Child care had had a stomach thing the previous week, and a respiratory thing this week. R. had the respiratory thing last week. I don't know if it was one or both of those, or only mastitis, but I woke up horribly nauseated and started throwing up the muesli and oj (that might have just been the ibuprofen, which rarely agrees with me). I had a fever (which with the ibuprofen and the small amount of tylenol in the quarter tab was a bit surprising) and the left boob was on fire. I demanded that R. stay home and take care of Teddy and me. I stayed in bed all day trying to get Teddy to drain the boob. He fussed like mad. The fever went up to 101. I took a bath later on and expressed a bunch. R. called the consulting nurses at group health and I argued with them about whether I had to come in. At this point, I was not convinced it was mastitis; it was acting like a bad plugged duct plus a stomach thing. Also, I felt too sick to leave the apartment.
If I had it to do over again, I would have called a local La Leche League person or the midwives for a home visit at this point. I even thought about it. But instead, R. helped me get out the Newman and Mohrbacher books and I considered my options somewhat frantically.
I got some sleep that night (chills and sweats were over, even tho I popped back up to 101 overnight) after cancelling T-day at our house and rescheduling at some undetermined time the following weekend (cousins, very understanding). The next day I got out of bed and sat in the chair, and the fever was basically gone and I could eat a lot more (than 2 pieces of toast and one scrambled egg, which was the previous day's nourishment). The chair was a mistake because I napped less, so I was dead by the evening. Expressing this day I finally noticed I was getting pus out (oops, guess it was mastitis after all), but because the fever was staying down without any further tylenol, we decided we did not need to go to urgent care (which is open on T-day) and stalled one more day.
Friday I was back in bed, because I'd figured out I would nap in bed, but not in the chair. I had Teddy with me a lot more, which was good, because by this time we were getting along so poorly he would not sustain gaze with me. However, after some naked mama and baby time (including two spots on the sheets, one olive oil from the baby massage and one baby pee when I missed a signal), he decided I was okay after all. Whew.
Saturday we probably could have done T-day, but we decided to recuperate further. Still getting a little pus out of left boob, but the inflammation had gone down a lot. Completely down to my normal temp (97ish, which shows you how high 101 is for me). If I had gone in at this point, they would have said, what mastitis? If I had gone in earlier, they would have given me antibiotics which I would have had to take for a week, and would likely have made me somewhat sick to my stomach (if they'd given me the cephlex or cipro) or extremely sick to my stomach if they'd cheaped it up with amoxycillin or similar. Netted out, this actually was a quicker cure, if you count all the days I'd have been sick from the antibiotics.
Sunday was revised T-day. R. had cooked a pumpkin pie (from pumpkin) on one of the earlier days. I helped a bit with the stuffing, the turkey neck broth and the mushroom soup. Child care helped peel the sweet potatoes and I made that dish. Other than that, R. did everything, and everything was very tasty, and it was grand to see the cousins, who proceeded to massively overstimulate Teddy.
This week, I won't have child care on Wednesday, but I do have it today, but he crashed early and took a nap and showed up at 5:45 instead of 2:15, so we're in the odd position of three adults to one baby in the house. This is entirely fine.
Take away lessons from this bad boob incident:
First, if the baby is squirming and unlatching/relatching a lot and irritating the nipple, don't switch breasts. Solve the underlying problem. Turns out Teddy is getting really adamant about wanting to be taken to the potty and will not eat quietly when he needs to go.
Second, once a boob starts to be inflamed or painful or weird, cancel everything (including martial arts class), go to bed and stay there with the baby until it is fixed.
Third, when child care cancels, cut back on activities that were virtually impossible pre-child care. They're still impossible. Don't push it.
Fourth (and this is the sad one), as long as anything is weird with breastfeeding, put the books down, don't work on su doku, turn off the TV and bond with the baby. Do slow exhales. Think in-the-moment thoughts. Multi-tasking is fine when everything is fine, but if there's a problem, it'll drive you right off the cliff. *sigh*