Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nursing while pregnant

I have been very blessed to have had minimal issues with nursing Arie. I am sure that was 90% (or more) preparation with knowledge and being blessed with a babe who loves to nurse. I never had anything to complain about and nursing was always a positive experience, no matter what time, day or night.

Being pregnant and nursing, however, is a different story.

My nipples are sore like they were when Arie was a brand new babe and the nausea makes me want my own space.

It appears as though my aversion to being crowded is met by Arie's extreme desire to be even closer to me than normal. He nurses about 5x more often than he did before, or maybe it just feels like it because I'm so uncomfortable.

It's frustrating to be exhausted beyond words from my pregnancy and have a nursling who requires hours of rocking each day. Thankfully, the new rocking recliner we bought makes a big difference because it's so comfortable.

I don't mean to complain one bit, because I'm thankful for blessing #2 to be on their way, but pregnancy is not kind to me and pregnancy symptoms are exaggerated about 100 fold when you have an 8 month old who doesn't understand why you're hugging the toilet for a half hour or tries to grab and tip out your barf bowl.

In the last month, Arie has also been really fluctuating in weight and I have started to get concerned. Then I talked to my best friend who said her baby fluctuated greatly between 9-12 months when he became mobile. Arie is doing his version of crawling and is burning a lot more calories than normal so his slow weight gain and weight fluctuations are very normal. I think being pregnant intensifies my anxiety because it is difficult to remain totally rational about things and not panic. In the last month, Arie gained only 3 oz... But, his head circumference grew .25" and he grew almost an inch in length. He's definitely growing and if I wasn't carefully monitoring his weight, I would never guess he wasn't even 16 pounds yet.

I'm hoping my nausea and vomiting go away after the first trimester but I have a sneaky suspicion that it won't. I'm hoping that I can get a handle on my anxiety and emotions at least, because dreading nursing is a terrible feeling. My irrational brain freaks out and I get physically uncomfortable while he's nursing in his sleep. It's no different than he's always done and now I find myself frequently breaking his latch because of my anxiety and discomfort and then he wakes and frantically roots and latches right back on. At this point, nursing is pure mind over matter and requires full dedication on my part.

Thankfully, I'm a stubborn and persistent person. Since I still believe that breast milk is my highest priority for Arie, I am giving myself a constant "suck it up." Pep talk and reminding myself that pregnancies are very short and the long term payout of tandem nursing is something that I do NOT want to miss out on.

Plus, he's only 8 months old. 4 more months and then the possibility of having to supplement is out of the picture. Fortunately, if I do lose my supply, I have been in contact with some great midwives who have offered to help find me donor breast milk.

I think I'll attempt to get in bed once more... This little man has been fighting sleep for an hour. >.< pregnancy is very short, pregnancy doesn't last forever, this phase is a blink of the eye, this pregnancy will go by so fast, especially with an infant time just goes by so fast, gotta remember to relax and just enjoy every minute because it's gone before I know it!!

I'm having to make a conscious effort to say prayers of thanksgiving daily for this situation and experience and I think the more I am consciously thanking God for it, the easier it will be to remember in my (way too frequent) moments of frustration how awesome this is to be able to experience this.

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