PHEW!! I've been waiting to post this message for a year. I just wanted to celebrate the fact that I just crossed the 1-year mark of exclusively nursing my baby girl. It was the hardest thing I've ever done....yes, I think it was harder than actually giving birth because that last a day or two tops. This lasted 24 hours a day for 365 days! I hope I can be an inspiration to any of you out there that are on the fence or struggling to continue. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit and was exhausted and emotionally fried from being up every 3 hours round the clock to nurse until my baby was 9 months old. At that point, she cut me some slack and slept 6 hours at a time.
All of you truly thinking of quitting, just try to stick with it a little longer. I told myself I'd go one day at a time...then it became one week at a time. We had all sorts of obstacles to overcome; nursing every 45 minutes in the beginning, latch issues, cracked and bleeding nipples, thrush so many times I can't count, nursing strikes, leaking in public, nursing covers whipped up in public to expose a boob and a squirmy baby, and overactive let-downs with gagging and choking at 2 AM. But with all the troubles came the most amazing moments; snuggling in the middle of the night, snoring on the boob, soft "petting" on my chest, smiles and gurgles of milk from a toothless grin, that "look" on her face when that milk just hits the spot, the realization that these humble little boobs nurtured and fed a human being for a year, and a bond with my daughter that makes me breathless. Now, I find that I am struggling to quit. If you truly find that nursing is not for you, I applaud you for considering it and doing what is ultimately best for you and your child. No judgement is meant by this post....I just wanted to share my experience and hopefully encourage those that are considering taking the path I did. Good luck to all of you new mommies out there and hang in there; this time is fleeting!