Monday, August 25, 2008

Migraines

I have migraines, I always have. My mom has them and it wouldn't surprise me if my sister has them too. I remember the first time I had one. I must have been going through puberty since I remember it to be Junior High (what a rough time that was!).

I have always known my migraines to be related to hormones or food. If I even have a sniff of red wine I have a terrible migraine for a week! When I was early pregnant I had a constant migraine until I was about 16 weeks along.

After the kids were born I didn't get them. I was nursing so much and producing enough milk to feed a small village that the hormones were kept in check. Prolactin is a funny thing.

The nursing hormones did other things of benefit. They gave me a regular cycle and I felt like a human. Before getting pregnant and nursing I had completely wacky cycles and crazy hormones. I have Polycystic Ovaries or a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.

Because I have nursed the children for so long I almost forgot that I am plagued with this metabolic disorder. I have enjoyed regular and predictable cycles and other benefits from healthy hormones. Not for much longer....

Although the kids still nurse they do not do it as often. So, now my hormones are getting wacky again. I'm getting migraines, having annovulatory cycles and some of the other dreaded symptoms (you will have to do an Internet search to find out about that...)

After 36 years in this body I have begun to know it well. I know my menstrual cycle like I know a good book that I have read many times. I know my moods, my ups and downs and my triggers. I enjoyed pregnancy as it afforded me an experience to live in a body that was not my own. I have enjoyed nursing my children for so so many reasons.

As I have mentioned before I cannot understand why someone would not, if they could, nurse their children. Why would you trust a company that produces synthetic milk to sustain your baby? Why would you put a latex nipple in their brand new mouth if you can put a part of your body? Really, as a pregnant woman you nurture your off spring with your body until they are born, why not continue to feed them with what nature intended? I think breastfeeding my children has been one of the most important things I have ever done as a mother. And I am not being over dramatic here. Unless you have been there you cannot know.

Challenge me on this one. I dare you.

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Regardless of my feelings on this I am ending my nursing relationship with my precious twins. They are now 26 months and healthy, happy children. I know that some would call me creepy for nursing them for so long. All I have to say to you is... you don't get it.... and mind your own business.

My migraines are returning with a vengence. They are dehabilitating and constant. They range from shitty to worse. A four to an eleven on the pain scale. I went to the doctor and there is nothing they can give me while I am nursing. I can take ibuprofen and that, at most, takes the edge off.

I have told Max and Madeleine that the doctor has told me to stop. I have told them that mommy's headaches hurt and it is time for me to take medicine but they cannot have milk when I take it. I have discussed with them that babies drink their mommy's milk and big kids, like them, do not need it. Even with all these reasons it makes the three of us cry.

My babies are growing up and they will be my last. My body has done what it was suppose to for a while. It grew healthy twins despite their prematurity. It nursed them well for two years. Now it is time for me to go to battle against it again. I won once.

This morning was our last time nursing. I didn't realize that that would be our last time but as my children went to bed sans milk tonight I think I just may have to be done.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

Sorry you're going thru this Niki - I know your mom gets migraines, and I used to get them quite a bit too (in fact, it was amazing that I ever got pregnant with The Princess - because right around the time I would ovulate, I'd get a 3 day migraine - that conception? Not quite sure how that all worked out!). There has been nothing that has ever worked for my migraines because by the time I realize I'm getting one - it's too late. Fortunately, I haven't had one lately.

The only headache remedy that seems to work though, is what your mom told me - one ibuprofen and one acetominophin together. I can't remember who told her that, but it works better than anything else for me.

And Kudos to you for nursing so long - not only did you give your kids the best possible start - Think of all the money you saved on formula. Can you imagine?!?!?

Jenna said...

I get it, an dno you arent creepy! What a wonderful thing you have done for your children. Let me know how the transition goes, we are in transition now. Its a tough one isnt it!

Lisa said...

Wow. I know what a big deal that is & wish I could give you a big hug. And a big congratulations on a job incredibly well done! I know just what you mean about nursing your kids, (as I nurse my 17 month old twins with no weaning remotely in sight!) and I feel so good about it. It truly is one of the best things I could ever do for them & I'm really proud of myself for getting through the HUGE challenges to do it (with a lot of support from you!)

I'm sorry about your migraines. I sure hope you start feeling better soon now that you can take meds. xoxoxo

twin power mommy said...

Ending breastfeeding....that's such a sad time.
I nursed Eli until he was 19 months old. He never drank a bottle (well except one night when he was a newborn and my milk wasn't quite in).
But then after 19 months of nursing my little boy, it was like one day he just decided he was done.

I wanted more. I wasn't ready to be done with him.
I miss it sooooo sooooo much.

I agree with you about the formula vs. breastmilk debate.
I just DO NOT understand why someone would choose to do that route over naturally doing what your body is made to do.
My girls weren't able to nurse because of their severe prematurity. I pumped...i tried soooo super hard. I wanted it badly for them, but did the best i could.
With Eli, there was no way i wasn't going to make it happen.
He and i bonded like no other.
What a wonderful time in a mommy's life it is to be able to cuddle and nurse your precious babies!

KUDDOS to you for sticking with it so long, and for building such a bond that you'll never forget!
Sorry about those migraines. I get them, too.
I also have struggled with PCOS.
It stinks!
I can relate to your hormonal imbalance that you type about.
Yucky, yucky.... :(

Whitney said...

Niki,
I wish I could give you a hug! Weaning is a hard thing, much more so with older nurslings. I hope that you find something that works for your migraines!!!! I've suffered with them since I was a young child (way before puberty) and I, too, had a special break from them during pregnancy and nursing. Mine have a lot to do with blood sugar and sleep...I don't always think to care for myself and it really bites when it's too late!
Whitney

NerdyMom said...

Wow. With both my kids I had a similar amazement that we had our last moment of nursing. It's such a bittersweet feeling. It's a connection that you can't feel any other way...

But every once and a while when I'm having a sweet moment with one of my kids, I remember again. Nursing is one of the most natural and understandable part of parenting as a mommy. It helped me learn to go with the flow with my children and relax... I'm grateful for those times.

I am so sorry you're dealing with migraines and the many hormonal challenges that come with the non-nursing body. I hope the doctors are able to offer you suggestions and comfort.