Monday, February 01, 2010

nursing with RA

First let me just put this out there...if you don't want to read about nursing...just skip this post. Kind of a gross topic to blog about but, when I was pregnant with Henry I would have killed to read someone else's experience with being a mom with Rheumatoid arthritis. There aren't a lot of resources out there for people like me. So if someday someone does a search (like I did) on nursing on prednisone...or nursing with RA...and they are directed here...I think it will be nice for them to read what I did and my feelings about it.

During my pregnancy I was on 2.5 mg of prednisone. A very low dose. It scared me (a lot) to be on medications during my pregnancy and I tried to go off of the drugs completely, only to not be able to use my hands. So my doctor sent me to meet with a perinatologist (an ob specialist) to talk to me about the risks of being pregnant with RA and being on steroids. After a long discussion, he felt, and I felt...that the risks to the baby were minimal, and he seemed to think not much higher then a regular pregnancy. I felt so good after I talked to him.

As my pregnancy progressed I had it set in my mind that I wasn't going to nurse. It was a hard decision for me but I felt pretty good about it. About a month before the baby was born I met with my rheumatologist for a check up...and to come up with a plan for medications post baby. He seemed to think that I should try nursing. I was on a pre-existing condition waiting period with my new insurance and I wouldn't be covered for anything RA related until February 1st. That left me with 3 1/2 months after the baby was born that I would be without insurance. Because of this he decided that I should try to nurse and up my prednisone dose to 10 mgs a day. He only wanted me to be at this dose for 3 months though (anything longer wouldn't be good for me).

Three months. I didn't know if I only wanted to nurse for three months. I did know that I didn't want to be in I was when I had Robert. My doctor assured he wasn't going to let me be in pain. (I liked that plan) So after a lot of prayer and thought I decided I would do it. I would try to nurse.

When Henry was born and they placed that little baby in my arms...I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. Here he was little and helpless. And three months is a really long time actually.

It has been an interesting road. I am glad I took it though. Tomorrow is my doctors appointment I will start some other drugs instead of these steroids (yay!). I haven't nursed Henry for 48 hours. He is so happy now that he isn't nursing. NO more stomach problems.

One of the reasons I'm glad I did this, tried to nurse, is that it has made me realize that next time...when I have my next baby...I won't nurse. I am glad I did it this time but it made me see that you can love your baby wether you nurse or not...and that I just have to do what is best for both of us, and that isn't always nursing.

I have felt pretty good...only a few joints hurt. But even when only a few joints are hurting it is really hard to take care of a baby without hands that work all the way.

As I weaned my little boy this last week...I felt a myriad of emotions. I hoped my baby would still love me the same. And as I sat there all cozy and cuddly there with my baby I felt sad that it would be my last time probably FOREVER. I worry about comforting Henry...nothing comforts a baby faster then a little nursing. I know I am going to miss the quiet moments that I have with my little guy.

Sorry for this long rambling blog post. But, I want to remember how I feel right now, for next time.


lanita said...

You WILL stay connected with your Henry, and you WILL find your own way to comfort him. Truly, your baby will not love you any less, nor will your love be any less, if you're not nursing. The bond between a mother and child has nothing to do with boobs or bottles. There's my 2 cents. :)

ashleyboice said...

Thanks Lanita...I totally agree.

AJ said...

Thanks for sharing!