently,the taste of the milk is different…more salty…during mastitis. So I started pumping and nursing more, I took fenugreek till I smelled like a pancake house and my supply slowly increased. I ended up nursing Middleman for 18 months and loved every other moment of it. I won that battle!

This time, it looks like I will be the one to wave the white flag. Mastitis gave me a fever of 104 and hit me harder this time, which I never thought was possible. I truly thought I was going to die. Every inch of my body ached and the chills were nearly unbearable. My supply is drastically lower, despite pumping/nursing every two hours. My letdown reflex is much milder and Threepeat is refusing both breasts. When he does latch on, he growls in anger as the milk just doesn’t flow fast enough. The last 24 hours has been agonizing both physically and emotionally, as I think I have decided to stop breastfeeding. My heart is broken, but we are 8 years later and I am 8 years older and I just don’t think I have it in me to work and work and work at getting my supply back when he would just prefer the bottle anyway. Threepeat has never really enjoyed breastfeeding the way Middleman did and when he sees a bottle coming, he squeals with excitement. When my boob comes at him, if he doesn’t turn away, he just opens his mouth. No excitement, no joy. When he has a bottle, he gazes up at me lovingly. When he breastfeeds, he just sucks. So, he won’t miss breastfeeding…I will.

He is my last baby. I wanted everything to last forever this time. He is already five months old and growing so very quickly. The end of breastfeeding is just another nail in the coffin of being a mother to an infant and my heart hurts.

I will continue to nurse him through the night, because when he nurses in his sleep, it is wonderful, but I think the day time feeds will come to a gradual end.

I am so, so sad about it.

So, mastitis won this time. BITCH! ( Pin It

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