The Breastfeeding Diaries: We did it!

September 4, 2013

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I don't even know where to begin. Tomorrow my baby boy turns one year old, which means I have been breastfeeding him for an entire year! Next to creating and giving birth to the most precious boy in the entire world, it is my biggest accomplishment. 

When I was pregnant, my goal was to make it to one year of breastfeeding. But I knew that if it didn't happen, that Hudson would still be okay. But we made it. Hudson's milk has been 100% from me. And I am so proud. 

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This year of breastfeeding has taught me so much. I have learned how to sacrifice my own comforts for my child. I know what it is like to be 100% responsible for feeding a baby. I know the joy that comes from providing what's best for my child. Breastfeeding Hudson has been my greatest success as a mother.

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When I started The Breastfeeding Diaries in January I had no idea what it would become. I thought that since breastfeeding was SO MUCH more wonderful and SO MUCH harder than I ever thought it would be that I should share my experience with others. I thought I would share my routine, what worked for me, and then encourage other mom's to give breastfeeding a try. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this series would touch so many people. I hoped that people wouldn't judge me for sharing such personal information. I prayed that I wouldn't receive hateful comments. And I didn't. I have been blown away by the support I've found from this series and from other bloggers. You all have helped me create a wonderful community of moms who are all trying to do what is best for their babies...breastfeeding or not. And for that I am eternally grateful.

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Never in a million years did I think that because of this series, moms would turn to me for advice. Or that people would consider me a breastfeeding expert, which I'm not. I'm just a mom who loves her baby. Just like all of you. I never would have thought that so many of you would email me thanking me for this series. Thanking me for encouraging you on your breastfeeding journey. Thanking me for the words written here that helped you get through those rough nights. Thanking me for the support provided by hearing that you are not alone.

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Breastfeeding has been pretty easy for me. I know enough about it now to realize that I'm lucky. It doesn't always work out for every mom. I know I've been given a gift. And I'm so thankful for the moments I've shared with Hudson while breastfeeding. I'll remember them always.

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If you are reading this today I hope you find some encouragement in these words. Many of the stories shared here each week detail the struggles of breastfeeding. And while it's true that it can be hard....it can also be easy. It has been easy for me. So much of the difficulties often associated with breastfeeding are really just difficulties with being a new mom. And being exhausted. And emotional. And overwhelmed. Breastfeeding gets easier. Being a mom does not. Don't give up. Breastfeeding Hudson was the best decision I ever made as a mom. And some of the best moments of my life, hands down.

 photo 4.jpg So thank you. Some of you have had questions about Hudson's routine now that he is eating real food. Hudson has always loved his milk, which makes me so happy. He would rather nurse than eat food....unless it's a graham cracker...not much beats a graham cracker in our house! But now that he's almost one, we are trying to get him to eat a little bit more. Here's a sample routine for a day that I am home with him:
6:30 a.m. Hudson wakes up and I breastfeed and snuggle him
7:30 a.m. Hudson has breakfast (oatmeal and fruit)
9:00/9:30 I breastfeed Hudson again and then he takes a nap. Usually. 
12:00 Lunch (grilled cheese sandwich with fruit and veggie)
2:00 I breastfeed Hudson and then pray for an afternoon nap.
Snack (graham crackers and juice) at wake up.
5:30 Dinner (ground turkey, bread, and a veggie and fruit....graham crackers for dessert)
7:00 I breastfeed Hudson at bedtime.
7:30 Put Hudson to bed.

Hudson usually has two or three 4-6 oz bottles of breastmilk on the days I am at work. We are going to start weaning Hudson off of his daytime feeds during next few weeks and I am so incredibly sad. But I am So Over Pumping (you can read about my pumping at work routine here). In order to keep up with Hudson's demand I have to pump three times a day while I am at work, once during the mornings I do not work, and every single night before I go to bed. It is exhausting. If I was nursing Hudson for each of those feeds it would be no problem. But the pumping has to stop! I want my body (and time) back. (And I've only recently started pumping before going to bed. We were able to use my freezer stash up until Hudson was a little over 10 months old if we needed a little extra milk. But once that was gone I had to resort to more pumping.)

I'll continue to breastfeed Hudson when he wakes up in the morning and before he goes to bed. We'll stop when he's ready. I just hope that when he's ready, I'll be ready too.

