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Are my expectations too high?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering if I have been having unrealistic expectations.  It wouldn't be the first time.  So Elliott is 3 1/2 months now.  Prior to his birth and even shortly after, I had assumed that by this point I would be back to a routine of walking with the dog twice a day.  I thought I'd have a clean house since I'd be home all day.  I thought I would be exercising, have a nice dinner ready each night, etc, etc.  I know this sound like June Cleaver expectations, but the thing is that I honestly believe all these things would be happening if it wasn't for my freakin' boob problems.  Elliott is such a good baby that I don't have the common problems of having trouble putting him down or him not sleeping and things like that.  I want to take walks, but physical exertion has always made the mastitis flare. 

 

I feel cheated.  I feel cheated out of the reality I thought I would be living at this point.  However, I am now wondering if my expectations were too high or unrealistic.  I have read that some of you aren't going out all that much and it made me think that maybe I'm not being cheated and this is just typical for the first 3 months even if the reason I'm more housebound is because of mastitis and not because of the common reasons.  I do all the grocery shopping, laundry, all of Elliott's care, and cleaning.  So I am doing errands and getting out of the house.  Twice a month I go to mom and babies group.  Once a month I go to a LLL meeting.  I also started going to a storytime thing at the library with some of my "mom and baby" friends. 

 

So do you think I need an attitude adjustment?  Today I was just having one of those "woe is me" days about it all.  I'm so sick of thinking about my boobs.  I just stopped antibiotics last Wednesday and the longest I have gone without a flare up when not on abx is 7 days.  So DH and I are paranoid about it coming back.  He's at the store as I type trying to keep me from doing too much.  I hate being housebound though.  I feel well enough to do lots of things, but then the mastitis flares up.  I'm hoping it's gone this time, but I doubt it since the boob is still pink.  I can't be on antibiotics anymore though.  They caused insomnia so bad which is just starting to get better.  I wonder if it's causing my joint pain too.  I've been on abx for well over a month and a half combined.  I'm just so bummed and frustrated with the boob issues.  I had a few days of feeding Elliott that didn't hurt and it was so great.  I can still feed him right now without having to stamp my feet and grit my teeth, but it's not pain free yet.  I just feel like I've been denied that specialness since much of the time feeding him over the past 3 months has been me just trying to get through the session because of the pain. 

 

Okay, I should just shut up now.  I'm probably just tired.  Plus Elliott has had the runs since Thursday and I've been changing dipes ALL DAY.  My hands are chapped from washing them so much.  Maybe it's just a bad day because I know I was loving feeding him earlier this week when it didn't hurt.  I'm so scared to live my life because I'm afraid of more mastitis.  :(

 

Man, my posts are always so long.  Sorry.  Guess I vent you my peeps too much. :)

post #2 of 19

i ha to deal w clogged ducts and that sucked, i can only imagine what you must have been through! expectations are just that, things you hope would be before realizing what the real picture holds. Give yourself a big pat in the back (and your DH for the support) that you stuck to bfing him all through this...structured days, nice dinners and everything else will come back once your life and health are ready. He is healthy and thriving that is all we can hope for!

 

cipro hurts joints, so i would not be surprised if any other antibiotic does too. stay healthy mama, it is not easy to deal with all that..and we are here for you ..vent away!

post #3 of 19

Honestly, if you weren't frustrated and feeling cheated, I'd worry about you. I am just now getting to the point where I am keeping the house clean and getting laundry done. Food happens, but it's quick and eaten in turns, usually. I cook and eat quickly while he has baby and then we switch. Or I just use Charlie as a table while he nurses. I'm charming like that.

 

I'm so very very glad you got to have some pain free nursing, though! It's pretty awesome, isn't it? :) Why are you not pain free now? Is it nipple stuff again or?

 

I so hope this last dose kicked it!

post #4 of 19

I think you're normal for feeling that way.  Being so sick for your baby's first 3 months isn't how any woman imagines motherhood!  Kudos for sticking with BF! 

 

I think there's a really important lesson in there too.  Things rarely go as you'd fantasized when it comes to raising a kid.  I'm not trying to be negative, or saying don't have expectations/fantasies/whatever, but I've learned not to get too upset when things (usually) go differently. 

