It struck me recently how far I’ve come in my “breastfeeding journey”… That is mainly thanks to Bells refusing to be covered and from me being bored of feeding her in toilets. Now, I just pop a vest under my top and with Bells’ head in place, nobody is the wiser. However, things haven’t always been that way.
I look back at my first ‘breastfeeding in public’ experience with fondness and much embarrassment…
I’d walked into town and it had been the whole of 17 minutes since Bells had last been fed. She proceeded to have a Grade A meltdown, because, you know, it had been so long since she’d last had milk.
The best option that I was presented with at the time was ducking in to Nero for yet another coffee. Given the recent lack of sleep, I decided that caffeine would be no bad thing and in turn I could conveniently steal one of their seats for feeding to commence.
We joined what appeared to be the world’s longest queue and of course had to wait to be served by a training barista. At this point Bells was ramping up the volume every couple of seconds and strangers were looking at me as though I was abusing her in some way. I desperately grabbed my coffee and made my way to find a seat.
After scanning the whole joint, the realisation sunk in that the only seat which was free was one in the window, directly in front of a man on a business call. Perfect. Given there were no other options, I took a seat and precariously balanced Bells as I tried to tackle the breastfeeding vest. I’d conveniently decided to wear under my jumper. Yes, my jumper. You see, I’ve never been that good at choosing appropriate clothing for the weather. This day was no better and so I found myself wearing a thick knitted jumper in the middle of June. This did not help the anxiety sweat situation in the slightest.
Finally latched, Bells went to town on getting things started. It turns out that she’d gotten the knack of “getting things moving quickly”. At risk of choking on milk, she turned her head away, leaving me spraying milk everywhere… including the window against which I was positioned. Of course, it had taken up until now to realise that I’d forgotten to bring a muslin and so I found myself desperately trying to mop things up with my jumper.
As the meltdown continued and my stress levels rocketed, I decided to admit defeat, gathering our things as quickly as I could before the businessman committed murder. As I stood up and headed towards the door, I heard something fall to the floor.
Looking down, the blood drained from my face. It was my breast pad. I had two options to a) bend down and pick the darned thing up drawing more attention to myself or b) keep walking. And, so I found myself walking out pretending to be oblivious. I haven’t been back since.