This story is in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. Even though I haven’t breastfed in a long time, I am still a huge supporter of breastfeeding women and causes.
I call myself a pseudo-hippie and even though it was a latent tendency that was sure to erupt at any time despite my Midwestern upbringing, the hippiness emerged when I became pregnant with my first child. I started eating organic food and while reading everything that I could about childbirth and raising a child, I was drawn to “Attachment Parenting”. Childbirth with minimum intervention, co-sleeping, baby-wearing and breastfeeding all made sense to me.
I had a drama-free birth (if you can call being in the worst pain of my life drama-free) and my son took to breastfeeding right away. So while breastfeeding was not difficult for me, it was still awkward and new. I was certainly not adept at breastfeeding in public yet. That would come with time…I would become a breastfeeding pro who could be deep in conversation, discreetly whip out a boob, feed my kid and not miss a beat–while talking to my pastor, no less. But not yet.
Nevertheless, a few weeks after giving birth I found myself accompanying my husband to Will Smith’s house. My husband’s friend DJ Jazzy Jeff was there and invited him to a Playstation gaming tournament. My husband was a big gamer and wanted to go, but didn’t want to leave his wife and new son at home. So he brought us along.
I can hear you gasping now: “She went to Will Smith’s house a few weeks after giving birth? Sleep-deprived, still carrying baby weight and boobs so milk-sensitive that she could leak all over his (presumably) expensive sofa?” Yeah, those were my thoughts too.
But there I was, nestled on a big sofa with Will’s friends–all guys–holding my newborn son. After the initial hellos, pounds and whatssups, everyone forgot about me and the baby as they got deep into the Playstation tournament. And that was fine with me because now my baby was hungry and I had to figure out how to breastfeed him without calling attention to myself. Asking Will–who I really didn’t know–for a private room would be calling attention to myself. Moving off the sofa would be calling attention to myself. Trying to send brainwaves to my husband wasn’t working; he was in gamer-guy heaven and oblivious to my dilemma.
I had no choice; my son was starting to fuss. I put a blanket over my shoulder (I had never done that before; at home I nursed with my shirt open), unbuttoned my shirt and thankfully my son latched on immediately and silently.
Duane Martin, sitting next to me, noticed the silence and the blanket. “Wow, he stopped crying because you put a blanket over his head?” he asked.
“No,” I said, “He’s stopped crying because he was hungry and I now I am feeding him.”
He looked confused for a minute and then I could see the lightbulb go off. “Oh!”
And that was that. The baby was fed, it wasn’t a big deal and none was the wiser except for Duane Martin (who went right back to gaming).
I learned that if I could do it there, with a newborn baby, the only woman in Will Smith’s house during a Playstation gaming tournament, I could breastfeed anywhere. And for the next several years, that’s just what I did.
Now *that* is a breastfeeding story! Sheesh…you think you know a girl and then she whips out a Will Smith story. 😉 Now I’m eager for the homebirth story. Wonder who was in attendance for that?
LOL Darcie…no one there for the home birth but my husband, friend, son, doula and midwife. That’s enough right there! I have to post that story one day…alas it got erased from my computer so my sketchy memory will have to suffice.
Great story! I could just picture Duane Martin’s face – LOL!
Feels like I haven’t seen you in forever. Maybe lunch soon!
Winks & Smiles,
I know! Missed you at Blogher, but I know you’ll be at Blogalicious…that will be fun. 🙂
Your story is hilarious. I breastfed my youngest until he was 15mos. I didn’t care what anyone thought about it either. I had one of those nursing covers, but he would just knock it out of the way and expose me anyway. I don’t blame him…I mourned for about two weeks after I stopped.
Nice to discover you blog!
This is the coolest story ever! Even cooler and funnier in person! Thanks for sharing. I made sure to breast feed both of my kinds until 12 months. It is hard at first, but you get used to it. I was so dedicated that I pumped milk around the clock so both kids could have breast milk while I was working.
I don’t think readers should bash Tami for making the decision not to breast feed. It is a personal choice and decision. Although I support breast feeding and believe it is the best milk for babies, I do respect other people’s choices.
We can agree to disagree respectfully.
That is the most awesome NIP story I have EVER read. You rock!! I am retweeting, posting on FB and letting everyone know! THANK YOU for posting 🙂
I love this.
Nice! I can’t wait to share this story with my hubby. He’ll get a kick out of it cause he’s a gamer himself.
Hi Darcel, I read your short bio and sounds like you are a pseudo-hippie like me….attachment parenting, but lipgloss loving LOL!
Loved this story!! We need more people to see that this is how babies are fed, the other way is just a cheap imitation. I pray that one day breastfeeding will be seen as the natural, normal, God-given, act that it is. Kudos to James for being a great husband and Dad!!
[…] Elita at Blacktating made an interesting discovery in “Where are the images of black mothers? On the Nestle site”. Later, on her Facebook fan page, she linked to Funkidivagirl’s story of nursing in public for the first time in front of someone famous. […]
That is awesome, good for you mama! This is exactly how I looked at breastfeeding around others. If you just act NATURAL, they won’t notice and won’t care and will see that it is just part of LIFE. I nursed my son at a get together with friends and everyone was coming up to him and talking to us and one our friend’s husband even touched him on the head LOL! I don’t even think they realized I was nursing him, or they did and it was just no big deal…and for the record his wife didn’t nurse.
Tami, that is a sad statement. You didn’t have any DESIRE to NOURISH your children with the food God made for them? You would rather breastfeed them from a cow? That is sad 🙁 I understand moms who physically can’t breastfeed etc…but your statement just make me sad for your children. I hope they grow up healthy and smart enough to want to nourish their children the way nature and God intended.
Those first few weeks can be so awkward–even though I’ve been nursing my first child for 22 months, I still end up fiddling around awkwardly with trying to nurse my newborn in public. Especially when I’m at work and have her with me–she always wants to nurse exactly when a customer wants to check out, and I’m hoping to the powers of the universe not to give anyone a show while trying to bag clothing one-handed! Great story.
How about when your older breastfeeding child takes their hand and shoves it down the top of your shirt or fondles your breasts in public just for comfort even after you’ve stopped breastfeeding? LOL!
Aww, loved it! That was a great breast feeding story.
Great story! How funny that he thought the blanket made him stop fussing! 🙂
Great! Thanks for sharing! I would’ve done the same thing!
What a great story! (And one that a lot of us moms can’t claim… Will Smith and company, hah!)
Good for you for being brave and comfortable enough to dive in.
(Um and the blanket comment cracked me up… you had a baby, not a parrot! 😉
In that instance I used a blanket because I was a newbie and couldn’t latch the baby on without taking out my whole boob, but really I think the whole blanket thing actually calls more attention to yourself. With the blanket you’re screaming “my boobs are out under this blanket!” And when the baby gets older, they often pull the blanket off!
Love this!! 🙂
This is great! It’s often scary in the beginning to nurse in public, but once you do you realize it’s really not that big of a deal. As for the comment above mine…..well, I feel bad for her and her kids.
Never ever had any desire to breast feed anyone of my kids lol. No thanks