All the way back in April when I was preparing to go back to work after my maternity leave, I worried about whether my baby would take a bottle.
Fortunately for me, Leah was pretty much gung-ho about anything that came near her. Be they fingers, pacis or other odd assortments, if it came near her mouth, it was probably going in her mouth.
Oh, how her tastes have changed in just a few months.
This time as I prepared to return to work, it never occurred to me to test out the whole bottle situation, because it was old hat. We'd given Leah a few bottles randomly over the summer, and she took them without complaint or hesitation. In fact, the only trouble was often that we hadn't loaded her bottle up with enough milk!
So when I called my mom to check in on my first day back to work, I didn't expect her to answer me in a concerned voice, "well... what time are you coming home? We've had a small problem."
Of course, my mother's mind jumped into overdrive, and I sped home at something like twice the legal speed limit.
Leah had refused the bottle. All day. I fed her at 6 before I left for work, and she hadn't eaten a drop until I got home at almost 4.
Worse (or at least, equally as bad) was the fact that she had been as sweet as pie all day long, without her momma and without any food.
I felt awful. I cried all that afternoon and evening. How could I have neglected to re-acclimate her to the bottle?!
To my horror, it continued the next day. Surely she would eventually get hungry enough to eat... right? Finally on Wednesday my mom got her to take some cereal, so at least she had something in her system. The pediatrician, however, told us the cereal wasn't good enough and didn't have enough nutrition to actually help her; although it did make her feel full, it was actually working against us as we tried to get her to take the bottle.
Instead, she suggested that we try milk in a dropper.
I'm glad to say that this has worked relatively well, so at least poor Leah is getting something to eat throughout the day while I'm gone. But that sweet little girl is also stubborn as can be (I wonder where she gets that from?), and for two weeks she has chosen not to take any of the wide variety of bottles we have offered her, nor her sippy cup. For some odd reason, she actually seems to like the dropper.
From her mommy's perspective, it has been an absolutely heart-wrenching two weeks. Everyday, I pray that she will take the bottle or the sippy cup. Everyday, I have TONS of guilt - not only the preexisting guilt I feel for leaving my little girl, but now, the added, extra weight of feeling like I failed her and hoping she's not hungry while I'm gone. It's agonizing - I imagine for both Mommy and Baby.
Strikes don't last forever, right?