May 21, 2010

The Twins (Not the Baseball Team) Meet the Minnesota Public

Typically, I'm the first to say that boobs and public locales don't mix. In fact, while I was pregnant, I loudly resolved to the hubs that I would never, under any circumstances, nurse in public. Nor would I nurse in front of anyone but my husband, whether they were relative, friend, or foe. Period.

To all of the lovely pregnant ladies that read my blog, I would encourage you to lay off of the hormonal resolutions. Because I should have been a bit more open. And as soon as Nathaniel was born, all modesty went out the window. My kid needed to eat and it's not like I could forget my boobs at home when we walked out the front door. I had the food and I provided it.

It started on day 2. My in-laws were visiting the hospital and the hubs and his father went to grab a pizza. Have any of you tasted hospital food? Pizza was not only necessary, it was ESSENTIAL TO MY SURVIVAL. And you do not want to question a woman who is bleeding out of every orifice while recovering from a 22-hour labor that resulted in a person the size of a small bowling ball exiting her body.

My mother-in-law kept me company while the men were making a pizza run. And lo and behold, the babe got hungry. Those days, we had latching issues so when Nathaniel asked to eat, I jumped on that bandwagon faster than you can say "engorgement." Somehow, the fact that I was half-naked in front of my mother-in-law just didn't seem important any longer. The important part? Teaching myself and the babe to nurse. And you don't learn something like that without a whole lot of practice.

The next nursing challenge occurred at my in-law's house. Typically, I relocated the babe and myself to a bedroom where my mother-in-law had created a comfortable and private nursing spot (after hearing my pregnant tirade about nursing in front of people) when he needed to eat. Or I brought a bottle. But I am not known for my impeccable planning skills when it comes to packing enough bottled milk. Nor am I known for passing up the opportunity to watch a good movie on a 650-inch YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN A THEATER television screen because of a hungry baby. And so one night when we gathered to watch a movie, I nursed Nathaniel, under a blanket, in front of my husband's family.

After much prodding and encouragement from my readers, I looked into purchasing a nursing cover because I didn't enjoy baking myself and the babe each time I nursed under a blanket. But even with the cover, I was hesitant to nurse in public. After all, you don't see a lot of women nursing in public, especially in old-fashioned, Lutheran Minnesota where the mere mention of boobs must be preceded by a church potluck and several truckloads of hotdish.

Early this afternoon, I had lunch with the hubs at his work. Along with the babe, my mother-in-law, and all of the 8000 employees who were oohing and aahing over a baby in the cafeteria.

As we were eating, you can guess what happened. He Who Poops A Lot started showing signs of hunger: trying to grab our food (although what he would do with a burrito, I don't know), sucking on everything in sight, and fussing at a deafening volume.

So I took a deep breath, broke out the nursing cover, and fed my son in front of hundreds of complete strangers. And while I received a few uncomfortable glances from people, I was surprisingly at ease.

Once Nathaniel was finished and I had safely stored away the twins in my nursing bra, I wanted to jump up on the table and shout my accomplishment to the world. I may not be a perfect mother, but dang it, I'm going to feed my baby when he's hungry. Even if it takes away your appetite for that cottage cheese you brought for lunch.

6 comments:

  1. LOOOOVE this! Had I been able to breastfeed, I would have been hesitant to do so out in puplic. But let me tell you, while I was in the hospital, all the nurse got a look at the goods. haha

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  2. Good for you! I'm really nervous about this too, but I have a cover just in case I get the guts to do it.

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  3. Pippy, I totally encourage you to give it a try... even if it's a couple months after the babe makes her appearance! It's so much simpler than bottles!!

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  4. Great post! I am also an extremely modest and private person, and swore I would never nurse in front of anyone other than my husband. It's funny how fast priorities change! Now, I walk around topless nursing the babe in front of my MIL and husband in the same room. Crazy... However, I still have yet to nurse in a public place with strangers. Haven't gotten that brave, yet. But, I think my day is coming soon. Because, bottles are annoying. ha ha

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