After my horrible night struggling with technology, I went to bed really late (after 2 am!). My right breast was kind of tender, like I hadn’t fed the baby for way too long. I didn’t think anything of it, but thought it odd because the baby has been nursing more than usual, and yesterday was the same. So when the baby woke at 3:45 am, I fed her on the right side as that was the side it was supposed to be. But it hurt so much. Not the nipple, the top of my breast. It still felt really full. But I was so tired, so I just went back to bed when she was done. Then I woke up in the morning soaking wet from both breasts! I haven’t leaked at night in MONTHS!! So weird. And I felt really achey and tired and had weird period-like cramping and both my breasts were sore. It was so weird. But I was so tired, having barely gotten 4 hours of sleep. My first thought was that something was wrong with Gemma and she wasn’t eating right. I didn’t know what it could be, but that was my first thought. I didn’t even share it with Scott, because he was so wonderful and took the kids out to breakfast so I could sleep some more.
By the time they got back, my breasts felt like fire, I had a fever of 102.2, full chills, body aches, and was still cramping. At least it wasn’t something with Gemma. So then I thought for sure it was the flu. I didn’t know why it was affecting my breasts, but that’s what I thought it was. Why would I not think mastitis? Well, I thought it for a second, but with the the intensity of my other symptoms, I quickly discounted it. That, and the fact that I have exclusively breastfed 3 babies and have NEVER had it. Why would I get it now.
Then I began to think about the repercussions of it being the flu and that everyone else might get sick and how horrible that would be, so I thought I’d look into what mastitis actually was.
With mastitis, signs and symptoms can appear suddenly and may include:
Breast tenderness or warmth to the touch
Generally feeling ill (malaise)
Swelling of the breast
Pain or a burning sensation continuously or while breast-feeding
Skin redness, often in a wedge-shaped pattern
Fever of 101 F (38.3 C) or greater
Hmm, maybe there was something to this mastitis thing. So then comes the next problem of getting to my doctor, on a Sunday. Ugh. I could go to the Urgi-center walk in clinic 30 minutes away, but then I would have been seen by a General Doctor who doesn’t know me. And, I have no idea what their breastfeeding knowledge. This is the biggest issue. With Kaiser, whenever I have seen regular docs about something while I am breastfeeding, I feel like they just discount breastfeeding. I was especially worried since she is over a year now that it would just be, “Ok, you can just stop nursing her now and this won’t be a problem.” And I’m not ready to do that at all. So it became a thing that I worked up in my brain about what a hassle it was going to be driving down there and having to defend my desire to still nurse her and then who knows what other obstacle I would encounter when all I really wanted were antibiotics.
Bottom line, I really didn’t want to go the doctor. But I knew I was really sick. I NEVER get fevers. I can’t remember the last time I had one. I felt really crappy. I just needed antibiotics. WAIT! I have some left over Keflex from my wonderful GP who prescribed me 2 courses last sinus infection because she wasn’t sure that one was going to be enough. But one was enough! So I had the other course. Oh, what are the chances that this would be an antibiotic that would be recommended for the treatment of mastitis???
What did Dr. Google think??
So I am taking it, along with ibuprofen, and lots of warm compresses. With the promise that if I don’t feel better by tomorrow night, I will call my doc Tuesday morning. Here’s hoping I don’t have to!