Last week I casually mentioned that we are expecting our third child. Surprise! We had intended to wait until Felix weaned to get pregnant again, but…surprise!
So here I am nursing through pregnancy again. The first time I did this, I found nursing to be just so painful and overwhelming. I weaned my oldest son when he was 27-months old. This broke his heart for about two months, so I didn’t want to be placed in that position again.
I never imagined I would have to restrict Felix’s nursing at all, wanted to let him work out weaning all on his own. But, when I found out I was pregnant this winter, I became utterly overwhelmed with exhaustion. That’s why we started nightweaning in ernest.
I had regular first-trimester exhaustion coupled with multiple night wakings to nurse a fussy, energetic toddler who always needed rocking and coaxing back to sleep after he nursed. All this on top of my first-trimester sore breasts. I was in a tired, tired place. I felt very unwell.
It took most of a month for night weaning to stick in a way that did not involve tears when Daddy parented Felix during night wakings. Once I was getting consecutive hours of sleep at night, I was able to nurse through the rest of the first trimester and it felt better again.
With my oldest, the idea of tandem nursing terrified me. My first child, Miles, is a very intense person. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to nurse him in addition to a newborn. Felix is a very different child.
I’m not horrified by the idea of tandem nursing this time, but I also hope he’ll decide to wean while I am pregnant. I can tell my milk supply is changing and dwindling because he’s becoming less interested. Some days, he doesn’t even nurse when he wakes up in the morning. Or before nap! I can totally handle once-a-day nursing sessions at bedtime.
One way I can tell my milk is dwindling: I feel absolutely no engorgement. For the first few months of this pregnancy, I definitely had a lot of milk. I would see it on Felix’s tongue and it would still spray or drip if he popped off suddenly. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s getting no liquid at all!
Today, Felix asked to nurse when he woke up. I offered him a cheesestick instead, and he accepted. Tomorrow, I might feel more excited about those moments cuddling with him–today, I needed the additional ten minutes of sleep.
My pediatrician predicts that Felix will wean when I’m in my sixth month of pregnancy–he says he sees that happen a lot with his patients. If I’m honest, I really hope he’s right. While it will be sad for me to think of Felix as a weaned kiddo, I know it will be a load off my body as it prepares for the final, even-more-exhausting trimester gestating this new baby.
As in all things related to nursing past one year, I’m taking it all one day at a time.
Did any of your nurslings wean when you became pregnant? Leave a comment to share your experience!