Saturday, June 5, 2010

My baby sister is pregnant...and I'm excited about getting to help her breastfeed!

Tessa & I had lunch earlier this week with my youngest sister, Lynnette, and then went to a park and fed the ducks and walked around some.  On the way home, my sister mentioned that she wished she'd get pregnant already.  She had quit her job some weeks ago (just not happy in the field she chose), and I knew she really wanted a baby and to be a stay-at-home mom.  I asked her in passing about her last cycle and she mentioned it was really weird and described it to me.  I told her that her last "period" didn't sound much like a period at all and that it reminded me a lot of the implantation spotting I'd had when I first got pregnant with Tessa. (When I got pregnant with Tessa, I was charting temperatures, watching all the signs, etc.  and I had tested right away.)  I told her she really needed to take a test, especially since that spotting had occurred over a month ago.  On the way back, we stopped at the store and picked up a digital pregnancy test for her.  She said she'd wait until morning to take the test when I left her house, but I knew she wouldn't wait, especially since the box had come with two tests.

I wasn't on the road five minutes after leaving her house when I got a call from my sister.  She was all excited and said she had thought she'd take the test to prove to herself she wasn't pregnant and get it out of her head, but instead the test came up nearly instantly "Pregnant".  I am so excited for her & her hubby though she has no idea when her baby might be due.  She seems not to have had any signs of early pregnancy (much like me, if it hadn't been for the belly and feeling the baby move, I would have never known I was pregnant, I only found out early because I was charting and my temperature was not falling down after the implantation spotting I had; otherwise, I would have mistaken it for a strangely light period too).  She said she'd convinced herself that she would feel different and just "know" she was pregnant, but I told her it didn't work that way, and both our mother & I had had very easy pregnancies (my middle sister however had awful morning sickness & sore boobs with her pregnancies).

I am praying all goes well for her.  It will also be so nice for Tessa to have a cousin living nearby.  My middle sister & two nephews live in the Dallas area, which is a good 6 hour drive from the Houston area, so we don't see them often. 

Funnily enough, one of the things I'm most excited about is helping Lynnette get through the early difficult stages of breastfeeding her baby.  I'm not a lactation consultant by any means, but after nearly 2.5 years of breastfeeding, I know quite a lot about the early hurdles, the temptation of formula (I was ready to give Tessa formula by day 2 postpartum, but my hubby - bless him!- was so adamant that I keep breastfeeding and give it a good 6 weeks.  If I hadn't had his support, I totally would have caved and started giving formula before my milk even came in (5 days postpartum), and that would really have made breastfeeding an uphill battle for me.  I hope I can convince her to give breastfeeding a good go especially as it was so difficult for me the first 8 weeks (I didn't love it at all and only did it because I felt it was best for my daughter and I didn't have issues with bad latch or sore nipples even, I just had been unprepared for how all-consuming & time-consuming breastfeeding is in the beginning).  But now, breastfeeding has been such a large part of my relationship and bonding with Tessa, I'd hate for my sister to miss out on this type of special relationship.  It will be a bittersweet day for me when Tessa weans.  At least, I know my sister can turn to me IRL for support and I'm planning on bringing her along to a few of my La Leche League meetings too before her due date.  I know formula-fed infants turn out just fine and there are plenty of legitimate reasons to use formula, but I hope breastfeeding will work out for my sister.  Some of the most precious moments with my daughter have been times I've watched her fall asleep nursing, the look of utter peace on her face the instant the boob gets into her mouth.  And I am glad, too, to be someone to normalize breastfeeding a toddler to my sister.  Much of this society seems to feel toddler nursing is taboo, but it is actually a precious and beautiful thing.  If I'd thought about it at all before I got pregnant or even was pregnant, I would have said nursing beyond one was "weird" and it was only seeing so many moms nursing toddlers at La Leche League meetings that made me realize toddler nursing is natural; it's society's ideals that are "weird".


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