I realize that I'm not in the majority with my feelings regarding breastfeeding, much less extended breastfeeding. Heck, I realize that anytime I'm in a group of women who start talking about breastfeeding. Even with out opening my mouth and telling our breastfeeding stories (really, that's what they are. They are tales of our breastfeeding highs and lows.) I know that most people are uncomfortable with the thought of breastfeeding past a year.
Take yesterday. I was in a group of moms, some of them very new moms (meaning with brand new, fresh babies.) Zeke wasn't interested in eating his crackers or drinking out of his sippy cup. I glanced at the time and realized it had been a while since he nursed. Generally, he doesn't like to eat table foods or drink water until after he nurses. So, I found a seat and nursed him. There were several "my baby" comments. Some of them I related to (like, "my son was too busy to nurse in public." That was SO A when he was a baby.) and some that I struggle to find a common ground with (generally, giving up on breastfeeding after very little to no effort. I'm not saying its wrong, its just hard for me to understand.)
In conversation, I mentioned that A was a very hard baby to nurse in public, but that he nursed until he was 2. The looks I received made me try to rationalize it and say things like "but only at home" or "only before bed".
Why is it that I feel the need to do this? What makes it so taboo to nurse past 12 months? What is so special about that 12th month that mother's feel the need to sever a relationship that has many benefits? I know some people are really just trying to make it to the recommended 12 months, because its a struggle in some manner- allergies, babies who are ready to wean, etc. I'm not talking about mothers that are in those situations. I am referring to those who are still enjoying breastfeeding, as is the baby. It makes me sad that some of these women feel pressured to wean. With I being 10.5 months old, I can't imagine giving up breastfeeding in 1.5 months just because other people give me dirty looks.
As for me and my baby, I'm feeling blessed that I can overlook the glances and comments and continue doing what is best for us. I'm feeling blessed that I enjoy breastfeeding. I'm feeling blessed that Zeke still enjoys/needs some old fashioned milk from his momma. I'm feeling blessed that its been an easy road for us this time around (oh, the troubles I had with O and A! I mention those troubles only so you don't think I had it easy peasy every time.) and I can relax and enjoy our transition into extended breastfeeding.
So, I lift my bra cup in salute to another year, (hopefully) of Zeke enjoying the milk bar!