If you have a question for me about breastfeeding, please leave it in the comments of this post. I'll happily do a Q&A post if needed.

As for The Breastfeeding Diaries, I'll continue to feature a different story each week because I absolutely love this series. I've learned so much from all of you and am so grateful for each story. I am humbled that so many amazing women have chosen to share their breastfeeding journey on this little blog. If you are considering sharing your story please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail. I would love to have you. 

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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40 Comments »

40 Responses to “The Breastfeeding Diaries: We did it!”

  1. I'm so glad it was easy for you guys and you made it as long as you have (and you're still going!) I fully understand you feelings of pumping - it's very time consuming and can be stressful. If no one needed to pump I think lots of moms would make it a lot longer with breastfeeding. Enjoy putting that thing in the basement soon! Even though we've been done for months I still love reading these posts every week and I'm glad the series will continue! Hugs!

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  2. I do not have a child, or expecting one soon, but I have loved reading this series. It has helped me give advice to friends and know that someday I can do this too. Thank you for being brave and sharing this with the world. It has been so much fun to watch Hudson grow this past year. Happy Birthday!

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  3. What an accomplishment! Congratulations! And thank you again for this wonderful series. I can't imagine how much you've helped so many moms. Well done, friend!

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  4. Congrats on one year!! So exciting and amazing!

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  6. I have a six month old and love reading the Breastfeeding Diaries. BF has also been easy for me, but I am a working mom so I enjoy the perspective of other working moms and the struggles with pumping. Thanks for keeping the series going and thank you to the moms sharing their stories so candidly. You are inspiring so many mamas!

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  7. Congratulations making it to one year. It really is an amazing feeling. I couldn't believe it! I love your series and I'm so glad it's helping other women who are struggling or just looking for support. We mama's have to stick together!

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  8. Good job Momma! This is a huge accomplishment and I wish I would have stuck in there like you did! And I love reading the series, I just wish I would have found your blog while I was breastfeeding!

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  9. Beautiful post! It sure is hard work, but a wonderful experience and a great bond. By the way, you have the prettiest hair color!

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  10. Great job momma. I can't lie and say that I'm not jealous. I only made it to 6 months with my first and would LOVE to hit a year with the next! :)

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  11. What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations!

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  12. So incredible. Such an amazing accomplishment!

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  13. What a huge accomplishment Julie!! So proud of you!! You're amazing! :)

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  14. I have loved reading your blog. I just weaned my baby this past weekend and I honestly think it was harder on me than her. I cried often and feel so sad. She turns one on Friday and I am so glad I got to experience this bonding with her. Good luck on your future weaning!!

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  15. Congratulations on making it to your goal!!! I have loved your BF series these past 8 months and in the beginning when I had days where I thought about giving up they really encouraged me not to :) So happy for you and your sweet boy!

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  16. So fantastic! Great job. It can be a sacrifice, but it's the best kind! Love the series.

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  17. It amazing that you have been able to touch so many new moms and friends-of-moms. It is truly a gift of support you offer here, telling your story. Hudson is such a lucky guy for having a great momma. Keep it up! ~Julie H

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  18. Congratulations on making it to 1 year!! I hope we are able to reach that milestone too!! I have so enjoyed this series and have looked to it often for advice and encouragement during our breastfeeding journey. Quick question: What do you plan to supplement with once you start weaning Hudson from his daycare bottle feedings? And also, Happy Birthday Hudson...you are such a cutie!!

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  19. Congrats to you and Hudson! We have made it 14 months and still counting so I know exactly how you're feeling! I wish I knew about your series when I was trying to figure it all out. But I'm glad that I have found it and remember to pass it along to all new moms! Thanks for all you do!

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  20. This is so awesome! :) I hope that my breastfeeding experience is like yours! I have to thank you for doing the breastfeeding series... I feel so much more "ready" to take on the challenge from hearing other women's stories!!

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  21. I love this series, and am so glad it's going to continue! After a rocky start, breastfeeding has been relatively easy for me. And I am so thankful for that. Like you, I am a working mom who has to pump three times a day. My son is only three months old, so this will have to continue for the foreseeable future...But I am over my pump too. Ugh. So over it. Happy Birthday to Hudson! Can't believe he's already a year old! Yay for making it to a year on just breastmilk. Such a great accomplishment!

