Hi everyone, we came home on Friday (twins born Sunday a.m. in the wee morning hours.) We have been without internet today (even though everything looked fine and dandy as far as connection and everything, so I have been able to do zero research on this.
I think I may have mastitis. It's either that (I have a fever, I feel the "flu-like symptoms" of aches and pains and a mild headache, I don't feel like eating stuff like dinner--but I ate a yogurt just fine and have been able to drink water, but not in huge quantities because I'm sleeping a lot...) or something like another infection (bladder infection? UTI? I think those were mentioned as possibilities for fever on my discharge papers) or MAYBE something like part of the placenta retained?
The thing is I don't seem to have any plugged ducts or red/painful spots on the breasts themselves and the babies do a decent job of draining them when they nurse. They do get hard-ish when they fill, and Linus (the bigger one) naturally goes a bit longer between feeds... I really think the over-filling is because of the pumping I did in the middle of the week.
Anyway, I didn't realize this thing was happening in time to act earlier....I think things got going on Wednesday, but I'd already been discharged from the hospital (they kept the boys and I roomed in with them, but they couldn't give me meds or poke & prod me so nobody was taking my temp. I did send Joe to ask a nice neonatal nurse about my symptoms...he mostly asked her about the uterine cramps/afterpains, which were significant & alarming to me even though I know they're "bad/worse" with second pregnancies, and she said that's just what it's like to have a second/third baby....you pretty much feel like you're dying.)
That was the day that Linus had a spike in his bili levels that took him to (I think) 20, my milk just was coming in (it started transitioning 3 days postpartum, not shabby for someone who needed a transfusion because my hg dipped to, I think, 5 on day two pp), and I was "sympathetically" encouraged (it felt like pressure) to supplement a few times with 20 MLs of formula to get him out of the woods. Instead, I pumped.
Pumping that soon (in my limited experience of one previous baby) is kind of a guaranteed way to screw up my supply & demand, at least when my milk is coming in. I learned this for similar reasons with my first daughter and I was opposed to all of it this time, except my transfusion situation & my (as yet unknown) milk supply with twins & physical stress, AND the uric acid crystals (brick dust) pee diapers & dry mouths of my babies made me nervous about saying No thanks, we'll go home and try the process the way I KNOW it works.
So that day, I cried a lot, and instead of resting, I was up pumping frequently through the night.
Buddy boy pulled through, but that was the stress & lack of rest & pumping (increased supply, harder breasts, sudden increase in pain & weariness that I thought was a message to slow down....) The next day got kind of hellish for me in terms of not being able to walk around without pain, etc. I woke up saturated in sweat, and got the shakes (badly) from chills when I got up to pee, but they resolved and I just took it as all the plastic in the bed (chuck pads, mattress covers) heating me up and then me getting a chill because I basically was naked (shirtless & mesh panties) in the bed with the boys. Since home, I've had some wicked bad "I'm so hot I'm going crazy" moments, but it's hot & humid here and I'm still used to the crazy "running hot" days of pregnancy that it didn't make me wonder. I asked Joe if the skin of my breasts felt hot, but he didn't notice them giving off heat, particularly. So I was even more delayed in checking my temperature.
Here's the poop:
I am concerned about using antibiotics for mastitis if I don't have to. I don't want to risk bouts of thrush at the very beginning of nursing twins, I don't want to nullify the gut colonization benefits of the double vaginal birth by using antibiotics if I could kick mastitis some other way through some kind of herbs or compresses or whatever (and I don't if that concern of mine about the babies' gut colonization being thrown off with MY antibiotic use even IS a risk. But I've read that there are differences with gut pH and type of colonization in c-section babies versus vaginal births, and that the guts of c-section babies mimic more the pH & virulence of the formula-fed gut over the breastfed gut. And it can take months/weeks to return to a more balanced pH after supplementing just once with formula, etc. etc. So I was wondering about the factor of antibiotics....) But I don't know what alternatives there are.
Also, I guess I wonder how likely it is that the symptoms might be something else. And what treatment would be. (D&C for placenta issue?)
At first, I checked my temp and it was 100.8 F (The discharge papers said call if anything over 100.4) Then Joe put the window unit AC on for me and I immediately got chills and needed to be under the covers. When I got him to turn it to less of a cold blast, I uncovered and checked my temp again and it had spiked about 3 degrees, I think. But then I got under the sheet and nursed/rested, and was again in the 100.8 range, or at least lower. (Didn't right down any of this stuff, unfortunately.) After a couple of hours, I opened the sheet to sit up and drink something, checked my temp, and I think it was in the 103 or 104 range.
The babies do okay draining my breasts but they (the breasts) ALWAYS get FULL and pretty hard, so draining them completely (or nearly completely) sort of perpetuates the problem. But what else to do? If it pools there, undrained, I can develop plugged ducts, right? Haven't tried compresses, and don't know what herbs/alternatives to try.
I took my temp a few minutes ago and it was 103.3 (I'm wearing a tank top and an open robe (just nursed Noel because he was a-screaming.) Just now it was 102.9 I took it in the bed before getting up & drinking water, but I can't remember what it was after sleeping covered up.
Can anyone help me out? Our network connections have gone in and out a few times while I've typed this, and I have to rest & nurse babies, so I don't know how much searching I can do on my own behalf, though we will try. Joe is pretty wrecked and tired out, I must admit. Kind of the straw that broke the camel's back.
I thought somebody might likely just know a lot about this. I do feel a bit better after even more rest than "usual" (I really haven't been doing much since we got home.) Thanks for any help you can offer!
Looks like we may be looking at Lyme disease. I'm getting a second opinion this morning and probably will start abx since it looks like this thing I found on my butt yesterday is an inflamed tick bite. Great. But glad to find out some explanation for this fever that won't quit...