Friday, October 15, 2010

Breastfeeding While Pregnant

When I was pregnant with Zoe, I knew I would attempt to breastfeed my baby. There was no question about it. Breastfeeding didn't start as a magical experience for us. Well, I guess it was magical the first night of Zoe's life, but before we even left the hospital the trouble set in and continued for the first 4.5 weeks of Zoe's life. Once we got nursing fully established, there was no looking back. Initially I wanted to make it to the six month mark. Made it. Then I decided I'd nurse Zoe for a year. No sweat! As I started contemplating weaning her, I realized I couldn't do it, and I didn't want to do it. We had a good thing going, she still really enjoyed it, so why end it. I decided I would nurse Zoe until she turned 18-months and if she hadn't started showing signs of weaning, I'd start the weaning process. Neither happened. My new timeline became 2 years or when I got pregnant. Well, I got pregnant and continued to nurse Zoe. After doing extensive online research, I found plenty to support our continued nursing relationship. While nursing while pregnant is ill-advised for women with a history of pre-term labor, that isn't my story. After my first prenatal appointment, I received Dr. S's blessing to continue nursing Zoe, particularly because we weren't nursing very frequently (at the time, 2-3 times per day). She just urged me to take a calcium supplement to compensate for the extra demand on my calcium stores. So, 20-months later, Zoe is still nursing. Unfortunately, nursing became extremely painful once breast tenderness set in around week 6 of my pregnancy. After two weeks of enduring horrendous pain, I decided to try to wean Zoe down to morning nursings only to manage the discomfort. She cooperated quite well. Now it seems she's ready to wean entirely. The past two mornings she has shown very little interest in nursing. She nurses briefly on one side and then she's "all done." I don't know if the weaning process is because Zoe is ready or if my milk supply has diminished to the point of making nursing pointless. Honestly, I think it's the latter. Regardless of the reason, I'm a little conflicted about the possible shift in our relationship. I'm so pleased that I was able to nurse this long, especially as a 1st generation nursing (and working) mother and given all the issues we had in the beginning. I'm also happy that Zoe is doing the weaning instead of the other way around. I really didn't want to "take" this away from her. I know I'll miss the extra cuddling that nursing provides, but I believe that nursing created an impenetrable bond between Zoe and me, for which I'll be eternally grateful. I'm also happy I've been able to give Zoe such a wonderful gift and lots of good antibodies! Assuming Zoe is in fact weaning, I guess this means I won't be tandem nursing once Baby D2 is born. Trust me, I was fully prepared and willing to do so if necessary. (I'm sure someone would've called Nati.onal Ge.ogra.phic on me!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

13 Weeks

Baby D2 is 13 weeks in utero today. Morning sickness continues to be the theme of this pregnancy, although it is dissipating. I'm no longer sick all day long. My morning sickness is now primarily late afternoon through the evening. I'm so anxious for this phase to end! Since this is my last week in my 1st trimester, I'm hoping good things are on the horizon. I've also started dealing with heartburn already and it seems that I have sciatica this time around, which I didn't have with Zoe. This pregnancy is starting out much different than Zoe's! I'm hopeful, though, that this pregnancy will be as great and easy as Zoe's.

This week Baby D2 is forming teeth and vocal cords. The baby has formed its fingerprints and veins are visible through his/her see-through skin. The baby's body is becoming more proportional with the head now making up one-third of the body instead of one-half. If Baby D2 is a girl, she already has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. 2 million eggs?! That stat amazed me when I was pregnant with Zoe, and it still amazes me now. The human body is simply amazing!

This week Baby D2 is the size of a peach: