This topic strikes me as a bit TMI but I am willing to put it out there if it can help any other moms avoid or clear up this kind of difficulty.
First of all... THANK YOU to all who commented and emailed with advice and words of encouragement on my last post. Even after having half a dozen children, there is always room for more adventures and unexpected stumbling blocks. I read every word you offered and used your experience to finally cure the infection in mama and baby. That is awesome.
I am now in the delicate stage of healing the damage done and I'm thinking that will take a while. Still very uncomfortable (thanks to multiple open wounds) but optimistic that at least no more harm is being inflicted. The big bummer of the weekend (other than bloody pain) is that I decided to stay home from the big family event that I have been very much looking forward to. After being challenged by two veteran moms on the same day about my decision to take my newborn to a raucous festival environment, I started to question myself. As much as I wanted to go (very much) and felt that I ought to be there, I hadn't considered my obligation to Peaches quite as heavily. My husband also questioned whether it was wise to venture out for such a crazy day considering our present nursing situation. So...
... into the dumpster go my preferences. No big deal. Instead, Peaches, Jellybean, Cub and I spent the day quietly together making sure to take plenty of time for nursing and holding and cuddling and resting. The others came home covered in snow cone juice and exhausted running themselves ragged with busy fun. The Chief assured me that it was not a good place for a baby to be.
HOW WE CURED OUR THRUSH PROBLEM....
I have no idea. So I'll just list everything that I used and what I'm currently doing to heal the damage done...
Grapefruit Seed Extract/Water solution applied to tongue and cheeks at least once hourly.
These items could be considered used on baby as well since she had to have come into contact with them while nursing. Some items I attempted to wipe off but it was just too painful to scrub... I assume a little of everything got to her.
Grapefruit Seed Extract/Water Solution
Frequent washing of all things involved from people to blankies
I used the Lotrimin as a last effort after seeing it recommended on Dr. Sears' site. I honestly think it was the ingredient that made the difference and can't say for sure that anything else did or did not. All I know is that her very bad case of thrush was clearing up within 36 hours of starting to topically use the Lotrimin on myself. In concrete terms, it means that her tongue was entirely coated with a thick white layer (no pink visible at all) and within 2 days was entirely pink again with zero white patches. The Lotrimin is not supposed to be used orally but I have to imagine that she got some of it anyway.
I am trying all kinds of natural oils and such and the nicest so far is a actually a coconut oil lip balm that I made a quantity of a few months back. I don't have the specific recipe anymore but it is a combination of coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, and vitamin E. Or something like that. It is light on the beeswax so is nice and soft and a dream for chapped lips. Seemed to me that it might serve well in this situation and I was right. So far, so good. I'm sure a google search for "diy coconut oil lip balm" will turn up something similar for those interested.
Other than that, I'm using whatever soothes. There's a lot of advice for this around the internet. I have avoided Lansinoh so far because I read that it makes healing from thrush more difficult by providing too much of a barrier. I may dig it out again soon.
If you're reading this because you are struggling with thrush related nursing issues, please be sure to read the comments in my previous post for some great advice from readers.