In my last post I asked if anyone could guess why my breastmilk has turned purple.
Well, kalen, mlwindc, and LatteLove got it right: it is due to gentian violet, which I am using to treat our latest bout of thrush.
While gentian violet is proven to be one of the most effective remedies against thrush, I had been reluctant to try it because of the ick factor, the “ick” being that it is messy. Gentian violet is a deep purple solution that seems to get everywhere once the bottle is open, and it is almost always guaranteed to stain fabrics permanently and skin temporarily.
Before giving Claire a cotton swab of the purple stuff, I had dabbed her lips and area around her mouth with Vaseline as suggested by numerous sources in order to prevent staining, but it only helped a little as you can see in this picture:
This is actually a lot better than last night, when the purple stuff was all over her chin and cheeks.
My nipples look pretty comical as well after undergoing the gentian violet treatment, resembling bruised and tumorous boysenberries. I would show you a picture but I’ll keep this blog PG-13.
We will continue with the gentian violet for a couple more days, and I am praying that this will work.
First, Claire developed thrush in her mouth and passed it on to me. The thrush in my boobs led to my developing mastitis in my right breast. And by taking antibiotics to treat the mastitis, I managed to develop thrush again, this time with a vengeance — I get hot, shooting, searing pains in my right breast every time I pump. I have tried not emptying the breast completely and nursing directly in order to try to lessen the pain, but have had no success so far. The pain lasts for about an hour after each pumping session and it is so bad that my body jerks and spasms every time another jolt passes through my chest.
The mastitis and thrush has lessened the milk supply in my right breast considerably. Meanwhile, my left breast seems to be producing extra milk in order to compensate, and so I am suffering from oversupply and engorgement there.
So for the first hour after each pumping/nursing session, my right boob is in excruciating pain. But as soon as my right boob starts to feel better, my left boob gets painfully engorged to a point where it hurts to hold my baby.
Oh, and my boobs are lopsided now too. Lovely.
It has been like this for the past week, and J is starting to lose his patience. Not with my (lack of) recovery, but with how miserable I have been. Last night, as I was unable to show my face at a family dinner due to my breast pain — choosing to lie in bed instead, spasming with each jolt of pain with tears in my eyes — he held me tight and told me that he would much rather that we give our daughter formula than my continuing to be in so much pain and feel like a bad mother for continuing to have so much trouble breastfeeding.
I know that quitting breastfeeding will be no easy task either — engorgement in both breasts! — but it is looking mighty tempting at this point.