Thursday, November 13, 2008

Surviving the Dreaded Nursing Strike

Monday night at about 8:30, Jaden decided he did not want to nurse anymore - at all. I freaked! He was up all night Monday night, screaming and crawling away from me. He managed to sleep from 1am to 3am and that was about it.

Finally, at about 4:30am, I took some frozen breastmilk out of the freezer and gave him a bottle. He took it and drank about 3 ozs then latched on to me for a few minutes. Then he slept from about 5:30 to 9am. When he woke up, he wouldn't nurse still. He wouldn't take a bottle either. He refused any attempts at anything.

I got on the computer to call a LeLeche League leader, which I've never had to do, and found that they were having a meeting at 10am across town. It was 9:55am. I threw on some clothes and a bandanna and sped over there, at my wits end. I was starting to turn into an emotional wreck and I didn't know what to do. I was terrified that he'd never nurse again! I talked with a couple of ladies there and really didn't learn anything that would help, except a phone number.

I honestly didn't think there was something wrong with him physically. He just wasn't showing any signs of ear infection or anything like that. I was given the phone number of a nurse that is a LeLeche League leader and has 8 daughters of her own. I called her and she suggested I get him in to the doctor to check for an ear infection, then she talked to me about a bunch of other stuff that was happening that could have caused it and offered some suggestions.

We came home and took a bath, hoping to encourage nursing. Nothing. I took him to the doctor at 1pm. He still hadn't eaten/drank anything at all since about 5am. He has a sore throat. His ears are fine, but he is congested and it's draining into his throat and it's sore. I got him some Infant Tylenol and some baby food, which we hadn't done yet and I really hadn't planned on doing. (I do solids a little differently.) I gave him the Tylenol.

When Justin got home, he ate up those sweet potatoes like he hadn't eaten in 10 hours. Oh wait, it had been 10 hours by that point. We suctioned out his nose really well, then we laid, talking, in Kristen's room and out of the blue, he latched on. (Enter sounds of the angels singing "Hallelujah!")

He slept and several hours later, refused to nurse again. We gave him some milk in a dropper. He wouldn't take the bottle and it had been recommended that if we wanted him back to the breast, not to use the bottle right now anyway. He took some. Enough to know that he had gotten something in his tummy.

During this entire ordeal, Justin and I were stressed and worn out and so concerned! When will he eat again? How will he eat again? At what point do you worry about dehydration? He's only peeing a tiny bit and it smells so strong. Etc. It was heartbreaking and torturous to see him looking at my breast, screaming and turning away. Then doing the same thing at the sight of anything else too. I read that people do this for 3 days. I read that some babies never return. I heard from the doctor that it can be very slow moving back to the breast. I heard from the LLL leader that it will take patience and gentle but persistent encouragement.

At about 9:30pm last night, he latched on just like normal and he made me cry and his daddy very happy. I slept with him on the couch last night, so that Justin could get some sleep and so that he could have access to nurse on demand all night long. He did amazing! I gave him more Tylenol at 1:20am and he nursed pretty much the rest of the night. He's back to normal this morning and trying to make up for what he missed yesterday.

I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. It's crazy that it actually makes me tear up just thinking about it. If possible, I actually feel closer to him than I did before. I'm so thankful that God brought us through it, and that he's working his way back to normal. He did seem to lose a little weight yesterday, but the doctor told me that before it was over, he would probably lose a few pounds and we may have avoided that, and that makes me happy!

1 comment:

Annette said...

Oh you poor thing! I'm sure that was not only emotional torture for you but also PHYSICAL torture from engorgement. I'm glad things are back to normal nursing and hope Jaden gets well soon.