I have given up chocolate.
This is the first time I've had to give up something while nursing. I realize that after 3 kids, I'm probably pretty lucky that this is it. I'm also lucky that it's "just chocolate." Yes, I realize how dire that can sound (even to me!) but I can't imagine trying to give up some of the other major culprits of nursing woes, like dairy.
I'm not one who craves sweet food or junk food normally. However, during these days of so very little sleep my body seems to be craving the energy chocolate provides to get me through. Juliette is still waking at least every 3 hours through the night, sometimes more often. I average about four hours of sleep a night, but that's not straight through - it's usually in 90 minute chunks. After 15 months of that, I'm probably as close to the walking dead as you can get. Hence the mid day craving of chocolate to get me through.
However, because I don't keep sweet or junk food in the house, I have been resorting to a handful of chocolate chips as a substitute. (I know there must be at least a few of you out there who have dipped into the chocolate chip jar out of desperation!) Last week, with Juliette's play-dough episode (there is wheat in play-dough - oops!) she was up every 45 minutes every night for 5 days straight. I think I nearly emptied my jar of chocolate chips.
As I came to the end of the week, I was lying in bed at night, stomach churning from the chocolate and it suddenly occurred to me: chocolate is part of the problem. I knew that the play-dough incident had run its course, and yet still Juliette was unsettled, mostly at night. I realized that through the night she was nursing more, and there was a good chance the the extra chocolate combined with the extra milk was making for an even more sore tummy for her.
Sigh. Goodbye, chocolate. I will miss you, but our parting is only temporary.
Thankfully it has not been as hard as I thought it might. The very evening of the first day I attended an event that had fruit and chocolate fondue as the refreshment. I piled my plate with strawberries and pineapple without even a second thought toward the lovely melting milk chocolate sitting by. The line on the chocolate chip jar has remained steady. I'm not tempted to toss in a chocolate bar in the grocery checkout line. I am grateful for being filled with a strength and resolve beyond my normal capacity to try and help Juliette. And hopefully, if chocolate is a culprit to her sleeping patterns, then we might actually both start sleeping through the night and I won't need a mid-day chocolate kick!