Week 3: in the interest of keeping it real

Whoa. This week was very much like my first trimester of pregnancy: I’m so thankful for this opportunity, but dude, it’s kicking my butt.

It’s so hard to explain how even when staring into the beautiful face of your happy, content, healthy infant, you can feel so overwhelmed, inadequate and frustrated. Also, so many awesome things happened this week, like Suzianne meeting her Great Grandparents,  her Uncle Larry, and our fabulous former DC neighbors:  

But it’s the little things, like not sleeping at night and forgetting to eat lunch…and dinner, that start to add up. Soon, you can’t handle bigger things, like attending to the backlog of thank you notes (sorry, friends!), mastering the breast pump or scouting out a private place to breast feed your child when you’re out at a fancy Ruth’s Chris steak dinner.

Yes, last Friday, we went to Ruth’s Chris to celebrate my Grandparent’s 59th wedding anniversary. The smell of steak was too much for Suzianne (that’s my girl!); she was immediately STARVING. Like, OMG, my momma SO NEVER FEEDS ME, ya’ll. 

The first time I nursed her, we were standing in the women’s room for 20 minutes because I was trying to be nice and not take up the ONE stall. I got several mean/confused stares from ladies coming and going. Thanks for your support, ladies.

Of course, 30 minutes later, she smelled potatoes au gratin was STARVING again. Like, for the love of all things holy momma, WHY DON’T YOU EVER FEED ME?

Determined not to re-live my ladies bathroom debacle, I sought out a more private place. But no such place could be found–even in The World’s Largest Ruth’s Chris. So, I nursed my baby here–on the nasty carpet floor in front of what I later figured out was the Men’s bathroom (sadly, the spider that was camped out with me is not pictured):

I only realized it was the men’s room when a nice gentleman asked if he could “squeeze by.” I thought he was exiting the building through a stairwell. Then: WHOOSH.

{Headsmack} Only the best for my baby! (sigh)

The encouraging part was when the nice dude stepped over me and Suzianne to exit the men’s room: He turned to me and said, “I want you to know I fully support what you are doing. It’s the best thing for your child. I’m just sorry you are having to do it here, like this. Ruth’s Chris should really have a ladies lounge for you.”

Amen, brother. I so appreciated that man! But I sat there and cried anyway.

The good news: our girl turned three weeks old yesterday. She is a thriving, healthy, happy little lady. We are blessed. Even if my hormones reduce me to crying fits most days.

If my momma weren’t here, I may have lost my mind by this point. Good lord, I owe my momma so much. There’s no way I can ever repay her for taking such good care of me and Suzianne these past three weeks. We love you, Granny Sue Sue:

Also, a big shout out to the Internet, which enables the amazingly thoughtful women in my life to send me emails and Facebook messages of support. I appreciate your tips, tricks and humor more than you know, friends.

The good news: every woman who has ever had a baby has shared these same emotions. It’s so hard, but so awesome all at the same time. So, I’m picking myself up, Fabreezing the carpet (there may or may not have been some infant projectile vomiting last night) taking a shower and starting anew. Here’s to a cry-free week four!

12 thoughts on “Week 3: in the interest of keeping it real

  1. OH MY GOD I SO RELATE! Breastfeeding in public can be a little challenging. Not just the logistics of navigating a super hungry baby under a nursing cover (or not – whatevs) but also dealing with the people. I had my first daughter out at a diner when she was maybe 2 months old. I was trying to feed her under the nursing cover and this waitress lit in to me about how I needed to make sure the cover was flame retardant. I was so confused about why she was yelling at me. There were no candles around. I just didn’t get it. But it was so upsetting! I totally cried. And one time when I had the baby out and about and this lady came up to me, I thought to tell me how cute the baby was, but no – she wanted to yell at me for being out in public with such a small child (it was JUNE and 85 degrees). WTH? Hilarious post. I feel you. Thanks for keeping it real.

  2. Hugs. You’re doing great. You’ve clearly got a great role model and I KNOW Suzianne has one!

    And, we need to get you one of those breastfeeding capes – you’re going to start doing it at the table with a glass of wine! If you don’t have one, tell me. I’m getting you one. stat.

