I haven’t had a lot of energy to blog lately, and more than a lack of time, it’s really been trying to avoid talking endlessly about breastfeeding on my blog. I mean, I do realize that most people are not sitting around waiting to read a story about nursing, much less wanting to hear about things like engorgement or proper latching or leakage. Trouble is, this is leaving me very little to blog about. Because somehow, in the last two weeks, it seems to be the only thing I am doing or thinking about. I am tethered to the sofa by a very hungry newborn, and it is endless and mindless and OH MY GOSH HOW MUCH CAN ONE BABY EAT. And yes, breastfeeding is good for the baby and natural and all that. It’s a great bonding experience. For like 10 minutes. And then 45 minutes in, I start feeling just a wee bit trapped, and like I might just out of my skin if I can’t get up at that very moment and detach this parasitic being from my boob.
(A parasitic being that I love very much).
Well, since I seem to be indulging the breastfeeding stories, (Dad, if you haven’t stopped reading yet, here is your cue) I supposed I will share that yesterday I woke up with a screaming case of mastitis. It was awful. It started out with just a painful boob, but by noon I was having the full-on chills, body aches, and a fever, and could barely walk around from fatigue. I did something I have never done before – I called Mark in a panic and asked him to cancel all of his clients and come home. I knew I needed to get in to see the doctor (even though, of course, I had already diagnosed myself thanks to the wonders of Google).
I was horrified to read that the cure for mastitis is basically EVEN MORE BREASTFEEDING. Awesome. Kind of like being told that you have a broken toe and the cure is to balance your entire body weight on said toe for several hours a day.
Remember when Bella got bit in the arm by James, the evil tracker vampire in the ballet studio, and she describes the pain as being the most intense, burning, terrifying pain that she had ever felt? Yeah, that’s pretty much what breastfeeding with mastitis feels like.
(And stop pretending like you didn’t read Twilight.)
So yeah, all that talk two days ago about the wonders of living pain-free and the beauty of not being pregnant anymore? Spoke too soon.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about “white people problems“. It was mostly in fun, but I’ve actually been using it as a sort of mantra lately. It’s been pretty useful as I’ve entered into the newborn phase, and transitioned into a mom of three young kids. This may come as a shock (hold your laughter) but I am a bit prone to panic, overexaggeration, and fatalism. I may have a tendency to blow things out of proportion from time to time. It’s something I am working on. So in order to keep myself in check, I’ve been asking myself every time I feel myself going into panic mode:
Is this a white person problem?
(And of course I realize that many minority groups lead a similiar life of relative priviledge here in America. If it offends, we can call it “middle-class American problems”.)
So when I start complaining about not getting any sleep with a newborn, I remind myself that millions of women have been through the same thing. When I start getting testy about my husband’s work demands, I remind myself that my husband has an amazing and secure job with great flexibility. When I begin to whine about having two small children sharing a room, I remind myself that we have a beautiful home by most standards of the world, and that many children grow up sleeping in a home with only one room, period.
WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS.
Yesterday, however, my mantra was failing me as we headed to the doctor with my fever spiking. It started to further slip as, on the way to the doctor, our car started breaking down due to a fender-bender that happened two weeks ago, that we failed to report to our insurance because we didn’t want to turn in a sweet couple with no legal documentation to be driving, much less living, in this country. Turns out the damage was much worse than we thought, and we had to turn around and drive on side-streets to get our lurching car home. I tried saying the mantra to myself. “This is a white-person problem. We are fortunate that we have two cars at all. Even if they are crappy”.
And then Mark informed me that he had tried, and there was no way to fit all three kids into our Honda Civic.
Mantra losing effectiveness.
The mantra sort of floated away like a balloon when, after my appointment, we were presented with the bill from my delivery.
The mantra was all but gone when we learned that afternoon that a persistent leak in our bathroom was unfixable, and would require a basic home remodel to fix.
Still haven’t heard from the mechanic about our car, but I’m guessing it isn’t good.
All that to say, I’m in severe pain, I have a family of five with a car that holds four, and we have some big bills to pay this month. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, these are not insurmountable obstacles to my life.
But today . . .
Today I’m a wee bit overwhelmed.
P.S. Oh yes. And to top it all off, Mark decided that in an effort to protect my privacy, he would just elusively let people know that I had an infection. Rather than saying mastitis. So that everyone can think I have some sort of an infection (dun dun DUN) and come to their own conclusions about what kind of nasty afflictions a woman who recently gave birth might be dealing with. Thanks, babe. Way to spare me any embarrassment.