You know those stories you want to share but kind of actually don’t want to share because it’s a little too personal but it was kind of a big deal to you… Well, I had one of those and shared my story with bluntmoms.com because, well, that’s what they are all about. I literally wrote the post, submitted it into the form, sat looking at the form scared for a second because someone may actually read it, blacked out, hit submit and ran away. Today, bluntmoms.com posted the story. I feel thankful and honored to be a guest author (a Wannabee BLUNT as they call it) on their site. Personal and all, I am pretty excited about it. Not because I think the post is overwhelmingly awesome, but, because I was nervous about it and did it anyway. We should all do something that is a little scary and challenging everyday. Because it’s awesome. Even if it doesn’t work.
Go check it out if you should feel so inclined. I love the site and the many authors that submit to it. They are honest, funny, ironic, you name it… always a great read in there.
My twin baby girls just turned a month old today. My hubby, two-year-old daughter and myself, welcomed them home from the hospital after spending six days in the Special Care Nursery. I was bright eyed and ready to go. Bring on the double feedings, changings, changings and feedings. I got this. I was going to be the first mom of twins and a two-year-old to make this look easy.
I just began to scratch the surface of a routine when I was sidelined and woke up in a pool of my own sweat, a pounding headache and an aching boob. Who knew a boob could actually ache?
“What the hell is wrong with my body!?” I embarrassingly scrambled for dry clothes then dialed my best friend for advice.
“Soooo, I hurt and I’m sweating my ass off. Did this happen to you?”
She responded, “Maybe you have the boob disease.” What the hell is the boob disease? And I must have it because my breast fucking hurts.
So, I did what any mom would do and opened the laptop to stalk Google. After reading a plethora of articles, I realized, yup, I am pretty sure I have the boob disease.
I went in to see the doctor and she confirmed that I did in fact have mastitis. She provided an antibiotic and told me I’ll feel better in two days, easy enough.
My body ached, I felt like I had the flu. I had the chills and was just straight up sweating and my breast… oh, don’t even get me started on my breast. Death was obviously around the corner. My sister, a doula, sent me a home remedy and I was prepared to try anything at this point. It was frozen cabbage leaves filled with food-processed potato. I sat in bed, sweating and aching with a vegetable platter sitting in my bra.
Waking up to feed the babies was a task my body did not want to take on. I could envision every step I needed to take to lift, change and feed these babies but actually performing this task was my Everest. Every limb and muscle on my body ached and it was nearly impossible to get it together to move. But, I told you, I got this twin thing. So, 1, 2, 3, here we go.
I patiently waited for the miraculous day two. It came and went and my boob looked worse. It was inflamed, engorged, bright red, warm to the touch and felt like a pile of rocks.
I began to think, “Maybe these people were right, and I am ridiculous for even thinking I could handle this.” And I wiped my brow of sweat drips and changed out my bra stew.
Thoughts began to take over my mind. Dark thoughts I immediately regretted having. Thoughts like, life was so much easier when these babies were in my belly. My two-year-old had just hit a point of independence where I took her everywhere with me and we were having so much fun together. Life was peaceful. I had felt good. I was asking myself, “What did I get myself into?” and had lost the excitement of the twin’s birth. Obviously, a selfish, disgusting mother would only think these things.
I would try to push these thoughts from my mind as they drifted in. They were dark and depressing. I would take a nap and wake up crying in a pool of my own sweat. I’m stronger than this. But I was getting to a point where I no longer believed this.
On that second day that I was supposed to feel better, I went back to the doctor’s office. They confirmed no improvement and prescribed another antibiotic, bed rest and the task to constantly pump, nurse and to keep my breasts empty. It was all about the boobs.
The doctor told me that this was my only job. As tears accidentally slipped from my eyes and my breasts wreaked havoc and helplessly leaked through the blue doctors robe, (they were no longer my breasts, they had a mind of their own) the doctor informed me, again, that I will feel better in, yet another, two days and gave me a hug.
Back home and in bed, my hubby and my mom did the best they could to help take the pressure of caring for the twins and my two-year-old. Thank goodness, because I couldn’t do it. I gave up pretending I could do this on my own.
I would helplessly cry in the privacy of my room or bathroom. I was not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt alone, chained down and dare I say, depressed.
I began to judge myself. This new, depressed person was unrecognizable to me. I am an awful human being. I could barely admit to anyone the thoughts that were crossing my mind. I tried to talk to my hubby here and there, but I was too ashamed to admit what was really going through my mind. He was as supportive as he could be, but I don’t think I was letting on how I was really feeling. He saw the pain though, through the constant crying. I couldn’t even help the crying. Just as I had lost control of my boobs, my eyes developed a mind of their own as well.
At night I would tell my hubby, “This is going to be my death. I will never feel good again.” And he told me that I would feel good and I will be happy again, I just had to get through this setback. I nodded in agreement but totally didn’t believe him and settled with my conclusion of death.
Another three days after the last doctor’s visit, I was far from better. My fever was up to 104 degrees, my breast was in an unexplainable condition and I was ready to quit. Shut down. Quit nursing–nursing for which I thrived to do for these babies before they were even born. Remove my breasts for all I care. But I was done. I was advised to head into the city and get an ultrasound on my breast and then see a surgical specialist.
The good news was that there was no abscess in my breast that would need surgery. I clearly had a bad infection that none of the antibiotics were successfully battling. The doctor admitted me into the Urgent Care unit and they pumped me with an IV of fluids and antibiotics.
I guess the third time is a charm. The antibiotics worked. I began to feel better immediately and the next day was a whole new world. I was finally on my way to recovery.
As the dark cloud began to break up, I saw the babies in a new light. “Oh my gosh, I can pick them up.” and “I didn’t notice how cute they were when they did that…” I missed them when I left the room and the photo shoots began again. I started to get daring again and attempted to nurse them at the same time and began to enjoy taking on the challenge of caring for twins. I knew I had this.
As the final specks of dark cloud floated away, all of the tears and upsetting thoughts went along with it. I was able to see the two little angels that blessed our lives again without the jaded thoughts from the sickness. I was able to forgive myself for the feelings of failure. For the thoughts and emotions I wanted to lock up in a closet and never admit to.
As much as I would like to lock this very brief chapter of my life up and never look back, I thought I would do the complete opposite and share it. I want to remind those moms out there that are working so hard to be sane, that are tired, overwhelmed and are slowly spiraling out of control, that you will be able to come up and breathe again. Whether you believe me or not, life does get better and the sun does shine again. You just need to speak up, push the feelings of shame aside and get the help you need in order to come out of it.
It was a bad seven days. But I look back now and realize that you can’t control everything and things that suck happen. And today, I’m back at kicking this twins-challenge-butt and loving it.