  3. No one puts baby in a corner…by the men’s room!

    Having no kids, I’ve never been in this position personally, but all my friends have them and I honestly can’t ever remember them getting up and leaving a table, especially the more comfortable they got with the whole public thing. You’ll get there.

    And seriously, don’t ever hesitate to ask a staff person (preferably a chick) if they can help you out with a spot. They might not always be able to, but a lot of times they can find some place.

  4. Hang in there, friend – you can do it! Rumor has it they get faster at eating and eventually need it less often. Every day will get easier (or so let’s convince ourselves).

  5. I just wanted to tip my hat to you for taking time to celebrate your grandparents’ anniversary. I’ve had several friends who have bypassed celebrations to avoid situation like the one you experienced. Hats off to you for facing the challenges head on (although knowing you I would have expected nothing less than that.) Hugs from Dallas!

  6. Oh Margie, I can completely relate to this. On many, many levels. My mom was with me for a week after Owen was born, and when she left I stood at the door and sobbed watching her car drive away. And every single time we went to the pediatrician in those first two weeks I cried, because they told me he wasn’t getting enough mik and tried to force me to use formula. (We got a new pediatrician.) The point is, you are doing great. And crying or feeling stressed and overwhelmed doesn’t negate or undermine or at all call into question how much you love your baby and how much she needs you- exactly the way you are. So be easy on yourself. Cry if you need to. It doesn’t hurt a thing.

  7. We have all been there. Wait until you do it while your hubby drives down the road and you’re hunched over the car seat. That’s one for the books too!hang in there. You do have a hooter hider, right? Best thing ever.

  8. Oh Girl,
    I have a somewhat similar experience to share with you. Of course you know that it is not a breastfeeding story but a “public bathroom” story.
    When the twins were about five months old we were out to dinner at a nice place, apparently the restaurant thought that they were too nice to have babies in their venue.
    As you may have noticed, what goes in, must come out and with the twins it was ALWAYS withing a matter of minutes. So as the story goes, shortly after we had the whole “MY MOMMY NEVER FEEDS ME FIT” you described perfectly; it was time to go change the diapers. Then came the discovery that there was not a changing table in the bathroom, or even a safe counter space to makeshift one.
    So I scanned the area and decided the best place would be just outside of the bathroom, in a secluded hallway on a bench. I thought this would be the best place, and I was hoping it would go fast.
    As I sat there on the Bench with one in a laid out position and one in a car seat some ladies walked by looking at me as if I had just committed an ultimate sin, and just then…my sweet precious little boy peed, and for a baby lying on his back in between diapers, it was a clear shot to my face.
    So I guess things could always be worse. I think you are doing a great job! I am so Happy that Aunt Susie is there with you.

    If you ever need anymore scary public or just gross and funny horror stories let me know… I even have one on why Grandma Sue Sue should not hold the baby up in the air above her head….
    Love you all!

  9. thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability, margie. you are so brave and so strong, and such an inspiration. these are the kinds of things that i’m going to remember when i’m the sobbing, sniveling mess in three months.

    and i agree with sam – sam, i’ll go in on a nursing cape with you for sweet margie and suzianne! and while i’m at it, excuse me while i add one to my registry….

  10. Margie, I so much enjoy reading your stories of the life of little Suzianne. They have also brought back great Memories of your cousin’s when they were baby’s. And also some I wish I would of forgot for ever. Maybe someday I’ll tell you about some of my nightmare Breastfeeding stories, But I will wait until Suzianne is older.. Suzianne is so lucky to have you for a mother , Your Blogs are great Inspiration for all Mothers. Love you all!!

  11. Just catching up on your blog and yes! I am totally with you! Just wait until you get the breast pump going full time. Ready for this story? I had to do some media relations work for Bonnarroo and of course, needed to pump while there. So I’m pumping in my car, minding my own business, when I look out my window into a tent next to me where a couple is having sex. Seriously. Oh, the things we do for our babies! I can’t tell you how many random places I’ve breast fed and pumped. It’s one for the books – hang in there!

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