Hello world! It’s been quite a while. A lot has happened and our little Maddy has turned three years old! How is that possible, seriously?
That and a little, not so little, update – We’re expecting!! We’re so excited and Maddy is completely over the moon about being a big sister and already loves her sibling. She is constantly hugging and kissing my belly, saying “Baby, baby, I love you baby!” I can’t wait to see her flourish as a big sister.
With all that I thought it’d be a good time to do a “Where are we now?” post and let you in on our little world of, yes, still nursing (and nursing while pregnant to boot)!
Nursing While Pregnant – 1st Trimester
The first trimester lent itself to an initial sting of sensitivity that would quickly dissipate as we nursed. We’d nurse in her bed like normal “until the milk is all gone” each evening.
Nursing at Three Years
She hasn’t fallen asleep nursing in quite a while which is nice and sad at the same time. I love that she’s now able to be done nursing and give me a hug and kiss before going to sleep.
We also weaned off of naps in August. It was so much easier than I anticipated! I simply told her that I had to run an errand, and my husband put her to bed while I did that. I removed myself, and I’m grateful to my husband for taking the lead on this. And to my surprise, she didn’t even flinch! Ok, maybe I was a little sad that she wasn’t sad. She didn’t even need me at all! But this is a good thing… right? I guess we as mothers always want to be needed, and will always need adjusting to new freedoms when they don’t.
Anyway, each day I would plan on going for a run, or go to the store, while she went down for her nap. I also chose to do this while on vacation, and it helped that the scenery was different than her normal nursing place (her bed at home). It also helps that she is conversational at this point. This is exactly what I’d hoped for if it was me doing the weaning of anything. I always said to myself that I didn’t want to wean anything if I didn’t have to unless I could have a conversation with her and her truly be able to understand. We’ve come to that point now, so I can simply talk to her about things so she comprehends what is going on. I never wanted it to be a guessing game as to why Mommy is taking Nursies away. I’m very grateful we’ve been able to get to this point, mostly nursing on demand up to now.
Nursing While Entering the 2nd Trimester
Now, at 14 weeks, that sting continues, and as she suckles or squeezes my breast it gets increasingly more painful to the point where I will sometimes have to stop her.
I originally wanted to try for another earlier, but I had no idea I’d still be nursing when we did. I’m so happy we waited until now to have a second, because since Maddy is older, I can talk to her and she understands completely when I say I need to stop because it’s painful. And though, disappointed, she’s still thankful for the little bit we are able to nurse. I have even had break nights where I tell her I can’t tonight, but we will tomorrow. Being that we only nurse once before bed now she is reluctant to allow the break, but I use my RIE knowledge and just acknowledge and be with her through the understandable disappointment until is passes. Which, with this approach, is quicker than you’d probably think.
I’m still mindful of clogs though and will make sure to power through a nursing session if I have one, just to take the clog out, making sure not to leave anything too long. The last thing I need is a bout of mastitis during pregnancy. And man is she good at getting those suckers out. I’m also noticing, due to pregnancy, that my breasts are fuller, so I’m trying to decipher if it’s actually milk production or just the anatomy changing to prepare for the next nursling. It’s a little of both, I suspect, so I just make sure to massage each evening to keep an eye on things.
Our nursing sessions are down to less than two minutes on each side now and it’s enough for her to feel comforted and not too much that I don’t feel like doing it. I still enjoy it, unless the pain is unbearable at which point I stop. Until that joy goes away, I won’t force her to wean.
As pregnancy goes on, I don’t have any set plans for weaning. I’m really just going with the flow, and taking it one day at a time, as I always have.
Will I Tandem Nurse?
I’ve thought of tandem nursing, and if it would be something I’d like to do, but I, again, don’t want to really plan for either or. I feel it could be beneficial because she could help with any clogs that might come my way, but the idea of it can seem over whelming if she decides she wants to nurse as much as the baby. I highly doubt she would do that but I’ve heard it could happen. So the jury is still out on that one, and I have plenty of time to decide if it’s something that would work for us.
Preparing to Nurse Baby #2
After us mommies have nursed our first baby you’d think we’d be pros and not have a care in the world, right? And maybe some moms are like that, but for me, I worry about clogs, over production, mastitis – all the things I struggled with when nursing Maddy in the beginning, I worry will happen with my second. But I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. We have to remember, that all the things we endured with our first, not only gave us strength, and comfort that we can do this, but it also gave us knowledge of what to expect, and more importantly, how to FIX pretty much anything that comes our way. Most of the symptoms I listed were due to lip tie and tongue tie. And knowing what I know now, I am prepared to get my little’s evaluated quickly after they’re born. I also know that it’s likely they will be diagnosed and revised since it’s genetic and runs in the family. With that knowledge alone, I’m on a straighter path to another successful breastfeeding relationship, and I can not wait.
Photo credit: Wendy Rakvica