the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Where am I?

Surprisingly, only a few dozen people have written to chastise me about the state of my masthead, most of them quick to say hey you, blogger who blogs on her Internet blog, don’t you know what month it is? Let’s just for a moment consider that I haven’t once had more than two consecutive hours of sleep in the last three weeks. Dude, I have no idea what year it is. I’m lucky to remember my name most days and have more than once said, “Yes, dear?” when Jon called out for Chuck.

I’m aiming to have something new up in the next few days, I promise, if only because there was this one guy who was REALLY SERIOUS about what a bad example I’m setting for the kids by having that unlit cigarette hanging out of my mouth, especially SINCE I WAS PREGNANT AND ALL, and was I aware of the potentially awful things that cigarette smoke could do to an unborn baby? Hmmm… I’m pretty sure the angels in heaven forgot to turn on the portion of his brain that recognizes sarcasm, or maybe this guy just needs a quick one up the pooper.

Things got even more complicated around here at about 4AM Saturday morning when I woke up to feed Marlo and my left breast felt like someone had sliced it open and shoved in a handful of broken glass. I thought I’d try to ignore it, and oh, moan in silence? Bite my lip until I was drowning in a puddle of blood? What was I thinking, YOU CANNOT IGNORE THAT KIND OF PAIN. So I tapped a sleeping Jon on the shoulder and whispered, “Honey, can you take the baby, I think I’m dying.”

I immediately headed for the kitchen where we keep the Advil, and I don’t even remember how I made it the fifty or so feet from the bed to the medicine cabinet, but there I am taking a couple of pills and next thing you know I can barely stand up. And I guess while reaching for the countertop to steady myself I knocked over the glass of water I used to take the pills and it went crashing into a thousand pieces on the floor. Somehow I make it back to the bedroom when suddenly I’m overcome with the need to puke, and Jon is all, what was that crash? And I’m all, what crash? And he’s all, THE CRASH THAT SOUNDED LIKE A CAR FLEW THROUGH OUR FRONT DOOR. And I’m all, why are you moving your mouth and talking to me, can’t you see I need to vomit?

Several Google searches later and I realize I have mastitis. If you want to know more about this condition just go click that link, but if you’re looking for the condensed definition it’s basically inflammation and infection of the breast tissue that can be caused by a clogged milk duct or bacteria that has somehow made its way in through the nipple. Sounds fun, I know, it’s been nothing but giggles, balloons, and pony rides over here, except for the twelve hours I spent in bed yesterday with chills, aches, and a 102 degree fever. My doc called in a prescription for antibiotics, and they finally kicked in last night, and the relief I felt was not unlike what I imagine Marlo feels when she wakes up from a nap, sees the outline of my boob and is all SHUT UP, ANOTHER BUFFET?!

So I’m eating yogurt with probiotics to try and avoid the possibility of thrush, and I’m continuing to rest to make sure my body can adequately fight the infection. That last part is proving to be the most frustrating aspect of this because all I want to do is get up and organize my now completely disheveled life, starting with maybe, you know, updating the bad example that is my current masthead. For the kids. Who read this website after playing Barbies and singing along to the High School Musical soundtrack. Hi, guys! I think Zac Efron is totally doable, too!! LOLZ!!

  • katie

    2009/07/06 at 1:13 pm

    Are people really complaining about the masthead? They need to get a life pronto. You just had a baby for crying out loud!

  • EMAH

    2009/07/06 at 1:15 pm

    I hear cabbage leaves help . . . and antibiotics.

  • Lisa

    2009/07/06 at 1:15 pm


  • J

    2009/07/06 at 1:15 pm

    Been there too man and glad to hear you’re back to getting well.

    Zack Efron is so rad. ROFLOL. 🙂

  • Frau Klugscheisser

    2009/07/06 at 1:16 pm

    Hope you’ll soon be better.

  • Anna

    2009/07/06 at 1:16 pm

    Go back to bed and rest! I’ve been “lucky” enough to have mastitis five times so I defintely know how much it sucks. Take Marlo to bed and hang out there until you feel better, rest and antibiotics work wonders.

