Turns out I was too quick to make that denial.
I started suspecting last night. First there was Ben’s sudden refusal to nurse, which unlike the last time seemed not teething or biting related. Rather, he seemed mad about the taste of the milk. He’d latch on, get a mouthful and then pull off and scream, with the milk running down his chin.
Then, there was my moodiness. I snapped a couple of times at Dom. Over really, really silly stuff. I found myself on the verge of tears several times. Well, it’s probably just PMS. Man, I’d almost forgotten how crazy that can be! Oh and maybe it’s just the hormonal shift that’s making Ben so upset.
Well, there were hormones at the root of it all right. Just not the ones I was thinking of.
I hardly touched my dinner. Fish suddenly didn’t sound good at all. But it must have been that cookie I ate before dinner. Right?
But I’ve never got queasy with PMS and by bedtime I was feeling a little green.
I looked at my charts and a different explanation started to form in my head. Waking up in the middle of the night feeling overheated: check. Elevated temperatures: check. Excessive tiredness in the evenings of late: check.
One of the suggestions I discovered in reading about nursing strikes suggested that the shifting hormones of pregnancy can make the milk flavor change and babies might decide they don’t like the new taste.
So that’s my working theory: the problem is a flavor change in my milk caused by shifting hormones. I tried to do tonight what I did last time and rocked Ben to sleep and then tried to get him to latch on while asleep and, well, he got a mouthful of milk and then grimaced and pulled away and started crying in his sleep and refused to latch on again.
So I’m wondering if this means he’s really and truly done or if I can gently convince him over time that the new flavor isn’t so bad. He’s a strong willed guy and if he decides that cheese and bread and strawberries are good enough for him and that nasty tasting milk isn’t worth it, I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince him otherwise. But I’d like to hear about any success stories with similar situations that anyone out there might know about.
I do remember Sophie having issues with nursing at around the time I found out I was pregnant with Ben. But it never went as far as a nursing strike. She was much younger, about seven months old, and eating almost no solids and her hunger led her to just deal with the taste issue. Ben, however, might just be a little milk snob (thanks, Kate, for that perfect description!) and not be interested in forging on with our nursing relationship.
*Yes, I did just bury the news that I’m pregnant in the middle of a blog entry about Ben’s nursing problems. I also announced my engagement to my sister by asking if she’d like to help me host a party. I’m subtle like that. I don’t know why; but being direct sometimes does not suit me at all.