|Our strong little lady!|
Warning: viewer discretion advised
Well, I’m just going to go for it and tell it like it can be, but hopefully won’t for all of you moms-to-be out there. I don’t want to scare any of you, but, since no one told me anything about nursing/pumping and the not-so-pleasant issues that can occur [and do actually occur way more frequently than one would imagine], I will.
I think women are scared to talk about their problems with breastfeeding because it makes them feel as if they’re a failure. There’s so much hype and concern about if and how much a woman is breastfeeding when she has a baby. I swear, people at the grocery store ask me if I’m nursing. It’s so none of their business, but people have this weird yearning to know – and judge. All of these same curious people [including family and friends], though, either don’t know or have chosen not to fill you in on the discomfort, time, and hassle that breastfeeding and breast pumping can take. While formula has come a long way and is absolutely a great alternative for those folks that breastfeeding just doesn’t work for, breast milk is definitely the best thing for your baby. Not to mention, breastfeeding is clearly cheaper [ummm, free] and a natural process… or is it?
Teigan immediately latched and we had no problems with nursing the first week. Besides being a little awkward, it was actually quite pleasant. Then, on day 8, for no reason that I’m aware of, she completely stopped latching. I started fretting, sweating, and dreading when the time came around for her to wake up and eat every few hours. After 45 minutes of me attempting to get her to latch, she finally would, but by that time, we were both irritable, hot, annoyed, and covered in milk. Sorry, dudes. About this same time, I noticed a small bump in my breast that felt like a cyst. I assumed that this was a clogged milk duct [which happens all the freaking time, but, shocking, no one ever mentioned it to me] and that it would go away in a few days. I called lactation consultants, nurses, pediatricians, and did some online searching to see how to rid myself of it. I can’t say I did the best job with trying to get rid of this problem, but only because it was time consuming – a hot commodity I didn’t have.
Fast forward three weeks. My breast now has a 2” round ball of something in my left boob-ster and it’s becoming increasingly painful. Ben was on my arse to be more adamant about trying to fix the “clogged milk duct” with warm compresses, hot showers, massage, etc. The more I did this, the worse it got. So, Thursday morning I talked to my doc and he had his office make an appointment for me to see a breast specialist. I was so relieved as I had started to freak myself out that this was something far worse than what we were thinking. Then, Thursday night, within about 30 minutes, everything changed. Suddenly I had a 102 degree fever, I was shaking all over while on the floor of the shower with the hottest water pouring on me, and couldn’t lift my left arm. It felt like the flu times a million… but worse.
So, fast forward again to Friday afternoon… I spent three hours at Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center due to, what turns out to be, an abscess in my left breast. Yes, totally painful, but mostly totally disgusting when you think about it. Turns out a clogged milk duct became infected, I probably had mastitis [an infection which, as I have learned, is also quite common] a couple of times but did nothing about it [hellooo stubborn redhead], and it turned into this. I’m now on antibiotics that are completely safe for Teigan, so I’m still able to give her breast milk. Hopefully this will all be cleared up in a couple weeks; fingers crossed and prayers are welcome.
I didn’t write this TMI post for any reason other than to let all of you soon-to-be-mommy’s or the ones planning on having kids in the future that things happen with nursing. It isn’t always easy and, based off my experience, people won’t tell you that beforehand. If you are ever in actual severe pain [not discomfort], you are bleeding or develop scabs, please [for my sake] call a lactation consultant and your doctor. Don’t let it get to the point that I did. I feel like I’ve gone to hell and back a few times with this whole process and I would do it again in a heartbeat for my little girl, but it doesn’t have to be the hard journey that I’ve taken. Thankfully for me, lessons learned and this journey with #2 [in a few years, of course], will be far easier.
And on that note, it’s time for T to eat… Peace, Love, and Happy, Healthy Boobies!