Since it is later than 3:14 a.m. Feb. 22, 2014, I am done. Done. It is over. Over.
No, likely I am not dead, but still alive, annoying someone somewhere, but I am all done — finished, through — with nursing a baby.
Wait, I know you don’t say “forever” or “never” or whatever-ever-ever in life, but really, my surprise-at-39 baby boy just turned 3 years old Feb. 22, and I cut him off, cold turkey, on this third anniversary of his sweet birth.
No more “milkies.”
I know some of you just balked. “Breastfeeding?! Still?! At age 3?!” Maybe you followed up with a “Gross!” or “That’s weird!” or something in that genre. I’ll get to that in a paragraph or two, but if you’re a “That’s weird” responder, you should know there are people on the other end of the spectrum.
These would be my super-crunchy-mama pals, the ones whose 5-year-old kindergarteners sometime start nursing again when Mama has a new baby: “Now, why stop breastfeeding just because of an arbitrary number, an age? Doesn’t she know children will self-wean when they’re ready? That’s just cruel.”
Seriously, I get both responses.
So on this solemn-but-gleeful day, the day my breasts become mine once more, I’ll tell you what I know.
• I know breast milk is good for babies, toddlers, and even the occasional abrasion, skin rash or irritable eye of my 10-year-old. Breastfeeding itself, as in physically putting a little one to a breast to nurse, is appropriate for babies through toddlers for sure. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls for breast milk exclusively through 6 months old; the World Health Organization says keep up breastfeeding through age 2 for good results. Plenty of experts say nurse a little one as long as it’s mutually agreeable. Breast milk is awesome. I’m happy my body made it and I shared it.