Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tablet Blogging*: a lesson in humility

Dear Readers, I am mildly horrified to tell you that I am taking echinacea.  A well meaning friend here offered me some and.... I honestly don't think it can make the situation any WORSE.  (I appear to be non-allergic to it.  Bionic pointed out that I am only allergic to things that taste good.  Readers, I regret to tell you that it tastes exactly like you would imagine.)  That sound is me having a hearty serving of humble pie, made entirely of anecdotes, with a crust tasting of ground up roots.

The mastitis continues to afflict me- though I am pleased to say my ability to convince randomly selected urgent care docs to do what I want remains intact.  I have driven to Research U, 90 minutes away, where they basically said HMMMMMM.  But they are willing to continue dealing with it long distance, including prescribing and cultures, and they understand that I have a legitimate reason to be concerned.  (I become stroppy when I feel I am not being taken seriously.)  On the other hand, two experienced clinicians find that there's no underlying reason or thing I am doing wrong, so I've eliminated some possible causes.  HMMMM and I will update you when it inevitably comes back next week.

* i.e. brief and subject to typos and bizarre auto corrections.

Monday, April 20, 2015

FMB: Various Kinds of Woe


  • FIRE has not killed my mastitis/ recurrent blocked duct/ milk blister/ painful everything that gets better with antibiotics.  
  • Urgent Care in Next Town Over is very willing to dispense antibiotics, though! (Mountain Town does not have an urgent care, which would cost me $15.  The emergency room costs $300 and up.  It is worth $285 to me to drive 45 minutes, plus we have friends in Next Town Over, whom we visit.)
  • I have an appointment at Big University's breastfeeding medicine program on Wednesday.  It is an hour and a half away.
  • I have a cunning plan, which includes never talking to my mother about this again.  She told me I was 'acting crazy'. And here I thought I was dealing with severe pain from a recurring and ongoing medical problem!  And was upset largely in proportion to how much it sucks!  
  • The rest of my cunning plan involves my pal who runs a state-licensed, inspected goat dairy.  I could buy goat milk!  (Pasteurized goat milk.)  And give it to the baby! (With appropriate vitamins and additives.)  
  • If I can nurse her ten more weeks, she'll be six months old, and I will feel less terrible about weaning her, antibiotics or not.  
  • I realize I could wean her now but I don't want to for all kinds of perverse and emotional reasons.  Also, because my family is Allergic To Everything (TM), I have serious concerns about dairy or soy before six months.  (This week, my sister Prudence ended up in the emergency room, post Epi-Pen, after eating something with a tiny amount of dairy in it.)  
  • My neighbor just had her baby - at a hospital with a 25% primary C-section rate - by C-section.  Guess whether all those people really need a C-section?  Yeah.  Nope.
  • They apparently also suck at breastfeeding advice.  Helpful hint: telling someone to supplement with formula at two days postpartum is usually inappropriate and completely counterproductive.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Country Living

This week, I am going to teach my friend (and really, she's a very good friend) the right-wing Baptist prepper to make soap.

And, while talking to one of the farmers at the farmers' market today, I agreed to go teach soap making to a bunch of Mormons at their church's preparedness fair next month.

Because who else but the pacifist liberal Jew should do this?  Living here is so strange sometimes.

(When it comes down to it, I enjoy making things, and I enjoy sharing that knowledge with others, and their sometimes-crazy motivations are irrelevant from a functional viewpoint. We don't talk about religion or politics, and everything's fine.)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

