Over the years there have been a lot of changes to the way parents are expected to care for their children. Seatbelt laws, carseat rules, sleep positioning, duration of breastfeeding, when solids are introduced, etc. I really cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “it’s a wonder any of us survived,” in reference to how things used to be versus how they are now.
I’m here to tell you, folks, that it actually is a wonder that any of us survived–and I don’t mean because we used to put infants on their tummies to sleep.
It’s the fact that there used to be no way to feed your kid except breastfeeding, and breastfeeding is not as easy as it should be for something as natural as it is. How did people successfully breastfeed without lactation consultants, breast pumps, BabyCenter, and mommy blogs?
I’ve actually had a fairly easy time of it, myself. The little guy knew what to do right from the beginning, and we haven’t had too many issues with feeding up to now. But that all changed earlier this week.
On Wednesday night I was sure I was on the verge of death. I thought I had the flu. My joints all ached, my head ached, I felt sick to my stomach, and extremely fatigued all of a sudden. It didn’t get better during the night. By the time the baby guy woke up for his first night feeding, I was pretty sure I had a fever, and my husband went all over the house looking for the Tylenol to give me. Yesterday it was a whole day of it, and at 4:30 p.m. my temperature was 101.2. Considering that my normal temp is somewhere around 97 degrees, that was alarming.
Anyway, it turns out I have mastitis, not the flu, which is good because I didn’t want to give the flu to my baby, husband, or my pregnant best friend who is visiting. So, after help from a friend who’s had mastitis before, and a trip to the doctor this morning, I think I have a pretty good handle on it. (If I don’t have a good handle on it, that’s okay, because I also have antibiotics.) The fever, achy joints, chills, extreme fatigue, and headache are all gone now, but the infection remains.
Of course one of the most important things you can do to get rid of mastitis is to feed your baby frequently, so all that effort to gradually extend time between feedings is out the window. I want to get rid of the infection without antibiotics if I can, so baby is back to eating at least every two hours. It’s just as well, I don’t think it was making a difference in his night wakings anyway, so I’ll just go with it.
Anyway, I know there were (and are still) millions of women breastfeeding their kids throughout earth’s history without antibiotics and probiotics and ibuprofen, but I’m not sure how they made it through mastitis.
Happy Sabbath, everyone. I’m going to bed now, and I’m praying for a better night’s sleep than last Friday night…I will make it to Sabbath School with the little man tomorrow, I will! (And I’ll take a shower, too!)