You can get a little glimpse of what my first year breastfeeding was like in my signature, but it has been a very long journey any way I phrase it. When my sweet baby girl was 4 or 5 weeks old and we were seeing IBCLC's every few days still, pumping 10x/day and nursing without much milk removal and I fully expected she would get the hang of it any week, I promised her I would pump for her till she was 12 mos if I had to. Well, thanks in part to that promise and the fact that I was raised to always keep your promise, if when it hurt, I'm here on the eve of her birthday, pumping while my husband is giving her some of my milk in a bottle.
I am so thankful for the support here, for my breastfeeding support group, my LC who I am still in contact with, my wonderful family and friends. My dd has never had formula but has had other mommies' milk since I had low supply, we survived a terribly painful 4 month nursing strike, lots of tears and lots of sleep deprivation. My LC is very very experienced but says that my dd is a puzzle, not really sure why she is so inconsistent at emptying my breasts.
All this to say, no matter what struggles you are going through, and even if it means hours and hours with the pump or hours in the rocking recliner while your baby only takes an ounce or whatever else, it is SO worth it! I am only pumping twice a day now and she only gets two bottles a day, both from my husband so she isn't really even associating me with a bottle. She lifts up my shirt (I know, I might want to change that habit) when she wants a sip, and nurses probably 10-14 times in a 24 hr period.
Here is my question, tomorrow is her birthday, and I know this isn't the end, but can I quit worrying about how much milk she's getting? She has a good handle on solids and drinks water in a sippy cup. I'm not wanting to wean her, I'd love to make it 2 years or beyond. I'm very open to the idea of tandem nursing should that be a possibility for my family. But can I calm down and relax if she hasn't nursed in a few hrs and just trust that my supply is fine enough now, even if she's only getting 10-15 oz (I'd estimate) a day?
Happy birthday to my little baby angel. I love her so much. I think a baby is the sweetest blessing and gift ever. Thank you all for your support and keep loving your babies!