9 weeks ago I had a baby.
My baby hates his baby car seat carrier contraption, which means he also hates his stroller since is merely a frame on wheels that holds said car seat. This picture captures a miraculous moment where he wasn’t screaming at me to get him out of what I now call “the torture chair.” But this is not about him (although I could write volumes about this kid) this is about me.
Like I said, I had a baby and that is a story of its own. If you want to know how that went, you can read about it here. Since then, some serious shit went down. I’m talking scratching your head, where where did that come from kind of situation.
Before I had a baby, I checked out this awesome book on breastfeeding from the local library. I liked it so much, I ended up buying a copy. It covers what seems to be everything you could possibly experience as a breastfeeding mama, including all those worst case scenarios, like mastitis and abscesses. I read the whole thing, cover to cover and referred to is almost daily after the baby was born.
It was a great tool. I had a pretty good idea what was going in when I experienced my first plugged milk ducts. I knew I wanted to avoid mastitis (infection at the point of the plug) so I worked really hard towards that for a week. Unfortunately, my efforts were futile and I ended up with the common symptoms of a fever and a chill. But all hope was not lost, although not fun, many women experience mastitis and recover fully and go on to continue to breastfeeding their babies. What have had to accept recently is that I apparently do not qualify as “many women.”
After two weeks and my situation did not improve, it became progressively worse. I was in a great deal of pain ( a 10 on the made up scale of pain the medical profession relies so heavily upon), had stumped my OB/Gyn, a local La Leche League Leader and a Lactation Consultant as to why the situation was not improving. Long story short, a trip to the ER and a 5 day hospital stay left me feeling better than I had since giving birth even though I had developed two extensive abscesses and chose to stop breastfeeding in order to restore some emotional stability during what the doctors said could be a long recovery.
I planned for the past few weeks to go differently. The truth is that it has been incredibly hard season and after the dust settles, I will go to many, many weeks of counseling to process all this but in the middle of all this, I allowed myself to do something out of the ordinary, I let my friends help me (not that I had lot of other choices because I was in no position to refuse help- it was a hot mess express kind of situation). My friends loved on my baby when I could not, left their families to take care of mine, climbed into bed and sat with me in my pain, camped out with me in the hospital and showed me I was precious and loved in ways I had never experienced before.
Would I do it again? Hell no but I let out a big sigh of both relief and gratitude when I think about the experience.