Hordes of teenage boys surged past and I realised that I had picked a bench near the scariest ride at the amusement park — possibly not the most private spot in the world to breastfeed.
But the baby was cranky and my boobs were tingling, so down I sat.
Even second baby around, I still felt a little self-conscious as I cuddled my baby across my lap, peeled up the top layer of my nursing top, groped around inside the nursing slit. I flipped the catch above the bra cup and lowered it. Sudiously ignoring the world around me I executed the most tricky move of the process: getting the baby to latch on.
I will admit, at this point my nipple was feeling the breeze but luckily it never takes my rooting piglet of a baby long to find it. I was, as always, fascinated to see his eyes roll back in his head ecstatically and his eyelids closed. I watched as his nose squished against my breast, felt his hot, hungry breath on my skin and grinned a little as he started to make snuffling noises and unaccountable squeaks. Before long, I knew, I would get that fabulous, relaxing, “I just ate a pound of richest chocolate” feeling that breastfeeding induces in many women.
Satisfied that the baby was latched on, I rearranged my clothes so that, while my shirt looked a little rumpled, you couldn’t actually see much flesh — certainly less than the passing adolescent girls were displaying.
With both of us settled I adopted my customary Nursing-In-Public pose: eyes front, a “Baby? What baby?” look on my face, watching the world go by (“None of THOSE girls have given birth to two babies, I can tell you that!”).
Looking around, I saw a woman on the bench across from me, cradling an infant. I looked closer, eager to compare babies (knowing, of course, that mine would be bigger, stronger and more handsome). It was only then that I noticed the tell-tale bunching of HER t-shirt above her chest.
Before I had kids I had thought that no-one around here breastfed in public. When I had begun to bare my boobs (well, partially) everywhere from the mall to restaurants to church, I realised that there are nursing mothers everywhere. It’s just that it is so easy to be discreet that I had never noticed them before.
Under the hot summer sun, teenagers teemed off the ride and tubmbled down the path in front of me, oblivious to my existence. The other nursing mother greeted her flushed-faced older children and laughing husband, fresh from another ride. She cuddled one with her free arm and talked to the others while the baby suckled away.
Yeah, I thought, I suppose I could nurse in some mother-and-baby ghetto or I could take a deep breath and remain in the world…a world that is so busy with its own business that even teenage boys are going too fast to miss their chance to glimpse a bared breast.
And that’s saying something.