And We’re On Strike. #BFing
As one of the things I am most proud of, being a lactivist, it pains me to write this post. Today marks DAY 2 of my little Lucas’ Nursing Strike. It has literally broken me, a person who proudly told anyone that she has been breastfeeding now for over 6 years between 2 children and only stopping a few months in between. When he first resisted the breast, I simply chalked it up to perhaps he wasn’t hungry. The second time he resisted, this time arching and screaming, I was hurt but thought maybe he was teething. His favorite feeding time was always bedtime and when he once again acted like the breast repulsed him, I was reduced to tears. I tried, even attempted to force the breast into his mouth. He was screaming, he was crying and so was I. I tried to rationalize and figure out what had changed. Did I change soaps? Did I eat something new? Was it the fact his grandmother was on vacation?
This past week was full of changes, albeit temporary changes and a few hiccups. My mother in law, our primary childcare provider was on “vacation”. Could all of this upheaval of his routine have left him traumatized? I wanted, almost needed to find a reason but I will never know. The stress was real. I was starting to panic. How could I, the lactavist, be failing at breastfeeding? I imagined diminished supply and of course for the first time today, I only pumped 8 ounces when I normally can pump over 32 ounces in my 12.5 hour work shift. I felt despair in the fact nothing but stress and panic had led me down this path. I was setting myself up for failure.
The first thing I did when I got home tonight was try to nurse the baby. After yet another round of screaming and crying at the breast, I relented and decided to try a bottle. He struggled when I put him in the nursing position, but immediately relaxed when he saw the bottle. As he eagerly reached for the bottle, I broke down in tears. He was literally rejecting me. He wanted the bottle and not me. I cried again.
Picking myself up off the floor, I am trying something new. I refuse to feed him the bottle but I whipped out my new Bjorn One carrier and am attempting Kangaroo care. We will be inseparable. I sit here now at the computer as my little Lucas has fallen asleep on my chest and relish in the fact that he is near my boob and not screaming. Small steps. Prayers accepted.