Feeling It

May 26, 2008 - 5 Responses

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I blogged on this site!  I’ve kind of turned this “pregnancy blog” into my TMI blog.  Most of you that still read it are female and so I feel like I can be more open about some things on here.  The TMI post of the day is about my breast reduction.

It all went really well.  I cried and cried the first day because I thought they were too small.  They aren’t, not at all, but I was delusional.  When you’ve had them HUGE your whole life and then they get cut down to normal size it’s just a big shock on your system.  The great news is today I realized when I was changing the dressings that I have feeling in both nipples!  One of the things that can go wrong with a reduction is that the nipples can loose their blood supply and die, essentially having to be rebuilt later.  OR you could just loose feeling in them all together.  I’m lucky.

Another odd fact is that the scar from the abscess removal is no longer on the top of my right breast… it’s on the bottom.

Weird and crazy stuff happening here people, weird and crazy.

Cosmetic?

April 25, 2008 - 3 Responses

I am sure there are women out there that would want a breast reduction for cosmetic reasons, but I doubt there are many.  I found out that the insurance company is requesting all kinds of documentation and may not approve the reduction.  I’m sorry… WHAT.

Do you know how much an H cup breast weighs?  Me either but it’s a lot and I carry two of them around all the time and it’s starting to take a toll on my neck and shoulders as well as the back problems I’ve already had.  I mean come on.

I am praying now they don’t deny it… PLEASE.

3-4 Inches

April 5, 2008 - 4 Responses

I haven’t actually measured the incision Bequi, but it’s between 3 and 4 inches.  It’s a good sized gash.  Jer joked that if it were on someone with a smaller chest it would cover the entire breast.  😦  Funny and sad at the same time.

JD is doing so well.  He’s starting to laugh and smiles more and more each day.  The smiling and laughing has been the first developmental delays we’ve had with him, but our big premie boy is catching up.  He’s also developing some heafty chub rolls on his arms and legs.  Quite the chunk-um-berry.  He’s started to drool excessivly and he’s been a bit grumpy the past couple days.  He’s acting like he could be teething, but not quite 3 months old just seems so early to me!  I guess we’ll just wait and see. 

I’m quite proud of his sleeping through the night.  He usually goes down for bed at 10pm.  He will wake up around 6am because he’s scooted to the top of the crib.  Jeremy goes in, scoots him down to the other end and JD falls back asleep till 9am.  I’m so freaking lucky.  If only I could sleep through the night again, I still tend to wake up constantly.  This morning I woke up to the sound of him cooing and jabbering with himself through the baby monitor.  It was a great sound to wake up to, and so nice to get him up before he was screaming and starving!  The kid can eat 6-8oz. during that first feeding, and then another 4-7oz each other feeding through the day.  I’ve started to premake the formula each morning and keep it in the fridge.  

It’s been fun to catch up on everyone’s blogs tonight but it’s quite late and I’m one tired mommy!  

Check Up

March 19, 2008 - 5 Responses

This is a TMI post… you’ve been warned.

I met with the surgeon yesterday so she could check on everything.  We found out that it was a good thing I chose to be put out completely.  Because the size of the abscess was so much larger than she thought, and because of the depth, she would have had to stop surgery and have them put me under in order to continue.  Crazy.

She removed the drain’s (extremely painful!) and looked at the incision.  She’s worried about how much milk is leaking from the incision area.  She tried to cauterize the area so that milk would not get into it but apparently it didn’t work very well.  I must admit that it’s pretty gross to change the pads and constantly have them be pink from the blood tinted milk that is seeping out of the wound.  She pushed on it yesterday and drained a ton before re-dressing the area.  If it doesn’t stop in the next couple of days I will have to stop pumping on that side so that the wound can heal.  I am debating if I should continue pumping on the other side or just call it quits.  JD is already being supplemented with formula and at what point do I decide to stop?  I’m not excited about having to stop while I have an open incision.  Engorgement would take on a whole new meaning, and I’m not thinking the pain would be fun either.

