“I’m mourning the loss of this summer. I thought I wouldn’t be breastfeeding or pregnant. I thought I’d have my body to myself...”
I always knew I was a little bit of a hippie. When it came to my role as a mother, my hippie self wanted to love being pregnant and breastfeed my many babies for as long as I could.
And then I hated being pregnant.
And then I got pregnant again.
And I was still breastfeeding that first baby.
Oaklee was almost 20 months old, and I was still pretty comfortably breastfeeding her. I had planned to breastfeed for a year, but I hoped our breastfeeding journey might extend through a second flu season, pending a child-led weaning approach. As my new reality – my second pregnancy – was beginning to sink in, I realized that not only was this journey with Oaklee naturally coming to an end, I needed it to come to an end if I wanted any time to myself.
It never occurred to me that I would enter a stage of life where I would share my body with my babies for, literally, years. Oaklee was conceived in December of 2016. It was February of 2019, and my body had been sustaining a baby from either the inside or the outside (or both) for 26 months already, with no obvious end in sight.
I had imagined that the summer of 2019 would be a break for me – no pressure to stay pregnant, no tether to my breastfeeding baby – and that I might be able to get out and do things I’d otherwise been unable to do the past two years. This surprise pregnancy quickly dampened that dream. Until this second baby was born, I would be too scared to travel or partake in various activities for fear of the whole gamut of pregnancy-related issues I could face (and have faced in the past).
I had entered the pressure-to-stay-pregnant phase that would one day end with a transition into the tether-to-my-breastfeeding-baby phase. I was starting all over again.
Kevin and I knew our family was not complete after our daughter was born. We knew there was more for us. Naturally, that means I knew I would “start all over” one day. I knew I would be pregnant again. I knew I would breastfeed again. I think I just imagined that “one day” would be after a little rest and relaxation for this mama’s body, because now my child-led weaning approach to my breastfeeding baby was being led by the child within me.
In the stats:
Gestational Age: 5 weeks, 1 day