Sammy's First Public Breakdown

Sarah Strapp

Posted By: Sarah Strapp

I am eager, anxious, nervous, and exciting to get this baby to my breast.

A couple weeks ago I mentioned my family's upcoming trip to Jamaica (which we are very excited about). Well, it dawned on us last weekend that in order to bring our son with us on his inaugural family trip we would need to secure him a passport. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting a US post office, rest assured they are a not-too-distant-cousin of hell. Both Sammy's father and I had to be present with valid government issue ID's in order to get Sammy his passport. It actually started off as a good afternoon...

For the nap preceding our trip to the post office I had put Sammy down in his stroller bassinet so that we would not have to wake him for our adventure. Unfortunately, we awoke not too long after we left the apartment cutting his usual 90 minute nap down to a mere 30 minutes. He was happy, though, in his stroller watching busy streets of New York City. When we entered the post office we were disappointed and shocked to see a huge line. We braced ourselves for what would eventually be Sammy's breakdown. We actually got through most of the line with no trouble. We had to pick him up when we were next, but he was actually a really good boy. Between the time that we had his picture taken and the time that we signed his form the storm finally hit -- Sammy was freaking out. Not only was everyone in the post office giving us nasty stares but the crying was starting to turn our insides out.

He would not take a pacifier, and the swaddle wasn't calming him down either. We ran out of options and he was almost due for a feeding so I figured I should do what I had to do. I went over to a corner of the big open space, yanked up my shirt and put Sammy's face on my boob. Ah, silence. Blissful, peaceful, elusive silence. The whole crowd was staring right at me, but they all looked happy to see me do what had to be done. An older woman gave me a nasty glance, but a woman standing next to me turned to her little daughter and whispered to her that I was feeding my baby. She then turned back up at me and smiled. In that moment I felt so grateful. Perhaps this little girl would grow up and breastfeed her own children. Hearing her mother sweetly tell her how about how Sammy was "having a snack" made me feel so good. I felt like an inspiration.

Nursing standing up in a crowded bright government building was not what I had had in mind for Sammy's afternoon snack, but I didn't have a choice. Sammy needed to eat, and he needed the comfort of Mama so I had to feed him. I was surprised at how easy it was for me to do. I didn't think I'd have the dexterity to pull it off, but Sammy rested comfortably in my arms (supported by my hip) sucking himself to a more happy disposition.

As Sammy and I become more comfortable with each other and in our nursing relationship I am amazed at how far we are able to go. When Sammy first got here I loved him, partly because I knew I was supposed to, maybe it was more a love borne of responsibility than actual affection. Sammy will be 13 weeks old next week and I cannot believe how much I love him. I imagine my love for him will grow with every moment that I know him, I will always do whatever it takes to give him what he needs.

Even when that means nursing standing up in a government building.

3:18pm on Thursday January 6
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