Friday, December 10, 2010

Stomach flu

This past week both Rob and I had the stomach flu.  He got it first, and then it hit me with a vengeance about 24 hours later.  Rob still wasn't feeling good when it hit me, but thankfully he had the wherewithal to function and take care of Will.

I'd often wondered what it would be like for me to have intestinal distress for the first time since my hyperemetic pregnancy.  Unsurprisingly, it wasn't pretty.  I started throwing up about 5am on Tuesday and finally quit at around 10pm.  I threw up every 1/2 hour to an hour most of that time, except for about a 3 hour block in the late afternoon when I didn't puke but just felt like it, which was perhaps even more awful.  I was ridiculously dehydrated.

I took a sick day on Tuesday, even though I am technically ineligible to take a sick day until I've worked there for 6 months, but under the circumstances, going to work was not an option when all I could do was lie in bed and puke into a bucket.  On Wednesday I was back in the office though, very spacey and unable to eat or drink anything.  I couldn't really stand up or walk for long periods of time, and even talking to people was difficult.  Unfortunately, this is the busiest time of year for me... giving 4 final exams and grading 2 papers, all for large intro classes with several hundred students.  I am looking at some serious overtime in the next 10 days, it is crazy ridiculous.  I had about 30 people in my office for Intro to Public Health alone, firing questions at me about their upcoming exam, when I was just like, people, I need to lie down now, please.

Somehow, miraculously, Will has not gotten it.  I almost hesitate to write that, incase I jinx it and he gets sick.  But I feel like he would have gotten it by now if he were going to.  Half of his daycare was out with the stomach flu, as was one of his teachers.  How he managed to come through unscathed is a mystery (or is it just the antibodies in breastmilk?)

So much vomiting did bring up a lot of really scary, dark, unhappy memories of my pregnancy, a lot of anger, a lot of everything I have tried unsuccessfully to forget about these last 16 months.  But it also made me realize a few things.  Mainly, the completely messed up way I felt for several days after giving birth had absolutely nothing to do with giving birth, but because of the 8 hours of vomiting I did during labor.  The vomiting that was caused by the GBS antibiotics that they "had" to give me.  That terrible, nauseous, unable to eat, unable to drink, unable to speak, unable to see straight, unable to stand up without passing out... that wasn't because I'd given birth.  It was because I'd vomited for 8 hours straight and didn't eat anything for almost 2 days.  I still find it weird how nobody at the hospital really gave a shit about how completely messed up I was after Will was born, but that is a different post for a different time.

What this entry is supposed to be about is that the stomach flu has had catastrophic consequences on my ability to breastfeed.  As I recently mentioned, I have been struggling a lot lately to make any milk at all, and I feel like the stomach flu has essentially sealed the deal for us in terms of weaning. I didn't nurse Will on Tuesday, the day I was sick.  I was just too, too sick.  I couldn't stop vomiting/dry heaving and shaking/shivering all over, and I really really did not want Will to get sick.  I was so afraid if I touched him or was close to him at all, he'd get it.  In the morning before Rob took him to daycare, Will toddled into our bedroom and was looking at me and I could see his little blonde head bobbing along as he circled the bed, and it made me so sad because I just wanted to hold him but felt too awful.  I was still too sick to nurse him that night.  I was completely freaking out about it though, because I knew that I am not in the position to be skipping feedings, and that if I did this, it would probably mean the end of it.  Rob knew I didn't want it to end this way, so he bundled up and walked over to my office (where I keep my breast pump) and brought it home to me.  Give him a gold star for this.  I pumped, and I pumped (stopping to throw up at least once) for over 20 minutes, and not a drop came out, not a single drop.

On Wednesday, I nursed Will in the morning (feeling nothing come out) and I pumped later at work (okay, maybe a couple of drops, but that was it).  I know I am still ridiculously dehydrated, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better.  I've still kept nursing him, but it seems very futile at this point.  Just for comfort, not milk.

The thing is, on Tuesday when Will didn't nurse, he was totally fine without it, even at night time.  Rob rocked him and put him to bed, and he slept clear through until 6:30 the next morning. For several months, he really hasn't sought it out, but he doesn't turn it down when I offer it to him.  And he still never, ever unlatches on his own.  Even if he is bored and wants to play with his toys or with dad's iPad, he just tries to take me along with him.  Sometimes I think he might be a little frustrated that there is no milk coming out, but most of the time, that doesn't seem to bother him either.

I don't want to give it up this way, but it would be an easy out right now.  It's just that last night he had a really rough night.  I think he's getting his canines in, and he woke up around 3am and screamed for about 3 hours.  He was trying to latch on to my sweatshirt, he wanted to nurse so bad.  So I just nursed him, and even though there was no milk coming out, it comforted him.  I just wasn't happy about it.  It doesn't feel so great to nurse him without any milk coming out, and the whole situation of losing my milk this way made me really sad.

Sooo.  This morning I broke into my emergency stash of leftover Domperidone from when I gave it up about a year ago.  I have enough for 8 days.  I have no idea if it will do anything, but I had to try.  I also ordered some Motherlove Special Blend tincture, which should arrive on Tuesday.  In the meantime, I'm pumping at work and trying to rehydrate the best I can.  We'll see if any of this works.  Maybe it won't, but at least I won't go down without a fight.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Alena said...

Melissa, I just wanted to say that whatever nature decided not to give you in terms of comfort, it sure compensated in willpower (or should I say Will Power :)?