This isn’t my belly, but I found it online and thought it was cute. 🙂
The weather has been just lovely here the past few days, but of course, it’s cooled off considerably today (like to the 30s) – just in time for trick-or-treating. :oP At least there’s no snow.
I have a midwife appointment this afternoon. Then Ava and I are heading over to Jody’s work to pick him up and do the trick-or-treating thing at a “Munchkin Masquerade,” which, unfortunately, is outside. Don’t know how long we’ll brave the cold. We’ll see how long the rockstar lasts. 😉
I said a long time ago that I wanted to write about my experiences nursing a toddler – not only for my own record, but in hopes that it might provide some insight to someone else out there. I figure I need to tackle this topic soon (and actually started this entry a couple weeks ago), while I still have time to reflect on it and blog about it before baby boy gets here, so here goes…
I always knew that I would nurse my children, but I never thought about the length of time I would do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has their recommendations, as does the World Health Organization. Both seem to agree that breastfeeding should continue “as long as mutually desired by mother and child.” I figured I would play it by ear with Ava, allowing her to self-wean if possible, but not commit to anything one way or the other.
She celebrated her second birthday in June 2006 and nursing continued. By this time, Ava was only nursing a few times a day and had night-weaned as of 22 months. I’m not sure if the drop in nursing came as a result of her age or as a result of my milk drying up with my pregnancy. I had become pregnant with our second child in February 2006, and my milk dried up somewhere around 15 weeks pregnant.
While nursing a toddler was not something that bothered me, nursing a toddler while pregnant (with all the lovely pregnancy hormones coursing through my system) and without any milk coming out was less than appealing to me. I kept at it despite the fact that it wasn’t always easy, partially because I felt like it was easier to grin and bear it rather than wean. I know that may not have been the best way to respond and others chose different paths (which I can totally understand), but that’s how I handled it.
There was a time, several weeks ago, when I was seriously contemplating weaning Ava before baby boy is born. I was having such a hard time and feeling very overwhelmed with nursing (even though it wasn’t that often) and life in general. But after talking with several other moms who are either nursing now while pregnant or have nursed while pregnant, and reading the chapter about nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing in “Mothering Your Nursing Toddler,” I was reassured that all of the feelings I was having were completely normal. Such a relief! That didn’t make nursing any easier, but it did reassure me that there was nothing wrong with me for feeling the way I did.
Here we are now – me at 37+ weeks pregnant and Ava at 28 months old. She is still nursing 1 to 2 times per day – which consists of always before bedtime (though she doesn’t nurse to sleep) and sometimes once in the middle of the day. I managed to cut out the morning nursing session fairly easily by way of distraction. When she does nurse now, I place restrictions on it and it’s only for 2 to 3 minutes at most, which is really all I can handle. There have been times when nursing is just too much for me at the time and I tell her that mommy is feeling frustrated, etc. She understands and has been fine with me placing restrictions, so it works for us.
I’m hoping that by continuing to nurse her, it will make her transition from being an only child to an older sister a bit easier, since we will still have that special connecting time together each day. I know that moms who wean are still able to connect with their older child, but maybe by sharing something as sacred to her as mommy’s milk with baby brother, it will help calm her uneasiness with the changes of having to share mommy with someone else. Time will tell.
I never expected nursing while pregnant to be as difficult as it has been. Hormones can do crazy things to a person. I can totally understand why women wean while they are pregnant and I wouldn’t have been too upset if Ava had decided to wean on her own. Of course, that didn’t happen. 😉
I’m still not making any promises as to how long nursing will continue. We will take it day by day, even after baby boy comes. No matter what happens, I feel good about the nursing relationship Ava and I have had and know that we both have shared some precious memories together over the years.
I welcome any tales from mamas who have nursed while pregnant or tandem nursed. It’s always nice to know I’m not alone. Thank you. 🙂
By the way, I did some searches for nursing a toddler and found this info on LLL’s site with “Toddler Tips”, as well as info about nursing while pregnant. Also found this with “Toddler Nursing Testimonials.”
A topic other than pregnancy today, aren’t you excited? 😉
Jody, Ava, my sis and I went to the city’s kiddie Halloween parade this morning. This was our first year to attend and there was a much bigger turnout than I expected. Kids, kids – everywhere! The weather was perfect for it though – sunny and not too hot and not too cold.
Two high school bands marched in it as well as hundreds of kids and parents. And many other kids, parents, grandparents, etc. stood by to watch the parade. After the parade (which spanned three blocks), several of the downtown merchants gave out candy to all the trick-or-treaters.
We decided to dress Ava as a rockstar this year after how much she enjoyed “Rockstar Supernova” on TV when we’d watch it and how much she enjoys “rockin’ out” with da-da when he plays “Guitar Hero” on the Playstation. 🙂 We taught her to do the rock ‘n roll hand gesture and along with it she says, “Rockin’ out roll!” despite the fact we tell her it’s “rock ‘n roll.” 😉
She happens to be a big fan of The Beatles, so I was quite happy to find her shirt at Target (in the toddler boys’ section) last week. I made her guitar out of cardboard last night as a last-minute costume addition. After I finished it, she walked around the house strumming it and singing a song she made up that went like this, “rock n roll, rock n roll, rock n roll, etc.” 😉 We gave her some punky blue hair today as well, but I don’t think it showed up very well in the pics.
Anyway, here are a few pics from today. 🙂 Happy early Halloween!
Watching the parade before we jumped in it ourselves:
Riding high in the parade with Aunt Carrie and Da-da:
Our little rockstar:
The family (and yes, I am wearing butterfly wings):
My friend, who does belly casts professionally, came over this morning to do a belly cast for me. I’m 37 weeks today and it seemed like a good time for me to do it since who knows if baby boy is going to decide to come early or not (wishful thinking).
