It was one week after olive was born, that I had decided to take myself, and my beautiful baby for a little outing. I had originally expected to be in a slow recovery after the birth of Olive, but truth was, it only took me a day after her birth to be back on my feet and physically ready to rock. So when one week came around, I decided to take my little angel and I out Just to grab a quick coffee and truth be told I had taken her out from day one but those were all closer to home, it felt more safe.
Now, i’m really not sure how much of this event was my imagination, paranoia or was in fact the actual reality I went through, but this is how I remember it;
As I walked through the passage ways of the mall, with my new born baby in my arms, I felt the overwhelmingly heated gaze of a thousand strangers pick at me. Everyone had something to say about what I was doing wrong!
I sat on my table in a cafe, shortly after Olive began to cry, she was hungry, this was THAT moment my baby woke up crying, hungry in my arms, I was panicked! I knew of course I had to feed her but I couldn’t possibly feed her here, in the open, at this cafe, in front of all of these people…could I?! I even had to call my mum to check that it was okay, I mean you hear all the things people say about breast feeding mothers in public, how taboo it may be, I wasn’t sure where I stood! I remember my heart stopped with panic, as my eyes grew searching the waves of eyes that were watching and scrutinising my every move. But it only took a second glance at my crying baby, to ignite an overwhelming fierce protective flame in me that i’ve never felt before, completely wash away my vulnerability, and I can clearly remember a voice taking over my body, “ F*** it, if my baby is hungry, I’m going to feed her, Damn it!”! Who I was shouting at, I don’t know!
I couldn’t stop noticing the waitresses and waiters with their stolen glances, and whispering judgements and the strangers that would shake their heads in disapproval around me. I was a deer caught in their headlights. Again I felt so transparent, I felt so vulnerable, and for some unknown reason, I felt so overwhelmingly wrong as a human being. Then again I remember those motherly instincts kicked in and I couldn’t help thinking that all those imaginary or realistic eyes of judgement… well, can frankly go to hell.
As soon as O was fed, I felt really proud of myself even though this is a completely natural part of life because society makes you feel so worried about everything you do! At the end of the day, I was empowered, My baby was happy so I was happy!
I am also happy to say that I am much more comfortable breastfeeding in public now, sometimes I don’t even care about using something to cover O feeding- my breasts simply are now just a source of food. Someone did tell me that you do get your humility back once baby stops feeding, we’ll see!
This was not my first time breastfeeding, this was the other day at family lunch, my little cousin Jake got a bit weirded out by me breastfeeding next to him, not sure what he was looking for under his shirt haha :p