So I at work in a NICU and we have older ladies that volunteer as "cuddlers" who come and hold babies that are fussy or whose families aren't here, or they comfort babies during procedures etc when families cant. (I am a NICU nurse for those of you who dont know). I know a lot of these cuddlers very well, usually see them each about once a week for several hours. I frequently talk to them about their lives and my son Ben occasionally comes up. Situation: I am taking care of 2 super sick babies in a room that I cannot leave easily. And I had cuddlers each holding the babies as they were both fussy and I was busy charting, administering meds, etc. (AKA i'm trapped.)
Cuddler 1 (I know her pretty well, but we arent close like I am with some of the other cuddlers)
Cuddler 2 (I have never met this woman before ever. She is very prim/proper)
Cuddler1 "How is your son doing?"
Me "He's doing pretty good, (blah blah blah something about his b-day party)"
Cuddler 1 "He's 2 already???"
Me "Yep, I know right? They grow up too fast"
Cuddler1 "You aren't still breastfeeding him, are you?"
Me "Um, Yes.."
Cuddler1 "WELL I haven't ever said anything to you before but that is TOO OLD"
Me "You do know who you are saying that to, right? (laughed it off)"
Me, looking at Cuddler 2 "I just took boards (IBCLC) to become a lactation consultant and am a certified breastfeeding educator"
Cuddler 2 "OH MY! That IS TOO OLD!"
(Cuddler 2, looking at Cuddler 1 in horror)
Cuddler2 "There was a woman I knew at my church who nursed her baby to 3. Just so strange. Absolutely too OLD."
Cuddler 1 "I mean, does he just ask for you to whip it out anytime?"
Me "Actually, the biological weaning age of humans is 2 to 4 years. And we are working on weaning, just very slowly. He mostly nurses to sleep at night and for naps and occasionally other times if he gets hurt or something."
Cuddler 1 "Well that isn't so bad.. but still...."
(The weaning word appeased her a little but she is horrified.)
Cuddler 2 "Has he ever bitten you?"
Cuddler 2 "My daughter nursed her son til he bit her around age 1. Then she was DONE. Weaned that baby immediately to cows milk."
At this point I felt so cornered. And attacked. And sad. And like I had done something wrong. I know I should have stood my ground and said a few clever "out them in their place" things. But I don't want to burn any bridges with my people who help me and my little patients at work. So I kind of let it go. But I just felt so hot and red and shamed. I know given my position I should have stood up for myself and breastfeeding better. Why did I let them make me feel I was doing something wrong?? Sigh. I'm NOT doing anthing wrong. I am doing whats best for my Ben....
This is on top of Dh last night saying we need to wean him so that bedtime wont be so hard.... grrrrrrr........