Friday, December 23, 2011

The week

I am going to officially call this a good week. It wasn't perfect, but it was so much better than last week and it doesn't even belong on the same calendar as the week before last, so it was good.
I've had 6 days of feeling like myself. There have been moments of panic that have seeped in, but it's been brief enough and mild enough that I can work through it and do okay. I've spent full days alone with the kids without watching the minutes tick by on the clock until David gets home. I've smiled and laughed genuinely. I've had an appetite (and then some) and interest in things besides laying in bed. It's good.

Tonight I walked out to the living room right at dusk and felt the old panic feeling set in. Dusk was a huge trigger. But it hadn't happened in several days and I hadn't thought to steel myself for it. Fortunately I recognized what was happening right away and was able to close up the blinds (dark is better than dusk) and it eased again. Anxiety is weird. And sneaky. But Lexapro is stronger.

Truthfully, I think it's a combination of things. The Lexapro for sure, getting further from delivery (6 weeks now) and I really think that coming off of the Labetelol helped a lot, too. My blood pressures have been great. There have been a 2 or 3 spikes in the last week, but mostly 130/80 or below. The last few days have really been in the 120s/70s. That's better than it was before I got pregnant, so that's awesome. I'm sure that's attributable to being 60 pounds lighter than I was a year ago.

In other news, I started a round of gentian violet tonight for my thrush. I spoke to the nurse about the issue but she and/or my OB don't seem to think it's thrush. The reasoning she gave me was that Charlotte is asymptomatic and because my breasts don't have streaks. But streaks could be a sign of mastitis, not thrush, so that makes no sense whatsoever to me. She told me to call a lactation consultant.

On the other hand, I was on antibiotics during delivery, another round afterward, I had a yeast infection after the 2nd round. I've had no pain with nursing for nearly 6 weeks and all of a sudden it's major. It gets worse at night. It lasts through the nursing session and after. This is all consistent with thrush. I did confirm that with a doula friend. Everyone seems to agree it's most likely thrush.

However, because they didn't take me seriously, I did some more reading and it seems like gentian violet is the better option anyway. It's cheaper, has few side effects and works both more quickly and more reliably. It's just messier.

I had to have the GV ordered through the pharmacy. In the mean time, I started vinegar washes and probiotics to try to contain it. Things have improved a little but still aren't great. My left breast still kills, particularly in the evenings. I did my first GV treatment tonight, though. Both Charlotte's lips and my nipples are a lovely shade of purple. Of course, she promptly spit up afterwards (she's a spitter) which also left a lovely blue stain on the blanket I had under her and the pillowcase because it soaked through to the pillow. Oh well. I'd gladly buy all new linens to keep my boob from feeling like it is being ground in a grinder every time I nurse.

I really do enjoy nursing, even with the thrush trouble. She's doing really well. She's been gaining around an ounce per day. She's up to 6 pounds 12 ounces as of tonight. She came home from the hospital at 4lb 12oz, so she's a full 2 pounds heavier now. She's still tiny, but she feels like a chunk to me these days. And it feels really good to know I've been able to do that for her all on my own. My body is keeping her alive and thriving.

I realize that technically it was before she was born, too. But to be frank, it felt like she was surviving in my womb IN SPITE of my body, not because of it. Now it feels like something is actually going right. What a concept.

In any case, it does feel like the spiral of depression has shifted. As my anxiety has improved, everything else has, and has everything else has, my anxiety has. Obviously things aren't perfect. My cat still has cancer (and isn't doing well, I'm afraid. I don't think we have a lot longer with her. Every time Robbie hugs her, my heart breaks a little more.) I still have an anxiety disorder and thrush. Charlotte is still a preemie and we're still in quarantine. But we're so far ahead of where we were a week or two ago, I know we're going to get through it.

Hope lives.



Dorothy said...

Hi! I've been stalking your blog for awhile now, but this is my first comment :) I think I came upon your blog because I googled "6 dpo and " something, and it came up with a post in Jan 2008. Funny that you even say that some people will find your blog because of the certain words you write will come up in searches. Well, thats exactly what happened! 1st of all, I am very happy that your darling little girl is good and that you are starting to definitely feel better! I've been praying along side you since I started reading, which was at about your 26-27 week mark with her.
Now for what made me come out of hiding (heehee) is that I had thrush with my son when he was a newborn, but he didn't show any symptoms at all. No white spots, no yeasty diaper rash, nothing. The doctor just didn't understand that I WAS the one in horrible amounts of pain, not my son. It would feel like shards of glass going through my boobs if shower water even touched it (apparently a classic sign of it). The doctor left the room, I was feeling frustrated for not being treated, and then he promptly came back in WITH my lactation consultant who apparently told him what was wrong, and he prescribed me nystatin. It took two rounds of that stuff to fully get rid of it. I hope the GV works better for you!
But I wanted to let you know, in addition to the GV, which should get rid of yours, that if your daughter takes anything in her mouth, a pacifier, a bottle, anything, it HAS to be sanitized every single time its in her mouth because the yeast will live on that stuff, then go back into her mouth, then back onto you, and the cycle will continue. You can either boil those things for 20 minutes (yeast is crazy hard to kill) or use Medela steam disinfectant bags. My LC recommended those since it only takes 2-3 minutes to sanitize rather than waiting 20 minutes for boiling. I had thrush from the beginning till about 8 weeks, when we both finally stopped giving it back to each other. I wasn't as consistent with the sanitizing as I should have been!
but yeah, I wanted to pass that along to you so you wont go through what I did. Thrush is awful, but it is beatable!! :)

Dorothy said...

ok I was mistaken, it was the 7 April 2007 entry that led me to you lol I liked the way you wrote so kept reading :)

Christine said...

I am so glad you are doing better. I was wondering about the quarantine. Why is your doctor making you do it? I had premature twins that were able to come home with me and we were allowed to go out right away. I was told to avoid really large crowds but that is it. I had them in early February so it was also flu/cold season. I had a 16 month old at the time and she was a germ factory. I know you want whats best for Charlotte but getting out a little might help you a little.

Deep Thinker said...


I know you can do it. :)

Cassie said...

I am so glad you are doing better. I have been meaning to email you but with all your updates I just didn't get around to it. I am so happy for you guys!

Amanda said...

It's so good to read the fog is lifting. Keep your head up and love on those babies!

Trish said...

Christine- my doctor is actually really conservative even with full term newborns. Any fever before 2 months old is automatic hospitalization, so she doesn't advise any of her patients to go out during cold/flu season until 8 weeks. And she adjusts that for preemies.
She didn't say we HAD to pull Robbie from daycare, but she said if we could, it would be a good idea. The bigger and stronger Charlotte is before she gets sick the first time, the better.

Dorothy.. thanks for the info.
I've been boiling her pacis each day. She only takes one occasionally, but I'm definitely sterilizing them.
I've done three days of the GV and I'm still hurting. My right side feels 100% normal again but that left nipple is still just killing me. I don't know what to think. :/

Jessica said...

i'm so happy to hear you're doing better, trish!