Breastfeeding isn’t for the faint of heart. Or for a person without a sense of humor.
It’s beautiful, yes. Kind of. It’s also awkward, lonely, requires a crazy amount of planning, a ton of (pumping) parts, ice chests, storage containers, car adapters, supplements, special teas, and late nights nursing or pumping when everyone else is in bed.
And yes, special. But a ton of work.
I’ve been having trouble figuring out how to balance nursing at church, which cuts right through several feedings. Of course, no matter what time I wake up and no matter how I try to wiggle our schedule, Baby Girl always decides she’s hungry right as we’re walking in the door of the church – so go ahead and queue the meltdown. I’m that mom, toting a screaming baby into the nursery with a giant bow on her head, trying my hardest to fake a smile and pretend like everything is fine.
I’m sure they love us.
The first two Sundays I felt too guilty dropping off a screaming, hungry baby, so I went ahead and took her to the nursing room and nursed her. And missed most of the service. Our nursing room doesn’t have a video feed from the service, so I basically spent three hours getting baby and me ready so that I could sit alone in a room and nurse.
I strongly considered giving up. I mean, what’s the point? I did get to go to Sunday School, but I had to leave early to pick her up, which meant I never really got to sit through anything. Not to mention I just felt frazzled. Baby missed her naps and came home incredibly cranky. There was a lot of crying. I may or may not have cried. Twice. Okay, three times in three weeks. But whatever.
And then my friend told me the secret. All the girls nurse at 11:00, the start of the second service. I could drop my screaming baby off at the nursery with a bottle, go to the worship service, then scoot on over to the nursing room for what turns out to be a party.
Oh, that first Sunday was good for this mama’s soul.
There were about eight other moms with their babies. Someone brought lactation cookies. Someone else brought water bottles. There was laughing, and encouragement, and understanding nods as moms shared stories about the ups and downs of life with a baby. There were new mamas who looked extra tired, and experienced ones to remind them that eventually they WILL sleep again. And did I mention there were cookies?
It was the very picture of what a community group should be. A bunch of people in the same stage of life, speaking encouragement and love and truth to each other.
It was all I needed to keep going. You know, that, and the cookies.