So off we went for our first outing. After figuring out how to collapse the pram and fit it into the boot of the car, pack a changing bag full of essentials. Fasten Sebastian into the car seat, take Sebastian back out of the car seat to change an explosive nappy, fasten back into car seat get into car, drive 10 miles to town, sit in car park and panic.
Then I gave my head a little wobble, pulled myself together, unpacked everything including the kitchen sink I’d thrown into the back of the car and off we went. My five day old baby and me, in the big, wide, busy world. First stop Boots, they have a baby feeding room, so I knew if the little one woke up I had somewhere I could dive into for a discrete feed, only being interrupted by the occasional granny stopping us to peer into the pram at the teeny bundle of blue inside.
Sebastian slept for the entire trip, and all the way home so I hadn’t needed to feed in public after all, that day. I just continued to practice feeding making sure that I did so in front of any of the visitors that came to have a cuddle with a new born.
I had by chance bought some brilliant nursing bras that had a simple drop cup but in the under layer there was a sort of “peep hole” just enough to expose the nipple but hide any excess flesh. These gave me great confidence especially when the anti-breastfeeding mother in law popped round and didn’t realise I was feeding for almost 10 minutes.
IN. YOUR. FACE.
After that, there was no stopping me, I fed absolutely everywhere, in cafes, on benches, at baby groups, in the bath, anywhere my baby needed a feed he got a feed!
About three weeks in, the pain began. A toe curling pain, that came with each latch on and the first few sucks, it really took your breath away. I put it down to the skin needing to toughen up and armed with nipple cream after each feed; I managed to avoid the dryness and cracks some of the other mummies I had met were experiencing.
I have yet to meet a breastfeeding mummy who can hand on heart say that they did not experience any pain problems whilst feeding at some point. Maybe there is a misconception that they give you in the classes that if there is any pain then something isn’t right with the latch, or this could be totally true and all mothers I have met have at some point had something wrong? Who knows?
That look of love when a feeding baby looks up into your eyes and smiles mid feed can wipe away one million ouches and tears. It makes your heart grown swell with pride that you and only you have grown and nourished this tiny perfect little person all by yourself in one of nature’s biggest miracles.
Eventually the pain subsided and we continued to feed, with no real intentions of how long we would carry on for, we exclusively fed until we began baby-led-weaning at 6months and Sebastian self-weaned from the breast on his terms, dropping and refusing a feed as he felt he needed to. Until one uneventful day, when Sebastian was 14 months old, we had our last ever feed and I didn’t even know it until it was over.