Big Hands and a Fat Lip

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's been a long couple of days in the Chapman house.

The other day, I woke up all scratchy. I had what looked like about 30 mosquito bites all over my body. I thought that with the daily walks in the park Georgia and I take I must of had a bug fly up my dress and attack. I sprayed some lavender oil to ease the itch, and when that didn't work, I should have known something was up. Lavender oil ALWAYS eases my mosquito bite itches.

That night, I noticed I had more of these "bites." And the palms of my hands were itchy. And then, when I was up with Georgia in the middle of the night, I noticed my left middle finger was painfully swollen. Then, my right pinky became painfully swollen. And then, my hands began to swell. And swell. And swell.

I warily looked up some things on the Internet, but I had a feeling I did NOT have rheumatoid arthritis and I have NEVER had an allergic reaction to anything in my life. I decided since my hands were still growing that I should go into, at least, an Instacare place and get it checked out. The one that took my insurance didn't open until 9 so I went back to bed.

When I woke up, my hands and morphed into paws that were twice their original size. I could neither make a fist nor open them all the way and instead had to settle with a half-cupped position. To make matters worse, I was unbearably itchy and my bottom lip had swelled up so I struggled to keep from drooling. Also, those "mosquito bites" had gotten around my eyes.

I looked like a cross between Lennie from Of Mice and Men and Quasimodo.

I fed Georgia and left her asleep with Scott before I drove myself to the clinic. Looking back, this was probably not a great idea. What if I had stopped breathing or something?!

At the clinic, the doc in the box asked me what I had been eating differently. I told him I was sure nothing new because I had been keeping track of everything I ate since I was breastfeeding. He then told me that "sometimes our inflammatory cells just flare up for no reason, and that's why you're swollen and have these hives." I asked him if it could be from postpartum hormonal changes or stress.

"Doesn't matter what caused it- just matters that we treat it."

"I totally disagree with that."

"Well, we'll get you cured. Put you on some Prednisone and you can take some Benedryl too."

He was half-way out the door before I shouted after him that I was breastfeeding and wanted to make sure it was safe to do so while on the medication.

"Oh- sure." And he bolted out the door.

Yeah. Like I'm gonna trust what you say, you "just treat it" jackass.

Talking with the pharmacist, he didn't know if it was safe or not either. And neither did the people I talked to at my pediatrician's office. And the hotline they told me to call was closed on Fridays. Awesome.

I had to do something (since I could barely hold my cereal spoon without pain, let alone my baby) so I took the prednisone and decided to give Georgia formula. I also asked Scott to stay home from work to help me. This is when I'm glad he works for his parents.

My swelling slowly went down that day and so did the hives. I did the "pump and dump" thing to keep my milk production up.

Side-note: If my soft, dough like stomach full of stretch marks is not enough to make me feel ultra-sexy, let's add nursing underwear, giant pads, hives, swollen hands, puffy eyes, and BEING ELECTRONICALLY MILKED to the mix. Not gonna lie, by the end of the day, I was locked in the bathroom crying and Scott is never allowed see me pump.

All the while, we were giving Georgia formula (a kind she had in the hospital and did really well with) both through a nipple shield and syringe and a bottle.
You should have seen her with the bottle. She would just sit there with it in her mouth and look at me like: "what the heck do you expect me to do with this, lady?"

The next day, I called a REAL doctor who assured me that breastfeeding on that dosage of prednisone is perfectly safe. I was relieved- and so was Georgia.

But now, we have a constipated baby. A constipated and fussy baby. It's awful. I mean, for her. And for us. Because she scream-cries a lot.

And I'm still on prednisone. And we're never giving Georgia that formula again.


  1. Oh Carrie! How awful! I hope your body, and consequently baby's body, both get back to rights soon.

    I hate that hives is one of those things that's almost IMPOSSIBLE to find the cause of. But I get them a lot on my stomach if I'm stressed (in teeny patches...a dab of cortisone usually takes care of it, along with some yoga). With all the intense changes that your body and spirit and schedule have been going through, its no wonder something in your body rebelled.

    My advice? Hand Scott the baby, and for 20 minutes, lock yourself in the bathroom, light a lavender candle, and take a bath. Baking soda in cool water is especially good for irritated skin.

    Love and love and love from the other Chapmans.

  2. It's so hard and unfair when moms (especially nursing moms) get sick. I'm glad you are feeling better. I know it's hard to accept your body as is, it totally sucks and it's something I struggle with every day. I just tell myself that the cuteness of my kids more than makes up for the cuteness I'm lacking due to my having them. It's rough, no denying it. Hang in there troops. Can't wait to see you guys this weekend!

  3. Oh that sounds just awful! I am so sorry! It would drive me crazy not to know what caused it. What a horrible doctor you had. Could it have possibly been an allergic reaction to a bug bite? spider, mosquito, bedbugs? so so sorry. I hope it all clears up quickly.


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