The surgeon also talked to me about getting a breast reduction.  She gave me the names of two plastic surgeons and once I stop pumping I’m calling them ASAP.  I’m so sick of my chest calling me pain and I am anxious to get a reduction.  I have a million questions to ask, How soon can I have it done?  How much will insurance cover?  Recovery times?  etc.

I still have to blog on my other blog so I hope you’ll forgive the short TMI post!   Oh here’s a picture…it’s going to be one big scar…  😦

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Paper Pants

March 17, 2008 - 5 Responses

I just have to post this photo for all of you.  I got to wear these lovely paper pants during my surgery.  They were surprisingly comfortable.

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For anyone who’s crazy like me, and is fascinated by this kind of stuff, here is a picture (a bad cell phone picture anyway) of my incision.  It has a stitch or two, then the drain, then a stitch, then a drain, etc.  Today was a rough day.  Not only did I see the incision site for the first time, but when I was getting ready for church I could tell I was lopsided.  I took it much harder than I thought I would.  I just started to cry.  The sad thing is I have TONS of gauze on it right now, so if it’s noticeably smaller now… ya… anyway.  I want to ask about getting a breast reduction.  The surgeon mentioned to mom that it would be beneficial for me so I’m going to talk to her about insurance and a plastic surgeon on Tuesday.

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Surgery

March 12, 2008 - Leave a Response

Good news, the clogged duct in my left breast took care of it’s self Monday morning.  I can’t even tell you how much better I felt after, I could hardly sleep Sunday because of the pain so it was a relief to have it gone.

The surgeon today said she will operate on Friday morning to take the abscess out.  From the way she was talking, Jeremy and I both had the opinion that if she’d seen me last week before they attempted to drain it she would have done the surgery earlier.  I guess next time I’ll call the surgical office and push harder myself.  I probably made it sound like I was feeling much better than I actually was when I spoke to the woman who called to make the appointment.  The doctor that drained it last week called me about the cultures they ran on the fluid he extracted.  It was a “raging Staph infection”.  The strain was resilient to the first antibiotic (duh) but the second one it’s “sensitive” to.  I’ll most likely continue to be on the antibiotics for a while after the surgery as well.  If only they didn’t give me a foul taste in my mouth every morning.  Apparently he was surprised I didn’t have more symptoms of the infection earlier on and that I never got a high temperature.  He was relieved to hear that the surgeon wanted to just go in and remove the entire mass, hopefully that way the infection will not spread.

It’s an outpatient surgery.  Because of the Cardiomyopathy they won’t put me under completely unless I really push for it.  I have been going back and forth on what I want to do.  She says even when you’re “awake” with the amount of medication they give you, the patient usually sleeps through the procedure anyway.  I just don’t know, on the other hand I handled the draining ok.  However with the draining they weren’t cutting me open as large and cutting things out of me.  She said she will take out the abscess as well as the surrounding tissue but that I won’t miss it.  I’m not sure if she said that because I have large breasts or if it’s because I truly won’t notice.  Like most women one of my breasts is smaller than the other.  My luck (ha ha) is that my right breast is the smaller of the two, and now possibly it will be getting even smaller.  I already struggle more than most can understand to purchase bra’s, and spend a small fortune when I do find one that works.  I never thought I’d care so much but I guess I have more of an attachment to my breasts than I thought I would. eh, oh well.

I contemplated stopping pumping.  I’m sure most of you wouldn’t blame me.  I’ve been advised however that it wouldn’t be smart until after the surgery starts to heal, and since they leave part of it open for a while that’s not going to be anytime soon.  Considering how painful pumping was after they just drained it, I’m not looking forward to pumping Friday evening.

