it’s not about you anymore

—- 6/10/15 —-

motherhood has been extremely taxing since day 1. as mentioned in my previous post, i’ve had to deal with latching issues. though it was resolved for the most part, i developed mastitis in my right breast due to plugged milk ducts. i produce much more milk than penny, or the pump, can drain so it gets backed up. when this happens, the breast gets infected and swells. some symptoms are a fever of 101.5 or higher, flu-like symptoms such as chills and body aches, redness (wedge-shaped) on the breast, and burning pain that can extend from your breast to your back during and after breastfeeding. i woke up on friday morning (6/5) with chills and body aches. although you’re miserable and in great pain during this time, it’s highly recommended to continue bf as nothing can drain the breast of milk more effectively than your baby. this is clearly easier said than done – it’s difficult battling flu-like symptoms without having to constantly nurse a newborn, and i tried to tough it out the entire day. i knew it was bad when i found myself crying in the nursery while my mother-in-law sat oblivious downstairs. i was too proud to tell her at the time because i felt like i had failed as a mother. let me tell you, it’s hard maintaining a positive attitude and staying strong when problems keep arising but one look at penny and i know i would do anything to keep her happy and healthy, even with my own pain and suffering.

currently, i’m on medication and i’ve been feeling better. i make sure to massage the affected area thoroughly before and after a feeding or pumping. applying heat also helped – before a feeding, i made sure to hold a heating pad to both of my breasts. i also felt much better after a hot shower. a helpful tip i received from a fellow mom was to apply lanolin to the nipples before getting in the shower to help with sensitivity. i still have to take a shower covering my nipples with my hands because the water pressure is painful.

as i sit here writing this, the lo (little one) is snoozing away in the pack ‘n play. it’s 3:22 in the afternoon and it’s a balmy day. the weather app on my macbook says the current temperature is 80 degrees but it was probably hotter earlier.. who knows? i have yet to step outside today which was not by choice.

i was looking forward to today because my friend and i had planned a playdate for our girls. since penny is now 3.5 weeks and olivia is about 9 weeks i guess the “playdate” is really an excuse for us newly-minted moms to get together to vent, get fresh air, and attempt to remain(?) sane.

clearly, i’m still new to this game. though the car was loaded with all carefully packed baby essentials, i had underestimated the power of a newborn. yes, i was nervous about going out on my own particularly since i hadn’t driven in nearly a month and now i was toting along a very precious cargo. but yet, i kept hoping that everything would run smoothly – i would try to time her feedings and naps so we could leave the house by late morning/early afternoon.

penny has been fussy lately during the evening and nighttime hours which is normal for newborns. it’s been difficult trying to time our dinners – usually one of us (dennis, mostly) has to abandon our meal at the table to go console penny. and to console, we go through a list of troubleshooting methods: swaddling, holding her, singing, mamaroo, baby carrier, diaper change, feed, pacifier, and go for a walk to name a bunch. it’s quite exhausting and frustrating. last night, i had to forgo second helpings of dinner so i could feed penny. i resumed eating about an hour later.

there are also days that penny is fussy in the early to late morning hours. lately after an early morning feeding at around 5:30am, she’ll want to cluster feed again and doesn’t end up taking a nap. she becomes overtired and agitated making it harder for us to put her down. this is what happened this morning. i fed her nearly every hour (one was a 50-minute session!) until noon which was the last feed before the car ride so she would be all set for a few hours. although she had fallen asleep on me, she woke up crying when we tried to place her in the car seat. of course, changing her bottoms from bloomers to pants didn’t help (the car seat straps were digging into her bare legs). dennis tried soothing her by holding her and gently rocking her back and forth while she sucked on a pacifier but he had to get ready for work. if it was this difficult trying to get out of the house, i didn’t want to think about the half-hour car ride and trying to walk around blue back square, an outdoor shopping plaza in west hartford. so, i canceled the date and now i’m sitting here forlornly, wishing i could be outside.

to be honest, planning dates and going out with a baby solo is probably all too soon just like dennis suggested. it has only been three weeks and moms are recommended to get 6 weeks of recovery and low activity.

—- 6/11/15 —-

the above post is all i got to yesterday. little did i know today would be even worse than yesterday. right now it’s 6:40pm and penny has been up since 7:30am!!! she’s been suffering from acid reflux so her naps (if we’re lucky to have her go down) have been cut short because she’s spitting up. she has her 1-month check-up on monday so we are hoping to get her zantac to help with the reflux.

i’ve been alone the past few days while dennis has gone to work. my friend, genie, was sweet enough to leave her lo with her mom and come assist me for a few hours. we took a walk outside which calmed penny down but the oppressive heat was too much for my dog so we had to cut it short. before dennis came home with food, all i had to eat today was a nature valley bar and 2 hard-boiled eggs. 😦 penny kept wanting to feed and that is all i was able to do today besides change my clothes and wash up.

here is penny in calmer times:


penny relaxing in her pack ‘n play


penny at 3 weeks


penny at christina & john’s baby shower – 5/30/15


this was also the day of her newborn photo shoot.. this shot was taken at the baby shower though

i keep hearing that “things will get better” but it really makes me wonder: when? and anyway, even if “this, too, shall pass” there will be other issues to deal with such as teething, and the dreaded growth spurt in the sixth week. what’s kept me somewhat sane during this time has been my wonderful husband. after hearing what a tough day i had had today, he came home from working all day to provide dinner while he took over finding ways to soothe penny. after i collected myself and ate, i found dennis upstairs doing skin-to-skin with our dd (dear daughter). it’s important to have a support system especially during the first month and i’m fortunate that dennis is so hands-on and encouraging. my friend, genie, (a recent mommy herself) and i also text back and forth all day sharing our joys and woes – usually we are up at the same time feeding our girls even at 3am.

i want to end this post by giving a s/o to the mommies and friends for their words of encouragement and advice: genie, christine, jules, alice, jen v., mouy, jisun, and dana. thanks also to grace k. for always bringing bubble tea when visiting! 🙂

i’ve been typing for so long, penny woke up from her too-short nap. time to resume the madness… but it’s all worth it, right?

7 thoughts on “it’s not about you anymore

  1. I know the pain of mastitis. I was having chills and just didn’t feel good at all. I just made sure to pump and pump and feed and took some fever reducers and got rid of it in 24 hours. I still felt a little pain longer but the pumping like crazy helped.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well at least as a newborn they sleep and technically I could get something done. Now she fights sleep and if I’m not holding her she is crying. Makes things so hard.


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