Friday, December 11, 2009

Nursing Nightmare!

Actually let me rephrase that- NURSING HELL! Really, I'm not sure why I have such a hard time. I cry to the good Lord all the time about why my body can't just function like a normal lactating mother... This week has been just awful. PLAIN AWFUL. I can't express how much pain I've been in and how hard it is to take care of a newborn and a 2 year old with a 104 degree fever, the chills, aches... all that good stuff.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to dodge mastitis, BE THANKFUL. I would seriously rather go through labor again than deal with this horrible infection one more time. Henry is almost 3 weeks old and I've been running low grade fevers for about two weeks now. Yeah, the low grade fevers aren't fun at all... neither are the chills and that achy flu feeling, but I was getting by. Rewind to Tuesday night- my fever jumped up to 104, my right boob became ROCK HARD and boiling hot to the touch. Just thinking about feeding Henry (or pumping for that matter) made me want to vomit. In fact, one time while I was feeding him in the bath, I started dry heaving from the pain. I got on an antibiotic last night (thank God for Laura!!! I called her up at 8:30 PM and she called a script in to Meijers right away). Today I've kept the fever around 100-101. I am still incredibly achy and dealing with a few blocked ducts in my right breast. And really- if one more person tells me to "hang in there" I might scream. Clearly, they have not had mastitis 500000 times during their few months of breastfeeding (with Maeve I got it so much that I had to alternate between amox. and keflex on a weekly basis because I was building up such an immunity to them from taking the stupid meds all the time). I had high hopes this time around- after all, Henry is SUCH a better nurser. But for some reason my body produces such a load of milk that even a chunka chunk like Henry can't keep up with it all. Therefore I am left with backed up boobs. I'm only supposed to pump BEFORE a feeding (and only for a minute on each side) so I don't drown Henry with the flow of milk that comes out. And get this- with ONLY pumping before a feeding I accumulate about 30 oz of milk a DAY! Yeah.... MILK MILK MILK.

On top of all this, I am being the laziest mother on the face of the planet. My poooooor Maeve. She reads, does puzzles and plays with the stupid dog all day long while I lay on the couch begging Henry to eat. Henry has also invaded our baths. Laura told me to NURSE NURSE NURSE as much as I can in the bath because the hot water will make the milk come out better. It works wonders- it really does- but Maeve isn't happy about the "intruder" during tub time. I've had my mom and "GiGi" (MY grandma) come over and take Maeve to the toy store and to other fun places. But it seriously kills me every time she leaves. I feel like we're drifting farther and farther apart because of my breastfeeding issues. Wednesday we all went out for lunch (yes with me running a high temp and feeling like death)... I ended up having to leave in the middle of it because I didn't think I'd be able to drive myself home if I waited much longer. So my mom kept Maeve- I cried- no wait, SOBBED, through stupid Jackson Crossings as I'm walking back to my car with Henry. I seriously feel like the WORST mother right now!

If you thought this "vent" was over, you're wrong- it continues... yesterday we stayed inside the house all day (pretty much due to the cold- HOLY COW ITS COLD OUTSIDE!)- I noticed Maeve was picking at her diaper a lot. Just pulling at it, itching, that sort of thing. I asked her if she needed a change and she just said "diapers!" I took that as a yes, so I changed her. Come to find out, she wouldn't let me put a diaper back on. As soon as I took her wet diaper off, she started holding herself (down there) and crying saying "ITCHY! ITCHY!" What the heck??? I had horrible bladder infection problems when I was a kid, so my first thought was "OMG she probably has her first bladder infection." So I took a warm wash cloth and put it on her- it helped for a little bit but after 15 minutes or so, she was back to wailing about her "pee pee." Hmmm... I was totally perplexed. THEN the real horrendous part started- Henry started to fuss (feeding time!) and as SOON as I put Maeve down on the couch, she knew I was going to pick Henry up. She clung to me like white on rice! I mean really- I could not get her off of me. AND I felt horrible trying to peel her off- especially if she was sick! My already very, very hot face and head got even hotter as my mind was reeling about how to handle this. Do I pry Maeve off of me and run go grab Henry and try and feed him? Do I comfort my sick kid? Well I thought I'd try to do both... HAHAHA. I had Maeve clinging to my WAIST- my WAIST!!! And I had Henry in my arms- as soon as I sat on the couch and tried to nurse him she did this bear hug sooooo tight I couldn't possibly get Henry on the boob! My last resort was to call my mom... my mom came right over (yeah for moms!- she lives a second away!). SHE took Maeve and dealt with her potty problem and I nursed Henry. Once Henry was all set, I went back to Maeve to try and figure out what was going on. I couldn't think of what the heck it could be- but I didn't want her running around nakie. So I put a pair of undies on her (I had bought them for Christmas but.. they were desperately needed yesterday). AHA! That did the trick- as soon as I put them on her she peed- and she peed a LOT. It turns out she just didn't want to pee in her diaper or the potty. Oh good Lord. What a time for this to flare up. I'm all for potty training but not while I'm sicker than death itself.

