Nursing Strike???

Life has been a whirlwind lately.  I have so much to tell you, but I’ll have to break it all up into several different posts, otherwise this one will be so disjointed and not to mention LONG.

I’m going to start with my day yesterday, but it requires a little back story.

On Tuesday I had Henry with me at the office and my mother-in-law commented that he didn’t seem like his normal smiley, happy baby self.  I agreed with her.  He wasn’t incredibly fussy, but he wasn’t happy, and I started to notice that he was pulling at his ear at different times during the day.  So, I called the pediatrician and they made an appointment for him that afternoon.  I thought that he was coming down with another ear infection (yes, he’s already had one…), but they checked him out and told me that he was perfectly healthy.  So, I took him home and get some extra snuggle and cuddle time in with him.

On Wednesday he was fussier than normal.  At around 11:00, I nursed him and he was clearly having problems with it, he would latch on and give a few sucks and then abruptly pull himself off.  He would also swing his arms wildly during the nursing session and after a while I felt like I was getting beaten up.  After an hour of latching and unlatching he stopped.  I don’t know if he was full or just too aggravated to eat anymore.  At 2:00 I tried to feed him again, and as soon as I brought him to me, he started crying.  When I put the boob in his mouth, he screamed and cried harder.  He refused to latch and eat, and I started to get worried.  I figured that I’d give it a little bit of time and that we’d try again.  At 3:00 he was still refusing to eat and I didn’t want him to go too long without eating so I decided to take him to a clinic that was close to work.

When I got to the clinic, they said that they don’t see anyone without an appointment, and that their walk-in clinic doesn’t start until 5:30.  They told me to head around the corner and take him to an urgent care.  So, crying baby in tow, I headed over to the urgent care.  Once I got there, I went to the receptionist and told her what was going on.  She told me to hold on for a moment, she wanted to go straight to the doctor and that she’d be right back.  When she came back, she said that they don’t see babies this young and that I should take Henry to the hospital.  At the word “hospital” I lost it and I started crying.  I somehow made it to the car before I started bawling.  Once I got to my car I calmed down, and sat in the backseat with Henry and decided to breastfeed him there to make sure that I’m not imagining the problem, and see if he would nurse at all.  The nonstop crying that he was doing then escalated to screams again as soon as he was up against my breast.  At this point I call Henry’s pediatrician.  The receptionist there takes my message and says that a nurse will call me back.  Having to leave a message while a baby is screaming in the background infuriated me and brought me to tears at the same time.

After that, I called J and I completely broke down phone.  I didn’t know what to do or where to take Henry.  I knew that he needed to be seen, but no one would see him anywhere that I took him and I didn’t know what to do.  J tells me that he’s going to call the pediatrician again, and to start driving Henry and myself there.  So, we head from Greensboro to Asheboro (40 minutes?) all the while with a screaming/crying baby.  After about 20 minutes Henry cried himself to sleep, but was making those hiccup sounds that children make after they’ve been crying for so long and so hard, and that was almost harder to listen to.

When we arrived at the pediatrician’s office we were almost immediately taken into the back to see the doctor.  They weighted Henry first, and he had lost 4 ounces from when he was there yesterday.  We were put into a room and in just a few minutes the pediatrician came in.  He examined Henry pretty thoroughly, and his prognosis?  Well….he couldn’t find a thing wrong with him.  His ears had no sign of an ear infection.  His throat was normal.  He wasn’t running a fever.  He didn’t have any swelling or hair tourniquets.  He said that he could test him for a UTI, but that he didn’t think that he had one.  We decided to test him for UTI just to rule it out, so they put a catheter in him, but unfortunately his bladder was empty.  They put a bag over his penis to capture any urine that did eventually come out, and we waited in the exam room for about 30 to 45 minutes to see if he would pee.  He didn’t.  During that time I tried to nurse him again because he had stopped crying and was pretty calm for the moment.  As soon as I brought him to my breast he started screaming.  I don’t need to say that that completely deflated me and made me feel like a failure.

We eventually went home.  The pediatrician told us that we can bottle feed him expressed milk, and that if he rejects that to give him as much pedialite as he would take to help keep him hydrated.  And if anything was to get worse, to call or come back.  So, we went home and I defrosted a packet of pumped milk for him and he gulped that down like it was his job.  I also pumped more in case he refused to nurse again that evening.  He did refuse again that night, so we fed him from the bottle again.  But by the morning, he was nursing again.  Not as well as he was 2 day before, but it was definitely better than refusing the breast all together.  It took a few nursing sessions for us to hit our rhythms again, but we did and we’re doing fine again now.

I have no idea why he refused to nurse for so long.  Maybe it was something I ate, or maybe I didn’t smell good to him for that day or maybe it’s him starting to teeth.  Whatever it was, I’m just glad that it’s over.  His nursing strike was incredibly hard on my emotional state and I hope that I don’t ever have to go through that again.

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