This post will primarily follow up on the TMI post from last time, but first, a little ditty I thought of during some of my long disengaged-brain time:
(To the tune of “If I Had a Hammer”)
If I had a baby
I’d change him in the morning
I’d change him in the evening
All over the land
I’d change his diaper
I’d change his outfit
I’d change him for the love between a mother and her baby
All over the land
Don’t worry, I won’t quit my day job. Of course, I can’t quit it, but that’s beside the point.
Click beneath the fold for why I’m thinking of quitting at least one major aspect of my day job.
I’ve been diligently applying the topical cream – it’s miconazole, for the record – for four days, with no noticeable improvement. Unfortunately, the situation is actually worse than before: I develop a rash when I apply the cream, and that’s a bigger area and just as sensitive. I don’t know whether to continue using it or not; more on that in a second.
But, also this morning one of my nipples started bleeding (the right side, which also got both rounds of mastitis and is the side Benji hates – probably no coincidence). I didn’t even notice; pumping is so painful already, especially on that side, it hardly made difference. Ian noticed that the milk I pumped was slightly red-tinged and he asked if I was bleeding. Oh, gosh, yep. What do you know. Owwww.
Meanwhile, my doctor got back from vacation and prescribed a stronger (200 mg), longer-duration (14 days!) round of the oral medication, plus reiterated that I need to do the topical cream concurrently, as frequently add possible, for the best effect. Oh, and also use this other cream three times a day for the bleeding.
Finally, my doctor – who I’ve seen on and off since high school, and who I respect and like – reiterated that it would be best for Benji if I kept giving him breast milk until he was at least six months old. Just gotta get those nipples healthy again! Well, thanks a lot, doc; I really needed you to remind me why I spend 2.5 to 3 hours a day* hooked up to the most dehumanizing, miserable, uncomfortable-bordering-on-painful milk-extraction device imaginable.
Of course I’m doing this for Benji’s well-being! I’m not doing it for my enjoyment, that’s for sure! It’s about as far from fun as I could imagine for the moment, and I have to do it four or more times a day, every day, for months.
My question is: What about my well-being? Mastitis twice, an ongoing agonizing yeast infection, secondary rash from the topical treatment, plus looking at two weeks of flu-like side effects (including, but not limited to, dizziness potentially severe enough to keep me from driving – we’ll see on that) from the oral anti-fungal medication, bleeding nipples and separate treatment for that…
All this, and all I get is a trite reiteration that I should nurse for the first six months. No, “hmm, maybe we should think about alternatives that are healthy for both of you.” Nothing taking into consideration how depressing and miserable it is to be forced to torture myself – think hot needles into your nipples – many times daily. Just encouragement to keep it up, that milk is crucial for Benji’s health! Yeah, and what about the benefit of having a mom who’s not worn-down and suffering all day?
…But, honestly, right now I don’t have a choice. I have to treat the fungal infection, and quitting pumping wouldn’t help. In fact, it would hurt quite a bit. So regardless of my misery, drug side effects, or what-have-you, I have to keep plugging along with the gooey goo and the side-effecty anti-fungals. No choice.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pump.
* That’s a significant fraction of my extremely limited total “free” time in a day, mind you, and doesn’t account for time spent washing related paraphernalia or dealing with milk preservation and preparation.