I thought last weekend was rough and boy has it just continued. I noticed a white patch on Eliana's tongue Monday morning but it looked like she'd just bit herself with her new molars. She was kind of cranky that day and wouldn't nurse for too long. She was also drooling like those dogs that slobber all over everything. Tuesday morning she ate on each side but then by noon when I tried to nurse her before nap she refused. Like literally pushed me away and shook her head no. I looked in her mouth and found more little white spots on her cheeks and inside her lips. Poor baby. Then as I went to change her diaper I found a rash. I was then getting a little freaked out. In 13 1/2 months Eliana has never had a rash and has never refused a nursing session. I called the dr and made an appointment for later that day assuming she probably had thrush. I was beyond stressed that she wouldn't nurse, I didn't know what to do!
Her normal dr whom we love was busy so we saw a different dr who I am no so fond of. He always acts busy and like I am inconveniencing him with my questions. Well, excuse me but I am paying $100 for 10 minutes of your time. You darn well better answer my questions! His diagnosis was that she has a cold sore outbreak (aka Herpes Simplex 1). Gross! He said 95% of children get an outbreak by age 5. This was news to me. He said she got it from someone else with a live herpes virus like maybe sharing toys with another kid that has it or even from a stranger's germs on a shopping cart. Her body was creating more saliva because of the molars coming in but then she couldn't swallow because of the pain, thus the major drool. He said not to worry about her not nursing and just try to give her liquids when I can.
Despite knowing she is in major pain, I still felt and feel majorly rejected by her abruptly not wanting to nurse. I know many of you have a first response that she is 'self weaning', however I'd urge you to read this http://www.babycenter.com/0_nursing-strike_8490.bc. Kellymom.com puts it this way, "Nursing Strikes:
When babies abruptly stop nursing, it's a nursing strike - not weaning. Babies rarely wean on their own before 18-24 months, and self-weaning is almost never abrupt. "
Well, here we are going on day 4 of the strike and I feel completely emotionally exhausted. I'm hurt by how awful the past week has been and then feeling so rejected every time I offer for her to nurse. This is not how I pictured the end of nursing going! I am still pumping 4-6 times a day to keep my supply but honestly doubt that she'll ever go back to it. I really hadn't realized how much nursing Eliana had become a part of my life, my go-to problem solver, and part of my identity as her provider and mother. I am sorrowful to think that she may never accept me again.
My LLL leader has suggested trying while she is sleeping, so tonight I am thinking I may go in and get her out of her crib after she's been asleep a few hours. We'll see how it goes. I almost am weary to even try anymore as the rejection is painful. However I'm trying to stay strong and help her feel unconditionally loved.