FMB: Assorted Updates


  • I stepped on one of our hazelnut twigs (tree-to-be) and another died in the exceptionally cold winter.  BAH.  
  • The mastitis is maybe... mostly gone?  Something is still not quite right in the nipple area but overall, a big improvement.  I took a third week of antibiotics that I had laying around (not even expired!) without arguing with the doctor about it, because I am officially the World's Worst Patient.
  • I know that many people are not into sleep training but I am counting down the days until this child is old enough that I do NOT have to nurse her all night.
  • That said, she is still sweet and adorable and a complete chub ball and she laughs and cuddles and loves to eat.  Also she thinks her brothers are hilarious, which they find charming.  
  • Today I took a nap.  I kicked everyone else out of the house and SLEPT.
  • Fatigue makes me deeply unsympathetic to my spouse, which I realize is unkind, but... I haven't slept more than a few hours in a row in SIX MONTHS.  So, you lose.
  • Gardening!  So much gardening.  Every afternoon I go work on my flower garden.  Every weekend I go do things at the vegetable garden.
  • Eventually planting season will be over and I will be forced to do housework again.
  • Re: this last, the washer sprung a leak and now requires repair.  You know who really needs a washer?  Three small children and two adults.
  • I have just now restrained myself from late night fruit tree buying.  See my superhuman restraint?
  • I almost never have access to a computer-with-keyboard because the above, plus the kids, suck up all my time.  
  • I must harass the Chem department head about how surely he would like to hire me again in the fall. SURELY.  
  • Because it is amazing to be paid for time away from my children.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

still alive

But trapped in the basement with the baby all the time.  Also, much gardening.

Mastitis is improving, maybe gone.  Nice lactation consultant came by with useful and helpful suggestions.  Cracked nipple (AIEEE!!!) also improving.

Digging many holes and planting things for our large shared vegetable garden, and for my flower garden that is so far a hole in the ground, and round one of the fruit trees, and rooting willows to shore up the banks.  Did I tell you there's a creek in my front yard?  There is.  Also, trying to root several dozen blackberry cuttings from emergency spring pruning of twelve foot escaping canes.  More fun than mastitis for sure.

Hoping this can be the last round of stuffed-up-baby nursing all night for a while.

ETA:  encore performance from blocked duct.  Gaaaaaaaaaah.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

In Which I Discover I Didn't Really Mean It

Dear Readers, I DO have mastitis!  (That is an exclamation point of WOE.)  I went and saw the smart lady doctor (my spouse teaches her son but this is a small town so we get used to this stuff.  For reference, the total 'city' land area is 2.5 square miles.)   And I am taking antibiotics (again!).  And fluconazole.  It turns out I really, really didn't want to wean the baby, no matter what I told myself.

So far, it got better, and now it feels a little worse (t=3.5 days).  I may have forgotten a dose in my sleep-deprived haze.  I keep telling myself it will be okay either way - and it will- but every time it gets a little worse I am basically sitting with a hot pack on my nipple, sobbing.  I'm not entirely sure the antibiotics are working.  I am trying to not succumb to despair.  She's only twelve weeks old.  I'm really, really not ready to wean her, and I feel terrible about having her lip tie clipped if it's going to be for nothing (even though she was totally fine by that afternoon).  WAAAAAAAH.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Third Time Lucky

Somehow, parenting with Sweetpea around - now that I can sleep some of the time, and have recovered most of my physical health - feels a little like redemption.  I don't remember actually enjoying this stage with either of the other children, but she's just darling.  It's probably all the things:  a much better support network, the knowledge that a little unhappiness won't kill any of my children, and the fact that the oldest child is gone seven hours a day in kindergarten.  It feels more graceful.  It feels easier.

However, I got a blocked duct this week.  Actually, I've had a somewhat-blocked duct for weeks, and it finally went into full-on OH FUCK.  Not only does it hurt like the dickens, it's a herald of possible mastitis.... which, in turn, sent me into a full-on weeping breakdown.  I kept saying that if I got mastitis, I'd wean the baby, but it turns out I'm bargaining with myself in my head.  (Because that turned out SO well last time.)  And... the doctor I see here, I don't actually trust to deal with this.  Actually, on reflection, I don't really trust anyone to make it better, on the grounds that even an expert failed rather.  So, fuck.