Well I *AM* quitting on the worst day

I never imagine when I published that last post that I’d be writing the next one from a hospital room. But that is exactly what is happening.

I woke up this morning feeling fine, though my left breast was in a lot of pain. I had initially thought I was about 75% ready to walk away from breastfeeding. I was no logger sobbing uncontrollably every time I thought or talked about it. Now I was able to brooch the subject with just some tears behind the eyes.

When I woke up to another very sore breast that 75% became 90%. How was I supposed to not quit on the worst day when they never got better?!

So I brought Isa to school, trying to decide what I would say to my OB at my 6 week post partum appointment and then to the LC at the lactation center group consult class. Turns out I never had a chance to talk to either. At some point during the drive over, I started getting a bad headache. Then my feet and hands got cold and went numb. I started breathing rapidly and my body was shaking and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably. By the time I parked by the Dr.’s office I could barely walk. But I managed to drag my ass, and Teo in his stroller, to the clinic where I was immediately admitted.

Turns out I had a 103.7 fever. I was sent to the ED (the logistics of which were difficult to work out since I had the baby and MV didn’t have the car). It was determined that I had such a bad infection that I was in sepsis. I was put on two high powered IV antibiotics, morphine, Atavan and some Tylenol to bring down the fever. Later I needed a catheter to pee which was traumatizing for me.

It’s still unclear just where the infection originated as there was no abscess in either breast. I’m being diagnosed as having mastitis. The best part is that after these crazy antibiotics the thrush is sure to come back with a raging ferocity. But I suppose that doesn’t matter because now, after all this, I’m ready to quit.

It stills pains me to say it and there will be some mourning to be sure. But I’m hoping that those who’ve made this difficult decision before me are right, that it will eventually feel like a huge weight is being lifted from my shoulders.

I don’t know why this choice is so hard for me to make, especially after this health fiasco of epic proportions being directly related to breastfeeding. I mean, breastfeeding is currently keeping me away from my children for over 36 hours. That is not okay. And honestly I don’t even like it that much. I don’t really enjoy it on a day to day level. So why is it so hard to walk away?

I so wanted this to be different and better than it was with Isa. I’m so very disappointed that it’s not. I just assumed I’d keep breastfeeding, even if it sucked. It’s hard to admit that I can’t do this. That I’m not strong enough, mentally, emotionally and now physically. I know I tried hard and did my best. And I know that now I have to walk away. I’m not sure how we’ll absorb the cost of formula but I’d already spent a good $300 on battling thrush and now I’ll have another $300 in medical bills to contend with. I suppose some canisters of formula are nothing compared to all that.

So here it is. I finally made the choice. It doesn’t feel great but it feels necessary and I suppose that is where I needed to be. Thank you all for your support. I really appreciate.

And now I have to sleep by myself in a weird hospital room. I’ll miss my baby terribly tonight (and my toddler too), but maybe I’ll just get a bunch of uninterrupted sleep. And that is probably just what the doctor ordered.

19 responses

  1. Good god! Bless your heart. This is not your fault & please, please, please do not feel bad about stopping breast feeding. Sometimes our bodies just don’t work how we want them to. Please do not think this makes you in any way less a mother or a woman.

    I hope you have a wonderfully restful night & feel better tomorrow. Hugs to you

  2. Oh no! I’m so so sorry to hear this. You have been a warrior on this and should feel proud of every single decision. I understand the depth of the disappointment. In some ways I think infertility screws us that way.,,we just want something to go smoothly (which you deserve to have and sucks you aren’t getting). You love those children fiercely — how you feed them us nothing compared to how you love them. Hang in there and I hope they take wonderful care of you and that you can rest. Xoxo. Pam

  3. I’m so sorry that you are going through this and had to make this difficult decision. As KeAnne said, it doesn’t make you any less of a mom or a woman. I have a friend who made the decision to give her little guy formula before leaving the hospital after many unsuccessful attempts at breastfeeding. She beat herself up for a while after that, but finally came to the realization that she made the best decision for both her and her little guy based on the situation at the time.

    Hang in there mama! Having spent a week in the hospital recently on two separate occasions and away from my little girl (who’s just shy of two years old) I know how you feel being away from your little ones. You’ll be home in no time running yourself ragged taking care of them.

