Mallory F.


In September 2023, just 5 weeks postpartum, the worst thing that could have happened to me did. In September, I was having excruciating pain in my nipple with breastfeeding my newborn son and pumping. I had a blister on my nipple. I shrugged this off until a few weeks later I noticed a lump in my breast, a clogged duct. “Great, I have mastitis”. Within 24 hours of the clogged duct, I was violently shaking with body chills and my breasts hurt so bad I couldn’t lay on either side to sleep. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth)

In the morning my temperature was 104.9 and I was instructed to go to the emergency room. Thinking I’d be in and out, this had actually turned into a 4-day admission to the hospital. Blood work results, heart rate, and symptoms all pointed to sepsis. But what was causing it? I told the medical staff about my breasts so they eventually collected breast milk and sent it to the lab. There was a staph infection in both breasts. While in the hospital, I was hooked up to 3 IVs the entire time, had to pump and dump my hard-earned milk, but the hardest part wasn’t anything I had mentioned. If you remember at the beginning, I was 5 weeks postpartum. Being apart from my new baby, my first baby, was the hardest thing I have been through in my life.

My life and his life changed in an instant and he was too little to understand. My anxiety had me calling my husband every hour checking in on my baby. He was crying inconsolably for hours as he (I’m assuming) was wondering where mommy was as I had been with him all day every day, and switched from an all breast milk diet to all formula in the matter of a day, which caused constipation. Hearing my baby’s cries over the phone and being so helpless was beyond excruciating.

It’s worth noting that before this had happened, I was depressed and thinking that my baby would be better off without me. As much as sepsis sucked and still haunts me to this day, I learned that not only does my baby need his mama, mama needs him.

Now, 6 months later I believe I may have post sepsis syndrome. I have not spoken to my doctor but I’m not as “smart” as before. I forget things, don’t remember words, and sometimes I feel as though my speech is slurred. I definitely have PTSD from it and I’m still learning how to understand not every little thing will send me back to the hospital.

If anyone else has been through this, especially another mom like me, just know you will get through it even though the light may not seem near. Fight for your baby and yourself.

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