Birth DayMy girl and I made it two days shy of thirteen months. I officially began breastfeeding August 14, 2009. I offically quit breastfeeding on September 12, 2010. That Sunday night was the last night. Those thirteen months were a pretty smooth ride. There were some bumps, but for us it was mostly easy.
Sydney latched on with no issue. She was great and knew just what to do. Until her second day of life, when she just wanted to sleep (she is SOOO like her parents). Finally after not eating for many more hours than a newborn should go, we got her out of the warm blankets and clothes and let the cool air hit her. She was pissed. But also awake. I will never forget her screaming in the hospital basinet and Frank and I looking at each other wondering how long we should let her go. It seemed like an eternity but it was probably only two or three minutes. She latched again and went to town. The first few weeks of night feedings, leaking like crazy boobs, soaking wet shirts and sheets and towels were a haze that I don't really remember. After a month or so, I decided that I should start pumping because it was clear I had enough supply. I pumped and Sydney took her first bottle from Daddy. She did great - as usual.
I was lucky to have wireless on my cell phone so for the many hours of nursing and pumping and rocking and holding that sleeping baby, I followed twitter, my favorite bloggers and researched anything and everything regarding breastfeeding, solid feeding, baby poop, and ear infections. It was a little lifeline into the real world even if I was only reading about babies.
I went back to work at eight weeks. I remember week 7 clearly. I couldn't wait to go back to work and get out of this house. If only I had charished that last week a little more...
When I went back to work, I pumped three times a day and remember thinking "If I can make it four months I'll be happy." At four months, I decided to go six. After we made it six months, the time just flew by and I don't remember couting the months anymore. We got into a routine, and sometimes routine is good. I know that breastfeeding isn't for everyone and had you asked me five years ago if I would do it, I'm not sure my answer would have been yes. I'm lucky because I had good supply, and easy baby, a workplace that supported me and an office where I could shut and lock the door. In the nine or so months I pumped, only one person disobeyed the 'Do Not Disturb' sign. Not bad. Because I had such good supply, I think at one point, we had more milk in the freezer than anything else. It was awesome. I also knew that if I missed a pumping session it would be no big deal because of my freezer stock and excess supply.
I had my moments. There were times when I was frustrated and wanted to quit, just so I could go out and have a few beers or just because finding time to pump in the day was hard or for any other bunch of reasons. But I didn't quit. And I'm proud I stayed with it. My strong will to successfully exclusively breastfeed got the best of me and never allowed me to quit.
I'm not going to lie. I sort of liked having a rack. When I had it, I couldn't wait for it to go away, but now that it's gone, I already miss it. Thank God for Victoria Secret!
My daugher has never had formula. I'm lucky that I was able to exclusively breastfeed. I'm lucky that I had the supply, support, good health and patience it takes. I also know other Mom's who aren't as lucky or choose not to. Sometimes I think I gave up some freedoms by exclusively breastfeeding, but other times I remembered that I was exactly where I needed to be. I also think that no matter how you feed your kid, the love you have for them is what matters and now how they are fed.