October 24, 2007

It's a Good Thing She's Cute...


Isn't Kenna a doll? She's almost 8 months old now, and it's hard to believe she's the same age that Charis was when we were getting ready to move from Idaho to Ohio. Aside from being super cute, Kenna is also the most high-maintenance baby we've had. I've posted numerous times about nursing problems with this child, and this morning I told Ted that if we make it to one year of nursing, it will be a miracle. The current problem, which has been going on for at least a couple of months (so I can't blame the stress of our move), is that she has decided she doesn't like nursing on my right side. In fact, sometimes she doesn't even want to nurse on the left. Apparently it's a hindrance to her being able to see EVERYTHING around her, and she would rather sit up and eat her solids while turning her head 360 degrees every half a minute.

We have literally held Kenna's hands during some morning and evening feedings and basically force-fed her. Once she gets a considerable amount of milk in her mouth (at least enough to make her have to swallow), she often resigns herself to nursing and continues quite well. But it's a fight and a struggle to get to that point, especially during the lunch and late afternoon feedings when there is more activity surrounding her. She will nurse on my right side if we can pretend it's the left side, i.e. if I hold her in the football position so she isn't lying on her left side. I would think there were something wrong to make her not want to lie like that except for the fact that she is often found sleeping on that side, plus the fact that every now and then, just to keep me on my toes, she will suddenly decide that she DOES want to nurse the "normal" way on the right side.

Every feeding is an adventure, and I never know if she's going to actually nurse, take a half feeding, or refuse me altogether and demand I shovel food in her mouth NOW. We have just four months to go to meet my goal of nursing for one year, which I've been able to do with the others, more or less. It will be interesting to see if we make it. Whether we do or don't, I can guarantee you that I will be lopsided for the rest of my life...

9 comments:

Bob & Claire said...

She's so beautiful! Luke was my problem nurser. He was also set on turning his head and looking at everything around. He didn't want to stay latched on long enough for me to let down. The big problem was that he was in the bottom 5% of the growth charts, so I finally gave up at 6 months with him because he was so skinny. Of course, even with drinking a bottle, he was (and is now!) still skinny!

You know, it's great to keep on nursing, but as soon as the battle gets you really down or stressed, I would let it go. At 8 months, this isn't a hill I'd die on. I am laughing at the left side-right side battle though! Who knows what goes on in their little brains?!! LOL!

I am still strugging with Grace to take the occasional bottle, i.e. at least 2 evenings a month when I have my biweekly ladies' Bible study! She is a real stinker about it, and in fact refused it a few nights ago. She is back in "bottle boot camp", where I try to give her a few ounces in a bottle every other day or so. Because, you know, I have so much extra time on my hands to heat frozen breast milk, fight with her to take it, etc. But Bob and I are supposed to go to a Cedarville alumni function next week, and I really want her to take one so we don't have to rush back from downtown D.C. when it's time for her to go to bed!!

Okay, not sure why I felt the need to write a book here . . . feeding problems are on my mind obviously, LOL.

Beverly said...

*chuckle* I'm glad I'm not the only one with nursing issues! I know, 8 months is nothing to be ashamed of, and I know she'd probably do great if I decided to wean her tomorrow. When she's really sleepy, she does nurse pretty well (that's usually when we can slip the ol' right side in without her noticing too much, LOL), so I figure I'll just keep trying, and if at some point she completely refuses me longer than 24 hours, I'm DONE!

Melissa said...

Taylor started to self-wean at about 10 months. She was just much too interested in everything else around her, especially the lunch and afternoon feeding. I ended up pumping and then putting the milk in a sippy cup for her to drink - you might try that approach if you are really wanting to make it to a year. But I agree with Claire, 8 months is fantastic!

Logziella said...

Oh I have said that same exact phrase about my 3rd child who is now almost 18 months. She's BY FAR been my most challenging child in every area. She keeps me on my toes, that is for sure!

Know that you are not alone! :0)

Beverly said...

Thanks for the encouragement, ladies! Melissa, pumping just unfortunately isn't working any more. During the time when I had enough milk to feed a third-world country, Kenna and I were passing thrush back and forth, so the huge, beautiful stash I had in the freezer ended up getting poured down the drain, as we read that the bacteria can surface again in pumped milk.

Now that Kenna is on solids, not to mention nursing less and less, my production is just not enough to make pumping worth it. She nursed at 3:30 p.m. yesterday and was with a sitter for the evening, asleep when we got home, so I hadn't fed her in about 15 hours when I decided to try pumping this morning. Would you believe I pumped for about 25 minutes and got 2 ounces?! I would definitely pump and put it in a cup if I could get enough...maybe if I tried pumping every couple of hours I could get my production back up, but at this point, I just don't think it's worth the time and effort. I've thought about that, too, trying to put it in a sippy cup...maybe next time I get any I will do that rather than mixing it with her cereal like I've been doing.

Amos said...

She is a cutie! So sorry for all of the issues with nursing. I think you are right about the pumping part. I had to pump for 6 solid weeks with my first child. If it isn't there, it is not worth sending everything farther south to try, LOL. You are a trooper for continuing to try.

So glad that you are settling in, and hopefully things will be quiet for awhile now. And glad that you got out to that festival, sounds like a fabulous time.

Megan said...

I went through the exact same struggles with Evan around that age! I think it's just a highly distractable age. I had to start nursing him in the other room, away from everyone else, which was a royal pain because I didn't like leaving Sela unattended for the 15 or 20 minutes it took him to eat (he's my slow nurser). He wouldn't take a bottle, and I wasn't convinced that a sippy of cow's milk alone would be adequate nutrition and brain food at that age (formula was beyond our budget), so I stuck with it. He did eventually settle back down, and we're still nursing once every day or two at 18 months! (Not that you want to nurse her that long...LOL)

Joy said...

Beverly - you really have had a time of it, huh? I am thankful that since the 7 week mark, Ellie and I have been doing much better with nursing. Now she seems like she would like to start solid foods. We may try and start soon. If you get a chance would love to catch up sometime!

Ski said...

Megan is correct around 8 months the kids are very distracted and would prefer to watch what's going on around them rather than nurse. It is a phase and it's hard to get away and nursing in quieter room helps. Good luck. You can do make it to a year. As for a favorite side, Meghan prefered the right side and Tabitha the left. They would nurse on the other side sometimes only after a quick sip on their favorite side. Like you are doing, try different positions, there might be something with her ear that she doesn't like to lay on one side. Just something to watch for.