Friday, December 02, 2011

just when i thought i had it.

**warning: this is a long one. and yeah, i edited. this is actually the short version**

let me start by saying, breast-feeding did not come easy for this chica. the moment mila was born, i plopped her on and we never looked back.

but about a week and a half into m's life, came severe pain and soreness. resulting in one of the leaders for the corpus christi chapter of la leche league making a visit to our house and trouble-shooting all of the culprits we thought might be contributing to my sudden pain. i remember the next few hours like they were yesterday. exhausted, laying in my mom's bed, with my sister, niece, mom and nephew massaging my every limb, i thought there was NO way i could continue with this sort of pain. but when nick and i got home, he helped me hold mila and with our new-found knowledge behind us, we tried to latch on. and latch on again. and again. finally i admitted defeat {for the time being} and gave mila a bottle of pumped breast milk. with regret and serious doubts, i proceeded to pump and bottle-feed for the next five days. if you know anyone who does this, give them a major pat on the back because it is not easy! without feeding from the breast AT ALL it is difficult and nauseatingly time-consuming. almost a week into this routine, i knew it was not sustainable. in no way shape or form. throughout that week, beyond the pain i was in, i found myself frustrated that i went into breast-feeding so blindly. while i had done what i thought to be a substantial amount of research {including attending a la leche league meeting and drilling my breast-feeding friends for any advice they could share}, no one ever told me about the pain i would face in those first few days {or weeks} not to mention the ridiculous amounts of lanolin i had to buy, bleeding from my nipples that went INTO the milk and those crazy doctors tell you that it's "ok" to feed your babe and last but not least, not even being able to touch a towel to my chest because of severe nipple sensitivity. all i heard was how healthy it was for the babe, that we'd save loads of money and i'd burn calories like i was running daily marathons, you know, the sort of things that would make ANY woman want to breast-feed.

so i knew i had to get mila back on the boob. and ultimately i did. my mom and i went to barnes and noble that sunday morning and i found the best breast-feeding resources they had, ultimately walking out with two books in tow, one of which would eventually become my bible for the next few weeks, and one serious feeling of empowerment. when i got home, with the husband's help, we successfully BREAST fed our little girl. breast-feeding became my life, i plunged myself into any information i could find about it. absorbing it all like a sponge. i literally ate, slept and drank breast-feeding information. it's all i talked about! i was determined to be a breast-feeding genius. but fast forward a couple months and we arrive to wednesday, 30 november.

i always dreamt of being one of those peaceful women that could whip out her breast any time, any place and feed their child on the spot. and i honestly think it's safe to say that's about what i had become {i'm seriously THIS close to slapping one of those breast-feeding awareness stickers onto my bumper}. but two days ago, i felt like someone punched me in my left boob and progressively became more and more achey. an infection was in the works. but HOW!!!???!!!?? how could this be? we breast feed ALL day long, in multiple positions, never withholding a feeding! the past two days have been full of sever body aches, the punch in the boob not excluded. i called my doc and after much discussion, she was convinced that i had an infection and prescribed an antibiotic for me that is safe to take while breast feeding. without much sleep last night, and no help from my kindle, i still woke up feeling 110% better. until this afternoon. body aches and fever returned. immediately i wondered if i would EVER feel better again and whether or not all of my breast-feeding efforts and successes would screech to a halt.

i'm continuing to take my anti-biotic, and after talking to my mother-in-law {an experienced ER nurse of forty years} she explained to me that my symptoms can recur within the first forty-eight hours while taking an anti-biotic {this is what happens when you spend the last ten or so years completely resistant to any kind of medicine, you lose all common knowledge of modern medicine}. although i'm not forfeiting my prescription, it does seem to be helping...slowly but surely, i'm also trying every natural remedy i can. dry-brushing to increase my circulation and improve my lymphatic system {something i did EVERY night while pregnant but have since quit...might be time to resume this pre-shower routine}, salt scrubs, hot HOT showers, eating as many raw vegetables as i can consume, heating pads, more mothers' milk tea and nursing around the nipple clock {a method that my bff dr. sears recommends as a way of preventing and clearing plugged milk ductsthank you football hold for finally giving me some relief}. what is it about getting sick that makes you feel like eating organic, doing yoga and pumping yourself full of every vitamin possible?

hopefully we are on the road to recovery. poor mila has had to put up with a very lethargic mama for the past two days but she's been such a trooper. tomorrow we're hoping for lots of sunshine, maybe a walk around the park and anything else that doesn't include lying on the bed for the majority of the day.

happy weekend.

if anyone would like to comment on this post with breast-feeding woes and successes, please do so here on the blog...any help is definitely welcome. i am, after all, still trying to achieve breast-feeding-genius status. also! i know that not everyone has the same experience breast-feeding as i have. these are my experiences and i'm speaking for myself and myself alone.


  1. great post, lady. Breast feeding, like all things parenting can be unexpected, difficult and some times down right shocking. I don't have any real advice for you, but here is what I know about breast feeding three children. The first child I obsessively did everything "right". no medication at birth, breastfeed for 15 months, co-slept, clothes diapers... blah, blah, blah. The second go around, an epidural was booked nine months in advance, I breast fed for a year but supplemented with formula blah, blah blah. The third time, my child shot out of me like a cannon onto the bed, she acted like I was torturing her to breast feed at six months and gets a rash from clothe diapers. The point of this babble is that no ONE particular thing will make or break your baby. I use to EXHAUST myself trying to do the right thing only to realize, the minute I've got one thing down, they change and are on to the next. If I can offer you one piece of advice about breast feeding and the whole parenting endeavor, I would say relax and enjoy.... because this shit ain't easy. Clearly you are an amazing mother that wants what is best for her daughter. Just remember, she will love you no matter what and the greatest gift you can give her is your happiness. Tits up, sister. We've all been there.

  2. Sorry you aren't feeling well sweetie. Thinking about you and Mila. Miss her chubby cheeks!