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
Oh, I have so been there! I think you have to give Jack more credit for knowing what’s going on! My daughter was even younger than he was at your phase of pregnancy. We talked about it at length before the baby was born and her and her sister are 29 months apart. We’re still doing the tandem thing and the little one is 18 months and the older one is almost 4! Jack will be in heaven when your milk comes back in. Some kids like the taste of the colostrum! Mine came in around 7 months and I asked her how it tasted and she said, ‘Salty’. haha! Good luck with it all and most importantly, listen to your own body. Our body tells us things for a reason. If you’re feeling strong aversion to him, just lay low for a while. I know many people whose older kids hoped back on the boob, even though they had been ‘weaned’ for a long time, even up to a year!
I really appreciate your frankness. I am 13 weeks and nursing my 11 month old and absolutely hating it. I waver back and forth between wanting to wean and wanting to continue. My milk supply has been getting really low, which concerns me as my daughter is still under the 1 year mark. I went out and bough a box of formula the other day ($25?? Are you freaking kidding me????) but haven’t opened it. My sister had to nurse my baby to sleep one night as I had no milk and she was so so angry about it. I totally bawled for like an hour. I’ve started eating a stupid amount of lactation cookies and have noticed a huge improvement in my supply so I think these cookies will at least help me get her to 1 year. I’ve found that one of my nipples is a great deal more sensitive (painfully so!!) than the other. Ugh, I totally dread/love nursing. Thanks again, Abby, I’m so grateful to know im not the only one!
oh who cares where you bought it if it’s that cute! i rlealy like that big flower, it’s so cute and quirky. and i’ve actually had the opposite problem as you. i have super small boobs and out of no where they just sprung out and i had the most awful time styling stuff now with cleavage haha. see, the grass is always greener!
Congrats! I remember going through a similar experience with my first nursling. He would gently caress me while latched on and it started making my skin crawl. I was excited to tandem nurse. It struck me as such an intimate bond among siblings. Unfortunately my son stopped nursing when I was about 30 weeks and he was about 30 months. It still amazes me that he just stopped. I offered after the baby arrived and he looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Good luck on your journey.
Congrats Abby! Nursing through pregnancy was very intense for me, I suffered pretty severe nursing aversion, especially after my milk disappeared at around 16weeks. I stuck it out and am now tandem nursing my two boys, who are 30 months and 8 months. I am so glad I did! The road has been rocky at times and tandem nursing is intense, at times exhausting and emotional but so worth it. My eldest got down to nap and bedtime during the pregnancy but when his brother was born he kicked it up several notches and rivalled the newborn! Now we average 10x a day. I still get nursing aversion at times but am sticking it out and taking it a day at a time. I love that my boys get to share such a special experience! Good Luck with the pregnancy, I hope it continues to go well and I look forward to reading about your journey! x
Congrats! hang in there it will be worth it I promise! my first son weaned as soon as I got pregnant with #2. not sure if the taste change or lack of milk through him off? maybe both?? anyway baby #2 was only 9months old when I got pregnant with #3 totally by surprise! I was terrified he would self wean! but he didn’t seem to care? he nursed through the whole pregnancy and we are now tandem nursing and it is pretty awesome! Baby #2 is now 20 months and baby #3 is 6 weeks. the first time they nursed together was amazing! he reached over and started caressing he’s baby sisters newborn head! sooooo sweet! sometimes the two of them just stare into each others eyes! I think maybe they will have a special bond as they grow up!
I’m almost 10 weeks pregnant and I have a 9 month old. My milk supply has dropped but not gone away. I’m worried he won’t gain weight or be full. I really hope the 3 of us hang in there too!
Congrats again Abby, I know what you mean about the pain when latching on I am still feeding my 19 month old and am 22 weeks pregnant. My daughter like your son has reduced the frequency through the day that she feeds now it is only when she wakes for the day or goes down for a sleep and occasionally at night when she wakes up. I am hoping to continue and tandem feed when my little guy arrives at the end of April next year.