The Bean is coming up on 18 months now. Damn does the time fly fast. She is not a baby anymore, but a firecracker of a little girl.
We are still breastfeeding. I committed to breastfeeding full time for her first year. Right around her first birthday, I stopped pumping at work (which was incredibly freeing). We quickly dropped to nursing just twice a day: first thing in the morning and last thing before she goes to sleep. I figured we'd use that schedule as a transition for awhile until she felt ready to stop nursing altogether.
Well here we are six months later and we're still nursing twice a day. At Bean's last checkup, the doctor asked what my plan for weaning was. Um, I don't have one.
It's actually pretty freaking awesome to be able to nurse Bean at this point. Nursing is no longer the centerpiece of my life, but we still get to enjoy that quiet time together each morning and evening. It's so nice. Especially on weekend mornings when Bean wakes up and I'm dying for just a few. more. minutes. I can bring her to bed and let her nurse while I grudgingly admit that I have to wake up.
And at night, nursing is usually followed by a few minutes of cuddling before I put her to bed. This is a rare treat, as my go-go-go daughter rarely sits still for more than a minute.
So, while I doubt that we will nurse past her second birthday, right now I would be loathe to give it up.
Unfortunately for me, it's decision time. My doctor has recommended a particular medication for me. I know I need it. But I also know that it comes through in breast milk. And I also know there are not adequate studies on the long term effects of children exposed to this medication via breast milk. My doctor doesn't view the decision as an either/or prospect. She thinks that since there's no data showing a negative impact of this medication that it should be considered safe. I strongly disagree.
I know that it is almost impossible to monitor the long term effects of a drug on normal childhood development. Even for something as common as hormonal birth control, they really can't say whether the exposure via breastmilk might have a subtle effect on, say, sexual development. Virtually all medications have warnings about pregnant and breastfeeding women, and that's because we just don't have the data to be able to what is safe and what isn't.
So for me, it is an either/or decision. And for now, I'm choosing breastfeeding.