Positive Breastfeeding Experiences

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Okay, Lil G is almost 9 weeks old, and I’ve got to say, I’ve been eating my words. While I don’t LOVE breastfeeding, I am growing, again, to appreciate the little noises he makes as he suckles happily. The way his little arm flails around as he tries desperately to get as much milk as he can as quickly as he can. And the little sleepy smile he gives when he is finally satisfied.

I’ve got to say that I’ve never had any particularly negative public breastfeeding experiences, but on Monday I had a sweetly positive one while quietly drinking coffee at a French bakery near Potamus’ daycare. There were these two older couples there, the first old man was cooing over Lil G, and I could tell it was genuine in his affection. Lil G was hungry, so I began feeding him under my nursing cover (something I do sometimes, but not all the time), when the second man came up with their order of pastries. We were all chatting and then he asked, “are you breastfeeding?” “Yes,” I said, smiling, and he gave me a big thumbs up as he bit into his croissant.

It was one of those happy little moments of acknowledgment that makes me happy in a world full of negative breastfeeding stories.

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Weaning Funnies

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For the most part, my in-laws are on-board with this whole breastfeeding until whenever idea, but sometimes even their comfort zone is stretched. Like last night, when we were out to dinner at the fancy Columbia Tower Club (read, tallest building in Seattle). All of us were fancified in our finest Christmas garb, and dinner started out past Potamus’ early bedtime. He was holding up like  champ, mugging for photos and throwing Chex all over the fine carpetting, when he started to get a little cranky. Boof had been feeding him some asparagus, but he looked tired and maybe like he wanted a nursing snack, so I threw my hooter-hider on and hoisted him into my lap (after quickly shovelling the bison steak and mashed potatoes into my mouth, YUM!). After going through the routine of unhooking the nursing bra and whipping it out, while struggling to hold his wiggly 1 year old legs, I looked down to see his smiling face happily munching on asparagus and totally ignoring my exposed breast. With a laugh I squeeled, “ahaha, he’s eating asparagus under there!” The whole table giggled, too, and then they said “well, I guess it’s about time to wean, eh?” To which, I agreed.

But later, it got  me thinking, about how the general public views weaning. Because, truthfully the weaning process was begun a few months ago. At this point he’s down to a few times at night and maybe, maybe once during the day, if I am home, and we’re going down for a nap. But weaning is a relationship, ESPECIALLY since young Potamus doesn’t take liquid in any other form, that I’m not about to cut cold turkey. And Boof is even protective of my time with Potamus, acknowledging that it is the quickest, most effective, way of calming a fussy tired cranky needy sad little growing baby. The incident was funny, even downright hilarious, and there is truth to the whole weaning comment, but I wish that overall people saw weaning as a process and not a light switch to be turned off when one leaves the room.

Any funny weaning stories that you might have? Share here!

Nursing in Public

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I am a big fan of nursing in public. While I usually do so without a cover, in situations like sporting events, where I know I will be in close proximity to others, I cover-up…not just for me, but because Potamus is a little extrovert who loves looking around at all the lovely people and things instead of focusing on eating. After 5 months of nursing in public, I have only had 2 weird experiences…and yesterday’s Mariners game was one of them.

The lad in front of me turned around and started off with, “I wondered what nursing mother I would meet next,” which I thought might be followed by a diatribe on nursing in public OR a conversation around the Time article OR a conversation about Seattle’s re-affirmation of the law that breastfeeding in public is a civil right. But no…instead, she told me this long-winded rambling story about meeting a friend in a breastfeeding support class years ago, and something about people her mom’s age not breastfeeding at all…and it sounded like she was trying to make some point, but never quite got to it.

I wondered if she was drunk, because the whole thing was awkward, and she decided to tell me this convoluted story right when I started nursing Potamus. I left the whole situation feeling very confused.

International fellowship of mothers

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My sister-in-law, fiance and his parents were visiting Seattle for the weekend, and so we all packed up to take advantage of the brief moment of sunshine and headed to do tourist things that we hardly take time to do. Pike Place Market was where we began, but after an hour and a half, Potamus was quite famished. Not to be deterred by the crowds, I stopped in a little open spot between some vendor’s stalls, sat down and whipped it out. I had forgotten my hooter hider, so I just threw a swaddle blanket over myself and let Potamus go to town.

Two minutes later a crotchety balding redheaded man came barging out of the vendor stall huskily saying “listen, this is the ONLY way out of here for vendors, you need to move.” I would like to believe he didn’t see the child sticking out of my shirt, and just thought I was being lazy, but he got upset that I was taking so long to move out of his way.  If I hadn’t been with strangers I  would have simply bared my breast, stood up and tried to make that man as uncomfortable of possible. Potamus was crying because he was hungry, and I wasn’t about to go traipsing about the market with a screaming starving child. So I leaned against the doorframe, out of redhead’s way (btw, he was in a huge hurry to go smoke a cigarette about 5 feet from me) to finish feeding. This position wasn’t very comfortable, but I was doing fine, and then a sweet, probably no taller than 4’10 older Asian woman hobbled over to me with a folding chair and motioned me to sit.

Mothers get it. Language means nothing, we make eye contact and she saw a need for a mom to feed her child and she stepped up to help. And she disappeared into the vendor foray. When potamus was done I folded the chair and set it inside the nearest stall, and the little old Asian man (her husband? Her son?) Said “hungry baby needs to eat.” And said he would give her the chair back.