I’m determined to give this a jolly good go. And with a baby who likes it, can do it on his own and is no trouble it should be easy. And in hospital it was easy. Yes by the second day my nipples were cracked and sore, and it seemed an odd thing to still latch a baby onto what looked scabby to me, but he took it and thrived on the milk I’m producing for him.
On the Easter Sunday (day two of being at home) I began to feel a burn in my right breast. I immediatly suspected mastitis. My mum suffered greatly when feeding me.
On Easter Monday I felt even more pain (I think the paracetamol and pain killers I’m on were masking the symptoms a little) and I rang the delivery suite (after care is in place for 28 days) and they put me onto the community midwives who said they’d send someone out to see me.
It was Tracy, my surgery midwife who came along and had a look and advised that I get an emergency appointment at the Dr’s based at the hosptial to try and sort it quickly. I did so, and went along that afternoon. They confirmed mastitis in both breasts and I was put straight onto antibiotics to try and combat it, and given advice on massage, hot water, expressing and all this malarky as well to help the infection out. I also had to keep on getting Joel to use it. They also made an appointment with a breast feeding worker for the next day.
Along came Christina who had a look and immediatly said she thought he was tongue tied. I was pleased someone else actually saw what I saw when I looked in his mouth. The theory at the moment is he’s not seriously tongue tied as he can latch on, can drink his fill, but he’s not able to stimulate all the parts of the breasts, thus the mastitis, and the reason he’s taking twice as long to feed.
It seems strange now to think that a couple of weeks ago I’d have been shy of geting my breasts out for strangers to look at but it seems so normal now!! I’m showing anyone who wants to see!! What was weird was when Christina asked if she could prod me and squeezed me to check my nipple! Yep, another person has technically milked me!!
But to have an answer to my worries and so soon was a big relief, and worth getting the boobs out for; so we’ve now been referred to a consultant to have his tongue tie looked at and probably cut. It’s a grim procedure, we have to hold him and then he has to latch on straight away once it’s been done. We’ve got an appointment o 11th May.
So now I’m massaging, expressing, feeding (still rather constantly and getting very very tired from it) but my tummy has gone down loads which is good. And I love breast feeding, I really do. I can grit my teeth for that initial ‘ggrrnnf’ when he latches on, even on my infected breast and I love the bonding and warm spread of joy I get in my middle when I look down at him and he looks up at me.
He has so many little expressions that are just for me as he knows I’m him mummy and he calms at my voice and knows he’s going to be fed when I place him on my knee to prepare myself. He doesn’t even cry for a feed, he makes a little ‘uh uh uh’ noise which is the cutest thing ever!!
The downside is that that the antibiotics have upset his tummy so his nappies are nasty, orange and smell bad and he’s going more than he should which means he’s not full enough for long enough.
Yesterday was a particularly tiring day. I couldn’t get him to nap as we went to my parents to watch the wedding with my sisters and whether he was feeling off, or he knew he was in a different place and was unsure, he didn’t really settle down so I didn’t get a nap and I was feeding all day pretty much. So we resorted to an emergency formula top up. I felt awful as I handed Steve the bottle. He liked it and Joel took it albeit rather reluctantly but he slept well after it being fuller for longer. Steve has been wanting to help with feeding so I must get on with expressing some milk for him to use although I must admit I am being selfish and trying to keep that for myself 😦
But I’ve slept better having left Steve to it for a night and feel more myself today and on that note, as he’s still asleep (Joel, and Steve!) I’m going to take the opportunity to jump in the shower and make myself feel human again!