Sunday, August 06, 2006

Total mortification

Our friends the Rundmans loaned us their sling when Erik was born. I’ve printed instructions off the internet and taken it to La Leche but haven’t really gotten comfortable with it. Our friend Anne Rusley was a sling pro with her boys. We knew she’d be in church today so I brought the sling, hoping to get some pointers. Erik was ok getting loaded in, Anne recommended a slight positioning adjustment and the nursing went great. So I was emboldened.

We went to the Science Museum with our friends the Grommeshes to see the Body Worlds exhibit. A half hour into it, Erik wanted to nurse. So we found a bench and loaded Erik. Somehow he wasn’t in there quite the same, the sling wasn’t providing quite as good coverage of me, but Erik had access to what he needed so I thought he would be fine. Ohhhh no.

He started shrieking. The kind he does when we’re giving him a bath. The kind that makes it sound like bystanders should call child protection. The thing is, in church it’s easy to escape the quiet sanctuary for somewhere more private. The middle of a special museum exhibit is very tedious to exit. So we charged through the last two thirds of the exhibit, Erik screaming the whole way, people staring in concern. As soon as I walked out of the exhibit, Erik quieted down and nursed. I found the family restroom and got him better situated, made sure I wasn’t an unintentional display in Body Works and sat on a bench.

All those people who’d been staring in concern, I just kept remember all the worst stories nursing moms share about people telling them they shouldn’t nurse in public. In the future, I would continue to feel comfortable nursing in places like restaurants, on benches off to the side of public spaces; but I probably won’t be nursing in museums, concerts, places like that. It’s just too stressful.

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