Friday, March 4, 2016

What does the S stand for?

Pain shot up from my wrist to my elbow as I finally got the trunk door to shut. I nervously laughed it off while saying goodbye to my friend. After three attempts at getting the trunk to close I used a little more force slamming it closed. Before this I fumbled getting my stroller to fold, ugh. I swear they make baby products as confusing as possible to make you look like a total idiot in front of anyone and everyone. I felt stupid and embarrassed after the process was finally done. As I drove away tears rolled down my face.

I had spent the last two hours at the park trying to get Sammy to go to sleep. To an outsider he seemed fine, but  I was full fledge panicking! I had fed him before we left the house specifically so I wouldn't have to feed him out in public! I have terrible anxiety about nursing in public!! It's not necessarily the nursing that gets to me it's more the having to cover up while I'm doing it. If I'm surrounded by strangers I'll nurse just fine, assuming Danny is behaving. But I'm terrified of nursing around people I know. I have this irrational fear that they'll flip out for showing some extra skin. Or maybe they'll judge me and talk bad about me. I live in a culture where women wear covers to nurse in the mothers lounge!!!!! So my paranoia makes a little sense right?

Sitting at a DDD you'd think that nursing would be a walk in the park for me, but it's not! Women with small chests bring their babies up to the breast and after the babies latch they have a free hand.  Having a larger chest you have to hold the breast up for the baby or else it falls out of their mouth. So no free hands for you! Making it harder to cover up while you're nursing. I've tried using covers but my baby hates them!

This is a sore subject for me and it sends me into a frenzy, so I avoid it all cost! As I walked around bouncing Sammy at the park I begged him to go to sleep so I wouldn't have to worry about nursing him. I have anxiety just thinking about it!

There was another mother there, from Nigeria actually! She had had her baby in December. She insisted that my baby just wanted to nurse for a minute, and I believed her. But I couldn't bring myself to do it, literally I started sweating just thinking about it!

I walked closer to the picnic tables hoping that the extra shade would help Sammy sleep. This other mother walked over and sat on a bench near me and began nursing her baby. She fumbled with trying to cover herself up with a blanket and finally gave up with a "ugh!". She looked over at me and said "I am sorry, I try so hard to cover myself but i can't and she has to eat!!". I told her that I was the last person she needed to apologize to and explained my anxiety to her. She continued to chat with me and said how she felt a pressure to cover up here in the US that she would never feel back home (Nigeria). We continued chatting and I felt such a deep friendship with this woman. I sat next to her and nursed Sammy and we chatted the whole time. I know it's so cheesy but I swear that nursing our babies together was like therapy to me. This woman who lives in another country and I were able to connect over this, it was a special moment.

Sammy didn't really nurse, he just sat there and smiled at me, which frustrated me more! I battled a zip up sports bra for him to nurse and now he didn't want to! Anyways, he was happy the rest of the time. Sadly, by the time I finally finished up with him it was time for everyone to go. I had spent all this time avoiding nursing him and worrying about what my friends would say about me. When I really didn't need to worry about any of those things! My friends are the sweetest women and would never dream of saying anything negative about me! I felt sorry that I didn't enjoy their company more, I regretted shooing Danny away when he asked me to help him fly his kite, but above all I was mad at myself for letting my anxiety get the best of me.

Later that afternoon I found myself eating my lunch with one hand and entertaining Danny with a sock puppet in the other hand. One clear thought came to mind "This is not what I imagined my life to be". I couldn't help the onslaught of tears that came with this thought. Danny stopped to look at me and say "mama, kay?", I told him I was tired and sad, to which he suggested I watch a Donald Duck show on youtube. Which we did. It was at this point that I thought "Today was not a magical day, today was hard and sad... but tomorrow will be better".

A few hours later I got a text from someone in my ward saying they had seen a firetruck outside our house and wondered if we were okay. I opened the door and sure enough there was a firetruck sitting literally outside our door blasting Led Zepplin. I quickly called Danny to come look at the fire truck, he flipped out! Danny's been obsessed with firetrucks for a while now and I kept telling Wyatt how much I wanted to take him to a firestation to see one. As luck would have it it showed up at our front door! Seeing Danny's excited expression was magic to me.  The firefighters even let him get inside the firetruck, Danny was in heaven.

As we watched the firetruck drive away I felt a peace wash over me. I felt as though the Lord was saying "You're doing better than you think you are, today was hard but it will get better". Also, in case you were wondering my neighbor had strep and called 911, don't worry, she's totally fine!


PS. Post title was brought to you by the Pixar short "Jack Jack Attack". Karrie's tired expression at the end of the clip was me all day yesterday. Enjoy!

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