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March 15, 2010

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Nursing Strike!

We’ve been in full blown crisis mode over here at Chez Puff.

Whoop Whoop suddenly decided last Thursday afternoon, his 7 week old birthday, that he was no longer breast feeding thank you very much. That was almost 5 days ago if you’re counting.

Nursing strikes are very real and they are more common in twins than in singletons.
Very often you will find that a twin prefers one breast over another–W2 really likes the right.

Thank God Grunter is so easy going because he is constantly having to wait while we try to get W2 latched on or switch sides on him because of his brother.
W2 is Mr. Super Sensitive High Maintenance Fussy Pants!

After talking with my Lactation Consultant, she recommended what I’d already started doing. Feed them one at a time–stop all tandem feeding for now and just concentrate on W2,
NO MORE BOTTLES and the pacifier is not the problem.
Chicken has been giving both boys bottles of breast milk in the middle of the night feedings so I get some sleep for 2 or 3 weeks now. It’s been great for me but apparently our willful son has figured out “hey, why am I working so hard on the titty, when I can get it here fast and easy?” Smart one that kid.
But he’s only 7 weeks old. He does not get to make this decision!

Of course, feeding them separately (feed, feed, pump) even further decreases any down time I have for, oh I don’t know…SLEEP. Plus, we can’t have them one right after another because they are not ‘that’ regular with their 3 hour increments and god forbid if they went over their timeframe b/c then I would have two hungry babies at once screaming.
So, it’s more like, feed….then 20 minutes down time, but maybe 50 minutes who knows, another baby wakes up, feed….gauge the clock…do I have enough time to pump before the other baby wakes up….do I want to waste precious sleep time pumping….argh.
Over and over and over.

Whoop Whoop’s biggest problem is that he goes from 0 to 1000 in less than 30 seconds. He gets himself so worked up that he can’t even focus. There is super sonic screaming involved and his poor little body goes beet red, he has tears and his body is rigid. He is ANGRY. There is no way he can focus and we have devised a little trick to help him.

Since they are both on zantac now for reflux, we have the Munchkin Medicator. It’s like a pacifier with a thimble on the end for your meds. Very good product!
We fill it up with my breast milk and call it a ‘teaser’. I give him a taste of the teaser and it will usually calm him down enough for him to focus, giving me just enough time to whip it out of his mouth and shove the tit in.
Feeding this child is a 2 lady job as he puts his hands in front of his face and quickly moves his head from side to side. Chicken has to hold his hands back while I have to forcefully guide his head to the breast.
It is a workout and he is strong. Staying calm and positive while doing this over and over is a true test.

He seemed to be getting better as the days went by, so much so that when on Sunday they naturally got back on the same feeding schedule (how do they do that?) I tried to tandem feed them and it worked.
Not a bad day…things are looking up.
But then at this morning’s 6am feed, he had a meltdown I have never witnessed. 20-25 minutes of hysterical screaming. So sad and scary to watch. Nothing comforts him.
Finally, the teaser worked and I got him on.
Poor little guy. I don’t know how long this is going to take. The LC thought maybe 48 hours or so….
We are well beyond that.

To top things off, it’s their first real road trip today. We are leaving in less than 3 hours for what could be a 5 hour ride up north to the grandparents. I am going to be dealing with this in a car at a rest stop. It would be so nice to give him a bottle and make him happy….but I can’t do that if I want to breast feed them both.

This mommy thing is wonderful and wonderfully HARD all at the same time. Nothing prepares you for this. NOTHING.
Wish us luck. We need it. Last night, I even found myself praying to a god I don’t really believe in.