Mastitis sucks

I’m not really comfortable writing about my boobs in such a public way but I think it is a good tale to tell. The moral of the story is if you think you might have mastitis, act straight away.

My previous post was about how Hope is a “good baby” . Things have been easier to manage this time around because I knew more about how to care for a baby and some life hacks to survive. That’s a post I really should write.

Anyway, Murphy’s law dictates that once a positive post is written life must be turned into chaos. Fair enough.

So on Wednesday I posted “yeah we are doing well” and on Thursday I got mastitis.

For those of you who don’t know, mastitis is inflammation of the boob. It starts with a simple blocked milk duct but can quickly progress to infection. If not treated it can lead to an abscess which can potentially need surgery to drain. No thanks! It’s supposedly caused by the breast not being drained properly, allowing bacteria to build up in there and take over. Symptoms of a breast infection include: a sore breast (usually only one) with red streaks, a lump, a high fever, chills, body aches and just generally feeling like crap. It’s like the flu without the snot.

With both Alexis and William I was fortunate enough to avoid mastitis. Probably because they fed all the damn time. Being the third child, Hope had slotted into a basic routine fairly easily, which, as it turns out, might have been a bad thing. Especially because her routine involved feed all day, sleep well at night. Also, because of her recent tummy upset, I would let her feed a little while to get the taste of vomit out of her mouth and then break her off so she wouldn’t vomit again. Turns out that wasn’t the best idea.

Thursday morning started off normally. Actually I was feeling great and getting ready to take the kids out to a playground and do some shopping. Corey went off to work. Within minutes everything was aching and I was hit with a proverbial brick wall of exhaustion and was shaking and my legs were aching. We hadn’t even left the house yet. I thought maybe I was just tired and/or having an anxiety relapse (yeah it still happens unfortunately) so my plans changed to a quiet day at home in the air con. I woke from a small midday nap with a rather high fever. “Oh great, I’m getting sick,” I thought. As a mum my main concern was “I hope the kids don’t get it.”

I would like to say I was concerned about my children’s comfort and well being but no, in all honesty, I just wanted Alexis and William well enough to go to daycare the next day. Yep, part of me being a ‘good’ mum is embracing my limits and treasuring our breaks from eachother. Thus I was actually relieved when I noticed a lump in my breast because mastitis is not contagious.

It wasn’t so fun an hour later when my breast was burning up and bright red and I felt so bad I seriously thought it was worse than glandular fever and labour combined. I made a doctors appointment but it was still hours away as the only one left was a late night appointment just before closing. I asked Facebook for advice on what to do while I waited and the unanimous decision was “just keep feeding”, which I did, while only slightly conscious, while the kids watched tv. Then Corey got home and he had to cook dinner and juggle three kids while I hid in the shower. Nothing like throwing him in the deep end. He did great. Thank God for frozen pies.

I’m so thankful that my parents were able to come over to get the big kids bathed and into bed and stay with them so Corey could take Hope and I to the doctors, because I really wasn’t up to driving. I was bad. I was so bad we phoned the doctors and begged the receptionist to get me seen earlier. “Come straight down” she said. We sat there for over an hour waiting. It was torture.

When the doctor finally examined me he didn’t think it was that bad. He said I didn’t need pain relief, prescribed antibiotics, and said “you should feel better in 24 hours.” Mean mean man.

I got the rest of my information from the Australian Breastfeeding Association website.
It basically says feed feed feed feed feed as much as you can and drain it out. Hope thinks it’s pretty cool. It also says rest as much as possible, which is why mum came over again yesterday to help after school. Corey’s mum is taking Lexi and William out today. We are so lucky to have such a good support base. It really does make all the difference.

I’m still not all better but at least the fever is gone. Does anyone know how long it takes to completely recover? A special little girl has a birthday coming up and I would really like to be well by then.

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