 

I agree with PP, cut yourself some slack, live in the moment, and I REALLY hope the mastitis stays away!!!

post #5 of 19

I'm DEF not back to a normal routine yet!!  Most of the time the kitchen is such a mess its borderline un-useable, my bedroom is a pigsty, nora's looks like toys r us exploded.  Im behind on laundry.  I never wrote any thank u cards which embarrasses the crap out of me.

 

But, my kids are happy, fed, and usually rested.  The normalcy will come back eventually!!  Hang in there, Bree.  You are doing great.  I feel frustrated by it all too, tho, so u arent alone there.  I miss having an hour to watch tv with dh at night more than anything.  I wonder when/how we'll get back to that.

 

DH and I share responsibility for errands, which is great.  I dont go out with both kids often at all.  I'm just not ready yet!!

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by copper.kettle View Post

 

I think there's a really important lesson in there too.  Things rarely go as you'd fantasized when it comes to raising a kid.  I'm not trying to be negative, or saying don't have expectations/fantasies/whatever, but I've learned not to get too upset when things (usually) go differently. 

 

 



This is been my experience. I don't know if it is my kids or what but I no longer have any expectations, well really about anything! I have general ideas of things that it would be nice if they happened and then things that must be done, you can guess which ones always happen and which ones rarely do. eyesroll.gif Just the time you figure one kid out and the phase that they are in, then they change it up on you and you feel like it is back to square one. I guess I learned a long time ago not to ever plan on anything and take one day at a time. I also think of tasks in the long term, so instead of a daily to-do list, it is more like a weekly/monthly one. For example I promised the kids I would bake a cake soon, and I think I might be able to pull it off this morning but baby gets fussy then I will try again tomorrow or next week.

 

 

I think your expectations sound common for a first time mom. orngtongue.gif Reality is not always the case. I do support groups for moms, usually newer ones, and I've heard this year after year. Many think the house would be clean, dinner on the table every night, etc... Just caring for one child is draining enough and while some people do luck out and can pull that off, most can not. It seems like something just always happens. 

 

I only get to pop in and in out and am not keeping up on any threads so I remember some of your struggles a while back I wasn't aware that you were still having issues. Are you working with a really good IBCLC? Even if there isn't one in your area, I would try doing some phone support with one. Your problems sounds more extensive then what I should dive into. All IBCLCs are not created equal, we all have our strengths and some like myself, don't see moms like you often enough to provide excellent care to them. Don't lose hope though, I JUST had a mom who had severe breast pain for 3 months finally become painfree. It took several months of meds, I found like we tried everything until we got it right. Hang in there. hug2.gif

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckily View Post

Honestly, if you weren't frustrated and feeling cheated, I'd worry about you. I am just now getting to the point where I am keeping the house clean and getting laundry done. Food happens, but it's quick and eaten in turns, usually. I cook and eat quickly while he has baby and then we switch. Or I just use Charlie as a table while he nurses. I'm charming like that.

 

I'm so very very glad you got to have some pain free nursing, though! It's pretty awesome, isn't it? :) Why are you not pain free now? Is it nipple stuff again or?

 

I so hope this last dose kicked it!



yeahthat.gif

 

I've got a steady rhythm with the house. Everything is fine until I get a day out, then it's a disaster and I'm so behind on everything. I don't get out of the house often at all. Not even walks with ds 'cause it isn't safe here.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylaskye View Post



yeahthat.gif

 

I've got a steady rhythm with the house. Everything is fine until I get a day out, then it's a disaster and I'm so behind on everything. I don't get out of the house often at all. Not even walks with ds 'cause it isn't safe here.

Yeah! I have it right now, but the littlest thing can screw it up. Like my kid ;) From 4 until 11p, he was mostly unhappy with bursts of happy when he woke up from the sleep I FINALLY got him in :P Soon to be replaced with the unhappy. Gah.