You Must Be Kidding

March 9, 2008 - 3 Responses

This evening my left breast started to hurt.  It came on quickly, within an hour.  It must be a clogged duct.  I just wish I could get the right one taken care of!  JD no longer nurses so I can’t have him help me to unclog it and my hand pump doesn’t have half the suction power as the electric pump I just returned.  I’ve tried icing it and it actually makes it feel better but I’m sure doesn’t help unclog it.  I’m going to try a warm shower next.  If anyone has any pointers please pass them along to me.  The last thing I want is for this one to turn into Mastitis too, we all know how that’s worked for me on the other breast.  Speaking of the right one… I meet with the surgeon on Tuesday.  I convinced Jeremy to go with me so I don’t have to be alone.  I’m curious what will happen.

On a non boobie note: JD is sleeping SO WELL!  Trish said that last night he slept for 7.5 hours for them.  I’m hoping he gives us a repeat performance tonight.

The Draining

March 4, 2008 - 7 Responses

My doctor decided to drain the abscess today before I meet with the surgeon next week.  It would be nice if we could avoid major surgery.  This is kind of icky, I warned you.

He started out by numbing the area.  Then he made a small incision and began to attempt to drain the abscess with a needle in the incision.  At first he was getting a lot of blood mixed in with the puss.  After a bit of probing he found the mother-load of all puss pockets (gag).  After filling 5 syringes it just started to gush out of the incision.  Mom said it was one of the most disgusting things she’s ever seen.  She said it was like a huge zit that just kept popping with green puss.  The nurse was just enthralled and loved the entire thing.  The doctor and nurse agreed that they have never seen an abscess quite like it.  I guess that’s a good thing that they don’t have a lot of women with abscesses while nursing.

  It took a bit longer than we all expected.  He found another “pocket” and had to drain it also.  He says the size of the infected area is much smaller now, but he didn’t sound super confident that it was all gone.  After I was cleaned up a bit they took this accordion like piece of gauze and shoved it in the incision so that it would continue to drain.  They can’t stitch it up so it will continue to clear out, so there will be a small scar.  I honestly don’t care because no one will ever see it besides Jer and I’m positive he doesn’t care.  I have gauze pads to cover the area and I’m supposed to change them often so I don’t soak through them.  After a few days I’m supposed to pull the accordion gauze out if it doesn’t fall out before then.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do that if it starts to hurt when I pull on it.  I may just close my eyes, scream and yank.  I don’t know… I’m kind of stressing about it and I might not even have to do it!

The doctor kept asking if I was in a lot of pain.  While I was in some pain (he was pushing very hard at times) I was numbed and so it wasn’t too bad.  He was shocked and told me that “grown men with less of an abscess have cried.”  I wish I could say I’m super tough, I just think he did a good job with the medication.  By the time I was home I was feeling it so much that just pumping made me cry and I couldn’t even hold JD with my right arm.  Part of my breast where he was pushing is already turing purple so I can only imagine what it will look like tomorrow.  I’ll be honest I’m not looking forward to the morning and the pain it might bring, but if it helps me avoid major surgery then YAY!

Moral of this whole story…. if you have a lump while breastfeeding and it doesn’t go away within a few days call the Doctor.  Don’t wait three weeks, because then it could be another week or two before they figure out what to do and by then it’s messy and painful.

He Sleeps!

March 2, 2008 - 2 Responses

For those of you that haven’t read my personal blog: I do have to have the “lump” taken out of my right breast.  They found out that it is an abscess and the thought of having surgery sucks, however the pain being gone is an exciting thought.

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Tonight my sister Trish is hanging out with me.  We put JD down in his crib at 11:00pm.  I put him on his tummy since we were going to stay in the room for a while.  Last night we learned that he falls asleep a lot faster if he’s on his tummy.  When I would leave the room after pumping I would roll him over onto his back.  He slept in 3 hour chunks last night.  He’s been on his tummy all night tonight and guess what… he’s been asleep for 5.5 hours and counting!  We have stayed up watching TV and chatting and the little guy is still sleeping.  It would make sense since I’m not sleeping too right?  Har har har.  He will grunt every once in a while and I think he’s starting to wake up to eat and then he’ll just stop and sleep more.  Looks like the problem has been that he doesn’t like sleeping on his back .  I’m not sure what to do.  I think I’ll call the nurse on Monday and get some suggestions.  We’ve really tried about everything, but you never know.  It’s amazing how since Trish put him on his tummy last night he’s gone to sleep faster and now longer too.  I’m just not sure I feel comfortable leaving him on his tummy when I’m not awake and in the same room.  Ugh… what to do, what to do. 

