Tuesday, March 30, 2010

*sigh* and *gasp* and *sigh* again.

Today, even though its early still, has been such a ride of emotions. Started out good enough. I slept in with K and T came and took D to school. Once K and I got up we went to Target for some last minute Easter supplies and then to pick up his big brother. Argued with T over the phone about something or another. Was late to preschool. Again. Same as usual I suppose.

After I picked up D from his class we went down to visit my mom, who works just down the hall, and she was talking about how she was hungry and wanted to go get something to eat. I was game since I had not remembered to eat yet and we agreed to head over to the new Irish pub across the street. We got there and got seated and I noticed a woman sitting in a booth a few down from us and saw her little baby and smiled. She looked young to me but like she had the baby thing down. The baby, a little girl, was obviously a young baby, maybe a month old, but a total cutie. We went on about our lunch, which was less than adequate for the record, and my mom and me caught up on the last few days.

As I finished my lunch, I looked up and saw that the woman was now nursing her little one, something that always gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. Hooray for boobies! She looked up and caught my eye and I smiled at her. She quickly looked away and got red in the face. Not an unusual response. One I get pretty often. I got up in a few minutes to go to the bathroom and noticed she was alone. When I got to her booth I stopped and simply said "Good for you nursing your baby girl! She is so worth it, huh?". Thats when things took a turn.

The woman looked at me, smiled and then burst into tears. I'm talking crocodile tears rolling down this woman's face. I was flabbergasted. I had no idea what I had said to her to make her cry and I almost just walked away. Almost. Instead I told her I was sorry and asked what was wrong. She tried to gather herself and apologized profusely and pulled a "its nothing really" on me. I sat down across from her and asked if everything was going well with nursing and all that goes along with it. Explained about the CLC thing I am doing and asked if I could help with anything. She assured me that nursing was going well.

"Its just, when I saw you staring, I though you were going to be angry. I just knew you were going to tell me I shouldn't be nursing here."

"Why on earth would you think that??"

"My family and my husband think that what I am doing is disgusting and they refuse to be around when I nurse her. I guess all that negativity has made me paranoid." She shrugged.

Flabbergasted again. She went on to tell me about how her husband had left her at the hospital because she wouldn't cave and give the baby formula and how he had stopped insulting her about it but he still refused to sit with her in public. He told her that she was disgusting and that he didn't want the whole world to see him with her while she nursed. He had apparently been sitting with her when we sat down to eat but left before she nursed her little one to "save face". I had not even noticed the bastard. She said her mother was constantly bringing formula cans by "for when she gets real" and telling her she is being immature.

I was so hurt for this woman. How could anyone be so heartless to treat someone they love that way? To make them feel cheap and dirty for doing something so innocent? Not even considering the benefits of breastfeeding but just the emotional abuse this woman is going through. Maybe its linked to never being "enough" as a child, or maybe it really is the lactivist in me, but who is going to stand up here and say that it isn't okay for her to be discriminated against by her own family? The people that are supposed to be there for her no matter what. What is wrong with people??

Maybe I am spoiled. I am lucky enough to have a husband that supports me fully in nursing. He did his own research and agreed that it was the best thing for us as a family and he has been there for me every step of the way. He was my rock those long first nights when it would have been simpler just to give them formula. He stood up for me when our families told us I was selfish for nursing and vehemently disagreed when they pulled the "formula is just as good" card. He puts his babies first and supports me when I have to feed in the most public of places. He is my rock. How could a man that loved me not be? I count my lucky stars every day. Today it will be double.

I commended her again for having the guts to stand up to him about doing what is best for her baby. I told her stories about getting nasty looks and comments about nursing D (a toddler *gasp*) while I was obviously pregnant with K (double *gasp*). I shared the struggles I have had with my family and how we all had to compromise to make sure my babies got to breastfeed. I gave her my phone number and my email address and urged her to give me a call. I left feeling raw inside. Feeling angry. I gave her my support the best I could but something tells me that this poor woman will eventually cave. To the pressure or her husband or family or even to just the general vibe non nursing mothers put off. They say the breastfeeders are the judgmental ones but in reality they are the ones who cause the problems. They are here and they are for so many women. The judgement for doing something outside of their own comfort zone.

So, here I sit, still processing. Wondering what I should have said or done differently. How I could have helped her better. Did she even want to be helped? I do know that I would still have said something to her, just like I always do, so does it matter that I caught her in a moment of weakness? Maybe not but I can hope that maybe, just maybe, it meant something to her to know she isn't alone. That there are people out there that think she is awesome. At least for the little bit of time we spent talking.  I guess we will see.

*Notice~ Blogger comments aren't working tonight for some reason. Some kind of glitch. If your comments please try again later! I love reading them but blogger is freaking out!


  1. OMG!! Its one thing for strangers to stare and look down at you, but your own family? I feel so sorry for her!! How dare they judge her for doing the best for her baby!! I am glad you were there for her. You may have been just what she needed that day and maybe her family will come around a little. I hope so, for her, and her babies sake.

  2. Good for her for hanging in there! And good for you for helping her out.

    I don't know what I'd do if my husband/baby daddy/whatever felt that way about what was best for our children. But I guarantee you there'd be an EARFUL coming from me.

  3. TAG! I'm a new follower!

    Great post! I have twins that will be 5 next months - I nursed them for nearly 3 weeks when I decided it was just too much for me (I pumped for 3 months!). With my third I was determined to 'not give up' - guess there will always be a part of me that feels I gave up the first time around even though I know it was a good decision. SO I did it... I breastfed my third little girl exclusively and continued on until she was 19mo. old! I say that with pride!

    My nipples were so bad in the beginning that I need a prescription for nipple cream to help repair the damage. While I was waiting in line at the pharmacy a woman (whom I hadn't noticed earlier) noticed what I was getting and told me to "hang in there" and that it was "totally worth it in the end cause it only gets better". What she said was nothing profound, but I will NOT forget it. It was something I needed to hear at that very moment from a woman who had been there.

    Good on you for stopping by and commending her. It makes me sick to think that this woman would not be supported by those closest to her... I hope she gives you a call!


  4. Lisa~ Right? It was bad enough having to go up against my parents but to have her husband against her too was just too much I think.

    Amanda~ Heh, you know how that kind of attitude would have gone around here. lol

    Kady~ You are an inspiring story! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Glad you were able to make her day! You're good at that!

  6. How horrible! I really hope she calls you, sounds like she could use a friend and maybe to kick her a hole hubby to the curb for being so disrespectful! Good for you and good for her.

  7. Reading this reminded me of something that was told to me by a fellow church member. We were talking about breastfeeding and she told me she didn't breastfeed her children. (now mind you she's in her 50's and her kids are my age) She felt that her breasts were for pleasure only. I was shocked. Like what? I think that's what is wrong with our culture and why so many people are disgusted by it.
    It's so sad. I wonder if that was part of her family's reason. I commend her for standing up for herself and so glad to hear that you spoke to her. Hopefully she will find the strength to continue. Thanks for sharing.


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