 

So laundry wasn't finished, dinner was hasty and pan not washed, I didn't get my normal night set up. He's cute now, though :)
 

 

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post


I only get to pop in and in out and am not keeping up on any threads so I remember some of your struggles a while back I wasn't aware that you were still having issues. Are you working with a really good IBCLC? Even if there isn't one in your area, I would try doing some phone support with one. Your problems sounds more extensive then what I should dive into. All IBCLCs are not created equal, we all have our strengths and some like myself, don't see moms like you often enough to provide excellent care to them. Don't lose hope though, I JUST had a mom who had severe breast pain for 3 months finally become painfree. It took several months of meds, I found like we tried everything until we got it right. Hang in there. hug2.gif


Peony, I wish you were here to help!

 

Here's a quick summary of events at various weeks since Elliott's birth:

 

Week 1 - mastitis in left breast - treated homeopathically and lots of rest and nursing

Week 2 - came back...same breast and same treatment

Week 3 - same

Week 4 - same, but also some mastitis in right breast; had a LC come to the house

Week 5/6 - horrible mastitis in right breast and I finally went to urgent care (wknd) to get antibiotics; doc was a jerk and told me I could have breast cancer and needed to see a breast specialist; wanted to hospitalize me and told me I would lose my breast; insisted on IV antibiotics and called me several times that week to tell me to go to the breast specialist - I blew him off, but then he made me worry enough that I made an apt

Week 7 - saw breast specialist who did U/S and said she didn't think it was cancer and to come back in 2 wks

Week 8 - mastitis came back on left side 1 week after stopping Augmentin - went back to specialist who gave me Keflex

Week 9 - saw specialist again who said to stop Keflex because it worked (after only 7 days...I continued myself for 3 more days)

Week 11 - mastitis came back on left side and specialist was no help - got abx of Keflex from primary care who also told me it could be cancer and to go to a specialist

Week 12 - saw different specialist who also said it's not cancer

Week 12 - saw another certified LC who gave me dicloxacillin instead - used it for 10 days, but pinkness was not gone, so we did another 10 days...pinkness not gone

 

I've been off antibiotics for 1 week today.  The pinkness is still there.  I had/have a crack in the left nipple which is how I think I got it in the first place since I never had a clogged duct.  I just know it's wanting to come back and it's just waiting for me to do something more than feed and dress the baby.  I don't understand why I can't get rid of it.  I've done the homeopathic stuff and the western med stuff.  I've tried Augmentin, Keflex, and Dicloxacillin.  I have seen two LC's, two breast specialists, one primary care, one urgent care doc, one naturpath (who was out there :)), had four ultrasounds, and spent a fortune on doc visits, meds, and supplements.  I've also talked to LLL leaders over the phone and gone to meetings.

 

The last LC gave me All Purpose Nipple Ointment which helped the pain of feeding a lot.  I was having trouble healing the crack.  I'm not sure if it's 100% healed or not.  It still hurts to feed him on that side, but the last few days it hurts a bit on the right too.  I don't know if it's thrushy stuff or what.  It doesn't seem like typical thrush pain from what I've read.  I think it may be because he's been rough on me because he has a bellyache and the runs.  Historically he clamps down and moved his head side to side when he has gas and then when he farts or burps, he's good.  Well, he has a bellyache this week and he is pitbulling me a lot so maybe they are just sore from that.  I honestly don't know anymore. 

 

I had a few days of pain free feeding and it was so great, but it just made me realize what I'm missing.  Do you think he'll ever know how much I love him to keep trying to get this figured out?  Honestly though, I don't think stopping would even fix the problem now that the ball is rolling.  Something is wrong with that boob.  If it were clogged ducts, that would be one thing, but it's not. 

 

If you have any ideas, I'm all ears!  The naturepath said it was yeast and not bacteria, but he was weird so who knows.  The LLL info online said that if mastitis fails to clear up with antibiotics, it could be fungal in nature.  I have done Gentian Violet and grapefruit seed extract and stuff to see if that helped, but I didn't notice much difference.  I don't think it's nipple thrush.  Maybe there is yeast in the actual boob???  I don't have shooting pains though.  I'm soooooo sick of thinking about this stuff.  I'm sick of being on the internet looking for answers.  I'm sick of going to the doc and spending money for nothing. 

 

Sigh.

