Hey, so let the breastfeeding/boob stories continue!
Thursday I returned to Kaiser to be checked, and Dr. T decided that yes indeed, there continued to be infection, which meant that further action (surgery) was necessary. It was about 4:30 p.m. when he made this decision.
Thing to remember: I (stupidly) thought whatever was in store for me would be nothing more than a in and out procedure.
Dr. T sent me to Emergency; apparently this is how they do it. Patrick met me there. I told him to wait for me for an hour and if I wasn't done by then (ha ha! Seriously, I had no idea) to take the baby home. They let me nurse before they checked me in, but since I didn't know I was going to be staying, I didn't have my breast pump with me. After they checked me in, they took me back to a bed, and I proceeded to hurry up and wait. Within 20 minutes, I was crying. I missed my baby. I haven't been away from him for that long since he was born. After an hour, Patrick came back and said he was taking Jules home. It didn't seem right to make them wait in the waiting room with all the sick people.
It took the doctors awhile to check on me, and while I was waiting, my sister and brother were texting me. Angie asked if she should come to be with me and at first I said no but the more I thought about it, the better having someone with me sounded. They both decided to come.
Finally, after a nurse came and started an IV of antibiotics (and made me take a pregnancy test!), an ER doctor came to look at me. He was nice enough but unfortunately he had a huge, disgusting booger in his right nostril. It was grossly distracting. He wasn't a surgeon, he was just there, I guess, to assess my situation. Later a surgeon came to check me out (I had been asking the nurses for water, which they refused to give to me. Well, they didn't "refuse," they just neglected to get it. Eventually one of them explained that they had to wait to see what the surgeon said before they could give me anything to drink). This guy pissed me off, because he said things about breastfeeding after the surgery that weren't right. He told me that I should wait 3 days afterward to breastfeed, that I should pump and dump all my milk during that time because I didn't want the anesthesia to get into Jules' system. He said that there was a possibility the infected fluid could get to Jules while he was feeding. Now. I've been reading all about this abscess thing for awhile, and though by this time they had started an IV of antibiotics that I hadn't yet checked out (I did later), I knew that what he said about the anesthesia, about breastfeeding, was wrong. But I didn't say anything. I just sat there and stewed.
My brother and sister got to the hospital right before they took me to the OR, just in time to collect my "valuables" (cell phone, eyeglasses, car keys, wedding ring). My brother went with me to pre-op where things suddenly got very serious.
I still thought this was no big deal. But when you're lying in a bed with an IV in your arm, and an anesthesiologist suddenly shows up, hey, things have progressed wildly beyond "in and out." I'm not telling the story very well - at some point someone, another surgeon, showed up to explain what was going on and that my abscess needed to be drained and that I might have to stay overnight in the hospital, but I don't really remember when that happened. The pre-op nurse (a dude named Rudy) was nice, and he tried to find a breast pump for me in Labor and Delivery but amazingly, they didn't have one. My sister went to my house to get mine but I never used it. Later, when the anesthesiologist came, a youngish Asian guy, he was really nice. He told me that though he wasn't sure about the antibiotics, he was positive that once I woke up, it would be safe for me to breastfeed. This jived with everything I read. He was the first person to understand how important breastfeeding is to me.
My brother hung out with me in the pre-op room , and I tried to be calm about the whole thing, but look, I've never had surgery before. I've never had anesthesia before. I was scared.
The good part is, when it was time to get the thing started and the anesthesiologist came back, the last thing I remember is him telling me, "this might sting a little." It did. And then I woke up sometime later.
At this point I should ask my brother to write about what happened because all I remember is someone saying I could go home. I don't know what time it was. I don't remember getting dressed. I do remember Rudy pushing me in a wheelchair downstairs. My sister drove me, Dan drove my car.
I hada big bandage on my breast, taped down with what felt like all the tape in the world. Dan said they told him I was supposed to go to general surgery on Friday to be checked... or maybe this was on one of those after visit summary sheets Kaiser is so fond of? I don't remember. Anyway, we went home. Patrick had fed the baby one feeding from my precious frozen supply, and one feeding of formula, but I was still a little out of it and not 100% sure I should nurse, so I did a dumb thing: I pumped from the breast that hadn't had surgery, and I threw it away. I wish I hadn't done that. Overnight I leaked a ton of milk.
So Kaiser, apparently wanting to dope me up, prescribed an antibiotic (safe while breastfeeding) and some pain medication (Norco; not recommended while breastfeeding). I chose not to take the Norco, and instead am relying on good ol' 200 mg of Advil. I haven't had much pain. I also haven't had a shower.
On Friday, my mom and dad and Dan came over (Patrick had to work). My mom and Dan watched the baby, my dad took me to get checked. A nurse "repacked" my wound, and let me just tell you, that sucked. She removed and replaced what felt like 100 feet of gauze-y stuff. Saturday I went back by myself which may have been a mistake but I survived. Jules too.
Anyway, that's it. There are more details I could tell you about but I think I'm okay now. I hope.