Okay, so I have been MIA for a few days and I will tell you why. Last Thursday I woke up not feeling right but as I said before I haven’t really slept well in quite some time. So, I figured I was just run down and tired. I try to take the babies for at least one walk a day so around lunchtime I packed them in the stroller and went for a walk. It was warm out, probably one of the warmer days we have had thus far this year but I came back burning up and every muscle in my body hurt. I thought maybe I just got overheated and thought to myself well I am going to be screwed this summer. About an hour after the walk I was still feeling crummy and I took my temperature, it was 100.0. I thought that was odd because my temp is usually in the 97’s so anything above that is usually feverish. But I just told myself it was because I was hot from the walk. Well, later on that afternoon I noticed a large lump in my left breast and a red streak. I thought that was odd but I’ve made it 9 months so it surely isn’t the dreaded “M word”. As the day went on I started to feel progressively worse, my whole body hurt and my head was pounding. By the end of the afternoon, I knew it was mastitis. My milk had also plummeted to drips. I called my doctor’s office and described my situation to the nurse, she confirmed it was classic mastitis symptoms and called me in an antibiotic to the pharmacy. I thought this was great. It’s hard for me to make it to the doctor so this was perfect. I went and picked up my script and had my first dose by 6:00 p.m. I thought I will be better in no time.
Welp, Thursday night I went to bed early and woke up around midnight shaking. I have never had chills like I did that night. Not knowing better I had three blankets on and I was shaking uncontrollably for over an hour. Finally I got up and pumped and took my temperature it was 102.5. I woke my husband up, because I was scared. I never have a temperature that high. I waited about 20 minutes and took some ibuprofen and took my temperature again because now my skin was pink, it was on fire. It felt like I had fallen asleep in a tanning bed. My temperature was 104.2. Never in my life had I felt that sick. I tossed and turned for another hour until my fever finally broke. I started sweating profusely and was finally able to get some rest (and by rest I mean it was about 1.5 hours until the babies woke up). The next day was Friday and I had no time to recuperate as I had to tend to crabby, crabby babies all day.
I love my husband dearly, so I’m not necessarily complaining about him but just being honest. I have said for about a month that I need a break, I need rest and I need some damn sleep. Sometimes I feel like I get steamrolled in aspects of my life and I have had to go on because well that’s what mothers do. Well, I told him that over the weekend I NEED to rest. I told him I read about many women that end up on bed rest with severe mastitis and the best cure is to rest. Saturday, I didn’t get to rest. As he put it things need to get done and then in retrospect he says all you had to do was ask. Ok, sure. But nonetheless by the end of the day Saturday I felt like a Mack truck had hit me again. Sunday was even worse. I had the chills again and my fever was back up to 103. The lump in my breast had grown to the size of about a golfball and it was even more red. After three days on antibiotics that can’t be normal. I got to the point where I thought I needed to go to the emergency room, but I cannot afford another medical bill. I’m still drowning from having the babies. So, I called my OB’s exchange and spoke to the nurse on call. She told me that if my fever spiked again I need to go straight to the emergency room, that this infection may have abcessed. Ugh, this scared the crap out of me. She told me that if it didn’t spike again to call and make an appointment first thing Monday morning. So, I was on fever watch. It stayed at a steady 100 even with rotating ibuprofen and Tylenol but never went higher.
In the meantime I literally had tried everything trying to break up the lump in my breast. I did the compresses of warm and cold, hot shower, warm bath, I tried essential oils of lavender oil and tea tree oil. I read online that cabbage leaves help, so I did a couple of rounds of that even though I heard it could decline your milk supply. I even read that eating garlic could help clear out clogs so I tried that. Someone said vibration, so I ran one of those of my lump. Nothing. Literally 4 days and no progress.
I made it to the doctor Monday morning and they did an exam. She told me she didn’t think it was abcessed, that it was definitely mastitis but she could also feel several clogs in my milk ducts. She sent me home with two new antibiotics and a referral to get ultrasound therapy. She told me that a therapist would be able to break up the clogs with ultrasound. I hadn’t heard of something like that but I would do anything to feel better. The doctor also said after a couple days of the new antibiotics if I wasn’t better that I would need to call a surgeon that specializes in breasts because there may be more going on internally. That’s scary.
So, I called and by the grace of God the therapist could see me about an hour after I left my OB. I went there and the therapist ran the ultrasound and did a milking massage on my breast. She told me that sometimes it takes a couple visits and I made an appointment for the next day.
So, here I am 8 days later and after falling asleep with an ice pack on my breast last night I think I have made progress with my clog. I feel a little lump still but will try to just pump a little longer today. Mastitis is a bitch (pardon my language). It is worse than any flu I have ever had. I am thankful that I have made it 9 months without having any episodes but its scary and my milk supply is near nil. All of this while I have been contemplating stopping. Now I can’t, I have to continue to pump to clear any clogs that I have going on. So, my journey of pumping continues. All for a labor of love for my little chunky bubs!
On a different note, I did have the help of my mother over the last week so that was a nice change of pace and I welcomed the help. I didn’t feel so abandoned and overwhelmed. However, for the last week the babies have been even more fussy (I didn’t know that was possible). They will be 9 months next week and all of a sudden neither one want to be put down, but aren’t happy just being held they want to go, go, go but don’t want me going very far. And they scream so loud. My nurse friend visited yesterday to check on everything and she said in 13 years of working with babies she has never heard a scream like the way they scream. That’s not what I want to hear.
Have any of your babies went through a stage like this?