Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rachel Sucks: or, how my baby cured mastitis

We went to the pediatrician on Monday. Rachel is perfectly healthy. She has already gained almost a pound, putting her at 8 lbs, 3 oz. She's 20.5 inches long and is growing steadily. She's in the 50th percentile for both height and weight so you'd think we'd be able to find clothes that fit her but we can't. Oh well.

The doctor still wants me to wean her off the breast shield so he gave me a number for the lactation clinic. I phoned the warm line and when they called back, I said, "I have a question about nipple shields."

With this, the nurse launched into a well-rehearsed script, "A nipple shield is a small plastic barrier that..."

I let her drone on for a few minutes, listening to the pros and cons, before I interrupted her.

"Well, I was inverted so they put me on a nipple shield in the hospital. My baby is two weeks old and I want to know if I can get some help weaning her off of it."

"You could bring her in and we could try a few tricks with her."

"Are the tricks the same ones listed on the lactation website? Because I've tried those and she just hates it."

"Well, it shouldn't be a frustrating experience for you or baby. Have you tried taking the shield away and letting her suck on your bare breast?"

Have I tried taking it away? What kind of a question is that? I don't think I'll be going in to the clinic considering it costs $35. I don't want to spend $35 to hear, "Did you try taking it away?"

But perhaps I should have gone in because the very next day I woke up sick. I was all stuffed up and achy, but worst of all my breast was red and swollen and hot.

I spent the day having Rachel suck and pumping in between feedings. I put hot cloths on it. We also took a lot of naps. Finally, at 5 o'clock I phoned mommy. She came over and helped me take care of myself and Rachel. She brought me hot cloths, gave me ibuprofen, calmed down Rachel and helped her latch on, and put us both to bed. Andrew was working until midnight so it was nice to have my mom available to take care of us.

Andrew came home with a humidifier and he set that up in the bedroom. Rachel slept a lot better, which meant that I did, too.

When I woke up this morning I still felt pretty sick, but my fever was gone. Now that I've showered and fed Rachel 3 times I feel a lot better. We still have quite a bit of sucking to do before I'll be all better.

Who'd have thought breastfeeding could be so dangerous?

1:18, after a hot compress and a nap, my fever is back. Sheesh-o-rams!

1 comment:

  1. That's too bad. Nursing can be really hard. I hope that you get feeling better!