Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: North Florida
MRSA infection in breast. My story. Thanks for reading.
After having a wonderful completely unmedicated birth in the hospital, I went home only to discover weeks later that I had contracted a MRSA infection in my right breast. This is a highly antibiotic resistant infection for anyone unfamiliar. Anyway, I was treating what was originally thought to be a plugged duct, then mastitis. After two rounds of methicillin based antibiotics I still had a lump. Finally my OB said this might be an abscess, sent me for an ultra sound, etc, etc, In the end I ended up in the operating room when my sweet baby was only four weeks old. Due to the trauma from the surgery and some mixed addvice from OB/Surgeon/LC my nursing experience was cut painfully short. I just wanted to rant and see if there is anyone else out there.
This is the play by play (some graphic detail): I had read everything I could get my hands on/watched videos/ watched nursing friends, etc. I was fully committed to breastfeeding and was not ignorant of the basics and then some. Nevertheless, before I even left the hospital my nipples began to crack. I had asked to see an LC but was sent a floor nurse instead. All she did was show me the football position and that was that. My baby's latch appeared great to everyone including myself- because it was. The problem was that from the get go I had hyperlactation and overactive let down (had been leaking enough milk to warrant breastpads since four months preg.).(But these weren't diagnosed until about week 2 pp.) You see, though my baby's mouth was wide and lips everted etc. she was thrusting forward and clamping with her tounge to slow the flow- thus the cracked nipples and entry point for the MRSA. My baby was born on a Monday, by that Saturday I had a lump in my right breast. I began the treatment for a plugged duct, etc. Oh, and my breast were constantly engorged! Anyway, the point in all this is that my hyperlactaion/overactive letdown issues sort of overshadowed the lump as it wasn't causing me much pain compared to my nipples. But, I went ahead and called my GPs on-call nurse for an RX anyway just in case. I was prescribed Kefelx which is considered the best protocal. Week 2 I visited an LC, mentioned the lump but she was more focused on helping me resolve my hyper/over issues so my baby would stop clamping down. Also told me to nurse one-side at a time to slow production. These things were working- my nipples were healing, but I was still in so much pain when I nursed. I was having vasospasms . So painful!(I now realize that all of my pain was being caused by the developing abccesses) So week three on a Wednesday I went to another LC. I told her about all of the issues I was having and mentioned the lump to her. She asked how long have you had it? I said over 2 weeks now. She looked concerned and said I should make an appointment with my OB that it might be an abcess. I was so stunned. The next day I got in with my OB, he felt the lump, which I should mention was only about the diameter of a quarter, and immediately said I want to send you for an ultrasound and a consultation with a surgeon today! I was sort of on auto pilot after that. Mind you I had gone alone with my 3 week old to see my OB and now I was being sent off for all this stuff. My husband was at work 35 miles away. Anyway I went to the radiologist which was a carnival because first they said I shouln't pump then they said I should, round and round. This was a Thursday and I wasn't able to get in with the surgeon until Monday. Over the weekend I developed another lump in my breast directly behind my nipple. Unlike the first one, this was was very painful! I was now in so much pain that nursing was impossible. My baby was receiving only bottles of breastmilk. When I saw the surgeon he too did an ultrasound. He said I don't think these are abcesses I think you have severe galactoceles and will need to stop nursing! Arrrgh! What? Stop nursing? But, I'm horrified of formula. I was going to breastfeed my baby until she was at least 2! But, in my shock all that came out was "really?" The surgeon said I wouldn't need surgery but gave me a new prescription because it looked like I had mastits. Anyway, I went home that night with a new prescription for Septra (this will treat MRSA, but it was too late.) Wednesday morning I woke up in so much agony!! Keep in my I had an unmedicated birth and thought it was great! This pain was unexplainable. I had a horrible fever, I could hardly think straight (I was bordering on becoming septic is why!). My husband was home to care for me and the baby, thank God. I called the surgeon and said something is not right! They brought me in. My husband was with me. We left the baby with my mother-in-law. The surgeon said he was going to aspirate my breast to see what kind of fluid was building up. I was dying for relief from the pressure. My breast was like a red rock. The nurse and I actually joked that it looked like a botched breast implant. Anyway, the surgeon numbed my breast with a small needle and then proceeded to take out a needle about 4 inches long attached to a syringe the size of a turkey baster! Now my husband was my coach through the birth of our baby. He was incredible, but when that doctor stuck that needle in my breast and began to draw off a vile mixture of milk blood and pus- my husband passed out cold. I was terrified. It sounded like he had cracked his skull! While he was passed out he was mumbling and groaning oddly. It sounded like he was having a seizure! I'm up on a table with a four inch needle in my breast and the nurse is dealing with my husband. I was crying and pulling at the doctors sleeve because I wanted to see what was going on with my husband, but of course I couldn't move. My husband came too and was fine, thank God. The surgeon proceeded to say that I would need surgery- tomorrow! This was all happening so fast all of a sudden. My husband and I went back to his mom's. She lives right next to the hospital so we stayed with her that night. My mind was numb- just trying to get through the idea of surgery. I am terrified of anesthesia- part of the reason I had a natural birth. Well the next morning came and off I went for surgery.......
It turned out I had 3 abcceses! My incision was around the areola- terrible for trying to nurse again- nearly impossible! I had to have drainage tubes in my breast for 2 weeks!
I began giving my baby formula and cried nearly all of the time. I could go on and on. When she was three months old I relacted since my nipple was reasonably healed, but she absolutely refused the breast. I was devastated.
It has taken me many, many months to come to terms with all of this. Writing it all down has helped. Thanks to anyone who read it all! It means a lot.
Wife to Clay (03/02) Mom to Marybel (06/06)
Baby Girl on the way edd 07/01/2011
Last edited by breelovel; 07-27-2007 at 07:21 PM.
Reason: More detail