  • SwedishPankakes

    2009/07/06 at 1:16 pm

    Rebecca over at Girls Gone Child had mastitis too awhile back. Really makes me want to re-think the whole having-kids-and-then-letting-them-feed-on-me thing.

  • cari

    2009/07/06 at 1:16 pm

    i love the masthead.. i think you should keep it up …

  • Erin

    2009/07/06 at 1:16 pm

    Heather, I really feel for you and the last thing you need is to be harrassed by your own readers. There’s lots of other juicy stuff on the web to distract them until you get back on your feet. Hope you feel better soon – I’ve said it before – we’ll be here when you’re ready!

  • Lisa B in Seattle

    2009/07/06 at 1:17 pm

    Ouch! Poor Heather!

  • Jackie

    2009/07/06 at 1:17 pm

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Anyone complaining hasn’t had a baby, or been around a new born for longer then 5mins. Rest, and take care of your family. We’ll still be here to read when you feel better.

  • Haven Einstein-Arthur

    2009/07/06 at 1:17 pm

    I hope you are feeling better. I wanted to let you know that your blog is one of the highlights of my ultra exciting life as a stay at home mom of a 3 year old girl and a almost 2 year old boy. Congrats on Marlo.

  • Anonymous

    2009/07/06 at 1:17 pm

    Aw. (: You’re so witty. And yes, please get to it. It’s unbalancing my entire life. I can no longer sleep at night because of it. Ha.

  • giggloki

    2009/07/06 at 1:17 pm

    Aww poor boobs. You have my sympathy.

  • Anne

    2009/07/06 at 1:17 pm

    haha seriously people have been complaining about the mast head? I noticed it was still June but was like “Oh yeah, she has a NEWBORN BABY!” The Internet is an amazing place, seriously.

    And thanks to your tweet about mastitis I’ve learned another new thing about the joy of pregnancy and having children. I swear another 10 years till I consider kids. 😛

    Hope you feel better soon though. <3

  • Megan@Blueberry Scones

    2009/07/06 at 1:18 pm

    I second the cabbage leaves suggestion, and ice, ice baby. (Ice, ice!)

    I hope it works out for you – that HURTS.

  • Meagan D

    2009/07/06 at 1:18 pm

    I can’t believe people are really emailing you about the masthead, they must be the people that have never actually given birth.

    Keep up the good work, I personally am surprised that we are even seeing actual posts from you. I know that if I were in your shoes, I would be taking advantage of getting in yet another 2 hour nap.

    Hope that you feel better soon.

  • Dharma

    2009/07/06 at 1:18 pm

    dood – screw Mr. Not-So-Funny and leave the damn masthead up until Marlo is 6 years old…you know, when you start putting whole sentences together again and your boobs are not exploding like Russian missiles off your chest in the wee hours of the morning….

    take care of you,

  • Elizabeth_K

    2009/07/06 at 1:18 pm

    Oh I loved all the sunshine and sleepiness and beautiful babies coming from this site recently, and I’m so sorry it was stopped for even a day by horrid terrible pain. Take care of yourself, and so proud and excited of/by you and your family! You guys are doing awesome.

  • moggit girls

    2009/07/06 at 1:18 pm

    Mastitis. Another thing our mothers never warned us about.

  • darcy

    2009/07/06 at 1:18 pm

    as a nineteen year old reader, i think i’m caught somewhere in between high school musical and that senile world where sarcasm is dead, but i’ve enjoyed reading for the past four years, and still do! don’t worry, your nonchalance is the best part of the whole thing. sorry to hear you’re feeling so awful- don’t worry about updating, just get well and spend time with your family! speaking of the rest of the gang, send a hello to lou- i’m a big fan.

  • Kristan

    2009/07/06 at 1:19 pm

    Aw, I hope you feel better!

    Since I’m queen of the world, I say leave your masthead as is. It’s funny enough to stay up all year. 🙂

  • Tara

    2009/07/06 at 1:19 pm

    Oh no… mastitis and mastheaditis at once?! Hope you feel better soon!

