Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dang Teeth!

Look at my beautiful girl's smile! It is just precious. Heart-warming.

To be honest, when I see that smile, all I see are the four pitt-bull teeth growing menacingly out of her gums. It's scary, really.

She's been biting me. I can't even really tell if she's doing it on purpose or if she's just experimenting with her new teeth. I tell her no. I flick her in the mouth. She screams. She hits me in the face. We both cry. She bites me again. Repeat.

As you can imagine, nursing hasn't been too fun lately. I don't love nursing when I'm not being latched onto with knives, and this has just been too much. She's almost 11 months old, and I can just stop. I should just stop. But that raises a whole mess of dilemmas. Let me present them here, and weigh in if you'd like. I welcome it!

  • As much as I don't love nursing, I believe in it. Plus, I am very cheap. Breastmilk=free. Formula=not being able to afford the adoption.
  • Just like I believe in offering my birth children "the best," I would like to be able to offer it to my adopted baby as well. Especially since the poor boy will have been raised on a steady diet of whoknowswhat and will be coming home to a country for which he will not have any antibodies or immunities or whatever it is you are supposed to have to fight off the germies.
  • My plan was simple: keep nursing Taly at least until we learn the age of our new baby. If he's an older baby, I certainly won't be forcing it (disclaimer: I felt compelled to edit this to sound nicer). If, however, he is young, I will try to breastfeed him - both for the health benefits, my pocketbook, and the help with bonding and emotional attachment. I figured I'd just nurse her at night - just enough to keep up a milk supply.
  • If I quit, I'm sure there are some things I could do when the time comes to get things going again, but according to my perfect plan, this just made sense.
  • We're headed to India soon (more on that later). Do I want to be nursing in India, pumping in India, or using formula in India? Upside to nursing - no bottles or pump parts to wash. Downside - always having to find a place to do it. Oh, and the biting.
SO? What's a mama to do? Is this biting thing a phase? Will she stop? Can I flick her into submission? Am I being (too) dramatic? How big of a pain in my butt will it be to wash the bottles in dirty water in the bathroom sink of an Indian hotel?

Too many questions. Too many teeth.


Mommin' It Up! said...

UGH. Sophie never bit me too much, believe it or not since she nursed FOREVER, oh wait maybe that is because she didn't get her first tooth since til she was 14 months! Joshua, on the other hand, definitely went through a biting phase. OUCH!! Usually a very frantic yet stern "NO" would stop it, but I'd say it was 4 wks or so until the phase ended. Hope she backs off soon!!

Anonymous said...

Biting is so hard - do you have some good soothing stuff for your nipples to help?

I would keep nursing if at all possible - for all the reasons that you listed.

I think that being able to nurse your adopted baby would be awesome on so many levels - for attachment/bonding, the nutrition, the antibodies. Plus with going to India this summer - I would definitely want to still be nursing T then for the health protection. Especially if she gets sick from something, nursing will help keep her hydrated.

Here's a huge page of ideas on kellymom for how to prevent/handle biting - maybe something there will help. I'm not a flicker when it comes to biting, I did the 'smoosh baby's face into the breast so they release the bite to breath' technique with David (or you could try pinching her nose shut so they have to open their mouth to breath).

I hope that she stops soon - it makes me cringe just thinking about being bitten. If it helps, my friend's daughter did that for awhile right about T's age and she almost weaned b/c of it, but then her daughter stopped and they nursed another 6 months.

Katie D said...

BLAH! I feel your pain... Mia went through a biting phase, but it didn't last more than a month or so. I just had to grin-and-bear it. I did use lots of Lansinoh to help with the pain. Good luck, and this too shall pass.

Becky :) said...

BRILLIANT!! I would have never have thought to keep nursing so you could nurse your new baby! I have no advice, but I did want to say that you are thinking outside the box already and I will pray God grants you wisdom on this painful and frustrating situation!

Natalie said...

Why don't you pump(she's not drinking that many times a day anyway) or stop nursing and pump once a day to keep your milk supply up (then you can save it and give it to baby 3 for the healthy stuff)?

Susie said...

Thanks for all the tips and advice and sympathy! We're hanging in there - the biting is less, but we're still figuring out the teeth :)