Week 22 highs and lows

Week 22 highlights:

  • This week started off with baby being officially five months!
  • This week also started off with continuing to battle through the mastitis.  It has not been a fun journey.  Thank goodness for online medical consultation because I didn’t have to go to the doctor in person to get a prescription for antibiotics for it. (The website is called Cover Health and allows Ontarians with or without OHIP to be consulted on the phone with a doctor.) On the first day, I woke up with my right breast so inflamed and engorged and like it wasn’t empty at all.  I felt so feverish with body chills and aches and just felt miserable.  I’d never felt so sick before.  I was feeling so warm that even before I took my temperature, I knew it was a fever.  Indeed, I had a fever of 101.7.  I took Tylenol to stave off the fever.
  • The next morning when my husband was able to pick up the prescription for me, my breast wasn’t as inflamed but it was still engorged.  It was such terrible timing that I had chosen to try the 30 mm flange at this time because it did not empty me at all.  Also it was terrible timing that I consulted one of the moderators in the pumping group about sizing and she informed me that I needed to go down a size smaller to 24 and even 21.  I was so shocked.  I jumped the gun and went straight to 21 and was miserable for two days because it barely emptied me.  I needed to be empty especially because I was battling through mastitis.  Day by day, I felt the breast feel less engorged and it was only on the third day that I was able to locate the actual lump.  I thought I didn’t have any at the time I had the consultation with the doctor.  Turns out the lump was right underneath my right breast.  It totally made sense because I was laying on my stomach during the massage for 30 minutes and this was definitely the culprit for blocking my ducts.  Sigh.  So much for trying to destress that I ended up getting mastitis because of it.
  • So once I knew where the lump was, I tried to remove it by scalding it with a hot towel, lots of massage, the massage gun, hot shower, and the Haakaa epsom salt hack.  None of it really worked.  I felt at a loss at what to do.  A few months ago, I was bragging about how I was able to clear clogs easily because I knew that that the hot towel and massaging worked instantaneously.  Well, not anymore.
  • It was on the third day that I didn’t have to take Tylenol anymore and there was no fever.  (It went from 101.7 to 98.8 to 97.)  I remember literally feeling “alive” again once the antibiotics started kicking the infection out.
  • When asking the moderator again about the flange size and how the 21 didn’t empty me but going back to 27 did, she told me that I had been using the 27 for so long that my nipples were enlarged to meet the size and that it will take time for it to go down.  I tried 24 a few times but it still didn’t empty me and at this moment in time, I needed to be empty because I was risking another fresh bout of mastitis if I didn’t.  I am continuing with the 27 mm for now and I seem to be doing okay.
  • Also during this whole thing is now learning to use coconut oil on my nips/flange every time for lubrication.  I didn’t really need it before but this seems to help.  The coconut oil smells so nice too.
  • Despite my fingers starting to “trigger”, because of the mastitis and needing to be emptied, I haven’t paid much attention to it and just massaged away even though it’s hard on my fingers.  Infection is worse than the fingers right now and that needs to be dealt with asap.
  • All right, time for baby milestones.  This week on Feb 18, she slept almost all the way through the night with just two wake-ups for feeding.  Two!  That is an incredible improvement from the five or six times sometimes.  The next night, Feb 19, she woke up three times.  Still not bad.  She seems to be sleeping more soundly at night and can go for three or four hour stretches more consistently now.  *fingers crossed*. I don’t want to jinx it.
  • She hasn’t been emptying well the past week.  She normally goes number two twice a day but she has barely been going once this week.  Could it be because my milk has remnants of the antibiotics?  The doctor said the medicine is safe for the baby though.
  • Oh, my supply has dipped so poorly that we have started the frozen stash.  I mentioned this last week but thank goodness she takes to the thawed frozen milk!!. Surprisingly she seems to take the frozen milk better than the refrigerated ones. Whenever she had refrigerated milk, she tended to throw up more.
  • She isn’t rolling or touching her toes or sitting up too much yet.  It actually makes me worried that she might be delayed or slow in reaching these milestones.  Another baby who is about her age is already rolling back to front easily and touching his toes.  I know I shouldn’t compare but it’s hard not to because babies’ developments are important.
