Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crossing the Picket Line

So, today on day 7 of the Nursing Strike, we made headway. I was somewhat disheartened when she broke her recent streak of 11-12 hour solid sleep nights. She woke at 3 am this morning. I saw an opportunity and hustled in there to try to slip her a boob before she woke up. Unfortunately, she wasn't ready to be fooled. She cried, mouthed a nipple and bit me lightly for my trouble. I wasn't quite sure what to do for second. Obviously, she's been sleeping through the night the last 3 nights, so I knew she didn't absolutely NEED a feeding, she just wanted some comfort. So, I got out of the chair, started humming "rockabye baby" and proceeded to rock her until she calmed down. Rejecting boob is very traumatic for her. After the second time through, she was very calm, so I laid her down and went through the routine, "I love you little bean. Here's Froggy. Here's Elephant. Kiss. Goodnight, sweetheart." And, amazingly, she stayed calm. It took her a while to get back to sleep still, but she didn't cry.

Then, for her first nap, I tried pumping to initiate let-down before nursing. The idea being that if the milk is easy to get, nursing is more appealing. It worked somewhat. She nursed for 3.5 minutes before she realized what she was doing and popped off. We finished with a bottle. Afternoon nap, that didn't work at all. We spent a little time playing topless and she did shyly investigate the nipples some.

However, the real breakthrough came at bedtime. She finished dinner about an hour before  bed and then played. I ran and pumped for a minute while Dad got her diaper changed and pj's on. I came in and bared the boobs, as I've been doing to give her options without forcing them on her. That way, she can access them if she wants to nurse or just wants to tweak the nipples (kick the tires, so to speak). Apparently, early in the strike I was further traumatizing her by trying to force her to nurse physically. So, I showed her the goods and the ball was in her court. After a few seconds of sitting in my lap, she made it clear with a little wailing that she wasn't in the mood. So, I broke out the back-up bottle and offered it to her. She took it cradled next to the breast and seemed comfortable. After the small bottle was gone, I sat her up to burp her but signed "milk" at her and offered her more. She thought about it and swung her head down. She's mouthed the nipples before during the strike, but usually just for a few seconds and then bites me. This time, she nursed. And nursed, and nursed! She took a few breaks, but all together, she went for about 12 minutes. Which, is really good! She still hasn't nursed from the traumatic "wounded" side, but this was an encouraging step. Cross your fingers that we're back to normal soon...

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