 

post #10 of 19

Bree- I'm heading out so I only have a second while nursing the babe. My disclaimer is that you are not my client so I'm just giving you mom to mom advice right now. winky.gif I'll continue thinking on this one, but my gut is wondering about thrush. What the breast pain feel like? You can have thrush in the ducts, without the baby having any symptoms, and no symptoms with the mom other then deep breast pain. I've only had a mom present like this once so I am by no means an expert in this manner, she did get mastitis several times so we were all thinking bacterial infection as well. Diflucan 100mg twice a day should clear that up if it is a ductal yeast infection. It has to be taken in cases like this for one full week past any symptoms. Keflex usually isn't the first choice. Dicloxacillin is an excellent choice though and you had two weeks... what was the dose? Excellent for staph infections which mastitis often is. Another thought would be baby is a strep carrier, but it sounds like the infection is never truly going away since you mentioned pinkness, correct? 

 

ETA: These type of infections are really hard to find the source so I'm not surprised that it has been such a rollercoaster. I'm sorry that it had to happen to you. The problem is that you can't easily tell sometimes if it is an infection of yeast or bacteria. There are breastmilk cultures, their effectiveness it debated because we carry staph, etc.. on our skin anyway so it still doesn't always tell us what is causing the trouble inside the breast. It can literally be just trying various meds and combos until one works. Big hugs. 

post #11 of 19

SoonToBe, I don't often get out when I'm alone with Sam. In a week, Sam will be 3-months and I'm still trying to figure things out...You are doing so much already, it's admirable. I'm so sorry you are dealing with the mastitis (or thrush), and hope you can find relief soon. Major props for your perseverance.


Edited by Ree Tee - 12/20/11 at 2:15pm
post #12 of 19

I am SO GLAD I am not the only one to feel this way. (like I should be doing more at this stage) I knew the first 6 weeks where going to be hard. Not leaving the house, and breastfeeding and getting used to feedings in the middle of the night and such. Healing wasn't as bad as I thought. 
But Norrie is 11 weeks now. I feel like now that we have our routine that things would/should be different. 

I keep being told I'm expecting too much of myself. By experienced moms. But then I look at them with their 5 kids under 7 and a newborn and how they manage to juggle life and wonder what I am doing wrong. No one seems to be able to tell me when I can get back into the swing of normalcy. I don't expect my life to be the same as before baby but I do expect at some point to get my house to look less cluttered like it was right before she was born. And I do expect to be able to vacuum and mop every few days at some point. 

Hubby says it's an experience thing and we just have to learn how to do it. And to not beat myself up for it. So I'm trying to focus on a few things each day. I do 2 chores and one fun thing aside from the general baby care. So yesterday it was laundry and going through my clothes to get rid of some things I never use, and I worked on some diapers. Today it's been dishes and finishing the laundry from yesterday. And finally using my computer again after the baby spilled water on it. 

I think we need to be patient with ourselves and not expect to much. I'm here for support if you want to vent. I totally get it! 

I am so sorry you are dealing with boobie issues. That really sucks on top of everything. *hugs* are all I can offer there and thoughts and prayers. 

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

Bree- I'm heading out so I only have a second while nursing the babe. My disclaimer is that you are not my client so I'm just giving you mom to mom advice right now. winky.gif I'll continue thinking on this one, but my gut is wondering about thrush. What the breast pain feel like? You can have thrush in the ducts, without the baby having any symptoms, and no symptoms with the mom other then deep breast pain. I've only had a mom present like this once so I am by no means an expert in this manner, she did get mastitis several times so we were all thinking bacterial infection as well. Diflucan 100mg twice a day should clear that up if it is a ductal yeast infection. It has to be taken in cases like this for one full week past any symptoms. Keflex usually isn't the first choice. Dicloxacillin is an excellent choice though and you had two weeks... what was the dose? Excellent for staph infections which mastitis often is. Another thought would be baby is a strep carrier, but it sounds like the infection is never truly going away since you mentioned pinkness, correct? 

 

ETA: These type of infections are really hard to find the source so I'm not surprised that it has been such a rollercoaster. I'm sorry that it had to happen to you. The problem is that you can't easily tell sometimes if it is an infection of yeast or bacteria. There are breastmilk cultures, their effectiveness it debated because we carry staph, etc.. on our skin anyway so it still doesn't always tell us what is causing the trouble inside the breast. It can literally be just trying various meds and combos until one works. Big hugs. 