  • She is screeching and babbles sometimes.  She has started to babble more, but I would still like to hear more of it.
  • Feb 22: Just as the first clog from my right side finally cleared up, another one came up on my left side and this time on the top of the breast. Usually these clogs are easy to get rid of because they’re in an easy-to-reach spot but this one too is stubborn. Ugh. I tried a hot epsom salt bath but that didn’t work either — my first full tub bath in a very long time. My husband helped me with the clog too but no luck. 😦
  • Just as the baby was constipated for 3 days or so (only 1 small poopy diaper on each of the past 3 days), she had a big succession of 3 big poopy diapers today. Once it cleared up, she was so much more animated and happy again. She was lethargic and sullen the past few days. What a difference the exit of poop made!
  • She said “ah ba” a few times already.
  • Feb 23: Played “up down” with her and she laughed and giggled so much. This baby likes quick movement it seems. She’s more used to putting weight on the balls of her feet now and her feet lie flat on the surface. She was landing on her toes previously.
  • Still struggling to get my supply back up. Hopefully my left side clog clears soon and my supply regulates back to 850ml+ a day.
  • She is babbling a little bit more. She has to be in the right mood to babble to herself as in all needs met (full tummy, well slept, empty bowels).
  • This week, whenever we feed her, she opens her mouth in anticipation of the bottle like a baby bird. It’s so cute.
  • Finished the last of my antibiotics for the mastitis this morning and I felt my supply went back up in the afternoon already. Thank goodness.
  • We’ve been using a bag of frozen milk daily since the 18th to help supplement her feeds since my supply dipped from the mastitis.
  • When my supply dipped last week, I was barely making 150 ml each session only. That was about half of what I usually made.
  • She slept so so well after playing so hard.
  • This week she started to self soothe herself to sleep! She woke up during the night but fell back asleep by herself.
  • I’m officially back working again! The flood gates opened this week when I had a backorder transcript to do. I was alerted that the agency needs extra pairs of hands this week and so I decided I’d get my feet wet again by doing some audio work that’s short — not more than 2 hours in length. Once I received an actual assignment, I felt excited to work. I didn’t realize I missed steno work this much. Now that I’m open for taking on jobs again, my mat leave technically has ended. I didn’t think I’d return to work so soon, but I’m excited to bring income again (those monthly birthday cakes don’t pay for themselves 😂).
  • Feb 24: We don’t need to do contact naps anymore! We put her in a sleep sack even during the day now and she takes to it. Since we wipe her out the last 2 days with jumping, she’s so tired that she sleeps up to 2 hours in her crib during the day!! We got 2 naps that were 2 hours long each today. I was actually able to get started on my transcript and work for 30 minutes. Yay! Working from home as a stay-at-home mom is doable now (as long as she continues to sleep like this 😅).
  • I previously hesitated to put her in a swaddle/sleep sack for her daytime naps because that’s what she uses and is used to for her nighttime sleeps. I didn’t want her to confuse the daytime naps as bedtime. However, her sleeps at night aren’t interrupted by the naps, so it’s all good. 🙂
  • My supply is back up!! ^_^ I was able to put a bottle into the fridge again. I can perhaps start a new refrigerator stash again. 🤣🤞🏼
  • I observed her rubbing her head with her little hand while sleeping the past week. So cute.
  • She sleeps with both arms out of the sleep sack now.
  • Realized I’ve gained a lot of weight due to pandemic life, eating too much (because I can and am breastfeeding), and no exercise since giving birth (I was exercising daily while pregnant last year and in tip top shape!!). How do I fit my regular Zumba classes in again with baby care and transcript work? 🤔😏
  • Although the days when grandma is out of the house are hard, I actually really cherish those days when I have her all to myself. I feel more confident as a parent that I can take care of all of her needs.
  • My stretch marks have really lightened up in colour. I guess it takes up to 6 months for stretch marks to heal up..
  • Her hair has grown now that she has tufts of hair longer than others.

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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