Home » Dumplin' in the flesh » A Much Needed Update

A Much Needed Update

Our hands have been very full ever since Mr. Mochi arrived 7 weeks ago, so I’m sorry for not posting in a long time. Things have been tough, but improving day by day as we figure out a routine for our little family. 

Mochi is doing well. Him and DW have figured out a sustainable breastfeeding routine, and she’s also pumping a bottle a day for me to feed him when she goes to the gym. He’s growing so fast, but differently than his big brother. He’s skinnier, but very looooong. He’s filling out, forming little rolls, but his limbs seem to be growing disproportionately more. This kid is in 6 month pj’s now, at 7 weeks old. So far he’s super different from Dumplin’:

– Mochi WILL sleep in his bassinet, though he prefers to bedshare so that he can nurse all night and sleep nuzzled into DW’s bosom

– Mochi very clearly communicates when he wants something: if he’s cold/hot/dirty/hungry/wants a cuddle/doesn’t want a cuddle. Dumplin’ never really did complain if he had a dirty diaper. He didn’t even cry to be nursed, so I just nursed him all the time. 

– Mochi is okay with being by himself. We can lay him down on the bed, bassinet, or playmat and he’s okay with it. Dumplin’ hated being by himself, so we held him/wore him all the time. If Dumplin’ was upset, all we’d have to do is cuddle him, and all worries went away.

– Mochi will take a bottle. His brother refused bottles. The same with pacifiers. 

Mochi is still sleeping at random times throughout the day, making nighttime difficult for us. I’m still struggling with insomnia at night, so when I am finally able to fall asleep, I’m often super frustrated when I am waken up by his grunts. Because of this, I’ve moved into the spare room to sleep at night. I feel bad leaving DW to care for Mochi by herself all night, but it didn’t make sense for both of us to be sleep deprived because we also have a demanding Dumplin’ to entertain all day too. Despite our new sleeping arrangements, I’m still not sleeping well and needing to take Benedryl every night to fall asleep. The Orlando mass murders have me really shaken up as well, and I just feel uneasy and upset overall. Plus, some challenges with Dumplin’ lately. More on that below.

Sadly, like Dumplin’, Mochi also seems to have very large and frequent spit ups. DW has gone dairy-free for a few weeks now, so we’re waiting to see if it helps like it did for me and Dumplin’.

Dumplin’ has been changing so much lately. He is 8 months old today. He has been rolling like crazy- from one end of the carpet to the other. He isn’t crawling yet, but I have been seeing the beginnings of it… Pushing his bum up and sometimes resting on his knees. 

He’s loving food now too. His favourites are Chinese chicken ginger congee (rice porridge) that I make from leftover chicken and rice, Vietnamese pho, and broccoli. He’ll pretty much eat anything now though. He doesn’t love sweet things though, definitely showing a preference for savoury flavours. Now that he’s discovered a love for food, it seems like other activities pale in comparison. He plays with his toys with mild/moderate excitement, and meal time is his absolute favourite. He was having 2 meals with us daily, but then I noticed his nursing motivation dropped significantly, so we reduced it to just dinner time. Since he’s 8 months now, we were going to increase it to 2 meals a day again, but recently he’s been on a nursing strike.

In the past month, Dumplin’ has dropped 2 nursings- a daytime nursing and a nighttime nursing. It had me incredibly sad, but I figured it was normal. So we were down to 7 nursings a day: morning upon waking, AM before 1st nap, noonish before 2nd nap, PM before 3rd nap, before bedtime, a dream feed when I’m ready for bed, and then a feeding at 3am. But then, yesterday, he refused my breast multiple times, only nursing 3 times the entire day. He also refused my boob before bed, and the two other times I offered in the middle of the night. In fact, I would get him in our regular nursing position and he’d cry super hard. It’s like he was scared of my boob. It’s been the same all day today. He’s consistently refused 5 nursings so far. I’ve been pumping to relieve the pressure in my breasts, but I’m not able to drain them fully because I don’t respond well to a pump. I’m so worried that I’ll get plugged ducts and mastitis again. I keep offering him the boob, and have been feeding him bottles of pumped milk right after I pump it.

I’m super heartbroken over this. I’ve spent the night crying and not sleeping because I feel like he’s rejecting me and I’m worried that he’s going to self-wean soon. I suspect that it’s probably teething, but I’m not sure why he’ll take a bottle and not my boob? I’ve loved breastfeeding- it’s been one of my most favourite things about being a mom so far, and I had always hoped to do extended breastfeeding. I’m so sad not to be nursing him right now, and am praying that he gets over this nursing strike soon. 

