what the doctor said

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Today I was finally able to get an appointment with the doctor!

She said I have mastitis really bad. It’s weird – usually mastitis gives you bad fevers, but I haven’t really gotten them. I haven’t had a fever every day, and when I do I’m sure it doesn’t go above 99. However, I took my temperature the other day and it was 96.1 so maybe 99 is a high fever for me…

I got a prescription for an antibiotic. I’m supposed to take it for 2 weeks, and it’s supposed to clear up the infection, and the clog. I hope it works! Last time I had mastitis (when Savannah was two weeks old) the antibiotic did the trick. Here’s to hoping…!

My doctor called in the prescription and I went to the pharmacy to pick it up. However, they didn’t have it in stock so I have go back tomorrow. :-( I was sad about that.

In the meantime, I read that Vitamin C and raw garlic really help mastitis. I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I had Paul run to the store and get some garlic and Vit C tablets. (Unfortunately, orange juice seems to be one thing that doesn’t agree with Savannah so I have been avoiding it, which is why I opted for the tablets.) I took some tonight – swallowing the garlic like pills, blech! I also took some ibuprofen for the pain. Right now I feel much better and able to tackle things. I hope that by Friday I’m feeling a ton better!!

This weekend will be 3 weeks since I got the clogged duct. It’s been too long… I’m worried about any permanent damage that might be left. :-(

same old same old

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Well, my 6 year blogging anniversary came and went on Saturday without me acknowledging it.

It’s been 2 1/2 weeks now and I’m still in a bit of pain. I can’t stand to be touched. I can’t wear a seatbelt. I have no energy. Savannah once again refuses to nurse on the side with the clogged duct. I have trouble sleeping because I can’t get comfortable.

I can’t seem to get any healthcare professionals to pay attention to me. They keep telling me to “try warm compresses – that usually works”. I guess it’s really uncommon for clogged ducts to last more than 48 hours. I don’t know what can be done at this point, but I do know that I can’t continue on in this pain.

Emotionally I’m about ready to break down. (This probably means that time of the month is near…) I am starting to think of what I can do to get an appointment to see someone. I can’t let myself dwell on those things; they’re too bad. But I feel so desperate…

Sorry I haven’t been writing much. My life revolves around trying to make it through the day until Paul gets home and can take Savannah.

Oh and I went back to work. Just helping out at my old job for a few weeks – mostly working from home, but yesterday (Monday) I left Savannah with Paul and went into the office all day. It will be nice to have some extra money.

dear savannah: eight months

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In her Easter dress!

Dear Savannah,

Today you are 8 months old. I am having a lot of trouble admitting that you’re already that old! You’re just growing so fast, and in no time at all you are going to be a little girl running around.

This month had a lot of firsts for you. You got your first passport stamps! We flew down to the Dominican Republic for 11 days and visited some friends, including a little boy who is two days younger than you. You did great on the trip, which is good because you come from a family who loves to travel. You also had your first trip to the beach, which happened to be on a tropical island in the Caribbean, so I’m not sure how we’re going to top that in the future. However, you didn’t really enjoy the ocean – I think the waves scared you. You did like sitting in the sand and trying to eat it, though! You had your first hike, being carried by your Mommy in the Ergo carrier. You also played in a river and a swimming pool, and you had a great time in both – you didn’t seem to notice the cold water at all! This month marked your first Easter. You wore a pink dress and looked SO pretty!

At the beach

While we were down in the Dominican Republic, your skin just tanned in the sun despite all the sunscreen I put on you! I guess you have your daddy’s skin after all, even though it has been the same color as mine until now. I am jealous! I got a bad sunburn, but your cheeks just got a little pink. You also got to ride around almost the whole time in our laps. There wasn’t enough room in the car for your carseat, nor were there seatbelts. I think you enjoyed being held – I know I enjoyed holding you! You took all the changes of being overseas quite well, and you also did well with your whole schedule being off (including naptime).

It was really fun to see you with Timmy. You picked up some things from him, like repeating syllables over and over when you “talk”. Now you have long strings of “ba-ba-ba-ba-ba” and “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma” – it’s really cute. You got really excited every time you saw Timmy – I guess you recognized that he was a baby just like you!

Timmy also helped you see that tummy time isn’t the worst thing in the world, and we’ve been able to get you to stay on your tummy for a little while! You still don’t love it, but at least you’re starting to work on your upper arm strength. You also rolled over! I knew you could do it. You have started moving a lot more, but you’re still not covering great distances. You will stand with straightened legs when I hold you up on my lap. You look so big when you do that! Your sitting up has greatly improved – you almost never flop over now, and you can pull yourself up from a 45 degree angle. You are also learning to wave! You’re not quite there yet, but we’re working on it!

Moms and babies

Your hair is starting to get really thick, and I’m having to keep a clippy in it all the time to keep it off your face. Your bangs are starting to hang over your eyes! I may have to cut them soon; I haven’t decided if I want to just let them grow or cut them.

I took you to the doctor at the beginning of the month and you weighed 16lbs 4oz and were slightly over 26 inches tall (I think). This puts you in the 50th percentile for other kids your age, which is good in my book.

