Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm doing the breast I can

Oh, come on. Compared to “My Brest Friend,” that’s nothing. ;-)


I was thrilled when Uli and I were finally beginning to connect, nursing-wise. After the delay in milk, endless and fruitless pumping,  L.C. consultations and latch issues, the elusive one-on-one connection with my baby seemed finally within reach. And we did make it, just around two months after she was born.

Of course, once I returned to work the pumping business was somewhat problematic, but some herbs and time and we had it figured out.

Or so I thought. Turns out the trials aren’t quite finished.

About a month ago I got a plugged duct. I’d thought I’d had plugged ducts before. But now I know that those were just blebs. A real plugged duct is FIERCELY painful.

Next day came mastitis. Oh, I felt so so sick. Fever, pain, nausea, exhaustion. I followed the LLL recommendation of nursing from the affected side, applying hot compresses and sleeping, and I started to feel better after just a day.

However. Possibly because I’d been twisting Uli all around to get her to nurse from my sore side, I got a cracked nipple. Holy cow. Ouch. But I managed to keep up the nursing and the crack closed.

But the pain didn’t completely go away. It continued to hurt when Uli’d latch-on. OMG, it was horrible. 8 or 9 on a pain scale of 10. I wasn’t liking the idea of taking antibiotics just in case it was a remnant of mastitis. (I don’t like antibiotics ‘just in case.’)  One of my midwives suggested that yeast may have crept in while I had the crack. We started some anti-fungal treatments for both me and Uli. (It wasn’t straight thrush, since she didn’t have any white spots in her mouth nor red diaper rash, but if it was yeast, we’d be passing it back and forth, symptoms or not.) And, hurrah! It was working! 

Except, now I’m done with the treatment and I’m still having some ‘pinching’. Kinda like a sunburn that’s rubbing on scratch material. I need to follow-up with the L.C. and see what’s going on. Very frustrating.

To top it all off, my thyroid is freaking out. I’m overproducing thyroid hormone, which typically makes a person really thin (hah! why can’t I have THAT horrible symptom?) and reduces breast milk production. My milk has been getting less and less and it’s SO sad and upsetting. So I’m on medication now that will hopefully reduce the hormones I don’t need and increase the milk that Uli needs.

SO. My goal is to continue nursing at least until her 1st birthday. Which is lame since what I really hope to do is nurse until she self-weans. I’d even be willing to tandem nurse. And maybe we’ll still be able to do that. But for now, let’s just work through the pain and get my supply back up. Keep that milk flowing! 


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