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  22. What a milestone, congratulations! Happy Birthday Hudson :)

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  23. congrats!!! 12 months is such a journey! we successfully weaned at 14 months!

    http://scaifebabywatch.blogspot.com/

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  24. Julie, this is so beautifully written! Hudson is one lucky boy to have such a great mama :) Congrats on one year!

    We're starting to drop some feedings over here as well. I just hope that I'm ready when Arden is too! :/

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  25. Congratulations to you! It is a HUGE accomplishment that very few Mama's make it to. You have every right to be incredibly proud of yourself- what you've done(and are continuing to do) is absolutely amazing. Amazing. Way to go, Mama.

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  26. You made it! Such a huge accomplishment and a great relief to know that you've reached your goal!

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  27. Congratulations! I stumbled upon your blog when I was pregnant and I have to say that your story and all the other breastfeeding stories were so helpful to me! It was so refreshing to see many different and positive breastfeeding stories. I am 10 weeks into being a new mom and everyday it gets a bit easier.

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  28. Congrats!!! Happy 1 year to YOU!!

    What an amazing accomplishment, it has definitely been amazing and inspiring reading your BF Diaries posts - I love them!

    I've been sending your posts to my BFF - not sure if she's reading them or not, but she doesn't have a lot of BFing role models around her and I just hope your words can help support her when she becomes a mom next month!!

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  29. Well done Mama!!
    I am breastfeeding my six month old, and breastfed my first for 12 months, and second for 15 months. I love how you talked about the special times breastfeeding and the memories you will have forever, and also about how breastfeeding does get easier.
    I have a close friend who ditched breastfeeding at the first hurdle (within the first two days of birth) and I feel sad that she is not going to experience those special moments of a chubby little hand reaching up and playing with your clothes/hair/face while feeding. I am smiling just thinking about those moments :)

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  30. I love all the pics and good work breastfeeding for Hud's first year!

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  31. Congrats on making it a year! It is an amazing accomplishment and you ARE great for creating such an inspiring series where people can learn different things each week and hopefully find someone to relate to whether it be exclusive pumping, no bottles, dietary restrictions, latching issues, milk production, you name it. There has been something for everyone and always an interesting read!

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  32. That was a beautiful post! I'm so glad that you started the series too. I, too, am breastfeeding my 6 month old and I plan on making it as long as Aiden wants to (over a year). I agree that it's some of the best times of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm so blessed that it has come relatively easy for me too!

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  33. Wonderful! Congratulations, my first goal was 6 months and even though it wasn't easy here we are at 8 months still going strong. I hope I'm posting a 1 year post in a few months!

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  34. New follower here and I'm excited to heard over and read your breastfeeding diaires posts! I'm a soon to be mom this November and breastfeeding is extremely important to me. I pray that I won't have difficulty with it and everything will work out fine...your post is beautiful and inspirational, thank you!

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  35. It's great feeling of accomplishment watching them grow and develop from your milk only :) my daughter is two next week and still has morning and night feed and snuggle :)

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  36. I am late to the party, but wanted to congratulate you on making it a year - particularly while working. I just pinned your post on pumping while working. I only made it 2 months with my daughter based on a health issue she had, but hoping to make it much longer with baby #2 which will arrive in March. It's so helpful to see how people make this work in the real world. Thanks!

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  37. Awesome job momma!! Certainly an accomplishment of which you can be proud =) You rock!

    ... and these pictures are adorable.

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  38. Congrats! I seriously can't believe that Hudson is already a year old :) Now I'm not a momma (yet), but my mom is actually a lactation consultant and neonatal nurse, so I do know just how many difficulties breast feeding mommas face!

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  39. My goal is also to make it to one year. Monday will mark 7 months. Where does the time go?!

    Any ideas on how Hudson would start self weaning? I'm not sure what the end of this journey looks like. And frankly I am already sad thinking about it.

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  40. Found you on bloglovin :) OMG this post just made me cry! So so sweet and sad at the same time. Im 8 months strong with my daughter and I am hoping to make it to the one year mark!! Question: Im suuuuuper nervous about her getting teeth! Any tips would be awesome!! xo

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