Well, its been quite awhile since I have been in the situation of breast feeding, with mine now being the ripe old ages of 2 and 5 (and a week,sniff, sniff), but I am totally all for boobie bagging it. I mean , it was by far one of the most intimate experiences I have ever had the privilege of sharing with another human being. Looking down into the eyes of your precious little ones face, as you sustain their life is monumental. The look of love and gratitude; it is amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sure, I get the same look from my husband when he’s down there but let’s face it; I’m not sustaining his life:) Anyways, I was one of those poor unfortunates who, try as they may, the boobies just didn’t function properly. They have always been big and beautiful (thanks Mom) but apparently pretty useless when I actually needed them. So, it was SNS (supplemental nursing system) from the get go. Oh, what? You are not familiar with this term? Lucky you! It is a wonderful medieval contraption that you hang from your neck, it holds formula in a container..that is exerted from a small tube that is taped to your nipple ( hoping to supplement what your poor under functioning, handicapped boobies can’t produce) and if you are super lucky (as I was) you can add to the mix a nipple guard!Sweet! Lovely, right? P.S. The nipple guard is not a little guy in a fuzzy hat who guards the nipple, its a pliable plastic covering to help draw the nipple out. My poor little boobies, they had such a complex; they figured they couldn’t come to play , so they were trying to hide on the bench. I have a friend of mine, who never even attempted to breast feed (because according to her, “those” were for fun not function) and here I am bargaining with the devil and praying to Jesus to let me produce enough milk to feed my starving child and , it just never came to fruition. I gave it the old college try, I took the fenugreek, the mothers milk tea, I tried everything possible to stimulate breast milk production but I could never fly solo, I always had to use that damn SNS! So, both girls got breastfed for about 6 weeks. I’m sorry, who was I fooling. The embarrassment and sheer horror of that SNS (it still gives me nightmares to think about harnessing myself into that thing) and only producing maybe 1/2 to 1 ounce when my kid was eating 4 -6 oz, was too much. So, I never had to decide whether or not to breastfeed in public (because anyone who knows me, knows that I am such a hypochondriac when it comes to my babies that they don’t go out into the general public until after 6 weeks). So, I am not trying to be judgy. When I see a Mommy feeding her baby, first I feel “awww” ,then that is followed by a little uncomfortableness, then ” what a tender , sweet Mommy/baby moment”. Generally, I think it is beautiful. Personally, I never did it outside the house but that was just my situation ( because the time of breastfeeding coincided with the 6 week waiting period of taking my newborns out into general population ….cause I am a lil crazy like that). Anyways, today I take my 2 and 5 year old to toddler story time @ the local library. We are sitting there and I notice a couple of the Mommies have some newborns (awwww, moment) . Mommy A ‘s 3 month old girl is getting that fussy, hungry cry going. Mommy promptly pulls out what looks like an apron and there goes the baby, under the apron, suckling to her hearts desire as Mommy watches on as her 4 year old little boy participates in story time. Way to go Mommy, she was on the ball. Directly next to her, I notice a little girl around the age of 4 assuming the position in her Mommy’s lap. What? I think, a little regression perhaps. You know seeing the baby next to her go under the apron. She’s no fool , she knew what was going on under there. Then the 4 year old sticks her hand in her Mom’s(Mommy B) shirt and is fondling her. I am like, WTH is going to happen here? It felt like I was witnessing snuff. Then, this woman, whipped it out and this little girl took a hit..like a shot of whiskey from a shot glass.WTF??? Seriously, I swear I am not against breastfeeding. In fact, I am a little envious of those Mommies with aprons..that means,God bless em, their parts are functioning correctly. But there has always been something creepy to me about a child old enough to be drinking out of a regular cup (past the sippy cup age), who can say “Give me a hit off the old teet mom!” Or anyone old enough to spell boobies, draw boobies, or talk about the experience still actually feeding off the breast. I don’t think a kid who can unbutton your shirt and wipe their own ass should still be breastfeeding. I mean, unless there is some weird disease and that is the only thing the kid can eat to survive…then I think its a little creepy and a little sad. Then ,in my head, I kept thinking if one of my girls ( who are watching this whole thing go down and my 2 year old was watching very interested like) comes over to me and tries to see what all the fuss is about, we’d have serious problems. How do I explain, ” I know honey, you know how you like chicken nuggets and lemonade? Well, that little girl still likes boobie milk!”So, my question to you is..am I wrong to be creeped out by this? Am I just out of the loop because of my own shortcomings? Would I feel differently if I had the ability to sufficiently breastfeed my own kids? I don’t think so but then again , I guess we’ll never know. All I know is I left the library today feeling just a little bit violated and dirty. I wasn’t staring , and didn’t see any actual boobies..but the kid was wiping her mouth and sporting an “ahhh” ( you know that sound you make when you’ve been running and you take a long cold swig of ice water? Yeah, that’s the sound.) I’m now sufficiently terrified to go to story time again; I may be off the library entirely.
To bear Boobies or not to bear boobies, that is the question.
by Deborah Cruz
written by Deborah Cruz
Latina. Girl mom of 2. Married to my college sweetheart.Digital Storyteller. Lover of travel, food and fashion. Chicago girl. I write because it's how I process the world. I share because I want you to know that you're not alone.