So, yeah, Jack is still breastfeeding. He is 29 months and I am entering my second trimester of pregnancy at 17 weeks. At first I noticed nothing. Then noticed the horrid awful pain, like a stinging pinching feeling when latching on. Sometimes even nausea while nursing. The pain comes and goes now. I’m going to stick it out because, well, I want to!
I was not big puker when I was pregnant with Jack. Just the nagging feeling of nausea all the way up my throat. The god-I-really-wish-I-could-puke feeling. That lasted until a couple of weeks ago. The house has gotten pretty quiet. I spend a lot of time in the rocking chair. I have resorted to cartoons and movies to keep Jack occupied. I try to get outside often, but I don’t always. My husband has picked up his involvement with cooking (not that I ever cooked that much) and horse-playing with Jack (which he has always done a lot of).
Jack doesn’t seem to fully get what is going on. Obviously. We talk about it sometimes and a couple of times he has referred to the “baby in your belly,” or “you go to see a lady, she heard the baby” (referring to the midwife who uses the Doppler to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. But mostly he is focused on himself, which is totally appropriate. Sometimes he seems anxious or not himself. I know he is growing fast. It’s hard to know if it’s growing or sensing changes coming. It’s probably both I guess.
The other night out of nowhere he said “you have a baby in your belly.” I said, “yes, I do!” He said “baby not play with me.” I said, “yes, you can play with the baby.” He said, “NO!” I said, “OK, that’s OK. You don’t have to play with the baby if you don’t want to.” That’s was the biggest conversation we have had about it. I am sure they will get bigger and bigger.
I hate the smell of everything. Even the smell of Jack’s breath, that I usually love, turns my stomach now. Anything with an odor is puke-arific to me. I have to hold my breath to even open the fridge. And it’s been cleaned! I crave carbs, carbs and more carbs, Mac n’ Cheese and any sort of junk food that my mind gets caught on.
I don’t really feel any more stressed out than usual. My stress has always been pretty high. If anything I feel tired and slow and sick. Losing my shit is on its regularly scheduled programming. I feel emotional. Your breastfeeding photos and stories bring me to tears quicker than before. Hormones.
But your big question is milk supply, right? Well, I hate to break the news to you, but my milk seems to be gone. I paid attention as the pregnancy progressed. Up until about 12 weeks I could express some. Now none. Jack reports that there is plenty of milk. But when I smell his breath and ask him to show me his tongue I see no signs of it. I think it may have slowed him down a bit. Jack usually nurses a lot during the day and at night. It depends on the day, but he seems to nurse mostly at nap and bedtime now.
One thing to know is that this is totally normal. Not much you can do about it. My body is preparing to make colostrum for the newborn. It must shut things down. It doesn’t mean Jack will stop. He does plenty of nursing to sleep or for comfort. I hope he sticks with it. I try to remain calm and just keep going as we always have. If he weans, well, I guess I will cross that bridge. I’m nervous for that. I’m sad and terrified for that. Having said that, just because you are pregnant and just because my milk supply dried up doesn’t mean that yours will. Plenty of women report having milk throughout their pregnancy. Every woman is different.
I do plan to tandem nurse because, well, I want to! I love everything about it. I love the bonding, the nourishing breastmilk, the transition to a new family member. I think it will be a great experience for all of us. I just pray that Jack hangs on. I know if I still had milk he would be going strong. I hope he hangs on until some milk comes. I know he will like it.
As for the other boob. Will Jack allow it? I don’t know. It will be a transition. It will be an adjustment. It will be growing and learning and bonding. It’s the one thing that I can actually close my eyes and imagine and it blows my fucking mind! Another child! Another person in our little family. I think about how close we are and it’s crazy to think someone else will come and be a part of this. That they can latch on and look at each other and see the other doing what they are wired to do. It’s something that they can both understand. One of the few things that they can both fully understand. Jack will watch this all happen and he will form a new type of relationship. One he has never had. One as strong as he has with my husband and me.
What the hell is going to happen?
I have no idea, but for now Jack has dibs on both.
For Part 1 of this series click here.
Abby Theuring, MSW