356 days is how long I was able to breastfeed. Nine days short of baby girls first birthday. Try as I might I don’t think she’ll be able to get one more ounce out of me. With returning to work full-time just two weeks ago, I’ve noticed a big dip in my supply, combined with the fact that baby girl seems to be loosing interest in the whole thing. I will try breastfeeding one more day, but I think my breastfeeding days with this baby are over.
I’m disappointed I didn’t make my one year goal. I know nine days isn’t a lot, but I really wanted to make that one year mark. I know I should be proud of what we accomplished but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little bummed. One year was my first goal. I planned on going as long as she self-weaned which I hoped would be later but I think it’s here now.
Breastfeeding has been the single most difficult thing I’ve had to do as a mom. I’m so thankful I’m in Canada and allowed a 52 week maternity leave. I know there is no way we would have made it this long if I had to return to work in the early weeks. I commend women who are able to work full-time, raise a family and do everything required to maintain a milk supply for their baby. Given my job it would be incredibly hard so I’m thankful I was able to be home with her to nurse on demand.
My daughter went through growth spurts textbook style. I would spend what felt like days, nursing. The first grow spurt was frustrating, I was stuck inside during the beautiful summer doing nothing but nursing. By the second growth spurt I had grown to love our time together. She wanted and needed me, for that I loved our time together.
I’ll miss those sweet moments of just the two of us. The way she’d look at me and the way she’d place her hands and feet on me. I’ll miss the special cuddles only she and I shared and how calm she was. I will especially miss not having to figure out why she was upset because I had the answer to whatever it was. I enjoyed breastfeeding so much more than I could have ever imagined. The bond it helped create is beyond words.
My husband is constantly reminding me that she’s healthy, happy and growing and as parents that’s all we can ask for. As much as we’d like, we can’t keep them small forever. It’s our responsibility to help the grow and navigate life. As she continues to grow and enters her second year of life, we will figure out new ways to bond and have many new experiences together.
I knew my breastfeeding days would eventually come to and end I just didn’t know how hard it would be on me. I just need to remind myself that I am so thankful I was able to breastfeed at all since I know it’s not always possible.