Thursday, January 16, 2014

I got mastitis and the flu for Christmas. What about you?

This hiatus from blogging has been more enjoyable than anticipated, but I’m also returning sooner than anticipated.

When we found ourselves in “The Hole that is November” I realized that I needed to be as present to our little family as possible.  Blogging certainly didn’t take me away from the family while we were together since I mainly wrote at night when Sebastian slept and Jacob studied; however, as probably most bloggers will agree with me, blogging can be mentally consuming, and I just got tired of seeing life through the lens of a blog post.  I had to take a hiatus from Facebook years ago when I was at my highest level of Facebook addiction.  But all that is neither here nor there.  I’m back to write this post, and I’ll just take it post by post from here on out.

For the past several weeks I have been reading everyone’s Christmas and New Year’s posts, so consider this late to the party of the holiday recap category.

Our Christmas break was not exactly how we anticipated.

Jacob had to get extensions for several deadlines so his semester was extended by almost a full week.  The final two weeks of the semester wore heavily on us both.  I kept dreading that this year would be a repeat of last year.  Despite the Christmas photos, the snow on Christmas day, and the fun of making homemade eggnog, last year’s Christmas was kind of horrible.  Jacob studied the first half of Christmas Eve, and practically twenty four hours later (Christmas Day!) he went back to studying which meant I sat in our apartment by my pregnant self with the company of the Christmas tree and tried putting up as happy of a Christmaspost as I could muster.  Not going to lie.  It kind of sucked.

So this year as Jacob worked his rear end off, averaging three hours of sleep a night, I tried to suppress an ever growing fear of a non-existent break, of a Christmas day with studying, and a miserable and exhausted husband.

Praise God! the fear went unrealized.  Jacob finished the Thursday before Christmas, and even though it meant our break was shorter than expected, there was great rejoicing.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

However the stress of those final few weeks took a physical toll on me in addition to the obviously sleep deprived hubby.  The Saturday morning before Christmas, I woke up with fever, chills, ache, and an incredibly painful right breast.  I had mastitis, and I had it bad.  I hadn’t felt that sick in a very long time, so, needless to say, our plans for enjoying Jacob’s time off changed and became my keeping an eye on Sebastian in the constructed baby-proof zone from the perch of my sick bed while the still-sleep-deprived Jacob found himself doing all the house chores in addition to tutoring his Latin pupil several hours a day.  Thanks to antibiotics, I recovered, but it meant we had a very low key Christmas indeed and I ended up nixing several plans and preparations I had imagined accomplishing while healthy.

But we can’t complain.  The Christmas tree may have been on the dining table to avoid Sebastian’s reach, and our budgeting this year may have necessitated fewer presents under the tree, but all in all it was quiet, simple, and lovely.  After attending a beautiful Christmas Eve liturgy, Jacob and I one again sipped homemade eggnog, snuggled on the couch while watching White Christmas, and our little boy slept soundly upstairs.  Christmas Day we lazily opened presents and watched Sebastian play with the discarded Wall Street Journal pieces used as wrapping paper, and in the afternoon we went on a walk around the neighborhood, awkwardly savoring the fact that we didn’t have to do anything.

Pictures from Christmas:

If you didn't get a card, then I'm sorry.  I promise you were probably on the list, but I confess I still have half the stack of cards that I haven't mailed yet.  Maybe they'll get sent out by Valentine's Day.
Our "family picture" of the day.

The day after Christmas I packed, Jacob tutored, and in the evening he brewed ten gallons of beer.  On Friday we departed for our quasi-cross-country-family-visiting marathon.  We drove up to Oklahoma to visit Jacob’s family, and our visit was as uneventful as a visit can be to that energy filled home.  
With Daddy at the Reilly farm.
Sebastian became fast friends with his little aunts and uncles; however, by the end of the visit, he and I were gifted with a flu-like cold from those little hands and noses.  The night before we departed Oklahoma for our 12+ hour drive to Florida, Sebastian’s nose began running like a faucet, he spiked a fever, and the night was a rather sleepless one of tossing, turning, and trying to get infant Tylenol into him to get the fever down.

The next day we departed for Florida and luckily he was a trooper and slept most of the way.  Jacob drove the entire way as I sat in the backseat on a constant cycle of nose wiping, car seat nursing, entertaining, and lulling to sleep.  We arrived to Florida, but found ourselves quarantined.  With a 93 year old grandmother and a very pregnant sister, we couldn’t risk getting family and friends sick.  The plans I had envisioned of seeing old Florida peeps quickly fizzled as Sebastian’s misery continued day after day.  I won’t go into details but we eventually found ourselves in the Pediatric ER on Thursday night.
At the ER and still a happy baby.  We're so blessed.
Thanks to a steroid and antibiotics, the little man began to act more himself within 24 hours.  We ended up extending our stay by two days just in order to see the family that we couldn’t have seen otherwise.

There have been several times where I wanted to complain that my break has been nothing but house arrest and bed rest. But I have also had to remind myself that I’ve had what I kept saying was the only thing I wanted – time with Jacob.  We may have been bored this break, but at least we could be bored together.  And we may have been sick this break, but at least we were kind of sick together (and at least we were nursed by my family rather than being alone in Texas to be sick by ourselves ... looking on the bright side).  I’ve just tried to stay focused on these little things.  So now as we brace ourselves for the beginning of another crazy semester, I keep trying to refocus on the blessings that were given to us over break because it's that ability to see the good that's going to get me through these next few months.

Take a deep breath and dive in.  You’ll resurface for air come summer.

I hope everyone had a healthy Christmas.


  1. You're back! I missed you (in a totally non-creepy way) :-)

    Mastitis is the worst! I've had it a couple of times and it hits hard. It's awful and so hard to take care of a baby when it hurts to freaking move your own arm. You learn exactly how far up your armpits your milk ducts go lol

    1. Oh my gosh, seriously. You're telling me!

    2. I echo the I missed you in a totally non-creepy way sentiment. ;-) Although I understand the need to take a break sometimes. I'm glad you are well now.

  2. Well that sounded like a doozy of a Christmas. Hope everyone's well on their way to mend.

    ~ Country Girl's Daybook
    recently posted: Rest in peace, Anna.

    1. Doozy -- the perfect word. Couldn't have said it better myself. ;)

  3. At least you and Sebastian both looked great in the ER . . . . ;-) Is that the sweater I gave him?

    1. Wouldnt you know we were getting dressed for the first time that week to go to Lizzie's for the evening when I took his temp bc he wasn't acting right and that's when we decided to go to the ER instead. At least we could look good for that female nurse Practioner. ;)

      And yes! He wears that sweater all the time although I just discovered two holes in it that must've happens in the wash or something. It's one of my favorite sweaters so I'm pretty bummed about that. It'll be hard to adequately patch it since it's a knitted sweater. :(

  4. I LOVE your honesty in this post. It's so tempting as bloggers to paint a shiny happy picture on everything, which I find so frustrating—isn't the point of blogging to share the reality of our lives? Your post from last year's Christmas was sweet but this one is so much better. Props to you both for admitting the holidays weren't perfect (I laughed at the line about house arrest and bed rest) and also seeing the good side to them (spending more time with Jacob). Go Martha go! And blog more often. :)

  5. p.s. Sebastian is the cutest child of all time. I want to pinch his cheeks so badly in some of those photos. He's just a doll!