  4. It seems to me that you haven’t had much choice in any of this, and you shouldn’t feel bad for accepting the end result. I’m glad that you got to the Dr’s office in one piece, and that now you’re okay and being looked after. Sending best wishes.

  5. Wow. Just wow. Glad that you are getting the care you need. I know that after going through IF that you just wanted your body to do something that it is supposed to. I am so sorry that it didn’t work out. You truly tried your best and that is something to be proud of.

  6. Don’t even waste one more moment worrying about breastfeeding. You need to worry about one thing only: getting yourself well enought to get home. That’s it! πŸ™‚

  7. I’m mostly a lurker, but please, please don’t beat yourself up about this. You’re miserable and now have sepsis. If that’s not a call to stop don’t know what is. Please take care of yourself, and then you’ll get to enjoy you calling little guy more. A nd the cost, well, it can’t be worse than all the medication. And you can not put price on your health. Please feel better. You tried so hard now ready and heal.

  8. Can I just tell you, how you’re not quitting. You’re not. So remove that word from your vocabularly. This, what is happening, is more of a forced stop. Something you have absolutely NO control over. You tried everything. You had plan (great plans!) and well, as much as people love hearing this, it didn’t work out. So, I do hope you get better and while I’m sure you hate getting the sleep/downtime you need this way, take time to heal yourself.

    And yes, formula is a racket but hey, I’ll mail you every coupon I’ve got. Hang in there Brave Momma.

  9. Every time I read your posts, I am amazed at how similar our experiences have been and how much you always seem to be writing about the same things I am going through (including my own bout of mastitis that I jut finished taking antibiotics for (p.s. stay on Diflucan throughout your treatment as a preventative measure!)
    I totally understand your feeling about giving up breast feeding. I also went through this with my first and now my second. I have found that pumping and bottle feeding worked almost perfectly for me the first time around, but this time I’m still conflicted as pumping does require a certain time commitment and access to my pump.
    The best lesson I learned from all this – u have to do what is right for u and ur family. When I switched (don’t say gave up – u are adding negative words to something that is not negative and judging itself unjustly) to pumping with my first, I cried and mourned for a day, and then came to realize it was the best decision I could have made. No more breast issues, no more crying and difficult, stressful feedings, my daughter actually was happier and I was able to get both of us on a more regular schedule (one that my breast feeding friends had more difficulty with), it was like the weight of the universe was suddenly lifted from my shoulders. You are completely right that the emotional toll of this and the physical one are far greater negatives to your time with your family than the potentially “negative” effect if switching to formula (which really isn’t an issue, I was formula fed myself). You have to do what works for you and your family, and to hell with everything/everyone else!

  10. Oh my- friend, I am so incredibly sorry. What a fiasco; I am so glad you are ok. It is going to be fine- yes, you will mourn, but it will get easier. My recommendation: generic formula. We use Target Up and Up. Same stuff as the name brand and way less expensive!

  11. OMG, this is so horrible, I hope that you are on the mend. Nothing about this is easy or fair. Hugs to you. Stopping is doing what is best for you and for your baby. It doesn’t change that it sucks. But you’ve done more than your best on this.

  12. Applauding you for making a difficult decision. Remember that a happy mama can take better care of her kiddos and as everyone else is saying, you are *not* failing; you are making the best decision for you and your family. Sending you hugs and healing vibes.

  13. Oh E, that is so scary! I’m so glad you are OK, and I am hoping for your really quick recovery. Get better, go home, and bond for your son in all the million other ways (besides BFing) that there are!!!

  14. So sorry it’s come to this. I hope you find some comfort in that every single drop of breast milk that he got (and that Isa got, too) was a great benefit. I hope you feel much better soon and are able to be home and enjoying your family! (And I agree that you aren’t quitting – that’s the last way I think the conclusion to this saga should be described. You more than persevered, so please give yourself tons of credit for that!)

  15. Oh my god I can’t believe this happened to you. This is a clear sign that this is too much. It’s time to stop. It’s time to start feeling the relief of knowing you don’t have to do this anymore. Instead, you can focus on mothering without dread, frustration or anxiety. Well, at least without those things related to breastfeeding. Please try not to feel badly about stopping. You have been more than most women can even imagine experiencing. Take care and I hope you’re feeling better soon.

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