A couple of weeks ago, I was woken up in the middle of the night — it wasn’t Anne but the pain of engorgement due to a milk blister, of the ‘skin growing over the hole’ variety. Unfortunately, there was no real help to be had, as even the doctor I saw was hesitant to go to the extreme step of piercing it with a sterilised needle. The advice was to ‘feed through the pain’, which I did (holy fuck did it hurt), and Anne managed to soften and tear off enough of the skin to clear the blockage.*
And then late yesterday afternoon, I noticed engorgement in the same area again, but there was no new blister, and Anne was pulling off and crying when I tried to feed her from that side. After lots of frantic Internet searching (I even contemplated that she may be refusing the right side altogether, or that she may have an ear infection), I realised that I am now probably quite prone to those ducts being blocked. Cue lots of frantic (and unsuccessful) hand expressing and pumping. I’d read about ‘dangle feeding‘ and ‘feeding around the nipple clock‘, so I tried that, but the cheeky little monkey thought we were playing a game and only gurgled, laughed, and kicked me in the boob (she also punches me in the face and steals my glasses on a daily basis — if breastfeeding, short-sighted mums aren’t the perfect target market for laser eye surgery, I don’t know what other demographic would be). I finally managed to get Anne latched on (not too well, but something’s better than nothing) by feeding her standing up — and bouncing.
Tangent: she’s never latched on quite right to that boob, and especially poorly after the blister. I’d been too lazy to correct it. That was stupid of me.
Cue Neil coming home from work to a frazzled and increasingly desperate serialdeviant. He did what he could to help (taking over holding Anne, making dinner — not at the same time — handing me hot towels while I tried to pump and express for a second time, again with no luck). I finally gave up and went to bed, hoping Anne would be able to sleepily clear it overnight.
At around 2am (I think), I woke up to feed Anne and the boob only felt marginally better after, but the other one was full. Cue insomnia due to the fear of two engorged and sore boobs. So I got up, got my book, and headed to the living room. Basically, I had to pump the non-painful boob as dry as I could, and keep trying with the blocked one. At four I went back to bed.
Consolation: this is the most reading I’ve done in five months.
This morning, it had cleared. Hallelujah and praise the baby’s sucking reflexes! So now I have to work on her latch on both sides to make sure that she keeps the milk flowing.
* So I guess she’s had her first solid food. Human skin. That’s something to tell the grandkids.
I’m so proud of myself! I cooked 水煮牛肉 (water-boiled beef) for us tonight, which is a Sichuan dish — and incredibly spicy. As with all Chinese food, the secret is in good preparation. Not only did I cook it, I ate and enjoyed it. *pats self on back*
I did not think I would buy a tablet, nor would I join Instagram. Babies make you do crazy things. Also, the task this week is to get Anne to nap more regularly. It’s been a spectacular failure so far, on day one.
I was so excited about Anne napping in her cot (I managed to put her down without waking her) that I had to snap some photos. And the sound of the shutter (I was using my film camera) woke her up. Oops.
My friend Ann invited me back to hers to let Anne try out a playgym — the cheapskate me refused to buy one until I knew for sure Anne would like it. And she loved the mirror on the Fisher-Price Precious Planet, so I knew that was the deal maker.
I ended up getting the Kick n’ Play Piano Gym, because the little cactus sure likes to kick (me. In the boob, mostly).
Buying her something plastic wasn’t really on my agenda, but I guess if it keeps her happy and diverted for a few moments every day, it’s worth it. Even if the music from the piano starts to grate after hearing it a squillion times.
This morning Mr. Postman brought me The Sound of the Life of the Mind, the latest Ben Folds Five album (and their first in 13 years). I got mine via PledgeMusic (I’m so hip and happenin’ that way). As I was unwrapping it I said to Anne, “See? When you take care of your fans, they take care of you!”, also proving that my internal monologue has now become very much external.
One of the things people generally don’t need is a hard disk failure on their computer. What I really didn’t need was a hard disk failure on a desktop PC that isn’t even a year old.
(I did do a backup recently, but only a partial one. Sigh.)
The fact that the hard disk was failing was lost on me, as I’d never experienced it before. My CD drive kept running at random times, and that was the only symptom. Only when Neil accidentally unplugged the PC while Ubuntu was loading up did it finally give up the ghost. It died, just like that. Ubuntu wouldn’t load up. I couldn’t even reinstall Ubuntu to try and rescue my data.
Fortunately it’s still under warranty, and I do still have my old laptop, which is just about serviceable for web browsing. Unfortunately the geeks at the computer place cannot recover any of the data from the dead disk.
While this type of event is highly inconvenient (I’ll be restarting my freelance work some time soon-ish, as long as Anne is good about entertaining herself over short stretches of time), it definitely did not irritate me as much as it might have before (this would have sent me into paroxysms of impotent fury in the past).