The Nursing Strike, Crossing the Picket Lines

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So after much emotional upheaval about Ben’s refusal to nurse this morning, I expressed a little milk and got him to drink a few ounces from a glass. Not the taste then. He was mad at me for expressing it but wouldn’t nurse, just screamed.

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I finally gave up and left him with my sister and took the girls to the grocery store. Nursing strike or no groceries must be purchased. The break helped me calm down. I played beautiful chant in the car. Many old ladies swooned over the girls. And it was almost two hours of a break from having let down reflex because of a screaming baby who wouldn’t actually drink the milk.

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When we got home I found that Tree had fed him some apples and cheese and then he’d finally slept a bit in her arms. He woke as we came in and I was able to get the little sleepyhead to latch on and nurse for a good while. But I couldn’t get him to go back to sleep after that. Nap time came and went and he wouldn’t sleep or nurse even after I gave him some Tylenol. By three pm he’d been screaming pretty much nonstop for a couple of hours. I called the pediatrician who said to bring him in.

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His ears, chest and throat were all fine. But when she opened his mouth to look in his throat, her little light spotted swollen gums I hadn’t noticed before. I feel like such a rookie mom: he’s cutting his back teeth! What a relief. I was sure some pain meds would bring back his desire to nurse.

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Oh yeah and while we were waiting for the doctor, Ben decided to make the hand sign for milk, which is our signal for nursing. Um, bad timing, kiddo. There was no way I was going to wrestle with trying to nurse a fussy baby with several strange men walking in and out of the office. No way that was going to happen modestly! So we’re home and we’ll let the Tylenol do it’s stuff and the Orajel.

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So yeah I hadn’t thought it could be teeth because he just finished getting six of his front teeth. I thought that was pretty bad. Unfortunately the molars are hurting him much, much worse. He won’t nurse even with the Tylenol and Orajel.

We’re both miserable. Him because of the teeth me because I can’t help him. Oh and because of engorgement which is really not helped by hours and hours of screaming baby.

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He ate a bit of dinner but still no nursing. I expressed a bit more milk and he drank it and was furious when it was gone. But still he wouldn’t nurse. Just screamed and screamed through dinner.

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He finally passed out in my arms while I was singing the girls to sleep. I was crying so that I could hardly get past the second verse of the song. Poor unhappy baby, poor helpless me.

Now I can’t bring myself to put him down in his bed. I held him for a while then stuck his face next to my breast with a bit of expressed milk rubbed on his lips. Sure enough after about half an hour he woke just enough to latch on. Oh blessed relief! I got him to empty one side and now he’s on the other. It’s been more than an hour so he’s mainly comfort sucking now.

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I’ll try to pick him up a bit before his usual morning wake up to see if he won’t nurse again while half asleep. At least for now I’ve assured my milk supply won’t vanish.

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