  • natalie

    2009/07/06 at 1:19 pm

    I feel your pain…i had mastitis on day 6 postpartum in March…I too thought I was going to die from the fevera and chills alone! We so need a medal for what we put our bodies through.

  • Grammar Snob

    2009/07/06 at 1:19 pm

    I heard cabbage leaves, too. Cooked, I think…but I’m not sure. Cole slaw in a pinch? No idea.

    I thought the other day when I remembered it was July that you’d probably have a million weirdos telling you to change the masthead…..all men I’m sure. Your response should be this: “Why don’t you come over and breast feed the baby while I do it. Asshole.” Or maybe….”sure, I’ll update the masthead after I have a chance to eat something, feed the baby, shower, feed the baby, feed the toddler, feed the dog, the husband, the other dog, now the baby’s hungry again and I never got a shower, now the toddler’s hungry again…..what did you want again? Asshole.

  • Milla

    2009/07/06 at 1:19 pm

    why are you wasting time on the internet when you have a newborn in the house?!! go on with your bad self. take your time. we’re not going anywhere.

  • Amanda

    2009/07/06 at 1:20 pm

    I had mastitis with my second daughter and let me tell you I feel your pain. I actually thought it was jut that I wasn’t able to nurse often enough (it was after I returned to work) so when I reached the babysitters I was anxious to nurse hoping it would relieve the pain except when I walked in the door I passed out. PAINFUL!!

    Ok so I could care less about the date on the masthead my only complaint is I have 2 weeks left in my pregnancy and all I want to eat is powdered sugar donuts. That is your fault 🙂 Hope you feel better soon!

  • Marisa

    2009/07/06 at 1:20 pm

    I had mastitis too, when my daughter was 5 months old. It sucked big time, luckily I didn’t puke (although I felt like it) so I can relate! Hope you get to feeling better real soon. And by the way your newest daughter is adorable!!

  • Rev Dr Mom

    2009/07/06 at 1:20 pm

    Seriously, we’re all big kids here and we know you JUST HAD A BABY…so take as long as you need for the masthead and get as much rest as you can. We’re not going anywhere. And hope the mastitis clears up pronto~

  • Allison

    2009/07/06 at 1:20 pm

    I had it to….Cabbage leaves and of course the antibiotics. Unbelievable amount of pain! I feel for ya.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/07/06 at 1:20 pm

    Just makes you love people, doesn’t it? LOVE ’em. L.O.V.E. people.

  • Katie

    2009/07/06 at 1:21 pm

    I am sorry to hear about your mastitis! My mom had that when she had one of us kids, and said it was miserable. I am sure you will start feeling much better now that you have antibiotics! Take care of yourself, lady, and screw the damn masthead!

    I am 6 weeks pregnant myself and in the throes of nausea and vomiting – thanks for making me feel better. The idea of glass in my boob and a fever and thrush just made my current situation seem MUCH better! 🙂

  • Jen

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    I went thru that crap with my 2nd, You are very luck to have Jon’s added support…Mine went back to work, oh about 3 days after the baby was born….Workaholic!

  • Heather

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    I am forever AMAZED at the bullshit that gets sent your way. WTF are people doing worrying about your masthead. F’em and go take care of your boobs. Good luck!

  • Missy

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    I had mastitis 6 times with my second daughter before I finally threw in the towel and quit breastfeeding. Yes, six. Yes, I am obviously masochistic. And do you know what my OB/GYN gave me for pain? She told me, with a perky little smile, “Just keep NURSING! That will make it FEEL BETTER!” Nursing with mastitis is the equivilent of ripping off your nipple, jabbing the open wound repeatedly with a 12 pack of ball point pens and then pouring alchol over it and lighting it on fire. You need freaking morphine to deal with that kind of pain–not MORE NURSING!

    Anyway Heather, I hope you feel better. Mastitis is a bitch.