I think I will conclude my vent now. There will be no new pictures for awhile- Maeve decided to break my camera. :(

Oh- last thing- I need some advice/help! How do you breastfeeding moms NOT stink like sour milk all the time??? I am literally washing my bras once a day just to keep them from stinking to high heaven. But with all the washing, its totally ruining the bras!!! Also- do you guys wear bras to sleep in? I was told not to because it could be a reason my ducts are clogging so easily- but I'm 100% confident if I don't sleep in a bra, not only will I be washing my bras every day but a load of sheets as well.


Kase and Jules said...

Eeeeek!! I have had a few crappy days but nothing like all of this, aghh! I am so sorry. Go to and see if you can find ways on there to avoid the mastitis, that sounds horrible! I have had clogged ducts and even that makes me want to shoot myself. I know that a pump can't fully empty your breast but a baby can. So I would pump, then feed but isn't that what you are doing?? Hmm. let me think on it a little bit more....I am so sorry!

Ashley said...

yup I'm pumping off for a minute or two on each boob and then feeding. I have strict orders to NOT PUMP ANYMORE than that b/c my body will produce more milk.

Jessy Schoch said...

I'm so sorry your dealing with mastitis agian!!! I had it like four times when I was nursing Max and it is the worst!! Your pumping 30 oz..holy crap!!! No wonder you can't feed him enough, you must be producing like 150 oz's a day :)

Bad days are the worst, I have many when there is nothing I want more than it to be bedtime!! I won't say hang in there :) But good luck in trying to lower the amount of milk your producing!! I wish I knew how to do that, but I was always trying to make more milk! Just think you'll be like a size 1 in no time with all that nursing :)

Leslie Collins said...

holy milk! that is a ton. I just want to give you a huge hug. So sorry you are having issues.

Yes, I sleep in a bra. They are made by Motherhood and they are a really lightweight sports bra with no hooks, so they are super comfy. And, I wear nursing pads, changed them often in the beginning and when I am at home, throw on a nursing tank or a sportsbra to keep my others nice. Good luck, Ash.

Sarah said...

I sleep in a bra, if not, its all over. Actually, even with a bra and pads, it sometimes gets out if she doesn't wake up in time lol. Just put nursing pads in your bra. If you wear a TIGHT bra to bed, it can do that to your milk production, but not a regular one. Wearing a bra helps prevent sagging after you are done nursing too. I have never had mastitis, but I am having the hard, painful full boob issue too. She only eats off one side, and the big side, is too much for her, so it does not get empty. Im sorry yours gets so bad. I don't produce nearly as much milk as you, but I too have a stash in my freezer already!! I am also having the same issues with Austin. Whenever I am nursing, he NEEDS me all of a sudden, and cries when I cannot put her down to attend to him. And since I had a c-setion, I cannot lift him and play like I used to, and feel bad having to rest all the time. :( It too makes me feel like a horrible mom. I know how you feel on that part. But like everyone keeps telling me, in a few weeks it will get better and he will not remember this.... it will not tramatize him or hurt your relationship... I know it!! Just right now its hard to see that, I know. I will pray that your boobs get feeling better!!!

Ashley said...

ahhh thanks girls :) Sweet words!

Jessy- the amount of milk is out of control- really it's just nuts!!! I am so frustrated- its like my body thinks I had twins or something!

Leslie- I have a sports bra from motherhood that I LOVE- but it's not very supportive so I leak all over the place when I wear it to bed... But for the next few nights I'm going to have to just deal with it because I've gotta let the milk come out!!

Ashley said...

thanks sarah! It's nice to know that its kind of normal for the kids to be acting like that! It makes me feel horrible that I can't just get up when Maeve needs or wants me and she has now had to resort to screaming and clinging to me... :(

The Paulk's said...

So sorry to hear about all your troubles! It DOES get better. I got mastitis often with Riley and a few times with Lincoln. I don't know if your bras have underwire in them, but once I was told to take out the underwire in mine I never got it again. Just a suggestion, in case yours have it in them.

I didn't wear a bra to bed, but like I've said before I never leaked, ever...guess I got lucky.
It must be wonderful to have your mom so close, what I would give to have family close...even to know one person here would be nice :)...GOOD LUCK. Praying things get better soon.

Dani said...

I had a HORRIBLE time breastfeeding. It was a nightmare really. Matias could never latch so I pumped every feeding for his first year of life.
Also, I slept in a bra at first, but after mastitis the doctor told me to stop. I did, and never got it again, but we washed our sheets ALL THE TIME. Good luck. I hope it gets better.

Leslie Collins said...

Ashley-I also have a nightime nursing bra from Target and it's probably wouldn't leak out of it. Good luck, chica.

Ashley said...

thank you thank you thank you- I am excited to try all these new things. I DO have underwire in my bras- I'm going to try and taking it out of one of them.

Also, last night i slept without a bra for the first time ever (well since I started leaking back in the summer) and it was quite the mess but I think a lot of milk got out. So that's good. Hopefully a few more nights of that and I'll feel better. I also got a tip not to sleep on my stomach... I will update in a few days to let y'all know how its going!!