Anyone else experience a nursing strike? What was the cause and how long did it last? I need some support right now because I’m feeling all the feels and it’s got me really down.


21 thoughts on “A Much Needed Update

  1. That picture is just perfect! Though you’re having a hard time with sleep, I can’t help but feel so happy for you guys.
    So good to hear how you all are doing. I’ve been curious but figured you had quite the full plate! One day you’ll look back and say to yourself “how did I survive!” You can and will.
    It’s neat to hear about their different personalities. Gives perspective I guess on how some things work for some babies and some things don’t or are harder with others.
    My boobs have been drying up because I’ve only been feeding little man boob 3 times a day – short feeds at that. It makes me sad too. I used to cry over the idea of weaning sooner than 1 year, but it just kind of is a new routine now. It sounds like you are still producing a lot so that’s really good!
    I’m just gunna throw this out there and you can use it or tell me to fuck off. – at 6 months I wasn’t sure if Brock was eating enough so we spoke to our Dr. He said “solids” 3-4 times a day, 1-2 servings each meal. I had only been feeding him twice with milk and formula in between feeds. You have a big boy there, maybe he’s just wanting something more. Could you maybe feed him some boob after a meal of mush as his “drink” to wash it all down and then boob around naps still to keep your supply up? I dunno. Either way you’re doing just fine. Ok? Trust yourself that you do know what’s best and he’s probably just having a phase. Brock also was rejecting me a few days ago. He wouldn’t even look at me yesterday morning! He was so pissed at me. I think it was his teeth (i tried to sneak attack some orajel which ended poorly clearly).
    Give your little man a day or two more and see if he goes back to his familiar self. He loves you no matter what.
    At the end of the day, he’s extremely loved and fed and thats all that matters πŸ™‚

    • Funny- that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the past month- food then milk to wash it down. He was having no problem with nursing until yesterday. I think it’s teeth too. How old is Brock now? How long has he been on a nursing strike?

      • I remembered after I sent that msg that Brock was also refusing his mush and I thought it was just because we were trying new food. I think just a phase – he’s also in also wonder week and trying to cut a tooth. He’s 8 months now!
        Totally must be a phase. It lasted like 4 days or so for us.

  2. I have absolutely no insight on the breast-feeding stuff. But I do hope that whatever happens your heart will be okay with it.
    I know how hard it is with one little baby, so I can only imagine the challenges you and DW are facing right now. And sleep deprivation is the absolute worst part of parenting. That aside, I have to echo the comment above – I know you are exhausted but I cannot help but feel so happy for you. That picture of you with your two boys, it’s sums up the love, the crazy and the beauty in your life right now.

    • Thank you! Yes, we’re blissfully busy. I find myself in these perfect moments where I’m trying to memorize every detail because I never want to let it go. I’m also not ready for Dumplin to grow up, which is why him rejecting nursing has been so heartbreaking for me. I’m sure it’s just teething, but it still sucks because it was my only quiet time with him.

  3. No insight on the breastfeeding strike, but by chance did you change lotions, detergents, deodorants, nipple creams, or anything else he might be picking up on? One other idea is that your hormones might be changing since he’s nursing less, and maybe you’re getting ready to start your cycle again, so he could be picking up on something to do with that. I hope he gets over his strike, but regardless, it sounds like he’s got a great appetite and you’re getting him a lot of wonderful nutrition, so you should be proud of that. Good luck, friend!

    • Thank you. No changes lately, in terms of fragrances. But the thought also crossed my mind about my cycle returning because I know it can change the taste of your milk. He’s been fussier all around though, so I’m wondering if it’s teeth. Who knows! If only they could talk lol.

  4. Darwin went on nursing strikes on and off from 6-12 months. There were months where she would not nurse in public, or she would latch on just long enough for my (super intense) let-down, then refuse to nurse more. I kept offering, and by 9 months the strikes began to taper off, and by a year she stopped striking all together. It was *so hard* sometimes. A few things that helped during the worst times: a quiet, dark room with absolutely no distractions; consistently wearing nursing pads so that I was less stressed when she would refuse long enough for me to leak (I think she picked up on my stress, so I did anything I could to reduce it); sometimes 100% focus on her during nursing was helpful, and sometimes she wanted me to completely ignore her; nursing while she slept – she would almost always take the breast when she was asleep, and it would help her sleep longer; breathe. I, too, found it to be emotionally really hard (why don’t you want me???), so I would tell myself in my head “it’s not about me, she is her own person” over and over. I’m not sure that it really helped, but it kept me sane in the moment at least.

