Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blood is Thicker Than Breastmilk

... You might not want to ask me how I know this.

An alternate title for today could be "My First Mastitis."

Yesterday, as I loaded the kiddos up (directly post-nap, since I didn't have time to nurse them before we went for their 15/18 month [it was combined. Which saves me $40 in insurance co-pay. Which makes me happy. Since I could use that $40 for shoes. Or books. Or diapers] appointment.)...

(If this entry doesn't read very clearly, bear with me. My brain's still a little fuzzy-feeling.)

As I was saying, I didn't have time to nurse them. Not a huge deal, I was feeling a wee bit engorged (with little lighting bolts of discomfort), but we got to the doctor's just a little bit late. Their appointment went well. They've gained weight (both are leaner than they are tall. Bruise is 1.5 inches taller and 1 pound heavier than Bucket. They have perfect eardrums and are very healthy and happy. They even said "Bye" as their pediatrician left the office. He said that my kids are, and I quote, "So cool." ... That made me happy).
After the kiddos got their shots (DTAP, HiB [which I found out today they didn't need that dose. Oops. No charge, though. Phew!], and their first Hep A), I nursed then a little and, oh, did one side HURT.

Of course, Bucket was throwing a tantrum (complete with laying on the ground, screaming, while kicking her little feet) and Bruise was bawling ... so we got out of there.

I felt VERY tired and a little dizzy as we drove home. I tried to feed the munchkins one more time (as they were still rather hysterical) and then I put them to nap, since I was really useless.

With how much my breast hurt, I figured maybe I had a plugged duct, thinking back to a post that Chris from the Trenches wrote. So I ran a hot bath and worked at hand expressing all that I could to get that duct clear.
Then I got close to passing out (from the hot water, the "discomfort," and trying to heft my 180-pound self out of the tub. So I laid down and slept until Michael got home. I had him give me a blessing and call the clinic to see if maybe I could get a prescription and to get information. Everything kinda blurs together (probably on account of the fever I had. It got up to 104.4 ... I don't think I've had a fever like that since I was Bruise and Bucket's age).

After a second bath and pumping and hand-expressing ... and a cooler shower to help me feel less passy-outy, I felt better. That and Michael gave me some food. Which certainly helped. I had some ibuprofen and was able to socialize with my husband and babies.

Michael had been working at finding a diagnosis through Web M.D., and he was a little worried that the first diagnosis at the top of the list was cancer. Since I researched like crazy (like, I started reading about breastfeeding YEARS before I actually started), I was pretty sure it was either a clogged/plugged duct or mastitis. The only symptom that didn't fit so well (and that got Web M.D. to try and worry my husband) was that the duct that was kinda plugged ... well, instead of breastmilk, it produced blood.

Just to put it rather bluntly, it's disturbing to pump milk that looks like cream of tomato soup. Milk is not supposed to be rusty-pink. (However, I think that I've gotten that cleared up. ... If not, since I'm still nursing, if there are any reports of vampire toddlers ... well, yeah. That'll probably be my fault.)

And, letting that pink milk sit out ... well, the science geek in me was a little impressed to find out for sure that blood is denser than milk. I mean, it makes sense ... I mean, there's more iron in it and everything...

So, today I went to the doctor's. I saw the newest addition to the staff (the receptionist and nurses barely recognized me without my mini-mes following). She was pretty cool. Got my diagnosis, some tips to make the time go by a little easier (pump and nurse all you can, keep the milk flowing, hot baths and compresses ... if it's not better in a week, come in again...), we covered painkiller options (since I still have some of the big-gun painkiller left over from when Bruise and Bucket were born, I can take half-tablets of that ... or the usual ibuprofen and tylenol (Same ol', same ol' ... I'm getting to be a bit of an expert of regular medicines you can take while nursing.)
(As I should be, since I've been doing this for almost 17 months now.)

I saw the really nice pharmacist at Target (why not get prescriptions there? It's practically next door ... and I like the bottles. They're genius!). She took the same antibiotic when she had an infection after her daughter was born.
I really like her. She's probably my mom's age. She's awesome. (The pharmacist. ... AND my mom, to be honest.)

I'm going to take it easy on housework. Just a little folding, cooking, a load of dishes (relax! It's in the dishwasher!!), and picking up the living room's toy explosion extravaganza(!!!!).

Well, my brain is getting cloudy-esque again. I should go take a nap.

I really hope that mastitis never rears its gnarly head among this household or the households of anyone I know ... or anyone that anyone I know knows.
For ever and ever. Amen.

Oh, it's raining. I like how it sounds.

1 comment:

N & K Caulder said...

Oh, Allanna! I've been there 6 times. That is NO fun. I wish you a speedy recovery and that it won't ever come back again, ever! Not that this really matters too much, but the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th times I had it it wasn't as bad. Still sucked, but didn't wipe me out completely like the first time. Oh, get well soon!!!

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