DS is 2 yrs 5 months old. On Monday, he had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids. He had severe obstructive sleep apnea (at its worst, he'd stop breathing every 2-3 breaths, for up to 20 seconds at a time). He'd pretty much always had some degree of snoring and apnea since birth, but for some reason it got completely out of control a few months ago (possibly due to possible seasonal allergies, no one is really sure). We didn't want to deprive him of oxygen during a critical time in his development, and he has a heart defect that was not benefiting from the increased blood pressure associated with the sleep apnea. Anyway, I hated to have the surgery, but feel like it was necessary. And immediately, even with the inflammation and junk in his throat, his apnea was entirely gone. It was amazing to listen to him breath so easily while he slept, and sleep so deeply for hours at a time.
DS is generally still breastfeeding 2-3 times in a 24-hour period. Mostly bedtime and morning, sometimes "reunion" times when I get home from work, though not always. Sometimes naps on the weekends.
DS nursed about 5 am the morning of his surgery (Day 1). Kept overnight in the hospital, did not nurse at all after the surgery. Tried once, grimaced, pushed away the breast. Day 2 we went home. He did finally nurse on both sides later at night, before falling asleep.
Today is Day 3, and though he seems to be feeling pretty good, he will not nurse. Twice, I have asked him if he wants to nurse and he's said "uh-huh," but just puts the nipple in his mouth and looks at me for a while, then pops off and pushes the breast away. No sucking, not really latched.
So, intellectually I guess I believe that he's just not comfortable, his neck and jaw are sore as well as his throat, and this doesn't really mean anything. But the whole deal where he doesn't seem to know how to nurse is kind of unnerving to me. He says he wants to nurse, but doesn't seem to know what to do next.
What I hate is that one of the reasons we agreed to do the surgery so young was that I thought he'd nurse for sure, he's always nursed through illness and injury before. About 3 months ago, he had a deep lip laceration that required 4 stitches, and nursed like a newborn, despite what must have been significant pain. I counted on him being able to nurse to stay hydrated and get some nutrition in. But he won't, and he's too young to understand the concept of medicine to make him better (pain pills) or that drinking and eating will help him feel better.
So he's not nursing, and we literally have to wrestle with him and hold him down to get meds, drink, or food (mostly jello) into him. I hate doing it. He's not getting enough to drink, I know it, but I don't know what else to do. He's technically not dehydrated right now, but he hasn't pooped since the day before the surgery, and I know we're about to have massive constipation problems from the pain meds and the failure to drink.
I just feel defeated and rejected. I really thought I knew him well enough to believe that he would nurse during his recovery. I feel like I wouldn't have done this surgery if I had known he wouldn't nurse. And I worry that he'll end up weaned because he'll get out of the habit of nursing. I just feel like a bad mom, and stupid because when the primary tool in my "mom arsenal" isn't working, I'm at a complete loss.