Anyway, it went well and I think the cast turned out beautifully. She’s taking it home to smooth it out and put a primer on it and get it ready to hang. Then I can put it on the wall or paint it or whatever I decide to do. I need to look online for inspiration. I know there are a lot of cool things that can be done with them. Actually, with a quick search, I just found some cool ideas here and here. I love the one with the baby’s footprints on the cast. So sweet!
My sis took some pics of the event. 🙂
Here I am getting covered in plaster:
Holding the belly cast after it dried and came off:
Just the cast:
I/we attempted to do some maternity pictures this weekend. It was NOT easy. First of all, I don’t really have the room in my livingroom to fit us all into the picture (using my 50 mm lens) well. Secondly, it was a PITA going back and forth setting the timer each time. Thirdly, I decided maybe it would be easier to just have Jody take over the camera for some pics of me alone and me and Ava together. But unfortunately, he just doesn’t have much experience using my camera, so most of the pictures came out blurry, but he did get some keepers. 🙂
Without further complaining ado, here they are:
We had our home visit with the midwives tonight which went well. I can’t believe we are at the end of this pregnancy. I’ll probably write more about it all another day.
On Thursday, a friend of mine is coming over to do a belly casting for me. I never wanted one with Ava, but I’ve seen some cool things done with them since then (Ninotchka’s inspired me) and I think it would be nice to have. So I’m excited about that. 🙂
As Ava would say (courtesy of Aunt Carrie’s teaching) – Peace out everybody. 😉
I forgot to mention that last Friday I found a photographer to come and photograph baby boy’s birth! I’m very excited about her and feel she will be perfect for what I’m looking for.
She’s had two homebirths of her own (her youngest child is 6 months younger than Ava), has been doing photography for 20 years and has experience photographing other births. She said one of the highest compliments she can be paid (while shooting weddings, etc.) is being told “we didn’t even know you were there,” which I think will be perfect for a birth. She shoots with available light whenever possible (so there won’t be an annoying flash going off all the time), has long lenses so she can stand back and still capture everything, and does beautiful work. 🙂 And, she’s agreed to give me a high resolution CD of the images (after she edits them) so I will be able to have my own prints made, make the images into a slideshow, or whatever I wish. I’m VERY happy about that. 🙂
I think she will do a wonderful job of capturing the emotion and overall documenting the event. Yay!! My only concern is knowing when the right time in my labor is to call her and have her come over. I guess it’d be better to call her too early than too late!
Our big plans for the weekend include cleaning the house for our midwife home visit on Monday. And maybe we’ll try to sneak something fun in as well. 🙂 Oh, and I really want to try to get some maternity pictures taken of myself, as well as with Jody and Ava, so I’ll be working on that too.
The image of a baby bottle announcing the location of a “parents lounge” in an airport got us thinking: Is there an international symbol for breastfeeding? Similar to the familiar icons we’ve all seen indicating a handicapped parking spot or the women’s restroom, this image would be a recognizable symbol indicating that a place is breastfeeding friendly. Ideally, the space would be private, quiet, with a comfortable chair and an electrical outlet for pumping.
We called around and spoke to lactivists and breastfeeding organizations all over the world. We heard of a symbol in Canada and one in Singapore, but there doesn’t seem to be one international symbol for breastfeeding.
So we put out a call. We received an overwhelming response, over 500 entries from both the design and breastfeeding communities. While the images are currently copyrighted by the artists, we plan to make the winning image available worldwide (copyright-free, as a public domain image) with recommendations that it be used in workplaces, airports, malls, restaurants, conferences/expos, libraries, parks, or any public place.We’ve already heard from an airport and a university interested in using the winning symbol.
Sometimes, a hug is all we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, a man who’s sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their life.
In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.
As this symbol of human hope spread accross the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe-inspiring.
In the spirit of the free hugs campaign, PASS THIS TO A FRIEND and HUG A STRANGER! After all, if you can reach just one person…
I recently bought a new basket/hamper for storing the oodles of babies and stuffed animals Ava has in our livingroom. She decided on Saturday that it would be a good place for her to play as well and asked dada to put her in it with her animals. 🙂 She then asked for him to close the lid on her too. Silly girlie.
Later in the day on Saturday, after running some errands, we went to a pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkin. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and it started raining on us after we’d only been there for about 15 minutes. We did pick out a good pumpkin though and I managed to snap a few pics before the rain kicked in. On Saturday night, Aunt Carrie came over to watch Ava so Jody and I could have a night (well, a few hours) out alone. We went out to dinner and had a nice time being together and enjoyed being able to talk without interruptions from the peanut gallery. 😉
Sunday has been pretty uneventful, though productive. Jody and Ava went out to run some errands while I worked on a photo order. Jody carved our pumpkin (and then I added ears to it). We bagged some more leaves. (Will they ever be done falling??) And I made two casseroles of lasagna for dinner so I had extra to freeze. I’m trying to freeze a bit of extras from meals here and there so we have some food stashed, especially for those first few days after the birth. The problem is we don’t have an extra freezer so there’s just not much room for them. The nice thing is I can count on a handful of meals to be donated from members of our AP group (through the ‘meals for new families program’) and we also will have a food allowance (courtesy of J’s work) where we can expense up to a certain amount of take-out meals after a new baby. Sweeeeet. 🙂 Not to mention the fact that my mom will be coming to help out after the birth and, I’m sure, will be more than happy to cook for us. So I think we’ll be all right, even without a big freezer.