I have been breastfeeding Mila. I breastfed Aiden until he was 6 months old. I cannot figure out how I did that. It is such a painful experience. With Aiden I had some serious soreness that resulted I the use of a nipple shield. But after a week of using the shield I was always able to go bare back (sorry for lack of better term). With Mila, I always get raw after one day of feeding her. I can't go any longer without severe pain. I've decided I am just sensitive. I can't even face the shower head when I'm not breastfeeding, to give you an idea of my sensitivity level.
This time around, I have even started having problems with the nipple shield. In order to properly heal, I have had to take breaks using the pump. Sunday I got a clogged milk duct on the right side. Half a day of massaging and warm compresses and it was gone. Tuesday, I got one on the left side.
Wednesday, I woke up with aches, light sensitivity and a headache. All I could think was how I did not have time to be sick. I took some Ibuprofen and got on with my day. Several hours later I felt much worse. I took my temperature and it was at 99.6F. Not too elevated, but strange for me. I never get a fever. The more I thought about it, I put two and two together. Fever, aches, CLOGGED MILK DUCT. 2 + 2 = Mastitis.
By the time I called my doctor to ask their advice the boob in question was blotchy red. At first I thought it was from trying toad save the clogged duct, but it never went away. The nurse recommended I come in to see the PA. They didn't have any openings until the afternoon but I took it. Before we got on the road (of course this happens the one day a week I keep Aiden home from daycare) I checked my temperature. 102.9 degrees. I was miserable, had a small child and newborn in tow and was off to a doctor's appointment. The visit lasted 5 minutes before she prescribed antibiotics.
I took my first dose that evening at 5 pm. I did not start feeling we until 36 hours later. WORST TWO DAYA OF MY LIFE. I went back and forth between chills and sweats. I didn't have enough energy to open the apple juice for Aiden.
I am so grateful for friends and family. Ariel came over the first night and helped with the kids. She fed Mila and then entertained Aiden while I took a shower. She even came bearing gifts. (A new dress for me!) Then while I pumped, she put Aiden to bed. Travis worked late that night so he didn't get home until Aiden was going to sleep.
The next morning, my friend Linsey came by first thing to pick up Aiden for day are. She was gracious enough to bring him home at the end of the day as well. Aiden was ecstatic to get to watch a MOVIE on the ride to and from daycare(Alice in Wonderland).
The second day I actually breastfed Mila. Alexa said she would be more efficient at removing the clog and she was right. But it was horrible. Breastfeeding is painful for me, but add the aches of a fever and an infected breast and it is pure hell.
My verdict? I'm done with breastfeeding. It hurts, plain and simple. It hurts to breastfeed, so I pump. I don't have time to pump and take care of a newborn and a small child.
I feel horribly guilty about this decision. I feel like I'm short changing her from what her brother got. But I have to do this for my sanity. I have to wait until I'm done with my antibiotics and we're sure the infection and clog are gone, but I will begin the weaning process as soon as possible.
Props to the women who breastfeed. I'm sure not everyone has to endure the pain I do, but it takes perseverance to keep it up.