  • Cynthia

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    I’m a first time commenter, and I think you’re awesome. Unlit cig and all. As for the clogged breast? Well, all I can say is THANK GOODNESS I ADOPTED!!!! *shudder*

  • Candy

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    Pardon me for a moment, Heather, while I address the masses…ah hem…”Seriously, Internet….let the woman take a freaking VACATION already! Unless you have just given birth to a freight train on steroids, we do not want to hear you directing any more ridiculous brainless bile in her direction. Do you hear me, Internet? Not one unsupportive word! I want to see koodos, congrats, and sympathies, or so help me God, I will root you out and infect you with bacteria that will settle in your less than public places. Do we understand each other?” Thank you.

  • Aisha

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    *sarcastic hat on*

    Zac Efron isn’t *doable* OMG!!! He’s lust worthy; the Jonas brothers told me I shouldn’t fantasize about his doable bod, especially that CHEST.

    *hat off*

    Sorry your boob is being dumb; hope everything clears up, but don’t worry about getting the masthead, at least for people like me! I find it wonderfully awesome to look at.

  • Celina

    2009/07/06 at 1:22 pm

    Mastitis is the worst, so I wish you a speedy recovery. Life is so much better when the boobs are happy!

  • ohsweetjeebus

    2009/07/06 at 1:23 pm

    Dear Man Who Did Not Just Push a Watermelon-Sized Baby Out His HooHah,

    Kindly shut it.

    Sincerely Yours,
    The Internet

  • DB6 in Oslo

    2009/07/06 at 1:23 pm

    Ohhhh mastitis! I really feel for you, girl! Now get better and keep the boobs warm. Im not sure if you have wool pads over there… they work wonders! I hope you feel better soon.

  • Jen

    2009/07/06 at 1:23 pm


  • Anonymous

    2009/07/06 at 1:23 pm

    Not that it isn’t in any way creepy or anything, but I love you.

    Moving on.

  • Ashley at Dumb

    2009/07/06 at 1:24 pm

    Get some rest!

    The masthead is great!

  • Felicia

    2009/07/06 at 1:24 pm

    I’m sorry about the mastitis. I also vote for:

    1) Tons of rest, and
    2) Actual probiotic supplements (pills), not just the yogurt.

    The yogurt is a good start, but thrush is about 5 million times worse than mastitis, which as you know is really terrible… So take the probiotics! You can also get baby/infant probiotics to give Marlo too. Thrush diaper rash is awful.

    (I have a 2 month old and we just went through thrush. I would not wish it on anyone, not even the ignorant a-hole who’s bothering you about a masthead when you just had a baby.)

  • Jen

    2009/07/06 at 1:24 pm

    Noticed the masthead – however, UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE – realized having a new baby is VERY hard and exhausting!! Ignore the fools! Love you!!!

  • jess

    2009/07/06 at 1:25 pm

    you have, once again, convinced me never to have kids. which i think will be great for my figure… however, im relatively certain you’ll be posting pics of edible cheeks (both sets), and i’ll have to give myself a stern talking to about not becoming pregnant when unmarried and only 23.

    on a separate note- my boyfriend’s mom smoked during her entire pregnancy with him. to CAUSE a birth defect. she wanted to have a little baby so the delivery would be easier than with her first. my bf was a solid 2 lbs heavier than his big brother was, and is now 6’6″. imagine how tall he’d be if she hadn’t smoked. craziness.

  • Caitlin

    2009/07/06 at 1:25 pm

    My boobs are having sympathy pains. Heal up quickly!

  • Anonymous

    2009/07/06 at 1:27 pm

    I actually never notice its a new month until like halfway in. And my only excuse is that I’m lazy. So by my calendar, you have like 14 days before I even notice…at which point I’d be like..oh.

    And then I’d totally double check to see if I had the date wrong.

    WTF, do people use as their calendar?

  • Heidi Ho

    2009/07/06 at 1:28 pm

    Been there, done that… fun. If you have ever “passed” the blockage, it is totally amazing that something so small can cause such pain.

    as for the masthead. LOVE IT!!!!! Don’t we give up enough before/after giving birth. Allow us our humor people!!!

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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