    I’m thinking of you, and crossing my fingers that the nursing strikes come to a happy conclusion sooner rather than later ❀

    • Thank you for sharing. He had been doing a “suck suck suck, pull off” thing a lot in the past week, and clicking his mouth, and I wonder if they were signs of teeth too. It sounds like you’re super in tune with Darwin and her needs. I’ve tried dark rooms, different rooms, sitting, lying down, different positions for him, cuddles before offering, looking into his eyes, not looking into his eyes…. Offering a bottle first (which he took!) then offering my breast half way through (which made him cry)…. I feel like I’ve tried everything. You’re right though, I need to talk myself down from this. I’m so upset about it and he probably picks up on it. I know that he’s in pain, and if he could nurse he probably would… So I just need to keep it together until this passes. Which I hope is fast!

  5. I love that picture!

    As far as the nursing stuff goes, Austin has been protesting too, and it makes me feel so so sad, because a)like you I’m not done nursing him, and b) the rejection stings. I don’t really have any advice because I am currently going through the same thing, but kids do things on their own time. Does it suck when we aren’t ready? Of course it does, and I don’t think we’ll ever get used to our babies growing up (even when they technically aren’t babies any more!). I hope that he comes around to nursing again, but if he doesn’t, i hope that the transition gets easier for you, and also, I hope that you get to nurse Mochi too! That might help if a transition is needed…thinking of oyu friend…

    • Thank you. I’m sorry you’re going through something similar with Austin. I hope you guys are doing well. It’s so hard when they grow up and it feels like they’re leaving us behind.

  6. It sounds like things are settling down a little, which is good news. You don’t sound as stressed as you did in your previous posts. It’s amazing that mochi is growing so fast – you must both be some amazing nursing mamas πŸ™‚. I don’t have much insight into the nursing strike, but F is seven months and we’ve had two changes recently 1: she’s been so hungry on two occassions that she has screamed and completely refused my left breast (but taken the right). The left has always had less milk and she seems to know now that she doesn’t get much on that side. 2: More and more she is getting impatient for the letdown. She sucks briefly and pulls off to look at me. Then again. Then again. It’s like she’s getting annoyed that the milk isn’t there straight away. Both of these new things seem to stem from hunger, and we are feeding 1 meal a day at teatime. F is much smaller than Dumplin and with my bigger and hungry first son he was on breakfast lunch and dinner at seven months. I totally understand the fear of the loss of breastfeeding, but if he is hungry, then providing more food may relax him enough to continue with an evening and/or morning feed. A friend of mine is still doing a single breastfeed at about 5am each morning just to get her toddler to sleep an extra hour (he’s 18 months). The rest of the time he eats normally. Your milk won’t disappear – there will always be some as long as Dumplin is feeding, even if that drops right down. Feel free to completely ignore my advice, but I’m moving to three meals over the next few weeks for F as she seems to be telling me that I am not enough, so I wonder if Dumplin just needs more food. Also (and you probably know this so feel free to ignore!), iron stores start to run low after 6 months and breastmilk doesn’t contain the full requirement, so more iron-rich food is a great thing to be providing. His rejection isn’t personal although I know how important the breastfeeding relationship is. Big hugs – don’t forget that nothing will change the fact that you are his mama and very soon he’s going to be dependent on you in a whole new set of ways – brushing teeth, getting dressed, putting on shoes, teaching about the world, helping him climb and run and ride a bike. You and DW are going to be his number one source for everything for years to come. Even my six year old, who can do most things physically for himself, now depends on me mentally for knowledge about the world, making sense of things and understanding the complexities of relationships. Closeness is in everything you will do together and that bond is unassailable xxx

  7. I’ve found that nursing rejection or bottle preference usually tied into one of 3 things: (1) need or desire for solids: (2) teething; (3) illness involving head congestion. Sometimes the 3 combined, tragically. Hope you sort it all out and work through the grief of your boy’s growing independence. Hugs.

    • Yes- you’re totally right. Pediatrician checked him out yesterday, and he has hand-foot-mouth (sans the foot and hand parts), with sores on his throat making it very painful to suck. He will take a bottle now though, so I’m pumping and feeding him that way. He won’t take the boob, which is heartbreaking. I keep offering it, but when he sees it, he breaks into tears, turns away, and pushes it away. I hope he doesn’t develop a bottle preference. I hope he goes back to the boob once he feels better.

      • Thanks! It’s been rough, for all of us. The first couple of days Dumplin’ was super duper fussy, but since yesterday, he’s been in better spirits. We’re trying our hardest to keep everything clean between babies because we really don’t want Mochi to get sick.

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