Monday, April 20, 2009

On Strike

Yay. A new event in the Breastfeeding Challenge.

Lion has been on strike since Thursday morning. I wasn't too worried at first, since nursing strikes are common. A day or two and we'd be back to business, I thought.

But Lion has other ideas. He'll still nurse readily in the middle of the night, and sometimes first thing in the morning, but he has steadily refused me for every other feeding. You'd think my pump would be happy about the extra bonding time, but she's such an ungrateful little bitch.

Medela: WTF? Why aren't we going to your office?

Liz: Sorry, you're needed at home now.

Medela: I see how it is.

Liz: What do you mean?

Medela: You only want me when you have mastitis, or when your nipples are bleeding, or when you own baby rejects you. Oh, Medela, come back! NOW I need you!

Liz: Oh, come on.

Medela: This sucks.

Liz: Actually, you suck. Ha!

Medela: You're sad. So very sad.

Liz: Boy, I'm glad you don't have teeth.

At first Lion was just biting me whenever I tried to nurse him, and I figured more teeth were on their way. But then he was clamping his mouth and turning away whenever I offered.

Things I have ruled out:
  • A loud noise startled him when we last nursed (I can't think of anything that's startled him recently)
  • Some new scent is wigging him out (I haven't changed soap, deodorant, etc.)
  • Ear infection (no sign of this thus far)
  • Milk tastes funny (he'll happily drink it from a cup or a bottle)

Things I haven't ruled out:
  • He's teething (drooling to the extreme & chewing on everything, but I don't see any signs in his mouth that teeth are on the verge of pushing through)
  • It's a developmental thing (he's so. close. to. crawling.-?)

Things I have tried:

  • Different positions
  • Not pushing it when he refuses
  • Waiting until he's really hungry
  • Offering before he's really hungry
  • Reducing the amount of solids I give him
  • Giving expressed milk from a cup
  • Giving expressed milk from a bottle with a slow-flow nipple
  • Giving expressed milk from the bottle with the slow-flow nipple, then attempting a quick switcheroo (note to self: do NOT try that one again)
  • Offering when he's just waking up from his nap
  • Offering just before his nap
  • Napping together
  • Trying to sneak it in during his nap
  • Dark room with gentle music playing
  • Dark room with no music playing
  • Every room in the house
  • Center ring at the Barnum & Bailey circus
I did call La Leche League this morning and the very nice woman basically told me that I'm doing everything right, and to keep trying.

I'm writing this post in hope that by sharing my problem with the Internet at large in a fit of emotion and overreaction, Lion will wake from his nap and easily resume nursing, no problem, and I'll have to come back and say, uh.... never mind.

Pre-baby, I'd read accounts like this and think, really, is it the end of the world if the baby drinks from a bottle instead? You've nursed for almost 8 months and if it falls apart at this point, why should you feel bad? You've done your best. This is beyond your control. Go easy on yourself.

But when it's your baby, and you've endured a lot to be able to breastfeed easily, and you've come to understand what a special and emotional thing the nursing relationship really is, well, it's hard not to feel bad.

So GO, magic powers of publishing things on the web! MAKE ME EAT MY WORDS.

Or at least bring me some people who can commiserate.

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Blogger BabelBabe said...

who the hell knows why they strike? not me. might be the crawling thing. might be the moon is full and/or Venus is aligned with Mercury. But you made me laugh out loud several times, does that make you feel any better? You could threaten him with no more hand-me-down clothes from his Internet friend if he doesn't start nursing again...

2:52 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

Oh, I hate when this happens!! I remember when I was nursing...

(I know, I'm just trying to commiserate. Did it help?) ;)

6:56 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Suzy, what a funny gal you are. ;)

11:22 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

BB- I'll pass the threat along...

Suzy- yes, it helped. :)

9:02 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Suzy - that was funny!

I have no sage advice to offer, except maybe feeding while lying down, but i'm sure you already tried that :)

3:54 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

yes. :)

7:30 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

is he still on strike? do you think he is self-weaning?

5:33 PM  

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