Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sigh of relief

Apparently the title of my previous post needed not include "Day 1", the implication being that there would be a Day 2, or 3 or perhaps 4. Luckily, his nursing strike ended late last night and by bedtime today, he was nursing normally again.

HUGE sigh of relief.

Last night before I went to bed I attempted a "sleepy nursing", hoping that if he were only half conscious, he'd latch on and nurse a bit, and perhaps that could coax him back to the breast. It was a rather miserable failure. I went in and picked him up, simply holding him for a while. As my friend put it, I went "National Geographic Woman", sitting with him topless so he had easier access to my breasts. I held and rocked and tried to entice him to latch. All I succeeded in doing was making him mad. After a while I gave up and tried to put him back down, at which time he decided to wake more fully and cry. He was rather pissed off at having been woken up.

I finally got him back to sleep and a couple of hours later he woke on his own. My husband and I both went in. Hubby held him for a few minutes, then passed him to me for an attempt at nursing. He still resisted, crying and turning away. So my husband held him again, then once he was calm, set him back on my lap. We gave him some sips of water from his sippy cup, talked to him softly and let him grab at the tag on my boppy. Then I laid him down again and he didn't cry; it felt like progress. We rocked for a few minutes and he looked sleepy. Suddenly, he turned toward me and latched on. OMG! My husband slowly and silently backed out of the room. I was afraid to move, fearing any twitch on my part would ruin everything.

He nursed for a while and I got him back to sleep. When he woke again around 4, I had to coax him into nursing, but he eventually did. That time took longer to get him back to sleep; I was up with him for quite a while. But at least he'd nursed.

Today he went from reluctantly nursing after some coaxing, to nursing as normal. By bedtime, he was latching on right away, almost as if yesterday had never happened. Thank you God!

When he nursed for the first time last night, I can't even explain how relieved I was. I was so panicked by the parallels between his behavior and what went on when D stopped nursing. Both had colds that seemed to be getting better. Both nursed normally the day/night before, then suddenly refused. Both nursed ONE time on the day in question. D never did again. So when G nursed again, it was like breaking the cycle. Suddenly, it was different. D hadn't nursed again, here G was nursing. Even if he'd continued to refuse after that, I had hope that the outcome wouldn't be the same. Sure enough, I was right.

Did I need to get so worked up and upset? I guess not. Will I if it happens again? Probably. Who am I kidding, right? As my good friend said to me on the phone last night, it's never just about the nursing. The nutritional benefits, the immunities, those are all good things. But there is something more; something unique and special about the nursing relationship. I'm not knocking moms who choose not to nurse for any reason; I'm just talking about what it means to ME. Nursing is something that means a great deal to me. It's important and more than once I've had to fight for it to work.

I desperately want to nurse G until he's at least (over) a year old. And I'm more than open to continuing as long as it's mutually beneficial. So yesterday when I was faced not only with the difficulties of a baby who won't nurse, but the rather painful memories of when D stopped, it was quite overwhelming. I'm enormously grateful that things turned around today, and I'm not posting "Nursing Strike Day 2". I'm hopeful he'll continue to nurse well and this won't happen again.

I tell you, one thing I have learned as a mother is these little stinkers keep you on your toes! You expect or plan for one thing and they throw something else at you. But what is it they say about how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans...

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