Since Emily was born I have slowly developed an acute fear of leaving the house. Breastfeeding will do that to you. Its stressful planning to leave around feedings and naps enough, but throw in the difficulty of what to do if she needs to be feed (more like demands to be fed) when I am in public, like a supermarket, and the anxiety such a situation provokes is enough to make me want to stay in the comfort of my home where I can nurse in peace.
But, I am not the type of person who can just be happy in the cocoon of my home for days and weeks on end. I go a little stir crazy so I have been taking baby steps in trying to become comfortable outside the home as a breastfeeding mom with a newborn.
The other day we made our first step at being in public for longer than an hour stretch. We went to the grocery store! And it was at the store that I totally had my first moment of motherhood in all its public glory....
Shopping had gone really well. I knew the aisles of the supermarket and made a list so packing my cart full of food was a relatively quick feat. To that point the only difficult part was seeing over the baby carrier as it was perched in the cart, but then we got in line to pay for our groceries.
I laid out everything on the conveyor belt after a wonderful employee ushered us to a line that only had one other person in it. No waiting, how awesome! Just as it was our turn to have our items rung up the cashier switched out with an older lady. She was wearing a ton of make-up from a different decade and clearly forgot to wear her bra that morning. As soon as she punched in and picked up the first item to scan Emily began to stir.
I watched the woman scanning my items. She was moving at the speed of an AARP commercial and I tried to gather patience as my child began doing to tell tale sleepy squirm that meant she was on the precipice of a 'feed me now' meltdown. The cashier was oblivious of my efforts to sooth Emily and continued to slowly scan each item. Flattening out packages before bagging them and seemingly investigating each item before placing them in the bag. It didn't take long before I began to unravel.
The baby is about to cry.
I told her point blank three separate times as Emily began making squeaks and half cries. Fussiness, the one step before a full blown wail. The cashier actually moved slower and stared at me blankly. Just then Emily began to cry, loudly, and my fears of a public meltdown was coming to fruition.
Could you move any slower?!
I exclaimed as the woman just held a jar of peanut butter in her hand and stared at me, not scanning anything. Shawn, who clearly wins when it comes to patience, told me to just take her outside to the car and nurse her while he finished paying. So, with a carrier full of fussy baby I walked out of the store. As soon as we were in the confines of the car she was quite and content.
Once I left and Shawn was paying for the groceries the cashier asked "What was her problem?" to Shawn. He eyeballed her for a second before lighting into her how slow and inconsiderate she was. The woman just stared blankly at him.
While it wasn't a horrible, world ending, meltdown and I am sure that I'm in for bigger ones in the future I think getting the first public one out of the way is a big milestone. And just to add to it when we got home and were putting the groceries away we found our bread items smushed thanks to her bagging them with big boxes of pasta.