I have been looking forward to writing this article for months. Today, on my daughter’s first birthday, we hit one year, 12 months, 365 days of breastfeeding.
To be honest, I can’t believe it.
To say we struggled would be quite an understatement.
I am really glad I wrote about the struggles during the worst of it, because it is so easy to gloss over that struggle now. (Read No One Told Me Breastfeeding Would Be This Hard)
It started with issues with weight loss, then lip tie, and pain. OMFG the pain. And then supply, and then pain again. We went round and round and round. For MONTHS.
Everyone said it got easier after two or four or six weeks.
We struggled. I cried, she cried. I pumped and fed her a bottle. I slathered my poor nipples in every cream I could find. I fed more; I fed less; I tried the supplements and the football hold and dangle feeding and side nursing and boppy, and no boppy and every other damn thing any mom in real life or on the internet recommended.
I was tired. I was in pain. I was tired of being tired and stressed.
Then, finally, around six or seven months, it happened. It finally clicked. The pain was gone. She started eating food, so supply became less of an issue. I traveled to Vegas for a week and pumped (getting almost nothing), but my supply didn’t die. We supplemented some. We used all my stash. But WE MADE IT TO A YEAR.
My Final Breastfeeding Goal. Sound the Trumpets
But, I am not throwing this pat-me-on-the-back parade for me, though I am incredibly proud.
I am throwing it for you.
The mama with tears streaming down her face as her baby painfully latches on.
The mama who is debating buying the next ‘new’ supply supplement or giving up and buying formula.
The mama who has to wake up bleary-eyed in the middle of the night to pump so her supply doesn’t dry up.
Who eats at her desk while she works so she can squeeze in another pumping session during lunch.
Who pumps in the car to and from work.
Who is so very tired of cleaning pump parts.
Who is oh.so.tired of being in pain.
Who questions if it is worth it. (And let me be the first to tell you that it is okay if it isn’t!)
Your day is coming. You can do it, mama.