Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Strike

The strike began on Sunday. I left Baby C with Daddy for the afternoon while I sipped mimosas and ate chocolate cake at a friend's bridal shower. As I watched my friend open new wine glasses and flatware, I received a text from my husband, "Baby's a little grouchy. Drank an ounce of the bottle, then refused the rest. I will try again later." No big deal, I thought, as I ordered my second mimosa. About an hour and a half later, I headed home and called my husband en route. Baby C still refused her bottle, which meant no breast milk since 6:30 a.m. It was now almost 3:00. Fearing impending starvation, I pushed down a little bit harder on my accelerator. When I returned home, Baby immediately burst into tears. Before I removed my coat or set down my bag, I nursed Baby C on the couch. After eating, she seemed happy and the rest of our Sunday passed without incident.

Monday brought the dreaded beginning of my work week and Baby C to Nana's house for the day. After a busy Monday morning, I all but forgot about our bottle troubles from the day before. Around noontime, I received another text from my husband, who checked in on Baby during lunch, "Still not taking the bottle, but she ate breakfast and lunch." Two days in a row of bottle rejection is atypical for my little milk guzzler. Every once in a while, Baby refuses a bottle but usually relents later in the day. Again, this meant no milk since the early morning. When I picked up Baby C later that afternoon, she burst into tears once again. As I struggled to get out the door and run home to nurse, my mother-in-law kindly mentioned, "She was happy all day until you came." Just what a worried mama needs to hear.

Tuesday brought more of the same: bottle rejection, shorter naps, grouchiness, tears upon pick up, and sprinting home to nurse Baby. When things go amiss with Baby, I typically do two things, neither of which are helpful or productive. First, I over analyze the situation and propose several made-up hypotheses, none of which come close to identifying the problem's root cause. Maybe Baby has an upset tummy. Or, maybe she is eating too much food during mealtime. Or, could it be that the milk flows too slowly from her bottles? Wait, maybe she is teething. Baby cannot tell me why she is unsettled, therefore I make up reason upon reason until something seems sensible. If hypotheses do not work, I turn to self-blame. If Baby is not happy, obviously, I have done something wrong. Maybe I ate something spicy that spoiled my breast milk. Maybe I've had too many Halls cough drops and they are affecting my milk. As I went to bed on Tuesday night, I feared an endless bottle strike which would lead me to resign from my job, stay home, and nurse Baby.

Wednesday arrived and Baby went to day care where she finally drank two bottles during the day, thereby ending her bottle strike.

While I still do not know the reason for the strike, I am thankful Baby finally gave up the fight.

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