Friday, January 13, 2012

I smell like cabbage...

My body is apparently constitutionally incapable of being typical.  Conceiving twins, who are likely fraternal, with a Mirena IUD in place is a good example of this, but the current issue is actually perhaps even a bit weirder. 

Two nights ago when I went to change out of work clothes before dinner I noticed that my right breast hurt and doing things with that arm was a bit off.  I explored a bit and came to the conclusion that I somehow had a blocked duct.  Now, I haven't pumped AT ALL in over three months and it has been a bit over four since I was exclusively breastfeeding, so this struck me as a bit odd.  The OB had mentioned leaving my breasts entirely alone and being careful to avoid any sort of nipple stimulation, so I found myself in a bit of a quandary.  I had a visibly hard area on my breast that was full of milk.  Those of you who have breastfed probably know the big risk of this, mastitis.  The normal treatment?  Getting the milk worked out.  But I wasn't supposed to interact with my nipples at all!

So, I called the on-call nurse who said to go ahead and hand express it as the risk of mastitis was worse than the stimulation.  She also said to call my nurse in the morning and they might want to see me. I did and they did.

My OB remarked how weird it was, but her best theory was that my body had decided it was time to start producing milk.  She said to NOT hand express any more as that was likely to encourage the production of more milk and instead to wear a very tight sports bra with cabbage on the breasts and replace the cabbage every three hours.  Her goal is to get me to stop producing and dry up.  As I'm just past ten weeks, this sounds like a wise idea.  The only other aspect of the plan is that we will add Bactrim DS if I show any signs of mastitis.

Thus, I smell like cabbage. So far it doesn't seem to be working at getting my breast to stop producing the milk [TMI warning: I'm slow to completely stop lactating, so both breasts were capable of producing a couple drops, but the right one is currently capable of producing an across the room stream -- not what you are looking for in a non-breastfeeding mother with a history of a preterm delivery], but the cool of the cabbage does make the painful area feel a lot better.

That's the end of my ramble on my breasts, aren't you glad you now know more than you ever wanted?  But I learned some other interesting information at this appointment.

I was taken to a room without an ultrasound and the medical assistant took my blood pressure.  It was 120/65, more or less normal.  Then, my OB came in and said that based on my blood pressure she was guessing that I didn't want her to look at the babies, but she was planning on it and only wouldn't if I asked her not to.  I agreed that my blood pressure was lower because I had no expectation of seeing them and thus no need to prep myself for information on their possible demise, but said that I was fine with getting an ultrasound.  They brought in the quickie machine then and while they didn't check it, I'm thinking my blood pressure went up.

I'm glad my OB did this experiment as it helped give her more evidence that I don't have hypertension and also because it helps me to know that the reaction should be within my control.  It's physiological and fight or flight, but if I can get myself to not be as worried about protecting myself, perhaps I can keep it down.  Going to try to play with that.



Both babies were beating their hearts like pros and while I didn't expect there to be much change from the ultrasound I'd had three days earlier, there was.  They are now moving their limbs and bodies obviously!  Was great to see.

It's a bit wacky that I've now had five ultrasounds of them at 10 weeks and change and have two more scheduled for a week and a half from now.  I find it reassuring, in perhaps a morbid way, that if something bad does happen, I won't have to live on for a long period of time not knowing.


And I really do smell a bit like cabbage.

19 comments:

  1. I am so excited for you and your twins! I hope the cabbage helps!!!

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  2. The cabbage smell might not be as subtle as I've implied.

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  3. Although, if at each ultrasound your blood pressure is going up, maybe a few less ultrasounds will actually calm you down. Sometimes more is just more!

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    1. The elevation is actually getting better with each time, maybe I just need to get desensitized.

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  4. Do you have one of those heart monitors. I was a MESS without mine. and I was certain that I could find whose heartbeat was whose when doing it. shut up, I could. :) either way...it made me feel better when I had bleeding.

