I think I might be done. Honestly. This week has been hell. First there was a trip to Urgent Care on Monday for bleeding nipples. I mean, they’ve been getting bad lately, but they suddenly got way worse.
“Ha ha, just weird bleeding. No pain, so no mastitis, thank God,” I told the doctor.
Famous last words. On Wednesday evening, I started feeling kind of weird, and my boob hurt … a lot. The bleeding/chafing was getting WAY worse, too.
Thursday? Huge red triangle on my boob, the telltale sign of mastitis. That and so much pain I couldn’t even hold Jack of Viv against my body. So much pain that rolling over in bed, literally made me feel like I was going to black out. I came into work, and called my doctor, who called in antibiotics for me. So, that has helped. I also left early yesterday to lay on the couch and rest with warm compresses on my chest.
I called lactation at the local hospital and they thought my new pump horns were the wrong size and to try bigger ones. I can see that, so I found the other set I have and thought, OK, that will make the difference. Just get THROUGH this.
I was starting to feel better — the mastitis was improving, thank god, and I felt like maybe my nipple was healing (who wants more nipple talk??). Hooking up the pump — or latching the baby on — still made my toes curl in pain, but oh well.
Then as I was pumping at work today, I looked at the milk and thought, “Weird, why is it so odd looking?”
This is why:
Holy shit. Blood was just pouring out, clouding the milk and making me want to vomit. I unhooked and immediately started tearing up. I am not ready to be done. Genevieve loves to nurse. It’s not like Jack, who started self-weaning around 10 months. She’s not even 9 months yet! She’s just a baby. I am not ready for this to be over. At the same time, I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know.
I called my husband, crying. He is so supportive, and works in an ICU and got some advice on skin breaking down. I called lactation at the hospital, and they gave great advice. The best being, “Don’t decide NOW. Get through this, THEN decide.” They are so right. It’s not like you can go back once you quit, you know? That’s the hardest part. It’s a pretty final decision. But they also said it would be OK to skip my afternoon pump today. I just cannot make myself pump again. It hurts too much, bleeds to much, and since the other side is all jacked up, there is a real risk of getting mastitis in that side. This is, I think, the fifth time I’ve had mastitis. It’s horrible, though this is the mildest case I’ve had.
So, I think I am going down to one pump a day. Nursing at home and all weekend. I still have about 100 frozen ounces. Hopefully cutting back will allow the skin to heal, since nursing doesn’t aggravate it like pumping does. Then I guess we’ll just see?
Another bit of good news is that lactation said you can give the baby the bloody milk — it looks bad, but it’s totally fine for them. That’s good, since I already threw it in a bag to freeze. I never waste milk. I’m a hoarder.
I just need to get through this weekend, right? Send me some strength, OK?