I told Theo’s pediatrician… “I’m still nursing”. He said, “Is that a bad thing? It sounds negative. You should say, ‘I’m continuing to nurse'”. I love Dr. Ajl and his little bits of wisdom. So there you have it. Theo is now sixteen months old and we’re still going strong. I didn’t really plan it this way. My goal was a year. But then a year came, and went, and neither of us (it seems), have a strong desire to stop. If I were back at work, I’d have probably stopped by now. Pumping sucks. But I’m home and I’m nursing about four times a day – give or take. And those times are all moments in the day where we stop, lay down, cuddle, and be quiet together. It’s a nice break from the toddler grind. Sure I’m craving a bit of separation… a weekend away with Adam perhaps? Dropping Theo off with grandma and grandpa and taking off just the two of us. But I’m not exactly ready to quit yet I guess. I’m surprising myself.
Meanwhile, I’ve had this issue since Theo was born. My joints hurt. I feel like an old woman. I get up in the morning and my first steps are painful because my feet ache. I’m unable to open jars the way I used to. Adam can’t crack my toes anymore because they hurt (yes – true love is your husband cracking your toes for you.) I spoke to some other nursing mom friends of mine and did some research online and apparently, this happens. When you are pregnant, hormones in your body loosen up your joints so you are able to give birth more easily. In some women, as long as they keep nursing, this hormone sticks around and it can cause sore joints. I’ve read about many cases where as soon as a woman stopped nursing (even eighteen months postpartum), the joint pain just poof! goes away. I always assumed that is what was going on with me.
There are, however, many other conditions associated with joint pain… Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus (ugh). And apparently, conditions such as these can present themselves after childbirth. Like – your body goes through such a traumatic experience that it brings this dormant condition out. Again… ugh. So, I went to the doc the other day to get some blood work done. I’m still thinking it’s probably just the nursing – but it would put me at ease to cross any major issues off my list. Then I can just try some herbs or acupuncture or something like that. Of course, I can also just stop nursing! I don’t know why I’m so hesitant to give it up!! I guess if the pain gets any more severe or if it starts affecting me in greater way, then I’ll stop.
Any other mommies ever hear of this or experience it? Feel free to chime in.