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Baby-Making While Breastfeeding

Last week, I experienced a few possible early pregnancy symptoms, but had a negative pregnancy test on the day of my expected period. I was still hopeful that in a couple days I would have a positive test and exciting news to share.

I told myself to wait two days before retesting. It was a little weird that Friday morning. I woke up and suddenly didn’t feel pregnant anymore. It struck me as odd. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the feelings, but it was different. I got up and took another pregnancy test anyway, but wasn’t surprised when it read negative again.

I expected to be sadder about it. Don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed, but I was more puzzled. So if I wasn’t pregnant, what was with those symptoms I experienced for a few days? Just a few days prior, I was giddy with excitement at the prospect of a positive test. Now, I was just kind of ho-hum about it. And annoyed.

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So now what? I thought. How am I supposed to know when this cycle ends and the next begins?

I didn’t have to wait long for an answer to that question. Aunt Flo arrived the next day in full force. I’m not quite sure what went on with my last cycle, but I’m ready to try again. I looked over the information I'd gathered and tried to figure out if we timed sex right. Based on when my period arrived, my suspected ovulation window was later than I guessed.

I probably won’t ever know why we weren’t successful this time so, I’m trying not to stress myself out with the what ifs.

Timing wasn’t the best, but we didn’t completely miss the mark. I know having sex at the right time doesn’t guarantee conception, but I’m not even sure I ovulated. Since my cycle was longer than normal, it’s quite possible it was an anovulatory cycle. Or maybe there was an issue with implanting?

I probably won’t ever know why we weren’t successful this time, so I’m trying not to stress myself out with the what ifs. It’s only my first full cycle after we agreed to try for Baby No. 3. Can’t say that either of us are disappointed about the idea of needing to increase our baby-making sessions!

Over the weekend, I did some reading on breastfeeding’s effect on fertility. I know it is possible to get pregnant while nursing, since I’ve done it before. While breastfeeding my daughter, my period returned around six months postpartum. My cycles were long and inconsistent for awhile before they became more predictable. We didn’t start trying for our son until after they were regular for a few months. We were lucky with our timing because I wasn’t charting or tracking anything. It was wishful thinking that it’d be so easy this time!

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Although my period returned this year (13 months postpartum), I suspect breastfeeding may still be affecting my cycle. I’m not ready to wean my little guy, but I think we’ll be cutting back a little more during the day. Hopefully, by continuing to track what my body is doing and searching for ovulation signs a pattern will emerge to help us get pregnant sooner than we would otherwise.

Image via Shutterstock.

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