In case you missed it on my Facebook page, I had a baby last week. I’m exclusively breastfeeding this baby, but I’ve never been great at breastfeeding. I’m awkward at covering myself, I fumble with my cover, and I’m just not that good at it for the first few weeks. I feel like a toddler learning to go potty. You know how they strip all the way down just to sit on a potty and pee? That’s me, only with a newborn stuck to my chest and I keep my pants on.
My majorly embarrassing moment happened at a wedding that we attended on Saturday. Yes, I had the
poor judgment gumption to brave a wedding almost 2 hours away in the mountains with 2 two-year-olds and a 4-day old baby. And my big kid, husband, and mother-in-law, of course. I’m not crazy enough to attempt something like this on my own.
Because I am such a bonehead at getting my newborn latched on at feeding time, I asked for a private place to nurse him in. My plan was, once he was securely attached, to head over to the ceremony and slip quietly into a seat at the back of the room. I would have to walk a short distance with a nursing baby, but I figured that wasn’t going to be a problem.
Being that this was my youngest sister’s wedding, the family stalled for a few minutes so I wouldn’t have to miss the beginning of the ceremony (aren’t they great?). Whether they knew it or not, the guests were milling around making small talk all because I was nursing my baby behind closed doors.
Following my well-thought-out plan, I carefully got the baby started nursing in a nice, quiet room. Then I tugged my (non-nursing) top carefully around my exposed skin areas. I used the baby’s blanket to cover him and my chest, and even tucked it in under my armpit so that my exposed back wasn’t visible. Then, proudly clutching my precious newborn child, I marched out into the garden area between the reception room and the ceremony, where most of the wedding attendees were waiting (for me) for the wedding to start. To say that there were just a few restless folk keeping an eye out for the bride’s sister would be an understatement. Literally, the whole ceremony was on hold while I nursed my baby.
Suddenly my aunt came running up to me. Not in a, “It’s so great to see you!” kind of a way, either. It was more like an, “Oh, my gosh, let me help you!” sort of a sprint, with both hands out in front of her as if she couldn’t wait to get to me and the baby.
Aunt Robin quickly pulled and yanked on the blanket, tucking it in here and adjusting it there. Then she explained, in a low, discreet voice, that my whole tummy was showing.
That’s right. While I took such care to cover my chest, back, and baby, I had completely missed my huge, just-had-a-baby-4-days-ago, still-looks-pregnant belly. And there I was, tromping through a crowd of tall, thin, beautiful, Orange County, CA 20-somethings with my grotesque belly covered in stretch marks clearing the way ahead of me.
And that’s how I greeted my sister’s friends and our extended family on her most joyous of days. You’re welcome, Laurie. I’m just doing my job to keep it classy.