Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adventures in Breastfeeding

Ever since I gave birth to Lucas, my sister has been encouraging me to blog about motherhood. I'm not consistent enough to garner a following, I tell her, nor do I have enough self-esteem to think anyone really wants to read what I have to say, but she encourages on, so here I am. My experience this past Sunday wass just funny enough to make me think it might entertain someone out there in the interweb world.

This past weekend my husband had to go out of town for work, and I decided I would spend the weekend at my mom's house. She lives about an hour away. It would be the longest I had driven by myself with the little guy, but I was confident I could make it with some well thought-out timing.

Of course there are always kinks in the plan. The first, and biggest, to hit was my father getting sick. Horribly sick. Emergency Room at 6:00am sick. Turns out he had contracted a very contagious viral throat infection. So, I mentally put red "Do Not Cross" tape around my parents' house and looked for plan B: the in-laws. This was a natural plan B, because I get along great with my in-laws. They would get grandson time, and I would have a place to stay. Downside: they live about twenty minutes further away than my parents. Never a big deal before, but after baby, twenty minutes can make a huge deal, as I was soon to find out.

Every parent says they have the best baby, or thinks their child is perfect, but really, my kid is amazing. He sleeps so well (like his mommy!), isn't colicky (yet), and is not upset at all by lots of action and noise around him. His fault, however, is that he goes immediately from out cold to crying when he gets hungry. They teach you to watch for all the "hunger cues," like sucking on their hand or rooting or sticking their tongue out. This kid laughs at the idea of hunger cues. His only hunger cue is a wailing scream that says "why do I not have a boob in my mouth!?!"

I had it planned perfectly. I would pack the car, hang around home until he was hungry, feed him, and then have a good hour and a half to two hours to get to my in-laws' house before he would be hungry again. Best laid plans, right? I packed the car, fed the baby, and off we went.

Now, back to best kid in the world. He wails, but it starts off kind of weak, like "hey, I'm hungry, what's a kid got to do around here to get some food?" Then it gets more intense; "Um, can you hear me? Food would be awesome right about now." And more intense; "Maybe you're in another room, let me cry louder so you'll hear me better." And more intense; "I haven't eaten in days and my stomach is going to eat itself!" Until finally, he has reached the breaking point, "I am dying of hunger as we speak! Withering away to small pile of cuteness and baby clothes!"

We had 74 miles to go to get to Nina and Poppy's house. We hit stage one hunger about mile 46, stage two about mile 48, and imminent death around mile 51. I decided that instead of pushing on for another 30 or so minutes, I would pull over and feed him for a few minutes, just to satiate the greatest of hunger pains, and then give him a full meal upon arrival. Breastfeeding doesn't lend itself to feeding anywhere, though the number of locations in which I have bared my boobs is ever-increasing. My parents' house was only 10 miles up the road, but it was currently being moved into quarantine, so I decided just to pull over into an empty parking lot and hop in the back seat. I got off the interstate, went in the opposite direction of traffic, and eyed an empty bank lot that looked promising.

As I turned onto the road, however, I realized that the SUV of teenage girls in front of me was headed in the same direction. Being aware of how I would feel in a similar situation, I chose a different direction, lest they think they were being stalked. I circled around until they had gone on their way, found a parking space under a nice shady tree, hopped in the back and latched the little guy on.

Not five minutes after Lucas began eating, a landscaping truck pulled up behind me. Literally, behind me, almost blocking me into the parking space. I began to panic slightly, not really sure what was going on. My car was still on, unlocked, the front seat unoccupied, and here I was with a 6-week old attached to my chest. I needn't have worried, however. I was not the target. The shady tree next to my car was. Four men got out of the truck and settled themselves on the grass RIGHT next to my car for a picnic lunch.

Seriously? Of all the places to choose to have lunch.

I knew little man had not eaten enough to be content until we reached our destination, but I was unnerved enough that this particular feeding session had to come to an end. I plopped baby back in his seat, thankfully pulled up my bra (though in my haste I neglected the shirt - I'm sure the four men enjoyed that) and took off. Damn the virus, I was honing in on safety. I drove to my parents house and fed him in the driveway.

We made it to the in-laws, eventually. And so far, no virus germs have been shared with me or the baby. But I have a feeling this will be one of those stories I'll tell Lucas over and over, embarrassing him with it at inappropriate moments and thinking back on it fondly once he is grown and gone. Okay, maybe not fondly. But it is certainly a day I will never forget!

1 comment:

  1. LOL! This made me laugh! I found that feeding in the driving seat worked well because instead of a pillow I used to prop them up on the steering wheel! I got quite blase about feeding in the end, luckily (for the other people!) I never had any negativity about it.