I don't really have breast pain right now...only nipple and mostly just on the left.  When I have acute mastitis, the whole boob hurts.  I have read a lot about thrush and yeast and my pain doesn't quite seem like it, but I know it can be atypical at times.  The pain is manageable.  It doesn't make me stomp my feet and grit my teeth like it does when I have acute mastitis.  Sometimes it gets sore enough towards the end that I have to take him off.  The longer I go btwn feeding on that side, the better it feels when I feed him so I think it's the nipple crack still.  The scab is gone and the crack looks much better, but you can still see the crack.  I asked about a culture, but two different docs said it would be too hard since I don't have a plugged duct and the milk culture was said not to be reliable.

 

I am wondering now if all this could be from low iron.  See my post called "Maybe found my answer". 

 

I'm grasping at straws here.  Since I don't have obvious yeast symptoms, I'm hesitant to go on another med because the last bit of antibiotics gave Elliott bad diarrhea and I know Diflucan can cause that too.  I'd take it in a heartbeat if I was sure it was that, but I'm not sure and so far the measures I've taken to help yeast have not done anything.  I don't know...

 

Tanks for responding.

post #14 of 19
mama, even with your mastitis you are doing WAY more than I ever did at 3mo with one baby! Sheesh lady! I could barely leave the house at all. I think you're doing great!
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybeans View Post

mama, even with your mastitis you are doing WAY more than I ever did at 3mo with one baby! Sheesh lady! I could barely leave the house at all. I think you're doing great!


Thanks!  That's what I was starting to wonder. :)  I know I'd be doing a lot more if it wasn't for the mastitis, but it's good to know I'm still well within the realm of normal.  It helps me to feel less cheated.  I still feel cheated a bit, but at least it hasn't been me missing out on lots of normal stuff.

post #16 of 19

Have you tried probiotics?  I posted a study a little while ago where they showed probiotics ere able to get rid of mastitis when antibiotics failed.  I'm sure you are already on thm due to the amount of abx you have taken.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by copper.kettle View Post

I think there's a really important lesson in there too.  Things rarely go as you'd fantasized when it comes to raising a kid.  I'm not trying to be negative, or saying don't have expectations/fantasies/whatever, but I've learned not to get too upset when things (usually) go differently. 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybeans View Post

mama, even with your mastitis you are doing WAY more than I ever did at 3mo with one baby! Sheesh lady! I could barely leave the house at all. I think you're doing great!


Bree, you sound like you're doing amazingly!!  I get out every day, but it is at the expense of dinner and the household, and only out of necessity.  DD wants to be on me and walking, and if I walked her back and forth across the house I would go insane!  I think your expectations might have been, well, super high.  And that's not to be harsh.  It is so hard to know or expect what reality will be.  But if it wasn't your breasts, it would be something else.  I don't know a single new mom who had/has her shit together like you described.

 

Try to just focus on enjoying your sweet little Elliot.  Don't focus on how things might be different if...  "If" isn't your reality.  All we get is today.  And it sounds like today, you're doing pretty darn good, especially considering all the pesky boob problems you've had.  hug2.gif

 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.  It helps to know I'm actually doing relatively normal amounts of things compared to others in the same boat.  I think I mostly need to change my attitude.  I am so frustrated and defeated with the breast issues that when I am having a bad day I feel like everything sucks.  It's not fair that I have to struggle with it so much, but he's doing great so I need to just focus on that.  Some days I feel like I want a do-over, but really, I need to realize that I've been able to spend so much time in bed with him and he's thriving and I need to be proud of myself for sticking to it when I keep hitting one obstacle after another (i.e. mastitis over and over, Raynaud's syndrome, cracked nipple, thrush...).  I need to readjust my thinking.

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylaskye View Post



yeahthat.gif

 

I've got a steady rhythm with the house. Everything is fine until I get a day out, then it's a disaster and I'm so behind on everything. I don't get out of the house often at all. Not even walks with ds 'cause it isn't safe here.



Would love to know how you keep up with the house  - any suggestions?

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