Is this possible? Question about getting cycle back while breastfeeding

PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
So, I haven't made it a secret here that I'm anxious to get my cycle back so we can try for #2. I'd love for Solomon and our next baby to be two years apart, and we'd have to conceive right around now if that were to happen. I'm not willing to wean Sol to get my cycle back though, and I'm not quite ready to nightwean yet either.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, all three of us got a bad stomach bug. I lost like 5 lb in one night (which is a lot at my size) and got severely dehydrated. Solomon continued to nurse a lot, but I think my milk supply took a huge dip because he was really fussy and hungry until my husband fed him some pumped milk. I ended up getting my period about 3 days later, and I attributed it to my body thinking I was weaning, since my supply dipped so low. (or was that too soon for that to be the reason?) Anyway, as I started to get better and was able to keep fluids down, Solomon nursed like crazy and built my supply back up to normal.

Anyway, it's now been 43 days and I haven't gotten another period. I'm not pregnant (3 negative tests, and I don't feel pregnant). Is it possible that my body went back to no cycle once our breastfeeding went back to normal? I've never heard of anyone getting one period and then not again, but most people don't stop/start nursing like we sort of did.

The only other thing that might be contributing is that my husband is concerned my bodyfat might be too low. My weight's the lowest it's ever been; breastfeeding just eats up calories for me. I eat a lot and I'm definitely not dieting. I don't have a lot of fat on my body but I don't look scary-skinny either. I don't think I'm skinny enough for "regular" amenorrhea caused by too little bodyfat, but maybe my bodyfat's too low to sustain breastfeeding AND a pregnancy - hence not getting my cycle back yet. My BMI is 18 right now, which is considered underweight but it's pretty close to the cutoff for healthy.

Anyway, I'm not letting this stuff rule my life and if our kids end up 3 years apart instead of 2, it's obviously not the end of the world. I'm just really confused about what my body's doing right now and wanted to know if anyone had any ideas. TIA for any replies.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:

Comments

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    It can take a little while to get regular again, and if his nursing has picked up, your period can go back into suspended animation. If the tests were negative, then just carry on as you were before.

    I doubt it's your weight. If you've got enough fat to produce milk, you've got enough to menstruate. Just maybe not at the same time.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    I really feel for you. I can feel in your posts how much you want this.

    With my son, I got my first PPAF 2 months after his 1st birthday. Then I skipped a month (ironically, in October, the month I conceive all of my babies). After that, I was back on a track with my periods, but couldn't conceive.

    After 3 years of fertility treatments, I conceived my first daughter. When she was 15 months old (October 2005) and completely nightweaned, I start getting EWCM (no first period yet) and took advantage of that. We conceived that cycle.

    I don't think it's your weight. I conceived 2 of my children at my lowest weights ever (BMI was 19).
    As RCW posted, it can just take a while for your body to get regular again. In the meantime, I suggest you just keep an eye out for the signs that your fertility is returning, namely EWCM.

    I have a 30-day OPK that I never used. I'll send it to you if you want. I'm never going to use it.
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Pixie, I'm sorry! I think your body is telling you that it can't maintain a healthy milk supply and healthy pregnancy at the same time. There are moms in my AP group that didn't get a regular period until their breastfed babies were past 2. One is still occasionally nursing her 2 1/2 year old and has now had several miscarriages. She's realizing her body just won't do both even though her son doesn't nurse much at this point. As you know, I got pregnant very easily 6 months PP, but then I lost my milk completely. Sometimes I feel really cheated b/c my body let me get pregnant and then couldn't nourish my existing baby. I feel like it should have known better. So if you're unwilling to wean, then maybe it's for the best that you can't get pregnant yet because a pregnancy would likely force weaning. ((HUGS)) to you!
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I agree about it taking a while to get back to normal, at least in my experience. I got my first period before Christmas, and I should have ovulated since then, but I haven't (according to my temperatures). (Which I don't even need to be taking for BC purposes since I have an IUD, but I am just to keep track of my cycles.)

    I'm not sure about weight. Back in college at my lowest weight, my BMI was around 18 and I had regular cycles, but I'm sure that can vary a lot by individual. When I got pregnant with Connor it was about 19.5 (and quite a bit higher for Oliver).

    I'd also recommend getting ahold of TCOYF, which can help you tell if you're ovulating.
    ehLB.jpg
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    ...and if his nursing has picked up, your period can go back into suspended animation.

