Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nursing Strike?

I am not talking about registered nurses, either. I am talking about Simon acting like my breast is full of fire jolly ranchers and jalapenos. Unpleasant is how I would describe our nursing today. I googled "fussy at the breast" and came up with some sites talking about nursing strikes, which essentially means your baby won't take breast milk from your breast because he's too damn angry.

Several sites gave various reasons why a baby would go on a nursing strike. It could be teething or illness or your milk may let down too quickly. My personal favorite was the site that said your baby could be angry at you for not spending more time with him. Who thinks like that? I will tell you who: vulnerable mothers trying to juggle work or other children and also tend to a breast feeding infants needs. I know I am trained in the legal field and not the psychology field, but come on-- that has to be projection. Can we all agree to stop projecting onto little babies our own angst, guilt and shame for having bigger lives or not being at the baby's mercy 24 hours a day? You might as well tell mothers that their babies don't like to nurse because you are shitty mothers. Just go all out.

Again, here's the lawyer talking and not the president of early childhood development at Erickson Institute, but is there any way to ever really know what a baby is thinking? It seems like it would be more useful to tell a mother how to get through an alleged nursing strike and not try to heap on more guilt by insinuating that a baby would rather starve than eat from the breast of a mother with a life.

As for Simon, we have a rough 24 hours with the nursing, but some sweet talking by yours truly finally convinced him to sip from his mother's fountain. The milk of human kindness it is probably not, but frankly, I am currently his only game in town, so he wised up and started to suck.

As he lulls himself to sleep right beside me now, I can feel a greater intimacy with him for having really overcome our first big hurdle. We made it through a rough round of shrieking and blood curdling cries and came out the other side. If I could just stay off the internet, maybe next time I won't have to flirt with the idea that Simon hates me and would rather die of dehydration than latch on to me. He's a fiesty little beast, but he's met his match in me. He's got to do more than puncture my ear drum with screaming and refuse my life-giving sustenance to deter my love. Let's hope that he has no more tricks up his sleeve for a while, though.

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