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Happy Birthday Joshua (and Abbie)!

I can’t believe that my baby boy is already a year old! Along with celebrating Joshua’s first birthday, I’m also celebrating a year of parenting and a year of breastfeeding.

I’m so happy that I stuck with breastfeeding through the learning curve, the evening fussy times, the sleep deprivation and the leaking. Going back to work was the biggest challenge to our breastfeeding relationship, and I can’t even describe how great it feels to have achieved my goal of providing expressed breastmilk for Joshua until his first birthday. Pumping was difficult, time consuming and not fun, but it was worth it to be able to give Joshua the best start in nutrition.

Looking back, it’s awesome that we accomplished my goals of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, pumping at work and continuing to breastfeed until Joshua’s first birthday. I know that both Joshua’s and my own health will benefit. But we’re not done yet!

I plan to continue our nursing relationship until Joshua self-weans, since I’ve decided that’s what is best for our family. The WHO recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of two years, and as long as mutually desired after that. I think two years should be my next goal.

As an experienced nursing mom, I’d like to tell new moms that breastfeeding got much easier for us after the first year. I’m transitioning Joshua to cow’s milk and am weaning myself off of the pump while I’m at work (both topics for future posts!), but plan to continue to nurse him whenever we’re together, on-cue. I’m so excited that I can put away the pump and just nurse Joshua in the morning, afternoons and evening.

We celebrated Joshua’s birthday with a tractor and truck themed party, complete with hard hats, dump truck chocolate lollipops and a tractor cake. My little boy dug right into his first piece of chocolate cake and loved it! Cake was everywhere: the floor, his face, his hair and even in his ear. Joshua played with his family and friends, opened presents, and wore himself out! After the party was over and everyone left, Joshua peacefully nursed to sleep in my arms. It was a perfect ending to a perfect first birthday.