Monday, March 23, 2009

Nursing Challenges

Early yesterday morning I nursed Justus for all of about 5-10 minutes and during that time I had really painful contractions. I've always had a very active uterus. I can feel contractions from the beginning of pregnancy and they are pretty frequent throughout the entire thing. I was dubbed "high risk" twice thanks to exceeding the medical community's comfort level of how many contractions one should have an hour. I know now through experience that I simply have an active uterus and it has no effect on me going into pre-term labor (obviously!) It's just another variation of normal. But this was different. These contractions felt like labor contractions and they lasted well over an hour after he finished nursing. I had to breathe through them, eventually waking Ivan up to help me relax. From that point until when I went to sleep last night I had really bad menstrual-like cramps and pockets of painful contractions scattered throughout the day. I was fantasizing about the blackberry Brandy my mother would give me as a teenager when my cramps were unbearble!

Anyone have any experience or words of wisdom to share? I went to a health food store yesterday and bought a bottle for him to have if this should continue to happen. He'll take a sippy cup, but he can't lay down with it and relax. I feel like I have to get past my personal (and very strong) dislike for my child having a fake nipple in his mouth, but I don't want to! I don't know what else to do. I need a solution for times when his nursing causes that much pain and discomfort. Like I said, he's fine with a sippy cup at wake times, but the problem comes when he's tired and wants to lay down. I don't want to be so hardcore in my ways that I dismiss a more gentle solution for this transition, kwim?

One of the reasons I think this has happened with his nursing is that my milk has changed. It looks almost like water when it comes out now, it's not white at all. My supply has also decreased significantly. My feeling is that my nipples are much more sensitive to stimulation based on the lack of milk production making it cause labor-like contractions/painful cramps. Nipple stimulation is a well known natural induction method for labor (if your body/baby are ready of course) but I find when I'm nursing a wee one that my nipples are pretty desensitized. I wouldn't really notice the difference except when the nursing relationship is completely over it feels TOTALLY different (a lot more sensitive) when they are stimulated.

Ivan's not at all comfortable with me risking going into labor early because of something we can prevent. He made some really valid points about protecting the little one inside, and Justus (being almost 2!) will be just fine finding comfort in his arms a little more often so that I can rest when needed. Honestly, what is my issue? I am giving him the same milk (rice milk) in a sippy cup that I would the bottle, so it's not an issue of artificial milk, but of the means used to get it into him. I suppose it has everything to do with it becoming substitute for the comfort that he finds in HUMAN arms. Yeah, that's it. It's the very idea that he will attach to a piece of plastic (no matter how "BPA free" it is!) and seek it out for comfort instead of coming to his parents. GRRR. I hate that. I'm all mad about it again now >:-/

When I was dealing with the painful contractions I took some homeopathic tinctures, lit an essential oil diffuser with lavender and layed down for a while in the dark talking my body into relaxing. It worked as far as stopping the intense contractions, but didn't completely stop the cramping and pressure.

Then Justus got hurt last night, he fell down somewhere and scrapped a little chunk out of his knee. He came to me for comfort nursing while I was trying to relax and Ivan (meaning well) called to him and offered to take him and give him some milk in the bottle. The mama bear in me lit up like a Christmas tree! I was ENRAGED, not at Ivan, but at the fact that there is a bottle in my house and it's a shitty-ass substitute for mommy's comfort!!!!! I nursed him anyway and all was fine.

I just can't be "whatever" about these things, ya know? I don't have it in me. I am seriously hoping that what I experienced yesterday was due to my overdoing the housework the night before. I went to bed with a burning back and aching all over. It's quite possible I was just overloaded with stress in my body from all that I did. Yet another reason why it's so important that I take this "rest" period I spoke about a couple of posts back.



Rixa said...

Do you think he's old enough for you to talk to him and tell him he can nurse while you count to 10, or something like that? That way he could get a bit of comfort nursing, but hopefully short enough to keep the strong contractions at bay. I hope you can find a good solution to this!

livesimply said...

see your email:)

Angel said...

That's a good idea Rixa! I'll keep that in mind in the event that we meet another challenging day.

He just loves his "milkies" and sings to them when he comes up for air :-) Usually if I unlatch him prematurely he'll holler and bend his back into a halfmoon for a minute or so and then is easily distracted.