The good news...I think...my little one's hiatus from nursing turned out to just be a nursing strike. I really thought he was done because of how easily he was going to sleep and comforting himself without nursing. But one day over vacation, he asked to nurse before a nap. I didn't believe him, but he latched right on like he had never done anything differently.
He's been nursing so much that today I said to my husband, "Why was I sad that he was done?" And he said, "Be careful what you wish for."
So nursing is back to normal, which is good because this past week he was covered in hives...head to toe at one point. Nursing was one of the few ways I felt like I could comfort him when he was so itchy he couldn't sleep at night.
The doctor suspects he is allergic to the antibiotic he was on for a recent ear infection, and after some Internet research, I think that's probably an accurate diagnosis. The hives started on our last day of vacation with a couple of small red dots on his face. I thought they were bug bites, but when I got home, he was getting redder and more splotchy by the second. His ears were bright red and swollen when I called the on-call doctor.
I gave him off-brand Benadryl until we could see our regular doctor the next day. I kept giving him the Benadryl about every six hours for his comfort, and I alternated it with homeopathic allergy medicine that definitely seemed to help. He had the hives from Wednesday until Saturday. On Sunday (today), they were finally completely gone. I'm so happy my baby is back to normal!
Thankfully the hives didn't start until the last day of vacation, and we had a blast the whole time we were away. The little guy was a breeze on the flights, and once I gave up on using cloth diapers while we were away (a guest bathroom toilet and antibiotic diarrhea don't mix...gross!), I relaxed and we had so much fun.
So that's been the story of my last week and a half!