why i’d rather nurse in private

Back when I was pregnant, I read article after inspiring article about women who learned how to nurse (Yes, you DO have to learn), and then learned how to be ok with nursing in front of people. I personally felt like I somehow had to get to the point where I had to be comfortable with nursing in public, and after months of initial frustration trying to figure out the logistics of discreet nursing, I’ve come out with a method of nursing in public that (mostly) works for me. However, I am not ashamed to say that I would really rather nurse in private if I have the opportunity, and it’s ok to be ok with that.

Here’s why:

Simplification

Nursing (discreetly) in public is like driving. You have to be aware of several things simultaneously: making sure your clothes are in place, making sure your nursing cover (if you use one) is actually working, and most importantly, making sure your baby has a good latch. If you’re talking to someone, or tending to other children at the same time, your multi-tasking capacity may be on overdrive since you only have one free hand, unless your baby is large and fussy, (like Noweo often is,) then you may need two hands to wrangle your little one. Like driving, it gets easier over time, but if you nurse alone, then all you really have to worry about is getting a good latch. I personally enjoy giving my brain a break.

Peace and Quiet

Need I say more? If you could escape chaos, even if for just a few minutes, why not? Nursing in private offers a much needed lull in my otherwise jam-packed day. There have been countless instances where I’ve tried to nurse Noweo with other people around, and she was too stimulated to eat, even though she’s hungry. Taking your baby out of the action for a few minutes may give her enough calm to focus on nursing.

Bonding

This the most poignant reason for me. The first time I nursed Noweo was immediately after delivery. It was calm, quiet and intimate. Beautiful. Taking every opportunity I can to relive those moments by recreating a serene, private atmosphere where I can bond with my baby is worth missing out on a conversation, or a movie, or any other event that would require us to remain in the public eye.

I have no problem nursing in public, and with others nursing in public, but I relish every sweet private moment I can get, to talk to Noweo, to rub her back, play with her toes, hold her hand, to tell her I love her. It’s one of my favorite things. So don’t feel bad for me if you see me sneaking away. I’m making sure I don’t miss a thing.

how we survived our first family photoshoot

Hooray! Our first EVER (if you don’t count our wedding photos) family pictures have arrived! We picked them up on Monday, right before leaving Hilo. With so many great photographers out there, I didn’t really want the cookie cutter pics that you usually get at Sears, but we were pressed for time and I just wanted to get them over with…so off to Sears we went. Family picture-taking is one of those rituals I had been dreading, but with Noweo hitting her one year mark, it’s one of those things that just has to be done, and even though we were heading to what is essentially a big box studio for a pre-packaged sitting, I wanted our family to be captured accurately. Gone are the days of dressing up in Sunday best and sitting all posed and perfect. I certainly prefer life as it’s lived to be on my walls, and I’m happy to say that our photographer did a pretty good job getting not only our faces, but our family dynamic on film. Ironically, Noweo’s personality comes out the best because she was the only one who wasn’t posing.
We weren’t planning on just having a shot of me and Keola, but we figured we should…since the last one was 5 years ago.
We had a hard time getting Noweo to cooperate. She was scared of the flash and scared of the photographer, and absolutely refused to smile and be held down at the same time. We sang songs, we tossed her in the air, I asked the photographer to hit herself and make funny faces. We played with stuffed rabbits. WE MADE COMPLETE IDIOTS OUT OF OURSELVES (boy do i wish I had pictures of THAT.) The ONLY thing that made her tolerate the photo shoot was Keola’s cell phone.
Eventually I decided to nurse her and see if that would help calm her down. 5 minutes later, we had a completely different baby.
See?
though she still wanted the cell phone…Some kids want teddy bears, others want plastic bars that light up.
Then I saw this bag of flowers and asked if we could use them as props for her to play with. Worked like a charm!
This one really captures her playful side…maybe because she’s playing?
Sassy girl
After spending the entire morning trying to look like a happy family (as opposed to an exasperated one), I’m so happy that we got through the shoot and that these pictures really do capture US in this moment in our lives. Every image shows a different side of Noweo…parts of her that will melt away with time, but now I have them forever.

making friends with maui

If you’ve spent more than a minute on this blog you probably know that we’ve moved around A LOT since Noweo was born, and though we felt guilty for the constant change of scenery (often with wild imaginings of her with her future therapist griping about how she never had a real stable home), she was never old enough to REALLY understand that she was in a different environment…until now. Since setting foot on Maui’s red dirt, she’s spent most of the day being in less than a good mood. Things that normally don’t bother her on the Big Island are apparently evil and deadly on Maui…

…like Costco shopping carts, the bathtub, water in general, her car seat, Safeway shopping carts, and people…no matter how cute and related they are, like cousins. And Mommy not being in the same immediate vicinity as her? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But now it’s dark and showers have been had and dinner has been half devoured and half thrown on the floor and today’s deafening drama is replaced by the orange glow of streetlights and a peaceful little angel who leaves no trace on her slumbering face that she was ever plucked from everything she knows and loves and thrust into a completely foreign world full of strangers.

So there’s an adjustment period to every change we make. Some things are easier than others to accept, but in the end, we learn to get along and make do and hopefully love whatever situation we find ourselves in…or change it.

So good night from Maui. I highly doubt you’re enjoying your peace and quiet as much as I am mine.

around here

A couple days ago I spotted Noweo feeding Keola graham crackers and felt grateful foe sweet moments like that. Whenever I put a binky in her mouth Noweo grabs her ear. I guess it’s sort of a lovey for her…

She’s also perfecting her backwards walk by running at me, then turning around and backing up like a delivery truck, slowly lowering her butt into my lap. She will also sit on my back or stomach if I’m lying down. She does it so prim and proper like she’s sitting in Sunday School or something. For walking backwards, she has a surprisingly good sense of direction!

Keola is so proud of his shrinking belly (He lost 3 inches!): He’s been working so hard at running every day and it’s starting to pay off! I can’t wait until we’re on our own and life settles down because I have big plans for incorporating a more nutritious diet into our lives – thus spurring even greater belly shrinkage.

One of my favorite activities is to sit at Wailoa park eating lunch and talking about the future while Noweo naps: I need to work on spending less time on the computer, and forcing myself to be physically away from it is a great way to do that. There aren’t too many scenes that are more peaceful than a sleeping baby, yummy food, your best friend and a beautiful view.

Noweo’s gibberish is sounding more and more like language. In fact, (“sch” in a whispered tone means “bird.”) Obviously.

Lastt night Keola and I were talking about how great it’s been to have spent this time with my parents. It was an adjustment at first to move in with them. I’d been out of the house long enough to have established “my way” of doing things, and it’s true that a house isn’t big enough for two women sometimes, but over the months we’ve gotten a lot closer to my parents which is a great thing for us and Noweo. Leaving is bitter sweet, but in keeping honest with ourselves and what we feel we need to do, we know that heading to The Valley Isle right now is the best thing for us. Besides, the breeze and beach and family is calling my name! See you there!