A Dry Argument

Image credit: krisckam / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: krisckam / 123RF Stock Photo

I spent the morning at the Emergency Department of my local hospital.  After four days of flu-like symptoms combined with swollen, sore and lumpy breasts I decided enough was enough and I sought medical help for what I suspected was mastitis.

I had been treating myself for breast engorgement with cabbage leaves which did reduce swelling but could not drain my blocked milk ducts deep in my breast tissue.  I tried the usual things I knew about like using a breast-pump, massaging breasts in a hot shower and trying to put pressure on the lumps to drain.  The breast-pump seemed to stimulate more milk production.  Massaging my breasts in the shower roused weird emotional feelings for me and I began to weep ridiculously and then sob.  The massaging hurt and I didn’t like looking down at my body as I tried to drain my milk one formerly precious drop at a time.

The last time Master 1 breastfed was more than two weeks ago; he self-weaned.  He did not want my milk anymore but my body still produced it for him.  I was torn between wanting all the demands on my body to end and feeling guilt that I wasn’t prepared to let it happen naturally.  I was not prepared to keep putting up with lumps and pain for however long it took.  I have done my time suffering to feed my babies.  I have breastfed them all for between 10 and 12 months each.  I feel I have done all I can to get them successfully to toddler-hood and I was prepared to ask a doctor for medication to stop lactation and effectively ‘dry-up’ my milk.

So, feeling like crap, I found myself in the medical system; a place I do not like but telling my story to a very sympathetic ED nurse who was keen to help me.  It turned out that I did not have mastitis, but could end up with it if the blocked ducts became infected.  She sought the advice of the midwives in the maternity ward who advised that medication was a last resort (since it is reserved for serious cases whereby women who have stillbirths have their milk stopped to avoid more anguish) and they recommended I try all the things I had already been doing, along with the obligatory 4-hourly panadol!  This was not going to work for me, I wanted my milk gone so I could move on with enjoying my boys and watching them grow, Master 1 is thriving and doesn’t need my milk anymore.  And, in short I have done my time suffering to breastfeed.

Thankfully I was able to speak with the doctor who delivered Master 2 and 1 and she was able to explain the medicine and how it works and that it should take only a day or so to improve.

Even when leaving the hospital I was still not sure if I would actually take the tablet. As I drove to my beautiful friend’s house to pick up my boys my head was hurting and I was struggling to understand my feelings.  As instructed by the doctor, I cut the tablet in half and quickly swallowed it before I could think anymore about it.

I’m waiting for the results.

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7 thoughts on “A Dry Argument

  1. hope you feel better, I went through the same thing, but I didn’t even breast-feed my son, I heard it would hurt beyond belief and I’m sort of a wuss for pain, so we bottle fed instead, but I had to deal with the after effects for far too long. I didn’t know there was a pill to do that, unfortunately my doctor never told me.

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    1. Yes both are improving, but why does it have to be so hard! Yes there is a medication called Cabergelline which has the effect of stopping lactation but I was on a much lower dose than what is usually given to women (it’s mainly used for stillbirths and other more serious issues to reduce suffering for the mum) but it didn’t really help me too much. It’s just improved over the past few days by itself. Nothing like lumpy boobs as a distraction from the everyday mundane hey! Hope your little man gives you a good day today 🙂 My three have been little champs, wonders will never cease 😉

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      1. Wow, I never knew there was, wish they had told me lol. Glad to hear you’re not suffering as much, that can be the worst feeling, at least after birth of course. lol yes I can agree that lumpy boobs can most definitely distract you by far, it was so bad I wanted to cry…and did a lot. My son has been great, took him into boston yesterday to enjoy the city and he had a blast. Your sons sound like quite the little gems, very good boys. The wonders of parenting are amazing, I thank god everyday I got the chance to be a parent, even when they do things you least expect and it can be stressful. Have a great weekend magenta, hope you guys enjoy it 🙂

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  2. I’m very lucky! Both my kids weaned themselves and as, I am assuming, this weaning was a relatively slow process, my body adjusted to the demands of milk production and did really suffer because of it.

    I had a touch of it with Taylah, and this was because my body in the beginning produced more milk than she was taking. Lots of hot showers and massaging helped me a lot, thankfully this problem it didn’t last lfor very ong. For once, in the realms of pregnancy and child rearing, I was a lucky one!

    Good luck Halyz, hope it all comes good soon.

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