We’ve hit the separation anxiety stage. Most of the time, you will refuse to let anyone hold you but me. The past week or so you’ve gotten a bit better and will let Daddy hold you, which is good because as much as I love you it’s nice to have a break. :-)

You are starting to eat some solid foods like Goldfish crackers and Cheerios now! It took a little while for you to figure out how to eat them, though. You didn’t seem to understand that you had to let go of the food once it was in your mouth. However, now you are doing really well at eating them. It’s funny – every time you take the first bite of something I am feeding you, you make a face. I wonder what you are thinking! You seem to prefer salty things to sweet things. I have been giving you green beans a lot, which you like, and pears. You love crackers and watch me hungrily every time I eat one. You also really enjoyed the avocado I gave you. I had to put you straight into the bathtub after that meal!

I look forward to the next few months because it is going to be summer soon! I love summer, and look forward to sharing it and all the things that come with summer with you.

Love, Mommy

My two favorite people

still here

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I’ve had SUCH a rough week. Week and a half? I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve felt like myself.

The thrush seems to be getting better – the ointment my midwife gave me seems to have worked. The clogged ducts are still there and painful. Savannah has decided to stop nursing on that side, which is bad because I need her to nurse and clear the clogs. My attempts at clearing them myself with massaging, warm compresses, and pumping are fruitless. So every day it’s the same struggle – me trying to get her to nurse, she putting up a fuss. Sometimes I can get her to do it, sometimes I don’t and we just nurse from the other side.

Every day I’ve been feeling yucky. Headaches, feeling feverish (though not very bad), and generally lack of energy.

My house looks terrible. Laundry desperately needs to be done. All our dishes are dirty and we seem to just wash only the ones we need before each meal. Trash is piling up because I haven’t the energy to get the new kitchen trash can I bought, put a bag in, and start filling it. It’s ridiculous.

I really need to sweep, but I used our only broom to sweep outside and now it’s covered in yellow pollen. Bad Ashley! We keep going through brooms because we use the broom handles to attach to the rollers and paint the ceiling. You’d think we’d learn not to do that! Every time we’ve done it (3 times now!!), it has snapped the broom handle and we’ve had to go buy a new broom.

Savannah’s also been really fussy the past few days. She hasn’t napped well since we got back from the Dominican Republic – I used to get at least one 2 or 3 hour nap from her a day, and usually a second nap as well, but now it seems like 90 minutes is as much as I can hope for. She gets overtired and refuses to go down for a nap. She screams and won’t nurse, won’t let me hold her, doesn’t want her paci, doesn’t want to lay down, doesn’t want to sit up… She just screams and screams. And combine that with a Mommy who doesn’t feel well… I’m just almost at my wit’s end. Paul coming home at the end of the day is my only saving grace.

Well sitting at the computer is not making my headache go away. And it seems that she has woken up – only an hour, oh well.

not feeling the greatest

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The past few days I haven’t been feeling well. Tuesday was the worst – I had a fever and of course that day Paul unexpectedly had to work late and got home at 8pm. I laid in bed with Savannah, but didn’t feel like I really got a chance to rest because of course she wasn’t tired. :-) My fever broke Tuesday night, and I have felt a bit better each day.

A few weeks ago, before we went to the Dominican Republic, it all of the sudden was really painful to nurse Savannah. I was hoping the pain would go away, but it didn’t, so when I came back I decided to get help. I was also having trouble with bleeding and pain even after she stopped nursing. I wasn’t sure where to turn though.

Because it was so painful to nurse, I would skip nursing on that side and only nurse on the other. However, that was painful in of itself. I was very engorged (just on one side) on Tuesday, and it hurt all the time – even the pressure from the seatbelt hurt! I decided to try putting cabbage leaves on my bare skin, which I did for a few hours. Wow, that helped a TON! Tuesday night that side was feel much better and not as engorged – I still had the fever though.

I kept going to sites like kellymom to try and figure out what the problem was. I wasn’t sure if I should call La Leche League, or my midwife, or my primary care physician. I first called LLL, who said it probably was a bad latch and advised me to use lanolin for the cracks and bleeding. I did that, but wasn’t convinced and went back to the online descriptions.

As I read about thrush, a lot of the symptoms were the same, but not all. The only thing I noticed about Savannah (usually the baby has symptoms too) was that she had a diaper rash – no white spots or anything. I called my midwife to see if she could help. She prescribed an all-purpose ointment that would help heal, which I will pick up from the pharmacy tomorrow.

This morning, Savannah’s rash looked better, and I began to wonder if it was thrush after all – maybe it was a bad latch like LLL said? I was getting frustrated because I just wanted to talk face-to-face with someone – I felt like all these phone consults were not really helping, because no one could really see the pain I was in and I didn’t feel confident that they could really know what the problem was. I decided to try and find a lactation consultant, and found that a hospital near me had LCs as part of their maternity department. They were able to fit me in today, and I was so relieved.

The LC was SO helpful! She confirmed that Savannah has a shallow latch, which probably caused some of the cracking and bleeding. This allowed the yeast infection to get in – so the thrush. Me not letting Savannah finish nursing on that side kept her from emptying that side when she ate, which was leading to the engorgement and also a clogged duct. So basically, it was a whole bunch of things!

I felt so much better after talking to her! She said the ointment that I am picking up from the pharmacy tomorrow will help, and she showed me some pointers for how to help Savannah latch better. She also said I should pump that side empty after Savannah finishes eating so that my milk production doesn’t go away, and that would also help with the clogged duct. And lastly, warm compresses will also help with the clogged duct. I left feeling so relieved that I was able to have someone sit and listen to me.

So here’s hoping I start feeling better! I have been thinking that my only option at this point would be to wean Savannah, because I’m not sure how much longer I could go on with the pain. It will be nice to nurse pain free for a change!