You might not agree . . . but I honestly don’t care. I’m still breastfeeding my toddler — and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
My rainbow baby is weeks away from turning two.
Besides the fact that I’m in complete denial about this, as evidenced by the fact that I refuse to plan her birthday party and I still answer “one and a half” whenever anyone asks how old she is … there’s one thing about her turning two that I am constantly made aware of:
I’m still breastfeeding my toddler.
There are generally two reactions I’ve found so far to this confession.
One is a complete hurrah — we made it two years!
The other is a very uncomfortable look, sometimes accompanied by, “Oh! So, you’ll be stopping soon then?”
Here’s the thing. I’m not stopping. Not anytime soon.
And I don’t feel like either a warrior or a martyr for it.
I nurse because I want to and she wants to, and it works for us.
I nurse because she keeps dropping on the percentiles, and has slow weight gain. I want her to have every bit of extra nutrition I can give her.
I nurse because the World Health Organization says it’s a good idea.
I nurse because, oh my goodness, I have waited and waited and waited for this, and I’m in no rush to end this special bond once and for all.
RELATED: A Letter to My Rainbow Baby
I nurse because it’s easier now. The first year was significantly harder, and honestly, this second year is like a bonus year.
I nurse because it calms both of us down, and creates a built-in pause in our busy days. It means she gets my one-on-one attention, and skin-to-skin time.
I nurse because I couldn’t breastfeed my adopted daughter and I really missed having this connection with her.
I nurse because I simply want to. And she wants to.
Here’s what breastfeeding my toddler DOESN’T mean …
I’m not creating a dependent child — in fact, I’ve been able to leave her for several business trips, and things fall back into place when I get home.
I don’t do it to make a statement. How anyone else chooses to feed their baby is their business and not mine.
I don’t nurse because I’m lazy, thoughtless, or am creating a monster child who will one day be 16 still wanting to nurse.
It simply means I found a way to provide for the emotional and physical needs of my child in a way that makes sense for us both.
And one day, it won’t make sense anymore.
I’m dreading that day, but I know it’s coming. And I know that I will mourn the passing of this kind of relationship we share.
But then I’ll be able to look back and be thankful I didn’t let anyone’s opinions rob either of us of the time we had. The time I fought for. The time I almost didn’t get to experience again.
So yes. I’m still breastfeeding.