Tuesday, June 05, 2007

gratuitous mention of breasts included

My blog emailed me yesterday. The email suspiciously came from Josh's email address, but he disclaims any responsibility from said email. The blog berated me due to my lack of posting, and said that although it knows that I've been quite busy fulfilling a certain 5 month old's every desire, I still need to find time to post. Clearly, my blog is right.

I have a good excuse for not posting, though. Up until last week, Gabe was an eater. He was a very good eater. I never worried about breastfeeding or his growth or weight gain because he loved to breastfeed. Instead, my problem was how to get him to stop breastfeeding to do other activities, like play or sleep or interact with anyone besides my breasts. Josh has been calling me The Bartender for months now because I so often have a child hanging off of my body. For the first four months of his life, it would often take him upwards of an hour to complete a meal. And he ate every 2-3 hours. You do the math.

Until last week. While we were in Rochester, I happened to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, which necessitated me leaving Gabriel for the first time in Josh's care for longer than 45 minutes. I pumped several bottles, left before he woke up, and was able to be with him again starting at about 4pm. At which point, he refused to breastfeed. REFUSED. By refused, I mean that he pitched a fit whenever a breast was thrust into his face. A fit complete with back arching, yelling and turning his head away from me. The first time it happened, I assumed that he was tired and overwhelmed from the action at the wedding. The next day, I assumed he was tired and overwhelmed from all the traveling. The day after that, I assumed he was pissed that we drove back from Niagara Falls to Boston in one day. When we were home and safely ensconced in his favorite chair in his bedroom, I started to suspect it might have something to do with the actual boobs.

I freaked.

I consulted Dr. Google, who assured me that this was a perfectly normal nursing strike that could last a few days or up to 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. I freaked some more. I called a lactation consultant, contacted my friend who has nursed 3 babies, I even went down to our neighborhood maternity store to ask for advice. The bottom line was that I couldn't give him any more bottles, no matter how mad he was, and eventually, EVENTUALLY, he would eat. The pediatrician assured me that he wouldn't starve if he didn't eat for a day. Easy for him to say.

So that's where we've been since the Saturday before last. Trying to convince this little bugger that what he really really wants is to nurse, but looking completely nonchalant about the whole thing. It takes serious skill to try to offer someone your breast every 15 minutes while looking totally uninterested in whether he accepts or not. I feel like I'm back in college trying to win Josh over. Things are definitely improving, though, and now I usually only have to dangle my boobs over his face a couple of times before he accepts. Gabe, I mean, not Josh. Josh usually accepts on the first try.

The good news is that other than this eating situation, we're doing really well. Gabe is actually sleeping most of the night, without eating, sometimes from 9pm to 7am! This is a dramatic improvement from our previous schedule of waking up at 1am, 4am, and 7am. I actually feel like a human being most days. He has also become ridiculous cute, and I mean RIDICULOUSLY cute. He smiles at everyone and everything, and thinks that most of what I do is hilarious. Sing a song? Hilarious. Clap your hands? Hilarious. Feed the dogs? Hilarious. My self esteem is through the roof from all this encouragement.

Josh started his new job last Friday, and for the first time ever, I've been the one to watch him go off to work while I stay home. It has been strange, to say the least. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to get things done while also taking care of my cutie.

What's new with you?


donna said...

This nursing thing can be a bear, can't it? My girl has decided that other things are much more fascinating than eating from the boob. "Ooh, the dog just sneezed! Ooh, the kitty's here! Hey, did you know about this sunlight thing?? And how it pours through the windows? I need to look at that right now." Sadly it did affect her weight gain and now we are supplementing her with formula to get her weight up. Sigh..... It's tough to be the mommy sometimes, isn't it? I'm sort of looking forward to her being able to just ask me for a granola bar or something. :-)

Beth & Rob said...

My little girl rolled for the first time yesterday! I was very proud to say the least. I made her do it again to check that it wasn't a fluke, and then again and again. Ok I made her do it 9 times! I guess she is officially rolling. It's like when I found out I was pregnant I had to do 5 tests to be sure. Glad to hear you are back home - good luck with the feeding!

Suzanne said...

Hey, good to hear from you, HL! I'm glad the nursing strike appears to be waning (without any major concessions from either side, no less!).

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

It takes serious skill to try to offer someone your breast every 15 minutes while looking totally uninterested in whether he accepts or not. I feel like I'm back in college trying to win Josh over.

Hahahahahaha. That's awesome.

I want more pictures. Or, better yet, more video!

liz said...

Laughing pretty hard over here too.

Yankee T said...

Motherhood: nothing, if not glamorous. That's my motto.