Y’all. I did it. I breastfed in a public restaurant and didn’t die. Scarlett didn’t starve. We didn’t have to leave the restaurant and go hide in the car while I fumbled with feeding her. It was nothing short of a parenting miracle:
Up until a few weeks ago, when I visited WSB to become a part of the parent influencer panel, I had hermited away at home with Scarlett, learning to breastfeed her, learn her cries and generally recuperate. When I arrived at the studio, I snacked her in the car nervously as people bustled back and forth in the parking lot, trying to gain a little privacy with a receiving blanket on my shoulder. But with such a little newborn, I didn’t yet have a foolproof system for what we were doing. We were both still learning each other, and it was hard.
Just last week I took a tour of a local shopping center and was there for so long I had to feed her both going into the parking lot and immediately after we got back into the car. This particular shopping center, was very, very busy, and hiding from eyeballs was a little harder. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for breastfeeding where ever you want, but I’m still learning my baby and it’s a little harder for me to just let go and hang out.
Just last night, Red was at a drop-off birthday party (the first of its kind for us!!) and we quickly ducked into a local restaurant for a dinner together (with a sleeping baby in a car seat… you know how that is). Well, Hungry-pants-McGee woke up right before the entrees were served and was NOT going to be quieted. It was feeding time at the Zoo.
I knew what I had to do. It was going to be my first time “undercover” and I hoped I was ready and coordinated enough to do it. Would anyone sitting at tables around me give me an evil eye?? I was not ready for that kind of parenting judgement. I pulled out my nursing cover and went to it. There were several factors that contributed to my raging success: a nursing cover with a peekaboo top. Not wearing a nursing bra, but wearing a nursing shirt that had crazy-easy, pull-down access. Not having Scarlett be ravenous be seeing her hunger cues early. The dark ambiance of the Italian restaurant… it was helpful for my nerves! About 15 minutes later (not really the longest session I’ve ever had with Scarlett, but good enough for our first try with no pillow fort or help!) I replaced my shirt, pulled her out from under the cover and burped her. SUCCESS!!!!! Add to that the fact that Chase swept her up to the men’s room (where Carrabba’s had a changing table!!!!) to change her while I could eat, and I was the happiest clam you’d ever seen. I did it! I breastfed in public and didn’t die. I almost wanted to dance.
There were a few people I felt look at me when I left, but I’m sure my nerves made more of it that it was. Maybe it was my new hidden Mickey skirt. Maybe it was the adorable teeny 5 week old baby in tow. Maybe it was they knew me from high school 15 years ago? Maybe they saw me breastfeeding under my cover and were giving me the internal stink eye? (If it was, I thank them for keeping it in their brains and not letting it out.) Score one for me! And maybe next time I’m faced with the same task, I’ll be able to do it again…
Have you ever conquered a parenting moment when you were seriously doubting your ability? What helped you pull through to find success?