An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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!!

  • mastitis does suck, and i only know that second hand from seeing friends go through it. i was fortunate enough to only have thrush, which was it’s own merry-go-round from hell kind of ride.

    the best advice i ever got for clogged ducts, however, was vibration. and your average bedside drawer vibrator works fine. lord knows with a newborn in the house it probably is getting lonely in there, with only the KY and a diaphram to keep it company.

  • The first thing I thought of when you said Mastitis was cow teats. I know, I know, horrifying isn’t it? I grew up on a dairy and after each milking we had to dip the cows teats in this yellowish dye to prevent them from getting Mastitis. Wanna borrow some?

    Kidding. I am sure it is NOT fun, so hopefully you get better quick! 🙂

  • Your boobs have my deepest sympathies. I had mastitis when my son was about 3 months old and OH MY GOD THE HELL!

    As far as the masthead goes, I don’t think I’ve even flipped over my calendar at home from June to July, and I don’t have stitches in my business and broken glass in my boobs. I think you should keep it up until Christmas, if for no other reason, but to spite all the naysayers.

  • While I enjoy the fact that boob is a category of yours, I am sorry they are giving you trouble. Feel better soon.

  • Tara Newhole

    Aw, screw them. Get to it when you can ! We’ll be here waitin’ for ya !

  • All I cay say is I hope you’re feeling better. Ugh…

  • Debbers

    I had mastitis with each of my babies and it is not fun. Hope you feel better.

    And also wanted to say that is one beautiful baby you have there. Seriously, Marlo is gorgeous. Makes me wish for another, if I weren’t 46 and tired.

  • Judy

    AMEN to the “angels in heaven forgot to turn on the portion of his brain that recognizes sarcasm” comment….but some people are SOOOO narrow minded that they think everything they see in print and in the media is the God’s honest truth!!! BTW, I LOVE your blog!!!

  • Ade

    Oh man, I can totally relate. I had mastitis in both breasts after my son was born! It was absolutely horrible and painful and we didn’t have insurance, so I had to do hot bags of water with Castor oil towels while continuing to try and breastfeed. Oh my gosh…I wanted to cut both of my breasts off…I was sure it would hurt less. So tell anybody who is having masthead issues to screw off lest they be inflicted with mastitis a thousand times over. Good luck, I hope you are feeling better soon!

  • I saw that psycho bitch telling Jon to change the masthead because she “couldn’t stand to see Heather looking that way” on Twitter. Fuck them! Not only did you just have a baby and now have mastitis, but who cares about your masthead? It’s only July 6, people!

    Plus, that masthead rocks. I’d keep it up – with “June 2009” on it – all year just to mess with them! Get better soon, Heather. We’re all thinking of you and that beautiful baby. We’ll be here when you’re better and have slept.

  • Bossy confuses Mastitis with Mastiffs. Both seem overwhelming.

  • I saw the masthead today and cracked up laughing….again. I love it and think you should leave it up as long as you want. In fact,when I saw it today I had a sentimental moment where I thought to myself, “Awwww, you hadn’t even met Marlo at that point.”

  • Tobamom

    The guy who is worried about the appropiateness of your masthead should have his penis lit on fire to simulate the sensation of mastitis. (Yes, I know firsthand how lovely mastitis feels . . .) The importance of month accuracy or misunderstood humor would suddenly pale.

    Heather, I hope you feel better soon. Blessings to you and your lovely family.

  • Jenny

    This is the exact reason I love your blog. Hang in there. My mom had bouts of it when she was younger. I’m probably going to have it when I have kids. Thanks for the preview.

  • Cindy Murphy

    Google CANADIAN NIPPLE CREAM. It works wonders! You have to go to a formulary pharmacy, but it is totally worth it.

    I had my doctor give me a Rx while in the hospital just in case, because after my first breastfeeding experience and nearly throwing my child across the room every time she latched on, I thought I’d better come up with an alternate plan.

  • Lacrema

    I feel for you!! I had mastitis three times with my baby. It was horrible, especially the first time (just moved across country with 3-wk-old baby and cat, not a good idea). Actually, the last time I kinda wanted to give myself a mastectomy with a kitchen knife it hurt so bad. The fever doesn’t help you think clearly– I woke my hubby in the middle of the night to tell him the movers were coming from Costco and I had nothing to feed them. That’s when he took me to the ER.

    Did you see the stuff on the internet about abscesses if you don’t get it treated right away? Oh my lord, if that ever happened to me I think I might die. Needles+boobies=horrifying

  • Jennifer

    Hope you continue to feel better. (and I love the masthead).

  • Looking forward to your annual masthead change next June. (It’s all I can think about.)
    Wishing you happy boobs.

  • OMG, I came so close to sending you a fake compliant email about the Masthead this last weekend. I just started reading your blog back at the beginning of the year and from time to time I like to go back and read the archives to get an idea of the “whole” story. While doing this, I came across a previous post where people were flipping out on you about a monthly masthead change, like THREE days, after the new month. When I saw that post I really, really, wanted to have some fun with you and come up with a extremely whacked out email you would be proud of, but alas, I didn’t have the heart to mess with you right after giving birth. Sigh. I must like you 🙂

  • Ahryn

    God I feel for you! Mastitis is the WORST! Hope your booby is feeling better!

