Recently a couple of people have asked me how things are going. They have come back to the blog and haven’t seen any updates. Well, this is because there isn’t much to report and that is okay. As they say “no news is good news!”
Life has transitioned into what I thought it was going to be before Finn joined us Earth-side. Lots of sleeping and waking, dirty diapers, dishes and laundry. Balancing a toddler’s needs with newborn nursing, diapers and snuggling. We’ve adjusted to a four person and one dog home better than I ever could have imagined. All my fears about Asher regressing or feeling jealous and neglected have completely dissipated. It melts my heart how much Asher wants to help, hold, sing and read to his brother. He takes so much pride in being “big” and talks constantly about how he used to be little but not anymore. Every morning he comes into our room and asks where his brother is and each night he wants to read and hold him before kisses and bed. It’s wonderfully ordinary.
Our first official weekend of a family of four we went to the pop-up MOA Children’s Museum and Nickelodeon Universe. The hardest part was getting out of the house, per usual. We faced the typical battles with a toddler to put shoes, coat and mittens on after a furious negotiation to brush teeth and get dressed. Finn on the other hand, he is a breeze. He fusses a bit when we put him in his carseat but other than that he is pretty laid back. I’m not sure if it’s his heart, his natural demeanor or the fact that we are just old pros after Asher but this kid is easy.
Finn and I have been attending Blooma BYOB (bring your own baby) Yoga and Barre classes since he’s been home. It isn’t the most intense workout but I love that we are getting out, active and bonding together. I’ve also signed us up for a baby massage workshop. I’m determined to make the most of this maternity leave now that we can. I have a tremendous amount of energy lately. Maybe it’s the freshness of Finn coupled with the excitement of finally having him home. Perhaps it’s the placenta encapsulation or the fact that I am just not pregnant and fatigued. Whatever it is, I am happier and more energized than I have been since I found out I was pregnant back in May. It feels great and I love spending my energy on anything that has to do with these two little boys. We aren’t always on the go, go, go however. We spend a lot of time snuggling, napping and nursing. Just as we should. Finn doesn’t like to be put down and I can’t blame him. After 10+ days in the NICU and minimal mommy/daddy contact we have a lot of snuggles to make up for.
Yesterday while out running errands I started to feel rather “full” on my right side. It was getting extremely painful. We tried to nurse but it wasn’t relieving any of the pain. As I waited for the “genius” at Apple to check me out I thought to myself “why the heck do they keep it so cold in this store?” I mean, it was uncomfortably cold and I was bundled up pretty well. When I walked back to my car I could barely lift the carseat into my car. I felt sick and weak. Uh oh. I quickly headed home to pump and try to fix what I thought was just a simple problem.
The chills got worse. I was wearing several pairs of sweatpants and wool socks coupled with a heating pad and hot compress. I could not warm up. I had a fever of 101. My head has never hurt so badly. I couldn’t speak in full sentences because it took too much concentration. I was dizzy when I stood up and almost fell over attempting to make it to the bathroom. My appetite was non existent. After talking to Cheryl, one of my midwives, we determined that I was most likely suffering from mastitis. Ugh! I never experienced anything like this with Asher. I had heard of it, and that it was miserable, but didn’t worry that I would be plagued by the infection after a long and successful breastfeeding relationship the first time around.
Mastitis is rather easy to treat. A simple antibiotic taken four times a day for ten days should do it. The medication is “safe” for baby to ingest through breastmilk by all accounts. If untreated it could create an abscess that would require surgery and of course, anesthesia. Seems simple enough. However when you are a “crunchy mama” you aren’t quick to jump to antibiotics as your first choice. I understand the importance of good bacteria for both myself and for Finn and the medication that is required would kill all that good bacteria. Couple that with the fact that Finn was put on antibiotics (in hindsight, for no reason) for the first 48 hours of his life, his fragile medical condition and cold/flu season and you have a mama who is very adamant that her son gets every bit of goodness that I can offer up.
After consulting my midwife and the excellent group of crunchy mamas I regularly look to for advice, I decided to attempt to treat this potential infection naturally before turning to medication. Hot bath, nurse, hot compress and massage, nurse, essential oils, pump, rest, lechitin, more nursing and more rest and within a few hours I was virtually fever free. By morning the tenderness was gone and I was feeling great again. I was SO thrilled to be able to handle this without destroying the microbiomes that Finn needs so desperately. Now we just need to avoid running into this issue again.
I would rather it’s me suffering than Finn any day, but can we just stop with all the drama now?