My baby is 6 months old today. I don’t even know what to think about that. I can’t believe 6 months has gone by. I can’t believe I survived 6 months. I can’t believe a baby survived 6 months with me.
The truth is, despite the cliche, time really flies when your
not sleeping having fun. In the blink of an eye (literally, because you don’t get to close your eyes very much when you’re raising a baby) Mia has gone from fitting in Dan’s palm…
…to sitting up on her own…
…to rolling over and belly laughing at fart noises (yep – she did get some Perlmutter genes).
While there are so many things that are wonderful, awesome and amazing about Mia turning 6 months, there is one thing in particular that makes me really, really, really proud. So I’m gonna take a moment to totally brag because, you know, this is my blog and I can brag if I want to.
Today marks 6 months of Mia breastfeeding, without even one drop of formula needed.
Let me just preface this by saying that all those mommies and babies out there diggin’ the formula – rock on! Healthy mommy and healthy baby are all the matter.
But for me, breastfeeding was more than a way to feed Mia – it was an emotional and physical commitment that I was determined to keep – and 6 months was my first major goal. I think if breastfeeding had been easy, 6 months wouldn’t be such a big deal. But it was a STRUGGLE. I was emotionally drained, I was under producing, I was stressed out, I was fed up, I was so tired and so ready to quit SO. MANY. TIMES.
Luckily I have a husband that never once questioned my body or my resolve. I have a doctor and lactation consultant who supported me every step of the way. And I have a big group of momma friends that cheered me on every single day. And today – I made it!
Today, I gave away all of the unopened formula samples in our pantry. I counted 230oz of frozen milk in my freezer and happily nursed my healthy six month old baby while I got my pumping supplies ready to bring to work.
The bottom line is that it is really hard to exclusively breastfeed a baby. And it is really, really hard to do it with a full time job. But there is no greater feeling than knowing that your body has created, and sustained another life for six whole months. There is no greater feeling than a warm, soft little baby nuzzled against your chest. A sleepy smile gazing up at you as warm milk helps them drift off to sleep. It makes all those hours in the server closet of the office, pump whirring away, totally worth it.
But as much as I’d like to take all the credit for these past 6 months – there are a lot of people who deserve a big thank you for helping Mia and I along the way…
1. Dan – Dan has never once questioned my body’s ability to produce, or my emotional strength to continue breastfeeding. He’s done everything from filling up my water bottle to holding my boobs at the appropriate height for Mia so that I can breastfeed while writing a blog post or eating my dinner.
2. My brother-in-law and father-in-law (and all my grandpas) – Those who know me well know that I’m not shy by any stretch of the word. But I’m pretty sure my brother-in-law and father-in-law were a little taken aback the first couple times I “whipped ’em out” in their living rooms. Both of them, however, responded incredibly gracefully and have since become some of my biggest supporters…hanging out with me while I feed or pump, and even helping me get set up with pillows or water when I’m feeding in public. My Grandpa Alan also deserves a thank you for “waiving the corkage fee” when I breastfed Mia in his restaurant in Big Sur.
3. My mom, my sister-in-law, the Maine Med Breastfeeding Support Group and Mothering Circle, and all of the other mommies in my life who have been there – you all gave the advice, the encouragement and the perspective I needed when things were tough. Whether it was a hug, or a story or just a knowing smile – you guys kept me confident that I could do it!
4. My doctor and the many lactation consultants I’ve worked with – thank you thank you thank you for understanding, encouraging and never giving up on Mia and I. From oatmeal to herbs to hospital grade pumps – all of your suggestions are paying off!
5. All of the restaurant patrons, airline passengers (especially the guy who was pretty much sitting in my lap while I fed Mia), mall go-ers, Portland Country Club members, coworkers, family members and many more – who politely ignored, smiled and encouraged, or at the very least didn’t say anything mean while I breastfed Mia in front of them, next to them, across from them, etc. Breastfeeding would be a serious hassle if I wasn’t able to feel comfortable doing it in public, and I’m very happy to say I’ve never been asked to “cover up.” Thanks for that everyone – especially because even if ya’ll asked you know I wouldn’t do anything differently. Sorry not sorry.
There are lots of other people that have totally helped me along the way – but like a bad Oscar acceptance speech – I can hear the orchestra starting so I’ll get on with it.
Happy 6 month birthday to Mia. Happy 6 months of breastfeeding to both of us. Here’s to (at least) 6 more!