Pregnancies: 2 (currently pregnant with #2)
Age of Children: 2 1/2 years
I am 24 and currently 29 weeks pregnant with my second child. I started my first pregnancy overweight by about 20lbs. My first pregnancy was an emotional roller coaster of cervical shortening at 21wks, preterm labor at 23 1/2 weeks, a Christmastime hospital stay for an entire week (including Christmas), strict bed rest at home until 37 weeks and weekly self injected progesterone hormone shots, and 60lbs of weight gain. In the end it was all worth it of course because I was able to carry my beautiful perfect son almost to 40 weeks! He was born just 3 days shy of his “due date”. And then the next roller coaster began… despite all the healthy looking fetal echocardiograms, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Pulmonary Stenosis (the same one I have) and a pretty severe tongue tie. Breastfeeding was a challenge right from the start and despite asking multiple times a day, every day for the three days were in the hospital after he was born to see a Lactation Consultant, we never saw one. I didn’t get to see one until he was 5 days old and the woman I saw was so rude and abrasive I was afraid to go back when I still needed help with breastfeeding. When my son lost even more weight than is normal after birth, I finally went back to the office and saw another LC. She was AMAZING. The only issue was my son was getting so tired while trying to nurse that he would fall asleep after only getting about 1/2 an ounce of milk. This was due to his tongue tie as well as his heart condition. Then we began the long journey of pumping and using a nipple shield to help him latch more efficiently and feeding him from a bottle when he was too tired to nurse at the breast. We also started the process of trying to get his tongue tie clipped by a doctor. Insurance said it wasn’t medically necessary… it took his doctor showing them his weight loss & heart defect paperwork for them to approve it. He finally got it fixed at almost 2 months old. That was a horrible day in itself, but I felt like we would really turn a corner in the road to successful breastfeeding after that. I was so wrong. My son already had nipple confusion and would no longer nurse at my breast, even with the silicone nipple shield. I began to HATE breastfeeding. At one point in time I remember almost screaming at my son to just f***ing eat. Not one of my finer moments. I was crying every time we sat down to nurse, and I was beginning to even resent my poor sweet perfect son because he couldn’t eat “right”, and I began to hate myself for feeling this way as well as hating my body for failing me. It was at that point that I set up an appointment with the same LC again to try any last options we hadn’t already exhausted. Again she was amazing. She told me it was okay to stop breastfeeding. It was okay to stop because my son needed ME more than he needed MY MILK. She also suggested I talk to my OB provider about possible PPD treatment. So I stopped breastfeeding. Gave back the hospital grade pump I had been renting from the hospital, shoved the boppy in the closet, and threw away those damn nipple shields. We had almost no trouble with formula, thank goodness. I began to enjoy my son and spending every day with him. He was simply amazing. At 2 1/2 years old he still is. He never ceases to amaze me and his smiles, hugs and laughter are all I need to turn a bad day around. I am as I previously mentioned currently pregnant with my 2nd child, a little girl, due in December. This pregnancy is similar to my first, I have the cervical shortening (although not as severe) and am still at risk for preterm labor. I had JUST lost all the weight I started my 1st pregnancy with about 2 months before finding out I was pregnant…and now I am gaining it all back again. I had a bought of preterm labor at 28 weeks and was in the hospital for 3 days. Thankfully it did not cause any major cervical changes and I do not have to be on bed rest or any hormone shots. I am gaining the weight a little slower this time, desperately trying to keep it under control and to the 25lb maximum my provider says is “okay” for an “obese” woman. I see my pregnant belly in the mirror and sometimes I hate it. I feel fat. It’s squishy and flubby feeling at the bottom. My thighs touch and rub together 24/7. My boobs have stretch marks, sag, and are nowhere near where they were before I was ever pregnant. But then my son pats my belly and says “bee-bee shh-sssyyy” (baby sissy) and smiles and laughs and everything is okay. I feel okay with it all when I see how my son loves me and when I feel my daughter kicking. They are worth every ounce of extra weight, and every single stretch mark all over my body.