Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Clio the Claw

It's been more than a week now since Clio has become an extremely temperamental breastfeeder, often yelling and resisting after the first 5 minutes or so of nursing. Sometimes she'll go back on a little later after calming down, sometimes she won't. Sometimes if I give up and offer her a bottle she'll gulp it down, other times she won't.

I don't think it's reflux; her crying doesn't sound like pain, but anger and frustration. The little clawmarks on my chest from her flailing further suggest that she's not uncomfortable so much as pissed off. I've talked to the pediatrician, a La Leche volunteer, a lactation consultant and the overnight nanny now. So far, the following possibile explanations have surfaced: she's gotten lazy and gets frustrated when the flow slows down after the first 5 minutes, she's gotten incredibly efficient and is just done faster, she's teething and it hurts her gums to suck, or possibly some combination of all three.

I'd like to add the following additional theories to the list:
1. She's fiercely heterosexual, and the idea of sucking on another female's breast is repellent to her
2. She's actually gay but in denial, so the fact that she loves sucking on another female's breast frightens and upsets her
3. She's feeling left out because Elsa gets medicine for a feeding issue and she doesn't, so she's totally faking
4. She's on a hunger strike in protest of our use of disposable diapers instead of cloth
5. She knows I'm going back to work soon, and is subconsciously preparing herself for the fact that soon she'll mostly be drinking from bottles. (This explanation would also mean that she understands English, which is pretty exciting.)

So, yes, my return to work looms -- I go back on April 2. And it worries me that once Clio starts getting bottles more frequently, she'll lose all remaining interest in breastfeeding. Not the end of the world, of course, but a little troubling.

Breastfeeding concerns aside, I'm mostly looking forward to going back to work. I think. It's only 25 hours a week (2 full days, 2 mornings) so I don't think I'm going to suffer from major separation anxiety. In some ways I think it will be nice to have my time more clearly regimented: work time, baby time, and me time -- that would be Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings, when the nanny will be here and I'll theoretically be able to work on my novel.

On the other hand, having to spend any time at all in corporateland may be tough. I have a hard enough time taking advertising and marketing seriously as it is. Now, with my two fab daughters waiting at home, smiling and learning and growing every day, I may find it even harder not to roll my eyes when people say things like, "We're getting some real traction with this campaign," and "Let's find new, out-of-the-box ways to leverage our brand equity," and "flush things out." Oh yes. I'm really gonna lose it the first time I hear someone say "flush things out."


Blogger Motel Manager said...

I hope you're able to flush out the reasons for Clio's intransigence sometime soon.

And, wow - it is amazing that it is already time for you to return to work. What did you decide to do for child care? Will A. be on the job during those times you're at the job?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a similar problem with one of my twin girls, born on same day as yours. After about two ounces she refuses the rest and she used to drink four ounces. I only breast fed for 5 wks. and they now take a bottle with formula. Pediatrician said its not a problem at this time as long as she is gaining weight, sometimes they just "act up". Its really frustrating because you want them to take the most so it will hold them over the longest(especially at 4 am).
I am glad your going back to work too:) Tomorrow is my first day back!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I like # 5. It makes Clio seem like a total genius, but also a real planner.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Harper is very breast-yelly these days, too, except when she is a) swaddled or b) fiercely hungry. It seems to come and go. She also does this breast-smear thing, where she'll eat for a little bit, then smear the top of her head on my boob, then go back to eating. I thought that meant she was tired, but now I'm not sure. It is frustrating, but I know she's eating enough most feedings, so I'm just trying to take it in stride.

The back-to-work jitters--those are coming up strong. I just started thinking today: Will I be there when she takes her first step? Says her first word?


9:56 AM  

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