  • It seems like the fun will never ends sometimes, doesn’t it?

    Okay. To help with the yogurt (I’m a culinary school student, after all!), here are five things you can put in it when you are sick to death of the taste of the stuff:
    1. Fresh fruit. Especially berries. Perfect time of year for this, too.

    2. Spoonful of jam. You know the fruit on the bottom yogurts? Yeah, it’s just crappy yogurt with crappy jam. Get good yogurt and add your good jam; much tastier.

    3. Nuts. I like almonds, but any nut you like will do.

    4. Honey. I know it is just a variation of the jam theme but, hey, it works.

    5. Chocolate chips. Or raisins or broken cookies or whatever sweet you like. Hey, if you’ve got to get the yogurt into you and chocolate is the only way to do it, then do it.

    There are a ton of recipes I can give you (I have a French yogurt cake that is to die) but, alas, the heat will kill the cultures you want. So, sigh, eat it cold.

    And, of course, you probably already know that you have to get the kind that has live and active cultures. Otherwise, it is pointless.

    As for your masthead, it fills me with wicked glee every time I see it. You can leave it up there until Marlo is two, as far as I am concerned.


  • Anonymous

    Are you friggin kidding me?? Who cares about the damn Masthead??? What a douche bag! You have an infant attached to your boob!! What an asshat! Good job Heather!!!

  • Jen

    Lecithin. It is magic for preventing or getting rid of clogged ducts and mastitis. 1200mg caps- take 4 of them daily. They have been a lifesaver for me. And get a good quality probiotic rather than just the yogurt, and don’t use any lanolin or breast pads. With my older daughter we fought thrush for months and this time haven’t had it at all since now I know that lanolin and pads are thrush’s friend. And give a tiny bit of the probiotic to the baby(just dip a finger in the powder and stick it in her mouth). And add some white vinegar to your laundry rise as extra anti-thrush insurance.

  • I loved that masthead- still do. I found your book the other day, and I bought it! It was a birthday present, and I actually read it. The whole thing, front to back, in two days. With a four month old baby. It was the first time I read a book in a long time, and thank you very much for writing it!

  • Lacrema

    Also, if you try natural or herbal stuff, try drinking a little colloidal silver water (to fight infection) and taking acidophilus (good bacteria). The combination of the two actually got me over my first and second bouts of mastitis, even though I tend to think herbal remedies are a bunch of crap.

  • Pam

    I’m so sorry to hear of your mast- troubles. I’ve never had a crab apple bitching to me about a masthead, but I have had clogged, infected milk ducts. No fun!

    I hope this is the last time you’ll experience it.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  • Annie

    That masthead needs to live on, FOREVER. Just to make a point. Get well. Congrats on your new addition. Peace out.

  • I personally love the masthead- I myself have consumed enough donettes in my current pregnancy to be able to afford a small bakery of my own, have had many days where my mascara and makeup were smeared by panicked tears, and have longed to be able to have a damn martini and cigarette…..but have luckily had enough steel and iron in me to be able to wait it out…

  • Natalie

    Why are people such douchebags? I mean, OBVIOUSLY if they read your blog they know you just delivered a new human being into the world, and that yeah, you prolly have other important things that need taking care of before you get to updating the masthead on your blog.

    Sigh. I get such a hate-on for people like that.

    Hope you feel better fast, and that you and you family are all well 🙂

  • Nhiro

    Zac Efron? Really? I thought we’ve evolved in our taste in men, Dooce. Is Robert Pattinson not the dreamiest??


    Srsly, though, get all the rest you can. I will patiently bide my time until you can regale us with poop jokes once again. ;]

    my captcha: “unshaven mukluk” (yessss :D)

  • probably people should stop giving you shit since you JUST HAD A BABY.
    sigh. feel better!

  • Kye

    Just had to add: Going over the comments, I’m all for the “Mastheaditis” for the next month. Hi-larious! 😀

  • Rebecca

    I am currently nursing a ravenous baby who was 9.5 lbs at birth, so when I read “shut up another buffet” I laughed so hard, which I really needed since lack of sleep seems to dull my sense of humor in general.

    I told my husband I think the baby’s nursing theme song is “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied).”

    Hang in there … we are at week 14 and it is actually getting better!

  • Carrie

    Heather – So sorry about the mastitis – and don’t think that it’s a sure thing that you’ll get thrush……most don’t actually. The cabbage leaves, and pain reliever (and the antibiotics) helped me get through mastitis in a relatively (!) short (!) period of time. It wasn’t fun, and the last thing I would have worried about was the masthead on my blog. Of course, you do have throngs of adoring fans at your disposal, and I have none, so maybe it’s easier said than done, but I say ignore the jerks, and know that the true supporters of your blog say take all the time you want – you know we’ll still be here when you’re 100% (and that WILL happen again!)

  • Love LOVE LOVE! And the fact that you are even ATTEMPTING to blog whilst breastfeeding and just generally mothering two small children, Good LORD, you are to be applauded. Bravo!

