No, I'm not kidding. I got mastitis yet again. Tuesday I woke up feeling really achy and feverish (temperature got up to 100). It became clear to me by the afternoon my right hoo-hoo was infected...again. Either I felt like I was trying to ignore what was going on with my body or I'm so used to getting mastitis that I didn't treat it like a big deal. When Darren got home I had him watch Isaiah so I could take a hot bath and try and work it out myself. He really wanted me to see a doctor so first thing on Wednesday I made an appointment for that afternoon.
Now by that time I was feeling much better: no fever, no aches, just a little tender and the giant red spot had simmered down to a soft pink and it felt more like a sore muscle than anything else. I still decided to go to the doctor because, HELLO! This is the fifth time I've gotten this. I deserve a metal or something.
My new family doctor is Dr. Lee and I really like her. She's much younger than a lot of other doctors so some may fault her for lack of experience but the way I see it, I want my doctor to be young and fresh and talk to me like a friend they're genuinely concerned about (instead of lecturing their child by using scare tactics, etc.). We had a great talk about what was going on. She couldn't believe what I've been through and she doesn't think the nipple shield is entirely responsible if at all but also admits she isn't an expert on breastfeeding. She said she knows plenty of women that use it and don't get mastitis. Luckily I didn't start crying while talking to her because I very well could have. Breastfeeding and I have a love/hate relationship and I can get very emotional about it.
When I was telling her the long tale of mastitis this past year, I said I guess it's my fault for not getting him to latch without the shield sooner because now he laughs when I try to. She stopped me right there and said, "Absolutely not! You are doing a great job. You have a healthy, adorable 8 month old boy. Do not blame yourself." THANK YOU!!! I think anyone that sticks out breastfeeding their child deserves some appreciation, especially if they've dealt with any major complication oh like, getting mastitis five times. It is WORK! It is worth it but it's not easy.
At the end of the appointment, we decided to not do antibiotics again. I didn't feel they were necessary and Dr. Lee doesn't think they always are for mastitis. She thinks it's more important to massage and flush it out naturally. She is going to meet with the breastfeeding nurse and lactation specialist to see what my options are. She was pretty baffled by my case.
It may just be a situation where I take one for the team and battle the infections for a few more months. We shall see...
On a side note, Isaiah is such a ladies man. He bashfully smiled at every nurse and lady in the waiting room. He also does this thing where he blinks dramatically (almost like a wink but with both eyes) and he did that to everyone too. I love him! He makes everything worth it!
UPDATE: I received a call from a nurse from my office. They consulted with lactation specialist in Seattle. She said I have options: 1) pump after nursing one or two times each day to make sure I'm getting drained (yes, nipple shields may not empty me out), or 2) Consult with lactation specialist to get Isaiah to latch without the shield, which could take 4 weeks.