There’s not much that embarasses me. I have always been hard to embarass, but I think after having four children, it’s even more difficult to do so. Honestly, giving birth is a lesson in humiliation. Also, the kids themselves do extremely embarassing things, but I think I stopped noticing after the first kid. That being said, there are three times in my life that I have been extremely embarassed. I still cringe thinking about each one of these. The first was when I was in second grade and I couldn’t get the button undone on my jeans and I peed my pants. I had to walk all the way back to my classroom and then all the way to the front of the room with pee soaked jeans. The second was when I was about 6 or 7 and I accidentally farted when my very cool, much older cousin that I adored was tickling me. A few of my other cool, older cousins heard it and started laughing. So embarrassing. The last thing is the story that I will share now.
When I had my first child, my daughter, my husband was in the Navy and we lived on a Navy base outside Seattle, WA. We were so far from all of our family and friends and I was a young, first time mom and I was a little sad and lonely. When my daughter was about two months old, some of the wives from the sub my husband was on, wanted to give me a baby shower since they weren’t able to do so before I had my girl. I was flattered and excited at the thought of getting out of our little house and talking to grown ups! They wanted to do it at a little tea house. I started thinking about what I was going to wear, what my daughter was going to wear and so on and then it hit me….I would have to breastfeed my daughter at some point during this outing. Oh God! I was not good at “public” nursing. I got nervous and sweaty and just couldn’t relax. Part of it was the size of my girls, I am a pretty small girl and I was sporting a DD or bigger and I just could not get a handle on those things in a discrete and graceful manner.Also, my daughter was on the boob for, what felt like, 20 out of 24 hours a day. She wouldn’t take a pacifier or bottle and when she wanted something, that kid’s scream could wake the dead. Well, I thought, I would just get to the tea house early and fill her up in the car. That would give me at least 45 minutes to an hour before she woke up and wanted to eat again.
The day of the shower came and I was actually showered and dressed before 4 pm, my daughter was dressed and ready and the baby bag was packed. Everything was going according to plan. We arrived early and I nursed her and got myself inside in time. We sat down at our table in this adorable tea house and I set the baby stroller right next to me at the head of the table. All the ladies were there and after the ooing and ahhing over the baby we ordered our tea and food and began to chat. I looked over at my precious baby sleeping so peacefully and thought, I can do this! I have a handle on this motherhood thing. I can talk to grown ups about grown up things and my baby will sleep and eat when I want her to. Well, that lasted about 10 minutes. First came the little waaa, that I knew from experience, was going to turn into a full-fledged scream in 2 minutes flat. Panic! I was the guest of honor, the tea was placed in front of me, I couldn’t just go out to the car for 30 minutes. Great, I was going to have to whip out my boob and NOW! The screaming had started and she was getting all red and angry. So I pulled her out of her seat and positioned a baby blanket over me, all the while trying to carry on a normal conversation through all my shaking and sweating. I finally got her latched on and she calmed down and started to eat. She finished and I switched her to the other one. She was finally satisfied and out cold. I pulled her off and carefully placed her in her baby seat. I eventually calmed down and was able to enjoy my tea, lunch and conversation. Whew! Everything went so well. I opened my gifts and talked like a grown up. When it was time to leave, I stood up and started to pack up my things and what do I see? My shirt was still pulled up and not only that, my nursing bra flap was down and my big, ol’ boob was hanging out. And now for the best part……..I had leaked breast milk everywhere. My pants were wet and so was the tablecloth! In all my panic, I had forgotten to close my nursing bra and pull down my shirt. Not one of those women said a thing to me! Nothing. So for an hour I was hanging out for all the world to see. There was no way they could NOT have seen that. I packed up and walked out of there with my head hung in shame.Even now as I type this story, my face is red. Maybe telling this story to the world will help ease a little of the humiliation I still feel about this experience.