  • Allyson

    Hi Heather, I’m so glad you’re on the mend. I got your tweet that morning and totally felt your pain. I had it with my first daughter about 12 years ago and will never forget how God-awful it was. I felt like I had been hit by a truck and the anitbiotics made me so freaking sick, I puked and pooped for a week straight, while nursing the tot, no less. Bleh. Hoping each day is a little bit better for you,


  • I totally feel your pain in regards to the mastitis. I had kidlett #5, and thought for SURE I knew all the ins and outs of breastfeeding but no way. One day, suddenly, immense pain, shaking, fever. And just like EVERY time that I have had mastitis I thought WHY DO I BREASTFEED…
    anyhow, i keep Grapefruit Seed Extract pills in the fridge and garlic pills. I took two Grapefruit Seed Extract pills twice a day, and one garlic pill twice a day, and applied hot cloths to my breast and lo & behold within two days it was gone. Twice since then i felt it start up, and started back with the regime and this time it never turned into anything. Also, I take Acidophilus Bifidus capsules. More of the good stuff than the yogurt and minus any sugars (which feed the yeast and can cause mastitis)
    Oh, and the make-up thing? Wow, if I get make up on and clean hair I am so proud of myself I literally pat myself on the back. Joys of motherhood…. Love your blog, it’s great!

  • Take care of yourself! The best advice I got about mastitis was to drink a ton of water, like more water than you think possible for a few days. I found this particularly useful when I just felt and early twinge coming on, not at the full-blown infection stage. Get better and focus on bigger priorities than the masthead!

  • Jane D

    Hopefully you’ve recovered by now, but if you have a pump, I found it helpful to pump after the baby was done nursing, to make sure I had drained the breast completely, that really seemed to help in avoiding infections. Also, warm showers on the boobs (which you probably already know). And the pumping seemed to hurt less than actual nursing when an infection hit. For what it’s worth, that is what worked for me any time there was even a hint of blockage. Hang in there! Two kids is a handful, but you’re one of the supermoms, you can do it.

  • cattitude

    So sorry to hear about the mastitis, that sounds horrible!! I hope you feel 100% soon and that it doesn’t hurt your nursing schedule too much.

  • Heather, do keep taking the probiotics–you don’t want to risk a yeast overgrowth. My wife’s been fighting that nightmare for a couple years.

  • ma2one

    Please forget the masthead, work on getting better!
    Hire yourself a Postpartum Doula to take care of you and the family!

  • Page

    wow, you make this whole pregnancy thing sound GREAT to my 26 yr old single self!!! I hope you are back up to full smarminess capacity soon!

    Cheers <3

  • I used to run a big website; one aspect of it was a different graphic or wallpaper for each month, and I still remember reeling from the horrible emails I would get when it wasn’t updated to all those strangers’ specific standards. It sucked, and I would usually just not check my email for long periods of time. 😉

    So sorry to hear of the infection, and hope you continue to feel better! Keep choking down that yogurt, too…anything’s better than thrush. Blech.

  • Ashley Gilbert

    Awww I know exactly how you feel, Heather. My little girl is 5 months old now, but for the first month and a half of her life, I had 5 infections back to back…ALL with fevers of 102 or more and the chills and not to mention the PAIN was unbearable, and I had a NATURAL birth the first time. I was so SICK of pain by that time, that I was going to give up nursing altogether.

    Good luck, remember that where the babys chin is, is where the most suction comes out. I was lumpy all over, so I had my little baby nursing in all kinds of positions. I’ve gotten quite good at nursing upside down too. It’s a dirty job, but someones gotta do it, and it aint gonna be Daddy because he won’t be sprouting boobs anytime soon!!

  • Sheesh, I didn’t realize it was July until you pointed it out and I have no excuse–no babies, no bacteria in my milk ducts, no thrush and no angry blog readers to blame–but you can always blame my parents.

    I just read your book and enjoyed it immensely but now I will never procreate–thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Try Utah Doula Association hotline at 1-888-838-1456 to find a doula near you.

  • Amy

    I had mastitis at least 3 times while I was nursing my boys. It hit harder and faster each time. I feel your pain

    my lactation consultant advised me to take lecithin to help prevent it. They’re enormous pills, and you have to take 6 of them a day, but it’s better than the mastitis. You can find it at most health food stores

    feel better soon

  • Lanie

    This is a post at the 98th percentile, at least. I hate to imply that being in extremis propels you to dizzying heights of wit, you poor thing, but seriously well done.

  • Hope you feel better soon.

    I had a very mild case and caught it before it got too bad. I remember someone telling me that massaging your boobs in the shower to open the milk ducts would help. Then they went on to say “or you’re husband could do it for you”.

    Um, ya, that’s totally what I was thinking too. How did they guess that my painful breasts that felt like they had pins and needles piercing them every second while my shirt rubbed against my nipples like a razor blade needed more touching. Let me get right on that because that was totally what I was in the mood for…some good ol’ lovin. Let’s get it on!

    “Oh, dear?”


    Buffet is only open for one. No 2 for 1 deals here!

    Closed until further notice!

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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