A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

The Badass Breastfeeder Got Knocked Up

Well well, now you all know the little baby secret I have been keeping for 14 weeks. I have so much I want to tell you and share with you , but I will try and relax and make sure I give you all the nitty gritty details. This might take several blog posts. First you should know that I don’t plan to breastfeed this new baby… Just kidding!

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding while pregnant.

Let’s start with some dates so you can get an idea of the time line. Jack was born July 30, 2011. We began trying to conceive (TTC) at 6 months postpartum (January 2012). My period returned 7 months postpartum (February 2012). I became pregnant in September 2013 (yep, it took that long for my body to be ready).  Jack was 26 months at the time we conceived. He is now 29 months old. My estimated due date is June 10, 2014. Jack will be just shy of 3 years old.

When Jack was born my husband and I were so stunned by the labor and delivery that we swore we would never have another child. After a few months the memories wore off and we decided to give it a go. We actually were so gung ho that we decided to start right then! Our rationale was that we were getting older. I am 37 years and my husband is 45 years old. We felt the pressure! I was just 6 months postpartum. I knew there was a little chance of me getting pregnant that soon while I was exclusively breastfeeding Jack so we knew we had to be patient. I had to always remember my breastfeeding goals with Jack when I became frustrated at the negative pregnancy tests. I wanted to become pregnant, but my primary goal was to allow Jack to breastfeed for as long as he felt necessary. I read things on the internet about starting him on solids early, skipping breastfeeding sessions, spending a night away from baby and other ideas to kickstart ovulation, but it didn’t sit well with me. I chose to continue to place my breastfeeding relationship with Jack first and allow my body to naturally become ready to conceive. My period returned at 7 months postpartum (which I believe is quite early for a breastfeeding mother), but I knew that it didn’t necessarily mean I was ovulating. That could take a while longer. All women’s bodies are ready at different times.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder's, husband holding son

We tried and tried and tried. Some months more than others. It’s not easy with a toddler in the house. But even as a bed-sharing family we are able to have sex. Shocking, I know. As I passed 1 year postpartum and then 18 months postpartum I began to feel a bit defeated. Like maybe Jack is a one hit wonder. We certainly know how lucky we are even if that were true. I tried to remember that my body knows best about what it is ready for. One night we were feeling frisky and decided to get it on. We weren’t even really thinking about trying to conceive; for once. It was the only time we had sex in that cycle. Then I went to MommyCon LA. I had calculated in advance that I would be on my period while there. Bummer! As we flew to LA I had a vague thought that my period wasn’t here yet, but it had been late before. A few days later we left LA. Where was my period? LA was such a whirlwind that I didn’t have much time to think about it. The day after returning from LA I opened the package of pregnancy test strips I had bought in bulk from Amazon and had peed on for nearly 2 years with nothing but sinking disappointment. I peed again; Jack standing in front of me twirling the shower curtain and pulling the toilet paper off the roll.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!” My husband came running thinking something was wrong. “That is a positive pregnancy test!” I proceeded to take a test again for the next 3 days. All positive. I finally decided to let myself believe it was real. Call the midwife!

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, with Jack

I had thought a lot about becoming pregnant over the past 2 years. I felt fear that my relationship with Jack would change. That he would wean. That we wouldn’t be as close. I thought about what I would do if I never became pregnant again and then Jack weaned and then how would I be The Badass Breastfeeder? I thought about what we would do with Jack’s late night wakings and a newborn in the house. I thought about how I would just in general not lose my ever loving mind.

Well, I still wonder how I will not lose my mind, but the rest sits very comfortably with me now. Everything but the weaning. This journey has changed me. I know that Jack and I will always have the relationship that we have. Breastfeeding is a huge part of what we have right now, but our relationship will withstand all of the changes that lie before us for the rest of our lives. I know that I will always be The Badass Breastfeeder. When all of my children are weaned I will still do this work. I don’t plan to stop. Ever. But I very much want to tandem nurse. I know that Jack would continue breastfeeding if I had continued to have the same supply I have always had. My supply is already dropping. It’s unavoidable so that my body can prepare colostrum for the new baby. It makes me sad to think that he would just stop because the milk stopped. I know he might not stop and he might continue. I hope he does. But I can’t lie. It makes me feel sad and anxious. I suppose these are normal feelings when it comes to weaning.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding while pregnant.

It’s very different thinking about weaning theoretically. It’s much more emotional watching breastfeeding behaviors change. Watching the milk dry up. Knowing that he only latched on for naps and bedtime today. My friends are very supportive. They tell me he might slow down and pick up again when more milk comes, that my body will start making colostrum soon and he might like it, that as long as he latches once a day for now he will remember how and pick up again later. My husband reminds me to not make this Jack’s problem and just follow his lead. I hope my friends are right and I know my husband is right. But here I am, feeling the sinking feeling in my stomach. Afraid of change, acknowledging that no matter what happens a new chapter is coming. Knowing that Jack and I will be close as ever, but still the tears run down my face.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder with son.

I have spent the last year and a half talking the talk to you about child-led weaning, tandem breastfeeding, natural childbirth and whole host of other issues. I realize it is now time for me to walk the walk. I plan to do so. And I plan to tell you every detail as my journey into motherhood deepens. This is my experience, no one else’s. Much, MUCH more to come…

For Part 2 of this series click here.

Abby Theuring, MSW