So it has finally happened, Josephine is no longer drinking out of bottles. Yes, she’s two and a half. And yes, most babies are weaned from them around their first birthday. Josephine has had her own unique journey, though, with open heart surgery and paralyzed vocal cords and feeding delays and a toddler diet very limited by her food allergies, and so we’ve continued to allow her bottles and formula to keep her afloat nutritionally. Last week she decided she didn’t like the taste of her formula anymore, and then we started having issues with the middle of the night bottles she would wake up for (she wanted milk, but not formula, but her fridge milk was too cold, and she didn’t want water, and so on), and it took one night of me saying, “No milk. Got to sleep.” about 500 times and it was done. She’s asked for “new ulk bottle” a couple of times, but I offered a cup instead and it has been fine. She’s definitely not drinking as well as she was, so it does make me a little nervous about how her growth will be at her next check-up, but she was ready so it’s time to figure out if she can support herself without that extra help. I hope she will. But how do we say goodbye to the bottle? It kept her alive for most of her life.

When she wasn’t growing properly and she needed “bonus feeds” of breastmilk, before her heart was even diagnosed, the bottle was there.

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When she could no longer nurse due to the stress it put on her heart, the bottle was there.

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When her weight was not on the charts at all and we had to start fortifying her feeds, the bottle was there.

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When I couldn’t make enough milk on my own and needed some help from some precious other mamas, the bottle was there.

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When she refused to return to the breast after her surgery, the bottle was there.

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When she was diagnosed with food allergies and so many sources of nutrition were unavailable to her, the bottle was there.

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When she struggled with solids, the bottle was there.

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Every night, every day…the bottle was there.

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It helped us take our scrawny, heart sick baby and grow her into this hearty, healthy toddler.

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I know it is just a conglomeration of plastic bits, but it will forever have my gratitude. I wish that I could have exclusively breastfed her, but that was not our journey…instead this ordinary plastic creation stepped in and helped my baby survive and thrive, and I think that is pretty miraculous.

Goodbye bottle, and thank you for your years of service. Josie probably will not remember you, but I will, with love and gratitude in my heart. ♥

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