One Year Breastfeeding!

Today marks one year of exclusive breastfeeding.
It wasn’t my goal nor did I imaging I’d be breastfeeding this long. I thought I would try to do it for a few months on maternity leave and then switch to pumping at work as long as that worked. My baby had other plans for us.
I tried to introduce the bottle as I learned in my breastfeeding course and what other lactation consultants recommended…. after baby establishes at the breast to avoid nipple confusion. So about 5-6 weeks. 

Well, my baby decided that bottles were not her thing. By that I mean, she DESPISED the bottle. I had NO idea that bottle refusal was a thing, I thought, babies just take a bottle, right?
Apparently not.
I tried every trick I could find. Over 15+ bottle/nipples. I tried when she was tired, awake, happy, hungry. I had my husband, mother and brother in-law try. Wrapped mom scented tshirt around bottle. I even left the house so she couldn’t sense I was there and want the boob. I tried everything I could for months. You name it, I tried it. It was tiresome listening to other people opinions of what I should try. Nothing was working.
My last resort was to see a lactation consultant and see if maybe there was a lip/tongue tie or anything else we could try. Again, there was failure when she tried to bottle feed her and told me, you can keep trying  but she’s most likely not going to take it. 
Completely defeated, on the drive home, my husband and I decided I would not be going back to work, as my maternity leave was ending in a few weeks. How could I leave my baby starving and crying for 8-10 hours a day while I was at work? She was only nearing 4 months and too young to start solids. I should mention, she also has a minor genetic condition called “MCAD” where she cannot fast for longer than a few hours causing hypoglycemia and could result in other terrible problems. Thus, another reason I could not leave her. 
As I pulled up to the house from the lactation appointment I received a called about a work from home job I applied for earlier that week. Finally a bright side appeared that I would find a remote job where I could be home and breastfeed her. I got the job, but a whole new slew of challenges I would then endure. I’ll save that for another day.
I thought for sure, ok when she’s 5-6 months she can start taking a sippy cup and eating solids, she will then be ready for daycare! Well, here we are one year later. Still breastfeeding! Although she is eating solids and drinking expressed milk from a straw cup, we are still breastfeeding at least 3 times a day, morning, midday nap and for bed, andddd anytime during the day she decides we wants to pull my shirt down to quench her thirst. 
At this point, I don’t see our breastfeeding journey ending in the foreseeable future. I wanted her to take a bottle so bad to have a little freedom if I needed to leave the house for more than 2 hours. However, it’s like second nature to us and the most special time that only we get to enjoy. Truthfully, I love breastfeeding her. When I see her smile at the boob, play with my hair and study my face with her hands, I know this will not be forever and I’m trying to soak in my moments while they last. 
I thought bottle refusal was the worst thing to happen, it turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise. Staying home and watching every milestone is the biggest blessing I could ask for.
Happy birthday my beautiful girl and happy one year breastfeeding anniversary to us♥️ 
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