    Thanks RCW, that's exactly what I was wondering/suspecting.
    medussa wrote:
    I really feel for you. I can feel in your posts how much you want this.

    I do, and I feel a little silly and almost selfish for wanting it so much right now. I know I need to be more patient, and I keep thinking of the people who have so much trouble conceiving and here I am complaining that I can't conceive WHILE breastfeeding the baby that I'm already lucky enough to have.
    medussa wrote:
    I have a 30-day OPK that I never used. I'll send it to you if you want. I'm never going to use it.

    Wow, thanks! I'll PM you my address and can paypal you for shipping :)


    How do I track my CM? Should I check TCOYF out from the library to get the whole scoop, or is it something that's easily explained on a message board?
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Thanks for the replies Kaia and sarah, and definitely thanks for your perspective Kaia regarding getting pregnant and breastfeeding.

    I definitely don't think my bodyfat is too low to menstruate under normal circumstances, just that like RCW said, it might be too low to menstruate AND produce milk. Or maybe it has nothing to do with my bodyfat!
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    I don't know the answer to your original question other then the standard and very unhelpful everybody is different. I am sorry.

    My first daughter nursed constantly and my period came back at 7 months. I got pregnant when she was 16 months old. My supply never wavered, every time she nursed throughout the pregnancy she had milk. Yes, I know the supply is supposed to dry up, but it didn't.

    With my second daughter, who didn't nurse nearly as much, my period came back when she was 12 months old. I had one cycle and got pregnant with #3. Daughter number 2 also nursed throughout the pregnancy.

    I am sorry things aren't working out the way you want. Try to get your weight up a little, and I bet things will be fine. :smile:
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    I forgot, I have heard LLL leaders tell people to really work on night weaning, that way it will give you body a rest at night and will bring back your cycle. icon7.gif
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    medussa wrote:
    I have a 30-day OPK that I never used. I'll send it to you if you want. I'm never going to use it.

    Wow, thanks! I'll PM you my address and can paypal you for shipping :)

    How do I track my CM? Should I check TCOYF out from the library to get the whole scoop, or is it something that's easily explained on a message board?

    Tracking your CM is as simple as looking at the tp when you go to the bathroom. But not every woman gets clear signals from their CM.

    You can go to www.ovusoft.com and take a look around. They sell software to track your fertility for $39.95 and they have a 15 day software trial. But it would make sense to get your period first, since you need a starting point. As far as getting the book, your library should have TCOYF.

    Here's a link to the Ovusoft ttc board:

    http://forums.ovusoft.com/tt.asp?appid=22

    There's also a cycle and charting help board.

    I forgot to mention that the kit I have requires that you start right after your period. I'm still going to send it to you, though. This is what I have. I thought it was a 30-day kit, but here it says 20:

    http://www.firstresponse.com/daily_ov_test.asp
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    I forgot, I have heard LLL leaders tell people to really work on night weaning, that way it will give you body a rest at night and will bring back your cycle. icon7.gif

    I agree with this, at least in my experience. My period came back a few weeks after Oliver got down to 0-1 feedings at night (it had been 3-4).
    ehLB.jpg
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    You've had a lot of good responses, I just wanted to add my personal experience, which was that after I had both of my older children, I got my first PPAF when they were 10 months old and had cycles that were basically doubled in length for the next 6 months. At these times, my son was not night weaned but my daughter was. I was not trying to get pregnant either time, so I can't tell you for sure when my fertility came back. I EBF'd both of them (poor Aidan is likely to get shorted, but that's a whole 'nother topic). I think a lot of it depends on the individual.
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    I forgot, I have heard LLL leaders tell people to really work on night weaning, that way it will give you body a rest at night and will bring back your cycle. icon7.gif

    I agree with this, at least in my experience. My period came back a few weeks after Oliver got down to 0-1 feedings at night (it had been 3-4).


    sarah42, that's funny. In my experience, that wasn't what happened at all. I was stunned when my period came back so early with daughter #1. I kept thinking something was wrong. icon7.gif
  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Posts: 1,353Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Sarah, mine came back too when Lydia went down to one-two feedings a night around 3 months. Then at four months she went to waking up a lot more and has ever since, so I feel a little cheated. :-?

