A few minutes later, I sat down to nurse the babies. Almost instantly, a shooting pain went throughout my body. The stab of agony was so blinding that I nearly fainted. Thinking that I had perhaps too much milk, I decided to pump. Again, the pain was excruciating, and I find myself sobbing. I was miserable, and something was obviously very wrong.
I suspected I had thrush or mastitis again, but the symptoms were much more overwhelming this time. After reading several articles, I was convinced I had thrush, as the babies have been fussy the last few days. I then decided to call my friend Caitlin, who is a lactation specialist, for advice.
As soon as Caitlin answered the phone, I began sobbing. All the pain, anxiety, and frustration came to the surface. We didn't have any milk frozen to feed the babies (they went through that earlier this week during a growth spurt), and I knew there was no way I could nurse them considering the amount of pain I was in. Fortunately, Caitlin is very knowledgeable and agreed I most likely had thrush, which can be treated with a simple antibiotic. Unfortunately, though, it was New Year's Eve and a Saturday. The one medical clinic in our town was closed and the on-call doctor suggested I go to the emergency room.
I somehow managed to pump despite the discomfort and made my way to the ER with Jenny, my sister-in-law. Nathan, who had been awake since 3:30 am and was due for a nap, stayed at home with his brother and the kids. I knew Nathan needed to sleep, but I also knew there was no way I could power through the pain.
A short while later, the doctor stated he believed I had mastitis. By this point, the pain had traveled up to my armpits and my lymph nodes were swollen due to the infection. I couldn't lift my arms or put them straight down by my side. He added that I might also have thrush and to see my regular doctor on Monday. In all honesty, the breast infection hurt more than natural childbirth. Childbirth was uncomfortable; this was/is agony. I tried focusing on my breathing and Jenny tried to calm me down and distract me from the pain.
The doctor, the same physician who insisted I take a painkiller when I returned to the ER after having the babies, again suggested that I take something stronger than ibuprofen. He then added, "This should be one of the happiest times of your life. You shouldn't be this miserable."
And that is when I lost it for the second time today. I sobbed and gave permission for him to give me a shot of Loritab. I hated the thought of the babies drinking formula, but I knew I needed the medicine if I wanted to continue to pump and maintain my milk supply. The doctor stated the babies could resume breastfeeding 12 hours after taking the medicine.
In addition to giving me a splitting headache, the Lortab has made me extremely nauseated and dizzy. However, I am grateful for it because I can at least tolerate the pain now. Nathan and I are so lucky Ty and Jenny decided to stay and help us with the babies while my in-laws were in Portland. I don't know what we would have done today without them. They fed babies, played with Eliza, changed diapers, and even made dinner for us. Nathan finally went to bed around 10 pm (poor guy) and will hopefully get some much needed rest.
I hope the new year brings more nights of rest and less infections. Again, I am reminded that breastfeeding isn't always that easy for some. Regardless of the complications, I refuse to give up...for now. But in all honesty, I am not sure how many days of agony I can tolerate.
It's the end of the year and the end of my rant. The only good thing that has come from this situation was a string of ridiculous texts I sent to a couple of people. This included, but was not limited to, random quotes from Jurassic Park and The Sandlot.
Yes. Lortab Celia is awesome.