March for Babies

Friday, May 19, 2006

Can't I Just Have SOMETHING Be Normal?

This is the question I asked the two lactation consultants (NICU nurses and also LCs.  How lucky am I? Very!) this morning as they stood there staring at my bared breasts consulting each other about the possibilities.  What I thought was a pimple last weekend turned out to not be a pimple.  I then thought it was a clogged milk duct and was concerned a bit since it wasn't going away and was turning red. (Red spots on the breast are a bad thing, mastitis kind of bad.)  They questioned me daily as to whether I felt flu-like symptoms. 
"No, I feel fine but it is still there!" I would answer them. 
Last night I made Booby Soup.  T thought I was out of my mind but the nurse backed me up on it.  I filled a bowl with hot water, placed it on the counter and then leaned over it soaking the one breast until the water went cold.  I then replaced the cold water with new hot water and repeated the process, all the while massaging and kneeding and hoping that little bugger would just pop loose, spurt out a torrent of milk and we would be done with it.  No such luck. 
Which leads us to this morning where I once again baffle the medical community.  I called my OB/GYN right from the NICU. She was on the other line and would have to call me back. When she called back she ended up talking to one of the LCs which probably turned out to be best.  Nothing like hearing someone else descibing your fucked up breasts from across a crowded room.
The result?  Antibiotics 4 times per day for the next 10 days to treat what they believe is a staph infection.  On top of this I shall resume treatment for yeast since I might actually have that back too.  Oh Joy. 
I microwave sterilize my pump parts right BEFORE each pumping session so they should be nice and clean each time.  Can someone please tell me how I keep ending up with the sore boobies?  This is getting really old, really fast. 
Will it make me rethink pumping?  Will I quit in the face of adversity, pain and the challenge of now lugging around creams and premoistened cloths with which to regularly treat my fucked up nips?  HELL NO!  I have not squeezed the hell out of these sore and achy milk taps for the last three months to give up now, right when Azure is learning to eat.  Not in a million years!  I have Endo!  I am used to going about the day-to-day in pain.  *sigh* 
I just wish SOMETHING could be easy, normal, not a challenge.
Azure by the way is doing much better.  We implemented the following changes.
Nasal Cannula on to provide oxygen and a little bit of pressure during nipple feedings.  She will alternate nipple feeds with gavage (tube) feeds every other time.  She will be held at an upright angle following feeds to help with the reflux.  Her Prilosec dosage has been increased to cut down the acidity of the spit up so it will be less uncomfortable for her when she does spit up.  Let's face it, she is a baby, she will spit up.  She is getting glycerin suppositories every 12 hours to help get the poop out.  These will also be carefully timed so that she is not pushing out a poop while trying to eat because pushing out one end while taking in the other is just counter productive.  She seems much more relaxed, much better rested and SO much more comfortable now.  It sucks that we have to make such a fuss to raise the red flags and get these changes implemented but if that is what we have to do then we will do it.  She is better off for us making the fuss and the NICU staff all say she looks better now. 


Milenka said...

Damn the bad luck! I hope it c;ears up soon.

I'm glad Baby Girl is feeling better, though. It just makes me happy to 'see' her doing so well. :-)

amy said...

Oh man, I can so relate to the title of this post. I have grumbled and mumbled that so many times. My husband said something once though, and even though I still feel that way it always comes back to me. He said that normal is just another word for average, and we want more than average. We want spectacular. From what I can tell, you are just that - spectacular. So is your daughter. So is your husband.

I hope your boobs feel better sooner rather than later. I am so glad to hear the girl is doing better. Lots of love to you all.

Julia said...

I'm sure they've already addressed this, but I couldn't help but wonder if your nipple issue is either a) a blister caused by friction, or b) a clogged tubercule of whoseewhatsit (the little glands that produce oil to keep your aureolas lubed.

Just suggestions...

Pygmalion's Wife said...

Um, just a thought from a lifelong picker, but...have you tried POPPING the thing? I had something similar once while breastfeeding and squeezed it, and all manner of white pasty goo came felt so much better afterward, though. Go with what your OB and the LCs say, of course. Sorry to hear about your boobies, and I'm glad to hear you're holding strong--you're SO CLOSE to finally getting to use them as nature intended! You are a very strong woman, and we're all rooting (heh, get it? ROOTING?) for ya! Also, good for you for raising hell on Azure's behalf--I know from experience that kids get MUCH better care when their parents stay on top of the hospital staff, and sometimes it is good to have a "bad cop" in the form of "asshole man." Don't be too hard on him--you're a lot more involved and hands-on; he is practically operating blind and men cannot STAND to not have any control over a situation. That is what my husband (not that he is a shining example, but in this regard I think he was pretty normal) later told me caused a lot of his assholiness (toward me AND the staff) during our youngest's hospital stays. You probably already do this, but maybe if you make sure he has constant updates, like call, email, or text him with every little bit of information...that might give him some feeling of control over the situation.

Reese said...

So glad to hear Azure is doing better! Sorry about your boobs... Good on you for not giving up.

Vacant Uterus said...

I admire your restraint in not picking the bugger, too. I hope they figure out what it is and it goes away quickly.

Glad to hear that Azure is doing so well!! That's wonderful news. And good for you both for being such strong advocates. It's not easy but you are helping Azure an enormous amount (which I'm sure you already know!)

Mama Kelly said...

wow so much going on

sorry about the booby
glad azure is gaining and that they are figuring out to improve her comfort and rest

hope she gets to come home sooooon

Heels said...

I have had long, miserable bouts with mastitis and am here to tell you that I have experienced no worse physical pain (including numerous broken bones, etc.) than what comes with the boob flu.

I'm so sorry you're having difficulty with it. You deserve normal and easy.

I have a short list of common things that you can do to avoid breast infections/heal from it, if you'd like to hear them. Also, if you're having pain in your breast(s), those stick-on, air-activated small heating pads are great to keep in your bra. I went through many last year. I found that the non-underwire nursing tanks from Tarjay were perfect for support and helping break my [disastrously bad] underwire bra habit.

I hope the antibiotics clear things up for you. I'm very sorry for the illness and I can feel your pain.

Erica said...

I've obviously not had a child in the NICU so I have no idea what you're going through, but I really think that once you're actually nursing instead of pumping, a lot of your breast issues will clear up. At least, I sure hope so. :)

Just hang in're so close!!!!!

Uberimma said...

Have the lactation consultants suggested gentian violet for the yeast? I had horrific yeast infections in both breasts (to the point where not only the baby but I had an awful yeast rash on the tush and legs--exceptionally unpleasant and excruciatingly painful) and multiple thermonuclear blasts of prescrption drugs (don't remember what they were now) did nothing. The gentian violet, however, blew it away. You can buy it OTC at any pharmacy--you swab it on your breasts and let the baby suck, which keeps the baby from getting the yeast and giving it back to you (obviously this is not a concern for you yet). It is bright purple and hugely messy, but it worked for me both times.

See what your LC/NICU nurses think--might be worth a shot.