Breastfeeding in public

Let me start by saying, I completely support breastfeeding in public, and think anyone should be able to feed their child – whether with a bottle or a boob – when out and about. 

That said, I’m anxious about it. I’m not totally sure why. Partly, I don’t relish the thought of my nipple joining the big show out here on the outside of the clothes, and partly society has very convincingly taught me forever that women’s bodies are, at the root of it all, shameful. I’ve heard the stories of women shamed at Lowes for breastfeeding (and frankly I can’t think of a more irritating situation, than having to nurse in a hardware store – no offense to Lowes in particular, but they are not soft and inviting places – and on top of that being condescended to by a prick with a store manager name tag), or at parks, or the grocery store. Breastfeeding is hard enough without having to deal with an adult in your face as well. 

But the reality is that I will need to feed Grant out and about, and I’m certainly not going to hide at home and perpetuate the idea that women should stay at home to feed exclusively. So I have questions for other mothers who had fed in the greater world. 

  • Did you have any hesitation?
  • Where was the first place you breastfed publicly?
  • Do/did you use a cover? Why?
  • Do you have a process or ritual specific to breastfeeding away from home?
  • What has your experience been, overall? (Good, uneventful, ok, not good, etc)
  • If you had reservations, how did you overcome them?
  • Has your opinion changed since you first breastfed?

I only pumped with the twins until 4 months, so although I had a few times I had to pump out and about, it was easy to get in the car, for example. That doesn’t seem possible with two older kids at the park, for example. Or if the car is a million degrees in August. 

I want to hear all experiences!

All nice things

There’s a lot to be happy about. Here’s a sampling:

  • Three healthy kids!
  • My hips and pubic bone no longer ache.
  • I can breathe deeply again.
  • I can eat a normal amount of food in a sitting.
  • I don’t need to pee every 20 minutes!
  • My rash is still around but much less annoying.
  • Henry and Eleanor are developing an even closer bond (soon they will just be one child)(of course if that happens there will be nothing left to stop them and we will all work for them)(and I, for one, welcome our children overlords).
  • Although it took some extended prodding, they cleaned up their toys today!
  • Henry then spontaneously cleaned up Eleanor’s Legos (he probably got them out, tbh).
  • We have brownies that the kids haven’t eaten for breakfast (and do not know about).
  • Ele was the best listener at her dance class yesterday.
  • I have a tiny baby sleeping on me.
  • I only have one more David Mitchell book to read (Ghostwritten), but I’m taking a Bill Bryson break (Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in America, and In a Sunburned Country – both conveniently near at hand from where I sit to feed Grant).
  • I was able to pump about 100 mL today (I haven’t pumped in awhile!)
  • I get to make grocery store demands without even leaving the house, thanks to my doting husband. 
  • I have major support from Bob at home, as well as from a vast community of friends, both online and IRL.
  • Although I’m stuck on level 366 of TwoDots, at least I have plenty of time to play while Grant eats.
  • Grant was 8lbs .05oz at his check up on Monday, which is over his birth weight!

If all this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. 

Stay at homing

I’ve only been doing this stay at home mom gig on my own since Thursday (and Bob was obviously around all weekend) but I’m prepared to call it super tough. The good part is that the twins are doing a great job at playing together for the most part as I feed Grant (and nap when he naps). The bad parts are that they make monstrous messes while unsupervised, which drives me bats while I’m so sleep deprived, and being sleep deprived. I was looking at shoes online yesterday and had to give up because I couldn’t remember my shoe size. It’s an 8 or a 9. 

I’m really pleased by the bond that Henry and Eleanor have. It’s reassuring since I’m more or less failing them right now – but ample evidence suggests that leaving your kids to get bored and make up play for themselves is super enriching, so we’ll call this a very, very, very enriching time for them. Right now, they’re playing together after Eleanor’s dance class in the studio play area for siblings. Fortunately Grant snoozed all through her class. Unfortunately, halfway here I realized I forgot her dance bag with her tap and ballet shoes in it. So we were late, which I find distressing. 

With such little sleep (last night was much better than the night before – 2 hours on Sunday night, but 5 last night which feels amazing!), I am unfortunately very short-tempered. I have low tolerance (and have since I was young) for repeating myself – and this is the age of repeating. So I find myself snapping at the big kids a lot, which they really don’t deserve. But I’m still really glad to be home with them for these 5 months, and I’m grateful that this is possible – especially since so many American women aren’t able to take any time off from work. I’m lucky to work at Automattic and have these amazing benefits. 

The next 4.5 months are going to fly by. Already I can’t believe it’s the second half of July (I wrote June the first time – that’s how much I can’t believe it).

Grant and I are getting the hang of breastfeeding. Things are falling into place a little bit. Although two mornings now, the kids have informed me that they’ve eaten all the cookies or brownies for breakfast. So that could have gone a bit smoother. 

Possibly the only way to be a great stay at homer (certainly in my case) is to have great back up. Bob comes home from work and takes over with wonderful and enviable energy. He takes the kids out of the house and wears them out. He cooks dinner. He gives the big kids baths and reads them bedtime stories. He gives them all the attention I can’t. 

I’m really interested to see what the next several months hold for us, as we keep adjusting to the newest Ring, and he to us.