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Monday, August 8, 2011

Mastitis, I Hate You

Baby E is so precious and makes my struggles worth it

Entry written on Wednesday, August 3rd...

This is the second night in a row that I've cried after my midnight pumping session.  I cried and cried and cried.  I have reached an all time low.  I have no one to talk to about this... so you guys get to be my lucky audience.

I have mastitis, and it started on Saturday night.  In simple terms, it is a breast infection.  It starts out like an ordinary clogged duct, which I am all too familiar with. Then throw in a horrible fever, chills, and the inability to function.  So far there is no happy ending in sight.  I went to the Emergency Room in a panic.  I needed to get my hands on a prescription for antibiotics as soon as possible to prevent the infection from getting worse.  Many hours of lost sleep later, I got my hand on the drugs I needed.  By then my fever had gone down.  The chills went away.  The clogged duct was still clogged.  Three days later, and it is even more clogged than before.

I'm at an all time low.  I can't stand being forced to pump every 2 hours around the clock to get rid of this stupid clogged duct.  If I don't, then it can lead to abscess.  At the rate I'm going, that can very well be in my future.

I desperately want this to go away.  My infected right breast hurts each and every time I have to pump.  I can feel the pump pulling on the clogs in attempts to loosen the blockage.  I hold on to the little bit of hope that maybe this time it will finally unclog.  I listen intently for the sudden swoosh of milk that empties into the bottle.  I don't hear it.  I just feel intense pain.

Pumping every 2 hours means that I lose a lot of sleep.  I'm still taking care of Baby E, but I'm not 100% there.  My mind is focused on the pain.  My body is deprived of sleep. If I sneak in an extra hour of sleep, I feel extremely guilty.  What if I had woken up earlier to pump?  What if that was my opportunity to get rid of my pain?  Pumping every 2 hours means that my pump session at midnight that lasted almost an hour long will have to be followed by another pump session at 2 AM.  I only get an hour to rest before it starts all over again.  To save my sanity, I spend most of my sessions pumping for 20 minutes.  I don't have the effort and time to focus on unclogging the infected breast at each session.

I feel alone.  I don't have anyone to talk to about my problems.  My husband is the only person who I can reach out to in the middle of the night and bawl my eyes out.   But... he has work in the morning.  He is a super human and goes to work during the day and takes care of Baby E and me at night.  He falls asleep around midnight or later, only to wake up 6 hours later to get ready for work.  He hates to see me in tears, but I can't help it.

Happy Mom = Happy Baby?  Well I'm not so happy anymore.  I can't give Baby E the attention he needs when I'm suffering.  I want to quit pumping.  I wish I could just quit cold turkey right now, but I fear the medical problems that would result from suddenly quitting.

No worries.  The good news is that the infection is gone (I think), and I feel much better.  The clogged duct slowly disappeared, which is a tad different from usual.  I had a milk blister get in the way of my recovery.  Boo.  I'm just glad that my boobies feel better. Oh the joys of exclusively pumping!  My dad also came over this week to help me take care of Baby E since I wasn't feeling so great. Yay for help!  Yay for family!  Thanks goes out to my sister for bringing me to the ER on Saturday night. As for quitting, I might be closer to that point of giving up.  I'm just not quite there yet.

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