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We Did It!

It is with tremendous gratitude to God and great pride that I can say that Baby L has been breastfeeding for a full year (and counting)!

It was an agonizingly difficult journey at first.  Low supply, underprescribed meds, piss-poor medical advice, positioning issues, biting nipple pain, latching troubles... I traveled everywhere with a My Brest Friend nursing pillow (the inflatable one for inter-city travel), and didn't dare breastfeed in public since it was such a cumbersome, excruciatingly-involved process.  Even my pumping would only produce a sad 3 ounces after milking me for nearly an hour.  My back ached from the nursing positions, my hands had deQuervain's tendonitis, and I was getting so, so stressed out.  How could something that was supposed to be so natural, be so difficult?!

Seriously, I thought the odds were stacked against me.  I was pretty sure I would have to resort to all-bottle-feeding by the time Baby L was 6 months old.  I only set my goal at 6 months, so that anything beyond would be a bonus. 

But here we are.  Baby L is just days from a year old, and we are still enjoying a robust nursing relationship.  Baby L nurses in the morning, before naps, and before bedtime.  She also comes in for a "quickie" sip every so often during the day.  We nurse lying down, and sometimes I cradle her, and other times she will crawl up to me and sit in front of my chest and nurse.  Sometimes she nurses in the bathtub, mid-bath.  There are moments in the middle of the night when she will latch on and I will barely notice, since I am still half-asleep; it's that effortless.  No more pumping, no more pain, no more tendonitis (I got some cortisone shots to take care of that one), no need for pillows or covers or pills.  I've nursed her on the plane, in restaurants, in mother's rooms, in the car...anywhere, really.

If my current self could have traveled in time back to my year-ago self and told her that this would be today's reality, I think my old self would have been so much better off for the hope that it inspires. Those first few weeks and months were hellishly hard, but they pass. The learning curve was steep and the first leg of the journey was paved with many frustrated tears, but the road is now an easy drive and I can savour these sweet tender moments with my not-quite-so-little girl.

And as I was recently reminded, babies don't keep.  Mine's already nearly a year old! Every minute I can enjoy with her in my arms and at my breast is cherished, for I know that there will come a time when she won't want to cuddle and she will be done with breastfeeding.  Until then, however, we are just going to keep on keeping on :)

After nursing the newborn

Smile for mommy after nursing

Now she just falls asleep at the boob (PG-13?)

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