The Nursing Diary: August 1-August 7, 2017

Nothing truly reminds you of how completely real the nursing lifestyle is than life itself! The past week has been incredibly hectic and challenging, and over the whirlwind course of those seven days I’ve found myself balancing and juggling and multi-tasking all while reminding myself to take a moment and simply breathe.

Over the past month, I’ve been recuperating from a broken foot (sprained ankle and pulled ligaments, too) that I acquired when I decided it was a really good idea to take a tumble. (Laundry happens!) Mr. S and the littles have been a huge help to me, but I was still under a lot of stress due to the fact that a family member also endured an illness/injury right around the same time. (Stressor #1). Because of my clumsiness accident, I was afraid that Mr. S would be too concerned about my well-being to nurse. (Stressor #2) Working out was impossible. (Stressor #3) Our wedding anniversary was fast approaching, and I was sure that celebrating would be out of the questions (so much for my brand-new night-on-the-town shoes!) (Stressor #4) All of those stressors came together to form the biggest stressor of all: the fear that my nursing relationship and milk supply would suffer.

Even though I know that stress is very detrimental to lactation, it remains my biggest albatross. I have to constantly remind myself to relax, focus, find my center, and pray. It truly helps to have a strong, reliable husband (and a darling friend!) to keep me grounded and assure me that everything will be okay.

And, time and again, I realize once more that it is.

My family member is recovering!

Mr. S and I found a comfortable nursing position!

I did upper-body exercises from the comfort of my bed!

Mr. S assured me that nothing could ruin our anniversary–even if I can only wear one brand new shoe!

Our nursing relationship (and my milk supply) is as beautiful as it’s ever been!

And all of these incidentals (both the major and the minor) have reminded me all over again how blessed I am to have Mr. S, and how our love truly does endure all. ❤️

Before I could get up and around, he was able to stop in for 15-20 minutes every afternoon and care for me; this meant that my 2 p.m. expression could continue without interruption. This was a true relief! (And we continued to nurse twice a day without fail)

Now that I’m back in commission (mostly), I’ve been helping my family outside of the home as much as I possibly can; last Wednesday and Saturday were especially challenging because of necessary nursing/pumping schedule rearrangements.

On Wednesday (8/2), I was unable to pump at 2:00, and had to rely on manual expression. This works fairly well for milk removal, but when I’m not home, I’m unable to save my milk, which means I have to use the “express and dump” process–and this always seems like such a regrettable waste!

On Saturday (08/05), I had to be out the front door by 7 a.m., which meant there was absolutely no time to enjoy a morning nursing session. Mr. S and I generally indulge in a 2 p.m. nursing session on the weekends, but because I didn’t get home until well after six that evening, we weren’t able to suckle. 2 p.m. brought about yet another “express and dump” experience. By evening, my breasts were swollen and almost uncomfortably full, and I think that some of my discomfort actually came from the emotional need to nurse.

By Sunday, we were back on track, and it was wonderful. We had the opportunity to nurse for much longer than we typically do, and it was amazing!

As challenging as the past several days (and weeks) have been, it’s always good to remember that sunshine often follows the rain, and I’ve had a lot of sunshine come my way: a support system found in family and friends, the chance to meet new people and welcome new site members to Bountiful Fruits, opportunities to write books and plan events for the site, and, of course, the sweet anticipation of a weekend alone with my love.

Life is good!

No. That isn’t right.

Life is incredible!

 

 

 

 

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