Saturday, July 14, 2012

Top 25

Well hey!

We've been nominated as one of the Top 25 Big Family Blogs over at Circle of Moms again!

If you feel so inclined, go ahead and click on this little circle that will take you right to the list, and you can scroll down to find Random Thoughts from the Zoo.

All you have to do is click on the little thumbs up button-no registering, leaving an email address or anything like that.  They keep is nice and simple!
Voting is open until August 1st, and you can vote every day if you feel up to it.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mastitis without meds

Yes folks, we're talking boobs today.
And yes, apparently I'm immature enough to use the term boobs instead of breasts.

First let's get that duh moment out of the way just in case; I'm not your dr, I'm not any sort of medical professional, just sharing my experience. You're in charge of making smart decisions for your own health, not me.

I know there are moms that read this blog, and plenty of them are still in the baby-having stage of life. Which also means that a bunch are in the breast feeding stage of life.
Unfortunately that means the possibility of mastitis.
Mastitis sucks.
Not only does it make your boob (there it is again) hurt so much you debate slicing the sucker right off, it also makes you feel like you have the flu. Like sleep deprivation isn't enough, add the feeling of the life being sucked out of you, full body aches, fever, chills, headache...oh so much fun stuff!
The kicker is that mastitis is most frequently treated with antibiotics, which kill everything off-good and bad-which is great for getting rid of the infection, aaaand great for causing thrush. Like the first infection wasn't enough, now you get to deal with a yeast infection in your nipples which then often also spreads to your baby's mouth.

Doesn't that sound like more fun than a barrel of monkeys?

I've had the great pleasure (please note the dripping sarcasm) of having had mastitis five times now. Though I was blessed enough to not ever experience it until Dallin came along (baby number five), I had it twice with him, and then again twice with Charlotte (number 7). And now I have it again. I'm taking this as a sign that I should not have any more odd numbered children. 
Interpret that as you may. 

In the past I've had a little warning that mastitis was coming on. Usually at the end of the day I'd start to feel that pain, often starting as a hot spot, nursing would be a little uncomfortable. And then the next morning I'd wake up feeling like I'd been run over by a truck in the middle of the night. 
Ah, memories. 
This time I had no warning. I woke up yesterday around six, the pain was noticeable while I nursed Emily a few minutes later and I felt a little off...within two hours I could see red streaking, felt the fever starting, I hurt everywhere, had been completely zapped of any energy, and pretty much just felt like a swear word.  I was so cold a couple of hours later that I found myself sitting outside in the sun to try and warm up.  It was 103 yesterday. It still took five minutes to feel warm. 

I knew exactly what it was, but was a little worried because it has never hit me this hard or this fast before. I wondered from the get-go if I'd have to resort to meds this time.  I crossed my fingers and hoped that the routine that worked in the past would again work its magic. 

So what's the trick?
Fluids, vitamin c and rest. Nice and simple. 

Before you even do any of these things though, channel your inner hippie and ditch the bra for a day. Please be mindful of the fact that you are wearing no bra when you choose your shirt for the day. Thank you. 

I already drink a ton of water, so putting down even more takes a conscious effort. You should feel like you're floating away. Remember those pregnancy days when you peed every 20 minutes? Welcome back! Push fluids, especially water. 
Lots of vitamin c! 1000-1500mg 4 times a day. I know, vitamin c is water soluble. So aren't you just flushing it all right out? Nope. You'd be surprised how much your body can hang on to when you are dosing through the day. 
(and if you are bored read about megadosing of vitamin c to treat big things like pneumonia.  Fascinating.) 

And the hardest part of it all-rest. Notice I said the routine was simple not easy.   Rest hardly comes easy when you have other kids running around.
Make it a movie day. Lay around and do as little as you can possibly get away with so that your body can spend all of its energy working on getting rid of the infection. Nurse off that infected side as frequently as possible, and let a warm shower soften things up, or use a warm wet washcloth and massage that sucker out. 
If you have a chance for a little vitamin d therapy as well (get some sun people!), soak it up. 

The real key is 24 hours later. 
If you are not better or at least seeing marked improvement, suck it up and call your doc. Mastitis is nothing to mess with, in fact my first exposure to it was seeing my dear friend huddled up in a chair in the corner of her living room with a 104 degree fever, shaking because she felt cold, and trying to convince her husband that she was fine. She was hospitalized for 3 days because hers was so bad. 
If you do end up on meds, use a good probiotic to help avoid the mastitis/thrush cycle.  And definitely avoid junk food, yeast thrives on sugar!

I'm a little over 24hrs in. 
Thankfully I woke up worlds better today than yesterday. No aches, fever is gone.  Boob is still a bit tender, and there is still a little redness, but definitely much less than yesterday. The fact that there is a little redness there still concerns me a tad, so if that is still there tomorrow I will be putting in a call. Hopefully it will be gone by then.       

So there you have it, my own little mastitis routine. I hope you never need it, but if you do then I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.  


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Fourth of July

Ah, the 4th.
I love Summer holidays.
Heck, who am I kidding?  I love Summer!!  

One of my favorite things about the 4th this year is that we had absolutely nothing planned.  
Aaron headed out early to sneak in a run. <---Did you read that?  Hello!!  
Since he went out first and I knew he wouldn't be gone too long, I woke up to this little bit of happy

and we snuggled in bed waiting for him to get back.  

There was a little hiccup in the morning when after an hour and a half he still wasn't back, and I knew he'd only headed out for a couple of miles...  I went to go find him hoping he hadn't passed out somewhere along the way (sorry babe, I was worried).  Turns out he was down the street just a bit talking to a friend we hadn't seen in a while.  I joined in the conversation, and an hour later realized that it was WAY too hot to go run at that point.  Oh well, we had a great chat!  
As she and I were talking, Aaron went home to start breakfast, and tore me away from the conversation a few minutes later because food was home waiting.  
Red, White and Blueberry waffles.  

Awesome husband.  

The kids wanted to play in the water with dad, so they played king of the pool for a bit.

Dad always wins that game.  

There was a nice big water fight as well, which I avoided by working on my tan next to the baby.

Awww, look!  The perfect color scheme for the day.
Don't worry, baby was in the shade, thoroughly enjoying her nap.

Charlotte alternated between playing with the big kids, laying with me, trying on Alaina's sunglasses

and begging me for yellow nail polish.

It took a little while, but she broke me when we were grocery shopping a few days later.  
What can I say?  We didn't have yellow.

The rest of the day was very cliche', the family bbq and just hanging out enjoying the beautiful day.

There was an amazing finale to our night though.  We don't go anywhere for a firework show-keeping track of nine kids is tricky enough, doing it in the dark with thousands of other people and at bedtime just doesn't hold the least bit of appeal.   But it works out ok.  We are surrounded by a bunch of pyros, which works out pretty well in the fireworks department.   Our backyard gives us the perfect view of what happens out here, this year in three different spots; on directly behind us, one to the left and one to the right.  It was completely amazing!  

 Watching that while laying on a blanket in my backyard with my baby sleeping on my chest, my kids completely contained, and ice cream sandwiches all around on a warm summer night?