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Minnie, Noddy, a piece of toast, oh, and breast milk ice lollies

July 30, 2013

Now then, here’s a question! What do Minnie Mouse, Noddy, Rabbit, a small pink sock, Teddy, Hope and a piece of toast all have in common. I bet you can’t guess?



The answer?






OK then;



the answer to the question is that I’ve “breastfed” all of them between 10.30pm on Friday and 10am today (Tuesday).

Yup, over the last 4 days in an attempt to coax some milky (or any food or drink at all for that matter) back into Hope and to entice her back to my breast, I have tried pretty much everything.

I’ve even made breast milk ice lollies (which it turns out are really scrumptious)!

Last night, after about 80 hours with almost no food or drink (3 froobs, 6 raspberries, half a slice of bread and one mouthful of fish, virtually no water, 2 tiny cups of expressed breast milk and one mini milk), Hope’s little voice called out, “moe mulk mummi” when I turned the lights off and she reached up and snuggled in and latched on and feasted and feasted.

I guess it was a sign when she carefully turned her little Noddy toy round to be face towards me and not upside down and put him to my breast saying, “yum yum yummy mulky’.  Noddy clearly enjoyed his milky so much he was made to nurse on both sides, “other side mummi, moe mulk”.

This morning she refused all breakfast, water and juice but she did wake up and crawl straight over to me and start feeding … a little cautiously at first but after 20 minutes she was slurping away happily.

It’s been a horribly difficult weekend. We’ve seen doctors who’ve said she had swollen glands, or was affected by teething or a sore throat, today our own GP said Hope looked 100% healthy and all her tests were utterly normal, odd really for a toddler whose not eaten or drunk for so long … she nearly got admitted into hospital on Saturday night as they were worried about dehydration. We escaped that fate as we are so close and I promised to spoon feed water to her. We’ve waited for almost 6 hours in waiting rooms, I spoke to 11 different pharmacists in my quest for the paracetamol suppository prescription we were given only to find that the wrong dosage had been put on the script. We had to go back and be re-assessed before they’d reissue the prescription and then I made it to the chemist with 2 mins left until it closed (the last one to close on a Sunday).

I kept on pumping breast milk, worried the supply would slow down or stop, and at all the times she’d normally nurse, I held her close and tried to encourage her to feed. I ended up with a huge scratch down my chest and with a small person sitting across the room with her back to me.

At times she’s appeared in pain, other times cross and other times lethargic … and also at times she’s been bouncy, cheerful and chirpy. Night times have been hard, lots of crying and frustrated lashing out … and with no way of calming her … she seemed to want to eat but just couldn’t or wouldn’t.

I felt useless with no way to comfort her. I tried to encourage her by getting Minnie Mouse, Teddy, Rabbit and all her small furry chums to feed (she has a little game where she normally pretends they are sharing her breakfast milky when we first wake up) but she just swiped them away from my breast and threw them on the floor and then hit me or said, “pah” (which was quite funny in a black comedy kind of a way).

Pretty much the only time she took anything from me was one morning when I was reading her a book and cuddling her (skin to skin was suggested as a way of tempting her to start feeding again), my mother bought me in a piece of toast. I offered a bit to Hope, she took it and I thought, “hurrah, she’s going to start eating again”. She didn’t, she looked at the toast, looked at me, looked at the toast, looked at my left breast and then reached over and put the toast by my breast and made, “num num num” noises and then threw the toast on the floor. She then crawled over to the other side of the bed and found a small pink lost sock … she gave the sock a pretend milky breakfast too and then it joined the toast on the floor and she had a very hesitant one minute feed.

Mealtimes became a fiasco with me feeling like Marie Antoinette’s maid constantly offering up different delicacies such as fish, pasta pesto, strawberries, raspberries, bread, toast, chicken, mashed potato, rice, curry, yoghurt, ice cream, peaches … everything she’d normally wolf down … everything was met with a disdainful sweep of the hand, a decisive turn of the head and a firm very sweet, “no”.

As always, friends have been a huge source of support; the incredible Rachel and Justine at La Leche League, my playgroup friend Becca who invited Hope and I round so we could feed babies together. It went horribly wrong as her daughter flatly refused to feed and that reinforced Hope’s refusal, but in copying her little friend, Hope did manage a few raspberries and she had a lovely time playing and I had what felt like a much needed break with a friend. Another friend offered the same support but we were at the doctor’s surgery waiting around for too long to take her up on it, she’s sent so many lovely text messages it has touched me deeply. Hope’s little friend Martha let her drink from her own water cup, something Hope is never normally allowed to do and that meant that Hope had a half a cup of water yesterday and when she saw her mischievous chum eating a chocolate bun she did the same, for a moment, and then smeared it all over me BUT decided that she had to wash it down with a bit of breastmilk. Martha saw Hope trying to feast and having (9 months ago) stopped breastfeeding herself she suddenly dived on her mother and pulled down her blouse and demanded milk too.

I don’t know when she’ll resume her normally voracious eating everything approach to life, but for now I feel very grateful and blissfully calmly happy that she’s eaten well from me and was a little more relaxed in her sleep than she’s ben since she went on almost total hunger strike on Friday evening.

So, all in all it’s been a very difficult few days. I am hoping the fact that she had a tiny bit of bread this morning, that she nursed well and ate one strawberry means she’s broken her fast, and will stop her hunger strike, and whatever has been causing her the pain and stress that have stopped her from wanting to eat is now passing from her.

I sit here a little bedraggled with a mountain of washing to fold and put away, piles of paperwork to get through and legs so in need of waxing I wouldn’t need to wear tights in winter. Hope wanted to see her little friends so has gone for a few hours to her child minder to give me a break and some time to catch up with myself. She is an inspiring wonderful woman with 4 grown up children of her own, who has been looking after short folk for over 20 years, Hope adores her and she, if anyone, will I suspect help unlock the secret to what’s going on with my little bunny.

I’ve just made another two lolly pops and re-made our beds, put the laundry on,  got supper ready for later, had a cup of tea and taken a slow breath in and then out again! Now to get on with everything else for an hour before I pick her up again and go for a little walk to the swings if she is up to it. Maybe the fresh air will make her hungry.

Who’d have thought motherhood would have involved playing at breastfeeding a sock, a piece of toast or a stuffed rabbit, let alone making breast milk lolly pops! They never prepared us for that in ante natal classes!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 30, 2013 8:50 pm

    o ellie – what a week!

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