As I remove the carseat from the back of the car and click it into the stroller my mind begins to race.
Where will I go?
How can I do this without being seen?
Will there be somewhere to relax?
How can I avoid people seeing?
I dread every second.
The baby begins to cry and my heart begins to race. I feel the sweat, the dread.
I pick him up and hold him close. I gather the necessities: the receiving blanket, diaper and wipes.
I open the door and search for the biggest area that is private. Sealed off from seeing eyes.
I close the door behind me andÂ I sit on the floor.
The floor of a public washroom where I feed my baby.
I am all for breastfeeding.
I am not against bottle feeding, but I do believe – as has been engrained forever – Breast is Best.
I knew even before I had Carter I would nurse as long as I could, and I nursed him exclusively until he was 10 months old, and until that time, not a drop of forumla had hit his lips. I almost never even pumped. It was all about me and my boob, I never left overnight or for the day unless he was with me. So far, it’s been the same with Hudson.
As much as I enjoy breastfeeding. I just cannot bring myself to be comfortable in public. It’s me, not anyone else; no one has ever made a comment as asked me to leave. I am an extremely self-conscious person in the best of conditions and exposing myself to such a vulnerable situation is too much for me to bear. Don’t get my wrong; I will not let my child starve and if the situation arises where I have to nurse in public I will, but not without exhausting every other avenue first: like sitting on the floor of a public washroom or in my car.
While at the Blog Friends Fest in Niagara Falls, I did both. I sat on the floor of a public washroom at the Hilton as well as a restaurant near by. The wonderful people I was with were extremely encouraging and assuring me over and over that it was all right and I could nurse in their hotel rooms, or right there!
But, I couldn’t.
I wanted to. I so badly wanted to.
I still want to.
I appauled and wholeheartedly admire those women who can sit on a bench in the mall, throw a blanket over their shoulder and feed their child.The woman who can walk around a crowded room, child nursing in a sling, entirely comfortable with her surroundings.
I want to be that woman who can sit at the front of a room filled with her peers and feed her child while addressing a thousand people.
My child deserves that.
He doesn’t deserve to be shuttled to the corner of a public washroom to have his meal. It pains me to write that, but it’s the truth. How can I be an advocate of breastfeeding when I can’t even bring myself to accept this act of nature? I desperately want to be comfortable with myself and to feed my child as he deserves.