Thursday, December 30, 2010

Postpartum Adventures - 3 Weeks

It's been almost 3 weeks since my crazy delivery. L'il Dude is healthy and well and eating/sleeping like a champ.

Me, on the other hand, can't seem to get my health in order. I have developed Bells Palsy, high blood pressure and a massively painful clogged milk duct that I can't seem to alleviate. It's been a real roller coaster ride!

The excitement started the morning after coming home from the hospital, the littlest chickadee had to go to the ER too as she had cut her chin wide open by falling on a sippy cup! Stress and sleep deprivation just seemed to compound after that. Especially with the holiday rush and kindergarten Christmas requirements/parties. I was compelled to get all my Christmas cards out WITH a birth announcement and send out all my packages ASAP. Not only that, I felt I needed to start a walking routine and went on an hour and a half trail walk in the rain a few days after coming home.

The next morning after the power walk, I noticed my lip was weak when trying to drink out of a straw and put on my Chapstick. I just chalked it up to sleep deprivation. It continued to worsen that day and that night we went out to see the Metrolink Holiday Toy Express (in the cold rain) and my hubbie started freaking out how my right eye wasn't closing when the other eye blinked and how my eye would roll up in my head when trying to blink. We thought maybe I had a mini stroke and that totally scared me.

That night I Googled 'postpartum facial paralysis' and immediately pulled up info on Bells Palsy and learned everything I could about it. I was almost 100% certain that's what I had. The next morning I called my doctor's office to see if I should be seen or not. They recommended I go to the ER to rule out a neurological condition. Ugh - I dreaded going to the ER. I didn't want to bring the baby with me and I was set on breastfeeding exclusively without supplementing. Spending hours in the ER would pose a challenge I feared.

Luckily, it was a quick and easy trip considering. I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy and got a prescription for Prednisone steroids and anti-viral medicine. I guess I was lucky to get seen quickly as treatment is more successful if you are seen with the first few days of onset.

Now that it's been a few weeks since it first came on, it seems much better, thankfully. Not 100% normal or symmetrical movement of my face, but manageable. Next week I'm going to meet with an acupuncturist to start treatment for this and my other health/stress issues. I hope it makes me feel more energetic, alert and well.

I also have postpartum high blood pressure for some reason. It was never high when I was pregnant or immediately after delivery. My OB isn't concerned about how high my blood pressure is, but it's not normal for me to be above 120/70 range - I'm running about 140/90 right now.

All the advice says to REST, REST and REST some more. But honestly, I feel that I've rested and stayed at home as much as I can stand. Napping is not really an option several times a day, every day. I feel that 45 minutes of nursing time with the baby every 3 hours is considered resting. And not being able to walk or exercise as normal is lame. How many weeks of rest and recovery do I really need? I've always bounced back after my other 2 births and this was my fastest and drug-free, so why should I be so wiped out??

My latest complaint is the clogged milk duct from hell. I've done everything to get it to go away and nothing works. I've had it for over 3 days! I even did a creepy, ridiculous nursing position recommended by LaLeche that involves hovering over the baby on all fours to nurse. Um, yeah, weird. It was like doing a nursing 69 and the baby totally ripped mega farts and pooped in my face while I tried it. All the while, my husband and the 2 chickadees were all milling around. I'm glad the girls didn't ask me what the hell I was doing or that anyone took a picture.

I'm praying that in the coming week that I'll start seeing an improvement in my health. School is starting up again and DH is going back to work so I'll need to be more on top of things again.

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