This weekend I was bridesmaid at a friends wedding. I faced the long journey and the quiet service with some trepidation considering my 2.5 year old son and 4 month old daughter. It has been a weekend of breastfeeding highs and lows I think.
We, of course, had to make an unplanned stop at a service station halfway there to feed baby. This resulted in cancelling a planned trip to see my sister, which was a real shame. After our stop, baby continued to fret, even when I sang to her. This was when I perfected my 'in car feeding method'. I was damned if we were stopping again. There have been few times when I have found breastfeeding inconvenient, but long journeys have been one. The repeated stops drive me mad. Of course, it would be thoroughly dangerous to remove baby from the car seat and breastfeed. However, I have now discovered that with a bit of a contortionist act I can breastfeed her while sitting in the seat next to her (not driving of course). This video shows how I did it, except that I didn't cover up at all. I wish I had known this ages ago!! So many long stops could have been avoided over the last few years.
Anyway, for the rest of the weekend my baby has insisted on comfort feeding continuously. Thank goodness my bridesmaid's dress was low cut! I swear that most of the people at that wedding have seen my underwear though, as even though I wrapped up in a shawl it did occasionally slip off. A fellow bridesmaid helped me keep my decency. Of course it's one for breastfeeding in public and all that, but it would have been nice to get away from baby a bit. Every time I did she screamed her head off. In fact, she refused to be even spoken to by anybody and was the moodiest, clingiest baby I have ever known.
Baby made her best effort to spoil the wedding. I had deposited her, fed and asleep, in Daddy's arms. Halfway through the ceremony however, she wakes up and decides to scream blue murder. I, being a bridesmaid, was powerless to help with my handy mute button (breastfeeding). The wedding was stopped and Daddy was ordered out. There was a slight snag in that big brother had taken off his shoes and so had to stay behind with some friends. Anyway, daddy ran out into the corridors, nicely away from the ceremony. Or so he though - he in fact walked behind the hall so we could just hear baby's screams coming in through the other doors. I was mortified. I eventually had to run out at a good moment and tell him to go away. I think my friend has forgiven me now.
It was an amazing wedding. Beautiful bride, gorgeous setting, amazing food. My little boy threw some shapes on the dance floor and threw a wobbly when we finally dragged him away for bed. Baby was a pain all day, screaming for the duration of the photos, but fortunately sleeping through the wedding breakfast. My escape from her in the evening when I got her to bed was cut short when the baby monitor broke. The next morning at breakfast, baby was lovely and gurgly as if butter wouldn't melt.
On the way home we stopped at a well known Swedish furniture company. Baby was nicely asleep in the carrier and big brother was toddling around, opening cupboard doors and sitting on a variety of chairs. All of a sudden I heard a bottom explosion. My baby girl doesn't do little ladylike poos. She does huge ones that burst forth from her nappy. I knew that I would have to change her at once and ran back to the car to strip, wash and re-clothe her. Unfortunately all the baby things were buried amongst the suitcases so by the time I finished, I was in a rage and baby wasn't too much better. I had thrown my keys across the car, had a complete strop and had to be helped by the lady who drew up in the car next to me. On rejoining my husband I sat and fed baby for a little while (whilst venting my rage at him) on one of the display chairs, not for the first time in my life. However, my son wanted to move on before baby had finished. This was when I worked out how to feed baby in a sling with her upright. I have done it with her lying down before, but she's far too big to do that now. It worked nicely, although husband was laughing and saying that I wasn''t as discreet as I thought. Certainly not when baby spat out my nipple after she fell asleep and I didn't notice for a while.
Anyway, home now. Some lessons have been learnt this weekend.
1. How to breastfeed in a car
2. Express milk if you are bridesmaid at a wedding
3. Don't allow a small baby anywhere near a wedding if at all possible. They like to ruin it.
4. Be prepared to permanently breastfeed when you are in an unfamiliar setting
5. Always make baby clothes and nappies accessible in a car, and don't remove baby's clothes until you have found them.
6. How to breastfeed in a baby carrier