 GOOD thing that the kiddo and Jeremy are getting a full night sleep since I haven’t slept a wink yet and I’m sure I’ll be sleeping a bit tomorrow.  Because I haven’t gone into the bedroom at all Jer is probably getting the best night sleep he’s had in almost 7 weeks.  No baby monitor, no baby, and no mommy getting up to check on the baby.  Poor Jer is such a light sleeper, and I’m a heavy sleeper.  He often has to nudge me awake after JD has been crying for a while. 

KK is asleep on my couch and I think Trish just dozed off on the floor.  Maybe I’ll catch a snooze too.  I’m sure JD will wake up about 15 minutes after I doze off but I don’t care.  I’m proud of his 5+ hours of sleep!! 

[[JD just woke up.  5 hours and 45 minutes, it’s a record people!]]

My Boob Hurts

February 28, 2008 - 3 Responses

There is no gentle way to put it. My right breast hurts so much right now I am thinking of personally cutting it off. It all started about 3 weeks ago. I thought I had a clogged duct. Well the lump I thought was the clog never went away. I would push on it and try everything people told me and it stuck around. It not only stuck around it started to get bigger and hurt. I finally made an appointment to get it looked at and I was told it was Mastitis and that I really shouldn’t have waited so long to have it looked at. I was given antibiotics but after 3 days and the pain getting worse I called the doctor and told him there had been no improvement. I could now see the effected area when I looked in the mirror because the skin is reddish/purplish. At this point he switched the antibiotic and gave me pain medication as well, then shot me in the tush with even more medication. He measured the “lump” and it had grown to 8.5 cm by 6.5 cm. I was told my bra was too tight and that could cause problems since I’m breastfeeding. It made me want to cry since we’ve been trying to get bigger bra’s, even special ordered some and they never came… anyway… ya… so I’m discouraged.

It’s been 4 days since starting the new antibiotic and guess what. NO improvement at all. The doctor is starting to wonder if it’s another kind of infection or even if it’s turned into an abscess. I’m not thrilled about this prospect since from what I’ve found online they talk about how the best thing to do is have it taken care of surgically since it often comes back if just drained with a needle. HOWEVER as each day goes by and the pain gets worse I’m feeling more and more desperate. I still have to pump on that side, and if I don’t do it every 3 hours I start to feel it big time. Overall I’m not feeling 100% anymore and that’s so frustrating since I’d been feeling so well the past couple weeks. I have a breast ultrasound on Friday, and hopefully that will shed some light on the situation. The doctor is also doing a culture on some of the milk from that breast, the results from that should be ready soon also. I feel like a medical nightmare. Some people catch colds, I catch rare diseases. I could wallpaper our room with medical bills right now.
GOOD news is JD is wonderful and such a good boy. My only complaint is that he is still only giving us 2-3 hour chunks of sleep at night. Since I’m exclusively pumping now it can make for some long nights. I want to start trying to stretch him out longer but Jer is a light sleeper so it will require me getting his big crib cleaned out (it’s full of clothes and blankets) in his room so that I can have him out of our room. Quite frankly I don’t have the energy the past couple days to get it done. Maybe tomorrow? My mom once had a doctor tell her that once a baby is 2 months old or 10 pounds and healthy they have the ability to sleep through the night. I’m just asking for maybe a good consistent 4-5 hours but hey, I’d take all night too. 🙂 Good news is that his room is finally coming together thanks to Steph’s sister offering us a love seat. Our full couch in that tiny room was a nightmare and it is so nice to have more space and a better layout, not to mention that the new couch is WAY more comfier than the old one.