    Oh and the smell of cabbage makes me hungry. I LOVE cabbage.

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    1. I do from Trajan, but I didn't really try it last time. I think I tried twice and just got frustrated. Any chance you remember how early they can be done?

      And now I feel pretty ;-)

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  5. And now you've got a new nickname for the babies... The Cabbage Patch Kids! (See what I did there...)

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  6. Wow. My boobs bow to your boobs. Lol. That is pretty crazy about producing that much milk. I do hope the cabbage does the trick and there is no hint of mastitis.

    I agree with Karen. The doppler was my friend. I could find the twins at 10weeks. Jack at 10.5 weeks. Check very, very low--at your pubic bone.

    Hugs!

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    1. Ok, I think I'm going to try it. I'm 11 weeks tomorrow, so I can "know" that I may not be able to find them and not get worried, and perhaps get a good outcome!

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  7. I think this is the oddest post I may ever have read. Cabbage?? Wow. I'd never heard of that. Why cabbage? Do you have to wear the veggies at work, too? I need more details. And I could barely get a trickle out of my breasts five days AFTER I have birth to twin boys. So I am in total awe of you and your over-achievers!
    And...hooray for waving limbs!!!!!!

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    1. THIS is the weirdest? that's a bit surprising! I think I need to write a redux post on this topic because there definitely are details that I omitted.

      And my breasts REALLy like to produce, they are a bit gung-ho.

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  8. I'm slow to reading through your blog, as I have an IUD - please explain how you even knew that you might be pregnant?

    How does the cabbage work to stop the milk? I'm intrigued.

    Maybe the docs could call you and tell you on the day of an appointment to show up and you won't have time to make the bp spike. I always did the same thing freaking myself out waiting for appointments, etc.

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    1. A coworker actually noticed that I was pregnant before I did. I didn't really have periods per se on the thing, but I had occasional spotting. And I tracked this occasional spotting, like a good person, thinking it was telling me something. Turns out that spotting means nothing by the way, so that tracking was worth nothing.

      I don't normally dream and I told her about a very vivid dream and I was exhibiting a couple other pregnancy symptoms, so she said I should take a pregnancy test. I laughed. But then it kept bugging me, so I decided to take one for reassurance. Nope!

      I am going to research the cabbage thing and write something more...

      My theory if they ever get more concerned about my blood pressure is to ask them if they can send me out to the waiting room after my appointment and ultrasound and THEN check it after an hour or so. The surprise appointment time wouldn't be enough as I could definitely get into a fight or flight mode just while waiting at the office.

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  9. I hope the cabbage is doing the trick. I got a clogged duct over the holidays. It hurt so badly, for so long, and I complained so much that when my 2y/o started playing pretend house, she started saying, "my booby hurts" while doing her pretend-mommy activities. Good luck!!

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    1. That's so funny and yet sad at the same time. But completely true -- blocked ducts suck! Hoep you're doing better!

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  10. With my first my milk never fully came in due to all my other health issues. With my second it came in - sort of. I was able to keep my son alive on my milk alone but I ended up feeding him almost ten hours a day for him to get enough. Also with him I had at least 5 blocked ducks.
    I can't tell you how many times I sat on the couch with a hot water bottle and a hot towel wrapped around one side while he fed off the other.
    praying for your twins and that this issue will all work out

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  11. The cabbage thing ALWAYS made me produce more milk and it really made me mad considering that I was trying to dry it up!

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    1. Now I'm more curious. Going to have to go read on the cabbage. I'm not convinced it does anything more than just cold compresses would...

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  12. I love the nickname Meg came up with:) Lots of info here. Took me back to my nursing days. The ladies have been retired for about 34 years now:)
    So glad things are going well. We will just expect them to continue to do so.

    Answer to your question. My daughter works for Alaska Airlines. That is why I can fly whenever I want. Her parents receive flight benefits too. My son in law works for the Health Department there. His job is to co-ordinate the care and treatment of physically and mentally disabled people in the remote villages.

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