Friday, July 20, 2007

Top Expert

I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in myself.

Because of my years of service at Mothersville, attending playgroups and breastfeeding support groups since Miss M was just a seedling, I figured I'd have the whole second-time parenting thing down. With total control over my choices, the birth would go seamlessly. Mr. Baby would emerge after five pushes and two restrained groans, just like those calm Scandinavian ladies in the birth videos.

Well, we all know how that worked out.

But nursing? After breastfeeding for almost three years and hanging around nurslings for a year after that, what could go wrong?

So of course, almost everything did. Mr. Baby's latch was abysmal, when he bothered to latch at all. I had to manually adjust every part of his mouth to get it into proper position, but I still couldn't do anything about his flippy little tongue and its refusal to lie flat instead of creating constant friction against my skin. I blistered almost immediately, which led to me taking advantage of his short, sleepy feeding times by popping him off me as quickly as possible. Thus resulting in a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and a couple days of green diapers.

We got that fixed by accepting shorter, more frequent feedings, staying on the same side for a couple sessions instead of alternating each time. That helped him get more balanced nutrition, and also gave me more of a chance to heal. I also followed La Leche League's advice to use breastmilk as a topical treatment, and whenever possible I air-dried after a feeding. As I healed and Mr. Baby's technique improved, things started going more as I expected.

So then, of course, I woke up yesterday achey and feverish and with stabbing pains in my chest. I recognized the plugged duct symptoms right away, but unlike when I was nursing with Miss M, I didn't have a chance to stay in bed and rest all day. The Admiral had to go into work and Mr. Baby was in a foul mood, so I spent the day with him strapped on top of my sore boobs, my fever-pained back hollering the whole time.

Amazingly, that didn't seem to help much, although a perfunctory pause in front of the shower spray helped stave off anything more severe. I'm teetering on the edge of mastitis, but hoping that sheer force of will can keep me from infection. Because I know better than to think that copious amounts of knowledge will do me any good.


Stephanie said...

I'll send lots of non-mastitis brainwaves your way in the coming weeks. I don't want you to have to go down that road!

Sweet Sassy Molassy said...

Oh man! isn't that always the way? But see, knowledge doesn't prevent problems, it just helps you deal with them as they arise, and it sounds like you've done a great job of that.
I never had a plugged duct until baby #4, and it was so very much worse than I'd ever imagined. I never had fever like that in my life from any cause, ever! Luckily ibuprofin and the usual moist heat and massage protocol was enough to do the trick, so I must not have even been that bad off.

Unknown said...

Hey, nobody goes to the interweb for the boobs.