Mastitis: The Red Hot Mama
Mastitis and I are well acquainted; we have a long, tortuous relationship dating back to the first few days of my eldest’s life. It’s because I over-produce milk. Too much milk leads to blocked ducts; blocked ducts make a home for bacteria. I’ve had many bouts but the last was by far the worst.
Just give me a break, I just need 30 minutes of sleep, please.
D has been feeding two to three hourly, despite being 8 months old. I am shattered and frayed at the edges. He is crying, again. My phone reads 03:00am. Automatically I put my hands on my chest. I’ve leaked through my pads, bra and top, onto the bedsheets (not unusual for me) but I have a heavy pain and rock hard left boob. Fantastic – another blocked duct.
It’s not long before the shakes start; uncontrollable, head to toe juddering. My teeth chatter so loudly; why is my Mister still snoring? I feel dreadful. I prod him into fetching me blankets. He tucks me in before heading off to work leaving me to examine the beasts; hefty lefty is in a bad way, an angry red rock emanating heat. Feeding D has gone from toe-curlingly uncomfortable to full blown hysteria. Labour surely wasn’t this bad?!
Today I am going on a staycation with the boys. I am pretty sure I can go, I just need to get from horizontal to vertical without throwing up. My head is pounding; I am forced to hold it steady. I WILL power through.
Powering through is not going to plan. I need back-up. It’s too early to phone the in-laws. I need to wait until 08:00am. At 07:30 I phone them. Now just to get the kids fed and dressed. I sit hunched over, dressing gown on, shovelling porridge into D, cursing the forever-engaged doctor’s surgery. Waiting on the cavalry, I lie on the floor. G is dancing about in his birthday suit but frankly I couldn’t care less. The nurse had told me to start my rescue antibiotics and I contemplate moving to get them, maybe later.
My knight in shining armour, wearing house-shoes and berry red lipstick, brings me D whenever he is due a feed. Otherwise I don’t hear a peep from the mother-in-law or the kids. How are they so quiet?! I must ask them their secret.
It’s dark. Mister is home from work. He starts having a go about where the car is parked, telling me I am hysterical. It makes no sense. The next day I have a bit more energy, I am angry and confront him. It WAS nonsense. A feverish hallucination. Whoops.
By Thursday I was expecting to be feeling a little brighter; four days into the antibiotics, with regular pain relief and plenty of fluids. I am not feeling better. My in-laws have become full-time carers….. to us all. It’s time I gave hefty lefty the once over.
I grit my teeth, “Just do what you have to.” The doctor gives me a kneading, saying “Well I can’t feel an abscess but it’s not great.” She prescribes the big guns, Co-amoxiclav. Surely this will knock it on the head?
Saturday: It’s G’s 2nd birthday party. Perhaps Mister could go solo with the boys? But then perhaps a room full of screaming two year olds might be just what the doctor ordered? Clearly I am feeling better.
By Sunday I am no longer a red hot mama. I’m me and I’ve been AWOL for a week; the washing basket has exploded, the fridge is empty and the highchair has a life of its own.
If you have any helpful Tips for the Tits when it comes to mastitis, then please let us know and we will include in our follow up post. We believe the more mama tricks of the trade the better. You can send us a message directly via Your Voice, or via our Instagram or Facebook pages