    I've also heard that night weaning, even partially, can help bring your fertility back.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Thanks for all the replies everyone. Maybe I'll try nightweaning when he's around 18 months (March). I just want to wait until he's old enough to understand "Num-nums are sleeping, you can nurse in the morning." But I think it's going to be hard no matter what I do.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    My period came out of hiding again. I got another one today, making that last cycle a 45-day cycle. Maybe posting about it made it come back again.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    It sounds like it's trying to come back. Hope it regulates out soon!
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Is your cycle usually pretty regular?

    It sounds like you are in the process of getting it back. I think you said in another thread that you have never charted? It would be worthwhile for you to learn how to recognize fertile cervical fluid. You may or may not be having ovulatory cycles while your body is figuring out what it wants to do, but if you are, you might as well take advantage of them!
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    mad scientist, I have no idea if my natural cycle is usually regular. When I was a teenager it was always terribly irregular (but I think that's common for teens, right?) and then I was on the Pill from ages 18-24. When I went off, my first cycle was around 34 days and then I got pregnant with Sol my second cycle. I definitely want to learn to recognize fertile cervical fluid because if I'm fertile, I want to take advantage of it.

    On a side note....

    *****GRAPHIC***** ***TMI FORTHCOMING***

    Is it normal for PPAF to be really different than it used to be? The one I got in November was really light and symptoms were mild, but this one is REALLY heavy with more cramps. The cramps aren't much worse that I remember them being but my flow is much heavier and the consistency of the blood is different. I used to go through 1-2 regular or super tampons per day in the first couple of days, then I could wear a regular or lite tampon all day for the rest of the time. I was soaking through supers within 2 hours this morning. Also, I remember the blood previously being darker and a little thicker. Now, it's bright red, and what's on the pad/tampon is really liquidy but then there's thicker/stickier/darker blood on the TP when I wipe and sticking to my body. Ew, sorry to describe in such graphic detail but it's so out of the ordinary for me.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    When my period came back, it was much like you described. I always had heavy, painful periods, but these were beyond what I had experienced before having Harry. They were pretty regular for me when they came back, though, so I'm not sure what to tell you about that.

    So, congrats? Sympathies? A little bit of both? Maybe you won't have many cycles before you conceive. ;)
    Hair type: 3A/B
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  • Jenny CJenny C Posts: 1,195Registered Users
    Pixie - my PPAF was/is very different. I

    The main difference is the blood is much more watery and thinner than it was before and it's REALLY heavy for a day or two, then goes back to normal.

    It also takes a longer time to really start, I'll have a few days of spotting, which is nice because I'll never be totally caught off guard. I never really had that before.

    My cramps and other PMS symptoms are the same.

    It's great that you got your period. Definitely look for changes in your cervical fluid to see if you're ovulating. Get your hands on a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility, it will give you all the info you need.
    If you got nothing to bring to the table - don't even bother sitting down.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Mine have been different too - I am used to HORRIFIC cramps and these were a lot less bad. I think the flow was more or less the same (it's always been pretty light) but lasted for more days.

    I understand your emotions of feeling guilty for wanting more children. I don't actually want to be pregnant now - I need to wait until late summer or fall to try - but even though I want my kids spaced a little more, I have had that little baby itch for a few months now, and then I worry that I won't be able to conceive, blah blah blah, and I think of how I had the exact same worries right before I had J and I told myself that if I could just have one biological child I would be grateful because so many people can't. Well... of course I'm greedy and want many more.

    One thing I should mention about charting is that if you haven't done it before, you might not get the most accurate results. Temping is hard to do breastfeeding and co-sleeping and getting up a lot at night. The best you can do is make sure you do it at the same time every morning and do it right away before you open your eyes and mouth or talk to the baby or move around. Get a FAST digital thermometer! You're likely not going to be able to satisfy the TCOYF rule about how many hours of sleep to get before temping. Thus, cervical fluid is going to be more important. I had a crazy amount of that before I had J, but it is much more scanty now, because BF dries that area out in general, so I have to look for it more. This past cycle I had a couple of days where I noticed it on my own, so maybe it starts to come back. I think if I am still nursing coming up to the time I want to conceive, which is probable, I'm going to have to get J to cut back a bit at night so if I were you, I would start working gently towards that, hard as I know it is.

    I also used OPKs this past cycle just to check if I was ovulating - a couple of days after I first saw CF, I used them until I got a positive result. You might want to try that also. Anyway, getting two periods is a good sign that your body is starting to regulate itself, so good luck!
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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