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Caffeine: My New BFF

Before I got pregnant, I had two BFFs. A girlfriend I've known since high school and caffeine.

Caffeine and I were very close-maybe too close. I was a two, sometimes three venti bold coffees per day gal. But once I was preggo, I cut it out completely and after a week of separation anxiety involving terrible headaches and more than a few tears, I survived.

Cut to after the baby was born.

I had planned to keep caffeine out of the mix while I was breastfeeding. I hadn't ingested it in ten months, why would I need to start now?

Two words: sleep deprivation.

The lack of sleep I was experiencing from getting up every hour to nurse the baby rivaled some of the all-nighters I pulled in college. Only now I wasn't twenty years old, I was, er, thirty something.
And I was tired! And it was becoming increasingly harder to keep that no caffeine promise.
I looked at the reasons I thought I needed it.

I fell asleep while feeding the baby and woke in a panic- what if I'd dropped her?
I put a clean diaper over my baby's dirty diaper.
What was my baby's name again?

But still, couldn't I power through and do this on my own? I wasn't so sure...

Each morning, I'd longingly eye the coffee pot sitting on the counter and debate brewing some.
I'd pull my husband's bag of coffee from the refrigerator and inhale the smell of Columbian beans.
I'd fantasize about taking that first sip of piping hot hazelnut cream.

Maybe I'd just have one cup? But would even that small dose of caffeine affect my baby?

Well just like anything else baby related- you can ask ten people that question and get ten different answers. Which is exactly what happened.

So finally after a particularly frustrating night when I slept a total of twenty eight minutes one night, the next morning, I allowed myself one cup immediately after I nursed her. (My new BFF, Google, told me it was okay to do that.)

And the baby seemed completely unaffected. In fact, after the next time she nursed, she fell into a deep sleep and seemed fine the rest of the day. But unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for me. You know how they say to sleep when the baby sleeps? Well after that cup of joe, I tried to take a nap. But I was so jittery that I couldn't!

But I knew just like breastfeeding, it was only a matter of time before I'd get this coffee thing figured out. And in the meantime, if I was going to be sleep deprived, at least I'd be doing it with a nice coffee buzz!