Today was a beautiful day in Virginia! The weather was perfect and the sun was shining. I was up until about 2 a.m. working on a cake for a friend's 'Blessingway'. I (attempted) a henna inspired design of hot pink on chocolate fondant... the cake smelled so good the entire time I was working on it and during the car ride today!
Ben & I packed up the kids (& the cake) and headed out around noon. We dropped off the cake and were on our way to a Celtic festival being held about an hour and a half away. The kids took the ride as an opportunity to nap thankfully.
When we arrived, Ben unpacked the double stroller and we filled it to the brim with kids, diapers, wipes, the sling, etc. I was so glad that he'd opted to bring the sit & stand as opposed to the single umbrella stroller-- we had to park about a mile away from the start of the festival, the location of which spanned 360 acres.
We listened to the bagpipers, watched traditional dancing, watched sheepdog demonstrations, watched men throw things, and Ben got to try some 'Irish Coffee'. Marley got to see sheep, bunnies, highland cows, and some turkeys. In browsing the artisans, Ben found his family name on a crest (his family came here by ship quite a few generations ago).
I decided I should probably let Marley wander around with Ben for a bit while I nursed Killian, so we walked the entire park looking for a 'suitable' place. (Somewhere cool, not in direct traffic, where I could be comfortable & Killian wouldn't get distracted.) I finally gave up, and settled for a tree near the entrance. I grabbed a funnel cake *yum!* and went to sit down with Killian while Ben & Marley left in search of kettle corn.
I spread out the ring sling on the dirt for my funnel cake and took the small pad off of the 'sit' part of the sit & stand to plop my bottom on. The funnel cake was delicious, of course, and Killian even got to try a few bites of the soft middle. I took him out of the stroller intending to 'boo', but he had other plans. He was way more interested in the bagpipers competing and practicing not quite far away from us. There were people EVERYWHERE. I typically don't have issues NIP, but sometimes I get anxious-- this was one of those times.
The ground wasn't especially comfy, the tree's roots were such that I couldn't really lean back against it, and he was more interested in the dirt than eating.
I finally just gave up on 'discreet' and 'inconspicuous', went 'over' the top as opposed to 'under' which shows my belly and relaxed.
The sun was just right to show off the creamed coffee color that's sneaking into his blue eyes... he looked up and me and played with my hair, grabbed for my sunglasses, and ate.
To him, this act was so simple. We sit down, mom does her thing, I do mine, and voila-- boo.
To me, it was something that I'd been planning and trying to prepare for since we left the house. I put on a shirt under my shirt, so I could access 'under'... which was fine until it got hot and I took it off in the bathroom. I put on a bra that doesn't fit but is easy to nurse in... so my shoulder was hurting. I brought the sling in case I wore him, but also in the event I needed to cover up... I guess it served that purpose-- I covered something really dirty... the ground! As we browsed, I was on the lookout for an out of the way bench or "mother's room"... I never found one.
I caught myself thinking, "They should have a mother's room!!!!"... until I realized that if they did, it would only contribute to society's perception of breastfeeding being something that should only occur behind closed doors or in designated areas.
I'm not a 'political breastfeeder', I don't go out of my way to make my child nurse to prove a point. I'm passionate about breastfeeding and willing to offer help to friends and anyone else who needs it.
I feel that nursing in public should be 'the norm'... and I know that I'm a small piece in that big puzzle.