Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Breastfeeding a Little Devil 101

Don't worry. This post won't be graphic or make you uncomfortable.

But it is, however, about breastfeeding. And in particular, breastfeeding one of the most difficult babies in the world.

Aryn was a statistically easy nurser. She loved to eat. However, she would eat every 2 hours, like clockwork, and then proceed to vomit everything she just ate... which, in turn, made her hungry quickly, hence our 2-hour schedule.

I had it down pat. Aryn cried... I nursed... I picked her up and BAM. Vomit. And she had a knack for projecting it far enough away that it would miss me, and hit whatever was directly expensive.

We had towels littering our floor all over the house to catch said vomit. We cleaned our carpets more times than I'd like to admit. It was a daily thing. People cringed when I was finished nursing her at their homes, because everyone knew - in just a couple minutes, they would hear the *splat* sound hit their brand new carpet, or leather chair, or suede sofa.

It wasn't until she was 6 months old when I went to a breastfeeding clinic to receive some support and help that I was instructed to nurse her sitting up so she was straddling me that things started to get better. Her reflux made her milk upchuck and sitting up allowed it to be ingested.

When Ryan and I got married, we splurged and bought a beautiful sage green sectional at Ashley Furniture. It was expensive and extremely comfortable. No one was allowed to put food near it, and should something have spilled on it, we were instantly there to dap it up and make sure our beautiful couch was clean.

Then Aryn came along.

Our beautiful sage green sectional is no longer clean. There are stains from milk, water, poop, pee, Bauer (he licks the couch.... soooo weird), crushed goldfish crackers, strawberries, chocolate milk littering our couch. Where once we'd gasp in horror that something foreign touched the fibres of the couch, now we shrug and respond with an "oh well."

My, how things have changed.

But despite this, Aryn was an easy nurser.

I nursed her for 18 months, and all in all, I loved every minute of it.

And she gave me this false feeling of "Breastfeeding is easy!" I thought, once you do it once, you can pretty much do it. There's no science or work involved. You have the parts, you feed your baby. Easy peasy.

Then Lukey came along.

When he was first born, he was so easy. I sang his praises, "He's such an easy nurser!" My expectations were met - breastfeeding was easy once again. And Lukey never threw up! Praise the breastfeeding gods! I couldn't wait to do this for another 18 months... or longer, if he wanted!!

Then... something changed.

Now, I mentioned before how different Lucas is compared to Aryn. They are opposite babies. Aryn would just sit there, planted in place, and didn't bother to try crawling until she was 10 months old. She loved purees, she was generally happy, she was easy to sleep train (eat-wake-sleep cycle). She even went to sleep on her own - put her in her crib wide awake, she's go to sleep.

I blame Aryn for all of this. She gave us a false sense of security.


That kid.

He is crazy. He is doing his very best to start crawling. He's not even 8 months old. He gets onto all 4's, he pulls himself onto his knees, he pushes himself forward with his knees, he will NOT, under any circumstance, eat purees when there's perfectly good grown-up food within eye sight, and he's a pain in the ass nurser.

Sorry for the swear. But it's true. He's extremely frustrating.

Let me paint you a picture.
.... not a graphic one.

Let's start with the first feed of the morning. Now, Lucas wakes up anywhere from 1-3 times a night. Yeah. It sucks. So, for the purpose of this story, let's say the last time he woke up was 2am.

Then, let's say he wakes up for the day at 7:30am.

So I try to feed him and he will NOT eat. I try, and he just wants to babble and stick his hands in my mouth and pull my teeth. He's weird.

So I give up, and bring him downstairs, where he tries to eat everything I'm having for breakfast. Eggs. Toast. Coffee. Banana. Strawberries. He wants it all. So I put little bits on his tray. He doesn't want little cut-up bits. He wants the entire thing I am eating.


Two hours later, he's tired. He wants to nurse. But I want him to learn to go to sleep on his own, and not need to be fed to go to sleep so I try to keep him awake while I feed him.

So he slaps me in the face to shut me up.


So he sleeps for 2 hours. Yay! Then he wakes up, and I again try to nurse him (you know, cuz I'm really trying to get that eat-wake-sleep cycle set up). He doesn't want to eat. He wants to see Aryn, and his toys, and Bauer. And eat whatever everyone is eating. Not mama's milk. Real food.

Really, anything other than me.

This goes on the rest of the day.

Then it's night time. The most frustrating nursing time.

He's soooooo tired. He starts to eat, then pulls away. Then bites me. I scream. He smiles. Then bites me again. I say "NO!" He smiles. He closes his eyes. He tries to snuggle. I try to get him to stop snuggling and eat, so that we're not up an hour later to nurse. He refuses to eat without biting me. I get frustrated. He smiles. He then tries to snuggle again.

Stop snuggling! Eat!!


Then he falls asleep, so I give up and put him in his crib. He's fast asleep. I slowly try to leave. Then I hear the nails on the chalkboard.


He's awake. He's kicking his legs in happiness. He's wide awake.

Do I cry? Do I scream?

So we do this aaaaaalllllll over again. Complete with biting and raspberries, and arching his back, and getting mad at me, and flinging his arms around like he's having a seizure, and me holding his arms down in place, and him pinching me, and sticking his hands in my mouth and pulling my teeth.

Every. Single. Night.

Finally, he drifts off to sleep and he starts dream eating. Finally.

Ready for a night of getting up 1-3 times. To feed him for anywhere from 1-25 minutes. Yes. Sometimes he wakes up, yells for me, only to want to snuggle. Not eat. Snuggle.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE snuggling with this little guy. He's my son, and I would snuggle him all day if he'd let me.

But the key word in that - all day. I don't snuggle at night. I want to sleep. I don't need to get up 3 times a night to snuggle you. I'll snuggle you when the sun is up. Not the moon.

I've let him cry it out, but he wins every battle. Especially when Ryan starts with the "I have to work in the morning" or the "He'll wake Aryn up!" or when Aryn actually does get woken up, which then leads to her having to go to the bathroom, and then I'm up with 2 kids.

And then I finally get Lucas back to sleep. And then those beady little eyes pop open and he smiles at me. And he has a beautiful smile. A squishy, one-toothed goofy grin. Oh that smile makes my heart melt.

But at 3am, it's the worst thing to see.

And then the battle starts again.

Every. Single. Night.


  1. My little 8 month old also tries to pull my teeth while I'm nursing him. His hand is constantly in my mouth or hitting me in the face. The little stinker is kind of a violent eater sometimes. Our dog also licks the couch, nice to know some of our weird things are shared by others :). I wish you the best of luck with nursing your little one!

    1. Hahaha that's hilarious!! I love when other moms are going through the same things!! Dogs are weird :/


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